All Posts in nyc

December 12, 2014 - Comments Off on Intern Chronicles – with Christian Houmoller

Intern Chronicles – with Christian Houmoller

Our #ProjectManagement #WebDesign and #MultiMedia Dev intern Christian Houmoller fills us in on his favorite aspects of working for The Mechanism, what he has learned/experienced so far, and how he has adapted to the city that never sleeps.

Intern Chronicles

Intern Chronicles

Halfway into my internship at The Mechanism, I look back and reflect on the experience, so far. Even though I consider myself a city boy, I found it daunting coming to New York. The shear amount of people seems overwhelming when my little country of Denmark only has 5 million, and they are always in a hurry to get somewhere. The uptown/downtown subway ride, the insane taxi drivers, the east and west streets and the SoHo’s or NoHo’s, it all didn’t really make sense to me at first. But after a while it all just clicked and New York City became an exploration adventure. You always hear about the diversity of people, the melting pot of cultures, but diversity in NYC is found everywhere. Every neighborhood is different, like little towns within a city and the glorious food is worth the trip alone, I’m sure I’ve packed on a few pounds.

As for The Mechanism, It has been a wonderful experience so far. The firm is comprised of some talented developers and designers, with founder Dave Fletcher at the helm. During his 20-something years in the business, he has acquired a solid network of clients, including big pharma, big realty and government and it has been a joy for me, to soak up some of his knowledge. As an intern, with aspirations of starting my own company one day, working in a professional work environment has given me insight into how the web development industry works and broadened my understanding of how to run a business, from managing projects and employees to designing websites and working with clients. I have enjoyed seeing the process The Mechanism goes through, from the early conceptual phases to implementation and deployment of a product. Its impressive how embedded this process is in their work methods, it’s almost automated and along with good commutation makes productivity run smooth and fast. This is reminiscent of what I’ve learned in school and it makes me think that my education has not been a complete waste of time. It gives me the confidence to feel that my aspirations of starting my own company, may someday be possible.

On a personal note. The guys at The Mechanism, has been really welcoming, showing me around the city and inviting me to their homes. This has meant a lot to me. And I could not have imagined that my internship in New York City would be going so well.

April 29, 2013 - Comments Off on Menu Metropolitain

Menu Metropolitain

I hope you are enjoying the fairer weather that has suddenly arrived...finally and thankfully. I was glad to simply have a home weekend and spent most of it asleep. It was well needed. One of our wonderful clients, the James Beard Foundation, has their big award season coming up. It means lots of work for them and for us, but it's all well and good thanks to this jolly old guy below.

A fantastic foundation for an outstanding man

I've been living in NYC for quite awhile now and though I still hesitate to call myself a New Yorker (Brooklyn for life!), I've definitely grown familiar with the ins and outs of the city. The James Beard Foundation is just one of the many wonders the city possesses amongst its many restaurants, theaters, museums, and more. And it's all underpinned by the city's constantly expanding subway. Check out these marvelous photos of what's going on beneath our feet care of the MTA!

East Side Access East Side Access

And like any great metropolitan center, we have our amazing selection of splendid museums. The famous Metropolitan Museum of Art on the East Side has a sparkly new website with great modern look and adaptive layout. Be sure to look through the upcoming exhibits and visit if you can. The site aims to add a fresh layer of visual stimulation to their more traditional homepage.

For all its beauty, one spends so much time head tucked down or in the previously mentioned tunnels it's easy to forget the beauty all around this metropolis. This groovy mirrored video montage of the city by Sebastien Desmedt is a fantastic reminder of the city's many marvels. I especially love the way the easy-to-abuse reflection effect plays off the repetition and pattern naturally found in a city, giving the entire thing a sense of normalcy despite the persistent manipulation.

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin during our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.

Published by: benchirlin in Non-Profits, The Internal Mechanism
Tags: , , ,

September 4, 2012 - Comments Off on Moving Mess

Moving Mess

Hope you had a delightful holiday weekend. I spent mine changing apartments from Park Slope to Prospect/Crown Heights area. Living in New York City adds many unique obstacles and concerns to moving but I think my roommates and I made out okay. Ah the glories of moving house. There's nothing like it to make you appreciate how much useless crap you own while also providing a therapeutic cleansing of junk, fully owning your inner consumerist nature. Moving is like any creative process as it consists of three acts: packing, moving, and unpacking. Each requires a bit of inspiration. I went to us-mailing-change-of-address.com to change our address as well.

We now live in apartment 4A. For some reason none of the doors have numbers and everyone makes their own so I thought I'd use this opportunity to make ours.

The first step of any move is to organize your sprawl of useful, useless, and, arbitrary stuff. Thus it turns into an orderly boxed tower of stuff. I've always found a strange pleasure in packing. On trips as a kid I always enjoyed packing our stuff in the trunk of the car. It's like a real-life game of Tetris and a great way to practice your spacial thinking skills. Photographer Sannah Kvist seems to share my twisted passion as shown in her photo series "All I Own." Each photo shows the subject alongside all their belongings. Scarily I think my pile would be a bit bigger than these. There is something eerily fascinating about seeing such a pithy summary of an individual within a single frame.

The actual move is probably the least enjoyable part of any relocation. Even with movers it can be a long and frustrating process to wade through moving estimates and reviews. But such is life, especially on the web where sites are constantly on the move. But what do you show while the guys are loading up the digital truck so to speak? (By their very nature such sites don't, or shouldn't, last long so forgive me my time-traveling reader if these links now lead to a full site). "Coming Soon" sites demand a mix a radical minimalism and clarity to capture the visitor while clearly articulating the soon-to-be product. Carbonmade, provider of easy online portfolio sites, does just this with this adorable site promoting a new talent sourcing website called Talent Pool that is on its way.

My new room is much cozier than before, requiring some ingenuity in making everything fit. Getting the feng shui of your new place just right is an art form, every unpacking a canvas upon which to rearrange your life. How your room is arrayed can have massive consequences on your lifestyle and productivity. For instance my new layout allows me to easily lay in bed and watch TV a.k.a. ultimate procrastination. Yet there are some places I could never imagine living comfortably--like inside a cat for instance. Yet the little fellow in this week's video seems to pull if off (though it doesn't seem to help him win over the ladies).

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin from our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.

Published by: benchirlin in The Sketching Mechanism
Tags: , , , , , , ,

August 20, 2012 - Comments Off on Magical Metro

Magical Metro

It was inevitable. I ride it every day and every night. It's lines are my city's arteries, it's trains the blood. Wherever one exists, metro systems are an essential part of their city and the people who live there. This is reflected in their myriad names: Metro, L, Underground, Subway and many more. But in every case, the reliable high speed transit offered by subway systems is part of what makes the bustle of modern life possible. What fascinates me most about metro systems is not only the unique character of each city's, but also the qualities of each line therein. Whether it's hipsters on the G train or gangsters on the A, each car is a unique environment every time. Its often the rule that I fall in love at least once per ride, only to have my heart broken at the next stop. This strange enclosed space is equal parts bus and elevator. Strange and intimate. Such a unique environment must be this week's inspiration.

I find my time in the subway to be very important. If it weren't for that hour under ground every day I wouldn't read or draw half as much as I do. Occasionally I'll even draw my fellow passengers if I feel I can be discrete enough. We are all aware of the subtle rules that govern subway behavior, as strange as they may be. Clearly collecting discraded metrocards does not unnerve artist Nina Boesch as illustrated in her collages depicting classic New York sights and people--made of chopped up metrocards.

While many metros cater to all crowds, modern extensions have begun to specialize in purpose. The Gatwick express is a quick way for Londoners to get to Gatwick airpot. Such trains are particularly curious since their passengers tend to be as specialized as the train itself. Anxious businessmen sit across from backpackers in a peculiar societal collage. This recent site aims to provide riders with a 30 minute track inspired by the journey to Gatwick facilitated by the new line. The site is a lovely short story artistically illustrating the trains journey.

Subways are always changing. Whether its the latest extension, closure, opening or renovation. Through time, few systems have seen as much change as New York City. What was once a dangerous and scarily beautiful place has now become a lifeline for tourists and commuters alike. As graffiti has given way to advertisement, one simultaneously yearns for that wondrous grimy past while cherishing the comforts of the aseptic and commercialized present. However through it all, art has always been a part of the NYC subway. From the beautiful old stops to the modern art adorning others. These dark tunnels beneath the city will always be a bright spot for me.

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin from our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.

Published by: benchirlin in The Sketching Mechanism
Tags: , , , , , ,

August 26, 2011 - Comments Off on The P is for Paul

The P is for Paul

This week we saw an earthquake hit New York, a hurricane shutting down the city's massive subway system, Google forfeiting $500 Million generated by online ads for Canadian pharmacies and the aftermath of HP's decision to flat out get out of the PC business, but the biggest news of the week was the resignation of Steven P. Jobs as CEO of Apple.

Though it did not come as a surprise, what with the medical leave and the move of the publication of his biography from next year to this November, it did shock. We knew it was coming, and yet it startled us.

Many stories have been published in response to his resignation, and about the future of Apple, including many profiles of Tim Cook who was immediately named CEO in perfect succession.

[ Shame on all those who have only focused on the sexuality of the man whose operational genius allowed Apple to produce the Macs, iMacs, Macbooks, Airs, iPods, iPhones and iPads the way they wanted while simultaneously maintaining an envied inventory chain worldwide, leading Apple to profits so large they recently had more money in the bank than the US government and surpassed Exxon Mobile (for a brief period of time) as the world's most valuable company. So if you want to talk about who the man sleeps with go ahead, you are an idiot. ]

Jobs reinvented many industries and forced all of us to reconsider what we thought was the norm. There is a reason we always hear the question "how would Apple do it?"

I was tempted to include lists to my favorite articles concerning the resignation, a quick search would yield many of those. Instead I'll share this: I wrote my university application essays on a Mac. All my college papers, dissertations, assignments, all done on Macs. I made a website to sell the arts, in 1993, on a Mac. All the career-elevating work I've ever done in my life, happened on a Mac (and now on an iPhone and an iPad as well). All the work we are doing here for our clients, happens mostly on Macs (and every time we have to test a website on a PC I am reminded why). Many call such loyalty fanboy-ism, and yes, there is a touch of that, but the truth is simpler. At every step of our lives when we wanted to challenge ourselves, when we had to challenge ourselves creatively, when we've pursued something so large we weren't sure how we could do it, or whether we could do it at all, an Apple product helped us forge ahead. It really is that simple.

Oh alright, one link, the commencement speech is really a must see.

And in the spirit of all those amazing keynotes that I will surely miss:

One More Thing.

Pixar.

Because of Pixar we know that Apple will have a bright future without Steve Jobs as CEO. Jobs has been an integral part of the growth of Pixar and yet we seldom think of him when talking about the unprecedented string of multi-billion-dollar-earning movies created by the studio. Because Jobs' biggest contribution at Pixar is the company's team and culture, the way they work and create, in essence the company itself. Likewise, Jobs' greatest accomplishment at Apple is not any of the many products they've created but a team, a work ethic, a company capable of producing them.

The Thinking Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Fridays, covering the ideas The Mechanism is thinking and talking about with our peers and clients.

Published by: antonioortiz in Pharmaceuticals, The Thinking Mechanism
Tags: , , , ,

July 15, 2011 - Comments Off on The Thinking Mechanism – 7/15/11

The Thinking Mechanism – 7/15/11

The Thinking Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Fridays, covering the ideas The Mechanism is thinking and talking about with our peers and clients.

Consider this one the take a break from work edition. It is perhaps a bit New York City centric but the spirit of it applies universally. If you don't take the time to experience things outside the realm of your day to day work you are severely cutting your ability to be inspired. In addition, as Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons convey in their book The Invisible Gorilla, if you are hyper-focused you are very likely to begin experiencing a psychological phenomenon that renders you unable to see things that are right in front of you, in a kind of blindness that compromises your intuition.

With that in mind here are a couple of suggestions to clear your mind and perhaps lead you to new experiences:

Viral video kings OK GO have developed a collaborative dance piece with the fantastic Pilobolus dance company. They are in residence at The Joyce Theater until August 6 with the band dancing with the company on July 25 and 27. If it takes OK GO to get you to see dance at The Joyce Theater, the home of dance in NYC, then so be it. Your creative life will be richer for it.

• British company Punchdrunk has developed an extraordinary new work called Sleep No More. They company have taken over three warehouses and transformed them into The McKittrick Hotel. You arrive, meet at the bar, and then a strange character hands you a mask. For the next three hours, in silence and while wearing the mask, you traverse the hotel exploring complexly designed spaces and follow the actors as they re-enact a version of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Everything, from the sound to the objects in the rooms, is tone perfect. You are free to do as you please and explore. In a recent performance I followed Lady Macbeth and watched her wash her bloody hands. Characters sometimes use the audience to pass notes to other characters.

Sleep No More is wordless Shakespeare, living film noire, the best of contemporary dance, true augmented reality, masterful storytelling, respectful homage, detailed design and that is not even taking in consideration the technical requirements needed to produce and perform such a "play" every night. Punchdrunk have taken the performing arts and remixed them creating something completely new, yet familiar, and absolutely spellbinding.

• And speaking of Shakespeare, you have not experienced New York completely until you have attended Shakespeare In The Park, produced by The Public Theater. It consistently presents some of the best Shakespeare productions with Central Park as the backdrop. This year's productions are The Merchant of Venice and The Winter's Tale and they run until July 30th.

• Now until July 24 is restaurant week in NYC, with dozens of restaurants creating prix fixe menus that are affordable and a great way to discover new cuisines. Have a decent meal with friends for a change and for goodness sake, no talk of work.

• Looking for something that you can explore at your own pace? Starting July 24 and running until November 7 The Museum of Modern Art is displaying Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects in the special exhibitions gallery. From the exhibition description "Talk to Me explores the communication between people and things. All objects contain information that goes well beyond their immediate use or appearance. In some cases, objects like cell phones and computers exist to provide us with access to complex systems and networks, behaving as gateways and interpreters. Whether openly and actively, or in subtle, subliminal ways, things talk to us, and designers help us develop and improvise the dialogue."

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, at The Met until August 7, will make you question everything you know about fashion and art and their roles in your life. It is a glorious tribute to an artist gone too soon. A friend recently described it as "the most lavish and gorgeous visual concert ever produced" and I have to agree.

• Can't attend any of these this weekend. Well, iTunes has Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 available for $.99 rental until next Tuesday. Revisit Part 1 and then head to the theater to catch Part 2 as the Harry Potter movie saga comes to an end.

• For those of you that have not read the Harry Potter books, let me try to entice you to read them with the words of Stephen King "Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity." J.K. Rowling single-handedly got a generation of children to read and at over 3000 pages total across seven books that's a lot of reading. She changed the publishing industry. The recently announced Pottermore is set to change publishing once more as she releases the novels in ebook format. But the main point here is not the praise or the business, the point is that a single mother, during tough times in her life, had a singular vision and worked very hard to create a world were hard work, loyalty and persistence pay off. So go right ahead, take a break from work, dive into the series, you may not like it, you may love it, you may be re-reading it, but above all you may learn how to apply that same level of creative detail to your own work.

There you have it, no excuses, walk away from the screens for a few hours and fuel your creativity with something unknown.