Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oyster Cards Died Today


Transport For London just announced that you can now use contact-less credit cards on any bus or underground tube station.

This is a great success for NFC technology (near field communication). And we are all one step forward to the obvious future: paying by taping your phone.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Future is Here: 3D Print show 2012

"The internet changed the world in the 1990's. It's about to change again" - 3D Print Show

What's a 3D Printer?

A 3D printer is a machine that prints physical products, layer by layer. It's a process called additive manufacturing. It's an old technology, which started in the 1980s. It's almost as old as the internet.

This is a sleek 3D printer for the home.[[posterous-content:pid___11]]

And this is one of the most popular 3D printers out there from Makerbot: The replicator 2.[[posterous-content:pid___12]]


What can you do with a 3D printer?

You can print physical objects out of digital models in different materials. Mainly, it's plastic. However there are 3D printers that can do it in gold, titanium, stainless steel, bio-materials, corn startch, chocolate, etc.

Here are a few examples for the show.


Who cares about 3D printing?

Manufacturers care. A lot of companies use 3D printers to prototype and test parts. It's faster and cheaper to do it this way. DIY and hackers care. It's a jewel for any maker who wants to make stuff. Businesses and retailers care. A 3D printer allows you to make a product only when a sale is made. So you don't need to have stock. You don't need to have to throw unsold products either.

And, Children care. I saw a lot of children playing around with 3D modeling software. They understand it. Maybe easily thanks to computer and console games.

Here is a game called printcraft. It let's children create their own structures and shapes using Mindcraft and then print them.


[[posterous-content:pid___5]]Here is another kid looking at a 3D model of himself. He was scanned using a $20,000 scanner for industry.[[posterous-content:pid___7]]And that's me![[posterous-content:pid___9]]

So what's the future for this?

I think the dream is obvious. The unspoken truth is this. One day, you will purchase your products online, on the iTunes of 3D printing. And you will click print. Then your 3D printer will print your product out with different materials. Voila!

Of course, we are very far away from this. However, something very similar is happening and it's close than you think. One of the things I discovered is a new market for business, retail and designers.

I think it will be known as Co-design. Let me explain it with an example. Imagine you want to buy this designer cup. (see picture below).[[posterous-content:pid___10]]

It's only available online. So you go to the online store, and you get the choice to buy it now, or customize it through an online 3D software for free. So you change the scale, you twist it a bit, you add your name, you add a color. And then you buy it. It get's 3D printed and sent to you.

As a designer who created this cup. You have to prepare your design to be co-designed. As in, prepare it to be modified and re-designed by others, many times. Some aspects of the design will be fixed. See this lamp for example. The scale, color, texture and pattern are fixed. What the consumer can do is modify it gently... And that changes everything.


This is a strong trend because it allows the consumer to have a bespoke "designer" product that is unique. For now, the perception of 3D printing is still positive and considered as different and innovative. What is exciting for designers is that they will have to exercise their ability through the open source and hacker culture. And there is a new criteria for good design:

Good design is redesignable.

It's such a great challenge to create a product that can evolve and change but still keeps it's DNA. Let's see what happens.

If you have thoughts or ideas/questions, just write them in the comments below.

A small note

At a time like this, I cannot but mention my country and my city. Lebanon is going through a tough time. The assassination of brigadier general of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces Wissam al Hassan on Friday killed 8 other people and changed the lives of 100 others in Beirut. Since then, fighting and protests irrupted many places around the country. The tension is enforcing political and sectarian devide between communities in Lebanon. At a time like this, I cannot but ask Beirut to stay strong, stay safe and stay united.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Crowdsourcing Innovation for Communities

If you missed it. Here is the talk I gave at Stanford University in April 2012 at the AMENDS conference. In the video I am speaking about how you can use Project Better to crowdsource innovation on a scale of a community. And how people's ideas can inspire inventors and entrepreneurs.

Project Better creates spaces for ideas. It makes it easy for a community to start a conversation about "something". Whatever that "something" is.




Friday, June 15, 2012

To Visualize A Business Model In Beirut


Graphic Designers. Branding Experts. Product Designers. Human Resources Advisors. And Consultants. These people are participating in one workshop. What do they have in common?

This. They are starting, or just started, a business in Beirut.

And they are taking an avant-garde approach to entrepreneurship. It’s the rise of design. Design entrepreneurship.

In Mirada Madrid’s workshop, they will learn how to Visualize a Business Model. And I will share with you a few ideas on how it might help you, and your project.

Plus, you can download all the tools for free at the end of this post.

So in a nutshell, the workshop is based on the Business Model Generator. And their famous Business Model Canvas.

1) It Let's you 'see' things

It's always surprising what people make with sticky notes, markers and glue. Visualizing your business model let's you have a holistic image of your work. See beyond 'Supplier' and 'Customer'. And understand:

Cost structures. Revenue streams. Key Activities. Coopetition. Channels... All this in one visual experience.

2) Uncover peek times


By setting up your milestones and projects into stages. And spreading them onto a timeline, you get to see when you are under pressure. You also find where there is potential to grow and develop your business.

3) Fast prototype your business

One of the beautiful things about the Business Model Canvas is that you see the links between the different parts of your business. This lets you then prototype different business models by just switching around elements and substituting them with new assumptions.

4) Kill procrastination

I think this is the powerful effect of Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 visualizing your business model. Business Model Canvas let's you have a handmade and colorful infographic of your business. It simplifies your 40 page business plan into one canvas. It let's you know that the things you have been stressing about are not so.... stressful! Majority of the participants said that they now know what they are supposed to DO for their projects.


Visualizing your Business Model brings the creativity of design into the strategies of business. Here is where you can get all the tools to do it yourself, for free.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What scares me about Lebanon Now

I am writing this as I listen to the speeches from Tripoli at the funeral of the sheikh Abdel Wahed.

Religious figures and politicians asked for the execution of the soldiers who shot sheikh Abdel Wahed.

They blamed the government, Hizballah and the army for being biased and following the orders of Syria.

A group of heavily armed men from Akkar say that they do not follow any political leaders. They demanded the retreat of the army from Akkar and giving them the soldier who shot Sheikh Abdel Wahed. Before sundown.

Tonight, I think there is an 80% chance that roads will be closed again.

If you want to make a change, I want to tell you what is difficult. I don't have solutions.

The slice of lebanese society that are engaged in this discourse are far away from you. They do not speak like you and they do not live like you. This is why you will have difficulties communicating with them and convincing them.

This is not a civil war. Which means its not about showing love between different religious figures. This is an internal war, which means its about justice, anger and honor. This means people want their right or they will take matters in their own hands.

This is the army's biggest test. They are asked to sacrifice their soldiers To be executed. Otherwise they will face a confrontation with armed civilians again. If they do decide to push for this and have there soldiers executed, there will be a ripple effect inside army. Trust between soldiers and leadership will be weakened tremendously.

This is a social battle. A lot of soldiers in the army are from Akkar. What will happen when the confrontation takes place? Will soldiers defect? Will the armed civilians decided to assassinate certain members of the army to regain honor?

I don't know.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Civil War? It's 2012. Not 1974. Yet.

Let me take you back to 1974.
Clashes start to take place between Lebanese Army and armed palestinians. Under the command of the president, they try to dismantle PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) strongholds. They were faced by well armed opposition and some lebanese joined the Palestinians against the army. When talks to end the fighting failed in Egypt, simultaneously the lebanese army suffered a humiliating loss during battles. They could not enter the Palestinian camps.

Lebanese president contacts the political leaders of his country and tells them "after today, the lebanese government cannot protect you."

This triggered a race to arming militias. Each community (Maronites, Sunnis, etc) armed and created its trained militia.

A year later, the lebanese civil war started officially.

This is 2012.
Lebanese army is accused of assassinating a sheikh in Akkar.

A few hours earlier a protest in Tripoli announcing the intentions to form a 'free lebanese army'. Independent from the Lebanese state.

Road blocks and burning tires were set up in Tripoli and Beirut. Intense armed fighting takes place in Beirut and Tripoli. The army deploys tanks and soldiers in these areas. Army is not able to stop the fighting.

I don't know if you are noticing a pattern here. But Lebanon has a tipping point. Democracy is based on being able to apply the rule of law.

Once the army fails at doing so, we will reach our tipping point.

We've reached that point in 1974.

Today, the army might expect a confrontation soon. If the army fails... If the army is no longer reliable... If we loose our trust in the army, then we would reach our tipping point again.

We need the army to be trusted by the different political parties. If the army fails then they will take things in their own hands. They will be armed and ready to defend their areas. Not because they want a civil war, but because they want to know they are protected.

Its 2012. It's not 1974. Not yet.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

American Travel Warning to Lebanon


This is a copy of the email sent to all American citizens visiting or living in Lebanon. For your viewing pleasure.
---- start ----
To: All American Citizens

From: Consular Section

Subject: Emergency Message – May 9, 2012

Please see below for the updated version of the Travel Warning for Lebanon. The U.S. Department of State issues Travel Warnings when long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable lead the State Department to recommend that Americans avoid or consider the risk of travel to that country. U.S. regulation requires that Travel Warnings be reviewed continually and updated at least every six months to ensure that the most current safety and security information is shared with the American public.
For more information about American Citizen Services in Lebanon, please visit the Embassy’s website at


May 8, 2012

The Department of State continues to urge U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon due to current safety and security concerns. U.S. citizens living and working in Lebanon should understand that they accept risks in remaining and should carefully consider those risks. This supersedes the Travel Warning issued on October 12, 2011, to update information on security and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

The potential in Lebanon for a spontaneous upsurge in violence remains. Lebanese government authorities are not able to guarantee protection for citizens or visitors to the country should violence erupt suddenly. Access to borders, airports, and seaports can be interrupted with little or no warning. Public demonstrations occur frequently with little warning and have the potential to become violent. Family or neighborhood disputes often escalate quickly and can lead to gunfire or other violence with little or no warning. The ability of U.S. government personnel to reach travelers or provide emergency services may be severely limited.

A number of extremist groups operate in Lebanon, including some, such as Hizballah, that the U.S. government has designated as terrorist organizations. U.S. citizens have been the target of numerous terrorist attacks in Lebanon in the past, and the threat of anti-Western terrorist activity continues to exist in Lebanon. U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Lebanon despite this Travel Warning should keep a low profile, varying times and routes for all required travel. U.S. citizens also should pay close attention to their personal security at locations where Westerners generally are known to congregate, and should avoid demonstrations and large gatherings.

Hizballah maintains a strong presence in parts of the southern suburbs of Beirut, portions of the Bekaa Valley, and areas in South Lebanon. The situation remains tense, and sporadic violence involving Hizballah or other extremist or criminal organizations remains a possibility in many areas of the country. The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens that clashes between Lebanese authorities and criminal elements have also recently occurred in other areas of the Bekaa and border regions.

The ongoing unrest in Syria has also resulted in numerous security incidents in the border regions between Lebanon and Syria, both in the north and in the Bekaa. On April 9, 2012, a journalist reporting from the Lebanese border was killed by gunfire originating from Syria. The potential for border violence remains.

Hizballah and other para-military groups have at times detained U.S. citizens or other foreigners for interrogation – sometimes for hours or longer. Kidnapping, whether for ransom or political motives, remains a problem in Lebanon. Suspects in kidnappings sometimes have been found to have ties to terrorist or criminal organizations.

On March 23, 2011, seven Estonian bicyclists were kidnapped in Deir Zenoun, between Masnaa and Zahle in the Bekaa Valley. The kidnapping was planned and well coordinated, according to Lebanese authorities. The Estonians were ultimately released on July 14, 2011.

Although the U.S. government places the highest priority on the safe recovery of kidnapped U.S. citizens, it is U.S. policy not to pay ransom.

Demonstrators sometimes block the primary road between downtown Beirut and Rafiq Hariri International Airport for short periods of time and without warning. Access to the airport also may be cut off, sometimes for extended periods, if the security situation deteriorates.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is a body the United Nations and Lebanon created to investigate past political assassinations, including the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. On June 30, 2011, the STL delivered to Lebanon’s Prosecutor General an indictment containing arrest warrants for four Hizballah members who are still at large. Beginning March 1, 2012 the United Nations renewed the STL’s mandate for a second three-year term. U.S. citizens in Lebanon should monitor ongoing political developments, particularly in relation to the STL, as Lebanese political leaders have warned publicly that the Tribunal's findings could spark civil unrest.

Rocket attacks from southern Lebanon into Israel have occurred in the past and remain a potential threat. These attacks frequently provoke a military response from Israel. The rocket attacks and responses occur with no warning. Skirmishes and tense exchanges between the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israeli Defense Forces, as well as protesters and civilians, along Lebanon's southern border with Israel also may occur with no warning. On May 15, 2011, several demonstrators were killed and several, including a U.S. citizen, were severely wounded near the southern Lebanese border town of Maroun a-Ras after clashes with Israel resulted in open gunfire. Landmines and unexploded ordnance pose significant dangers throughout southern Lebanon, particularly south of the Litani River, as well as in areas of the country where fighting was intense during the civil war. More than 40 civilians have been killed and over 300 injured by unexploded ordnance remaining from the July-August 2006 Israel-Hizballah war. Travelers should watch for posted landmine warnings and strictly avoid all areas where landmines and unexploded ordnance may be present.

Palestinian groups hostile to both the Lebanese government and the United States operate largely autonomously inside refugee and military camps in different areas of the country. Intra-communal violence within the camps has resulted in violent incidents such as shootings and explosions. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Palestinian camps. Asbat al-Ansar, a terrorist group with alleged links to Al-Qaida, has targeted Lebanese, U.S., and other foreign government interests. Although the group has been outlawed by the Lebanese government, it continues to maintain a presence in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp.

On December 9, 2011, an explosion in the eastern outskirts of Tyre in South Lebanon targeted a UN vehicle injuring five French peacekeepers and two civilians. This was the third attack aimed at UN Peacekeepers in 2011 with previous attacks on May 27, 2011 and July 26, 2011 when roadside bombs targeted UN convoys in which several peacekeepers were injured. These incidents took place on the coastal highway near Saida. Similar incidents could occur again without warning.

U.S. citizens traveling or resident in Lebanon despite this Travel Warning should be aware that the U.S. Embassy's ability to reach all areas of Lebanon is limited. The Embassy cannot guarantee that Embassy employees will be able to render assistance to U.S. citizens in all areas of the country.

In the event that the security climate in the country worsens, U.S. citizens will be responsible for arranging their own travel out of Lebanon. U.S. citizens with special medical or other needs should be aware of the risks of remaining given their condition, and should be prepared to seek treatment in Lebanon if they cannot arrange for travel out of the country.

U.S. government-facilitated evacuations, such as the evacuation that took place from Lebanon in 2006, occur only when no safe commercial alternatives exist. Evacuation assistance is provided on a cost-recovery basis, which means the traveler must reimburse the U.S. Government for travel costs. The lack of a valid U.S. passport may hinder U.S. citizens' ability to depart the country and may slow the U.S. Embassy's ability to provide assistance. U.S. citizens in Lebanon should therefore ensure that they have proper and current documentation at all times. U.S. Legal Permanent Residents should consult with the Department of Homeland Security before they depart the United States to ensure they have proper documentation to re-enter. Further information on the Department’s role during emergencies is provided within the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

The Department of State considers the threat to U.S. Government personnel in Beirut sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under strict security restrictions. The internal security policies of the U.S. Embassy may be adjusted at any time and without advance notice. These practices limit, and may occasionally prevent, access by U.S. Embassy officials to certain areas of the country. Because of security concerns, unofficial travel to Lebanon by U.S. Government employees and their family members is discouraged and strictly limited and requires the Department of State’s prior approval.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Lebanon are encouraged to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at the Bureau of Consular Affairs website to receive the latest travel updates and information and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Lebanon. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. 19. The U.S. Embassy is located in Awkar, near Antelias, Beirut, Lebanon. Public access hours for U.S. citizens are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., U.S. citizens must make appointments in advance. However, U.S. citizens who require emergency services outside these hours may contact the embassy by telephone at any time. The telephone numbers are (961-4) 542-600, 543-600, and fax 544-209.

Information on consular services and enrollment in STEP can also be found at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut's websiteor by phone at the above telephone numbers between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday local time. Inquiries may also be sent to

Up-to-date information on travel and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

For further information, U.S. citizens should consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Lebanon. You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which also contains current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

---- end ----

Friday, May 4, 2012

Christian Louboutin's Design Process vs. Kids'

What can you learn from Christian Louboutin's stilettos?


The new exhibit at the Design Museum shows Louboutin's work, design process and highlights his rise to success.


What I focused on is not the sexiness, fetishism and artistry of the work. I focused on Louboutin's design process. Which the Design Museum portrays through the exhibit. The big insight I want to show you, is clear when you compare his process, to that of kids.


This is Louboutin's Design Process crunched into a numbered list:


  1. Stimulate the senses: Louboutin starts sketching his pieces for a collection at a specific location. If he is working on the Fall/Winter collection, he retreats to a castle - in France I believe-  in a cold environment. If it's the Spring/Summer collection, he goes to his Chalet at the coast where it's hot. This stage is about immersing himself in circumstances that are relevant to your work.
  2. Free Drawing: He starts sketching freely. He takes everything that is on his mind and puts it on paper, in the form of drawings. The goal here, is to feel free, and produce what you wish to produce. As much as you can.
  3. Choose the One: From those drawings, Louboutin chooses the ones he thinks are fit for his collection. He improves on the drawings. Working on the style, the shape, the colors. etc.
  4. Technical Issues: The drawings are sent out to a team of people who will solve the technical issues. Basically, they take drawings and make them into shoes. A.K.A prototyping stage.
  5. Finalizing: When Louboutin receives the first prototype, he let's a model wear them and try them out. He then makes changes directly on the foot, with a scalpel, pens and other tools. And Voila!


You've got yourself a Christian Louboutin Shoe!

What I just described is not a guide to 'Success in Fashion Design'. Because Louboutin's success is largely built on other criteria, most have nothing to do with shoes. Actually, all have nothing to do with shoes. The real thing you can take away of this is a few words away.


Compare Louboutin's Design Process to that of Kids. Actualy, this TED talk gives you a glimpse on what children usually do when it comes to a design brief. Go ahead, watch from 2:00 till 4:00, it's just a few minutes. I'll wait for you.

Did you get it? Children do this:

  1. Intuitive Understanding: Children summon their cumulative wisdom... in seconds. And they don't do it counsciously . They just understand what the task is, and what they have to do. And this becomes their status quo. No need for big castles.
  2. Prototyping: Once there is understanding, even if it's minimal, work starts. Ideas quickly become reality. And several idea become reality.
  3. Iteration: All ideas are tested. When they fail, they change it. It's tested. Changed. Tested. Changed. Until you get something that works!
  4. Decoration: What do children do after something works? They decorate it. Stylise it. And make the world know that it's theirs!


What I just described to you is two types of Design Processes. Two different journeys to come up with an outcome. Don't focus on the result, focus on the process here. Because the process effect fundementally your outcome.

So when you are coming up with a logo or website or app or business plan, think of how you are designing your outcome. Because it matters if you are designing like a Kindergarten Graduate or a Louboutin.

Design matters. But Design Process matters more. It defines what you do. And hence, what you make.

Sherif Maktabi



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Recycling Bin by Joshua Ng - Inspired by Project Better Map

A few weeks ago, we went down to Brick Lane to test out an Augmented Reality design research tool. One of the things I am developing for

Joshua Ng, product designer at Central Saint Martins, checked out the Project Better Map and the data. And decided to do something.

What he realized was that there was a strong theme: Cleanliness. There was a lot of full bins and garbage everywhere.

Well, he decided to take things in his own hands and designed a solution: Recycling bin, custom made for Brick Lane.

This is what it looks like.


It's made from upcycled water bottles. With the rim of another garbage bin. At the top is a stenciled reclamed plywood.


He tested it on 25th of March, 2012. And let me tell you, I have never seen people take pictures of recycling bins before this one.


I think this is an example of what is possible with Project Better. Once people speak up for the better, people will take action. One cusomt-made recycling bin at a time.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Brick Lane Would Be Better If - Design Research with Augmented Reality


A big beautiful project is being prepared. This is a part of it. It's an experiment. A few designers will test this experiment with me on Sunday 11th of March 2012. The results will be published soon. The experiment is design research through Augmented Reality.

Designers will walk through Brick Lane with their smartphones. Designers will take pictures, write notes, interview people and come up with ideas... To make Brick Lane Better.

All data will streamed to the cloud and will be available on a map. Soon accessible to everyone.

Here is a little preview.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hello, from the past

Dear people who write research papers in the future,

I know it's hard surfing the web for 'ancient' data and blogs. But it must be entertaining to read some of it at least.

Your tools let's you go back in time and search through Big Data. Terabytes and terabytes of blog posts, twitter feeds, articles and search results... or is it Yotabytes?

I don't know about you, but it's fine over here. I hope it's going all right at your end too.


Sherif Maktabi - London - Wednesday 29th of February, 2012.


Monday, February 20, 2012

How people are ruinning my project and why I appreciate it


A small group of people damaged the Lebanon Would Be Better If wall. This time, I won't be able to save it. And I appreciate it.

To remove the bad, you'll remove the good. That's why the black mark will always be here. And will not allow anyone to write on 1/5 of the wall. Actualy, removing the black mark they made will earase the wall. Since the wall and the mark are made from the same paint.

A small group of people threw black paint on the Lebanon Would Be Better If wall on bliss street on Friday 17th of February 2012. This already happened before here. And I was able to save it with the help of the community.

Even if it's horrible. Even if it's made for personal benefits (which it is, you'll understand if you see the wall). Even if it's made with bad intentions...

I appreciate it.

Because the Lebanon Would Be Better If wall of bliss street, is not my wall. Nor is it Karim's wall. (I hope he agrees with me on this).

I vandalized private property to make this wall. I made it with good intentions.

And so today, someone has vandalized my work, and on the other hand I appreciate it.

The reason why I appreciate it is multi-layered.

Lebanon Would Be Better If works by making it easier for a community to share their thoughts, intentions, dreams and aspirations.Once they do so, it's not mine anymore.

It's the community's wall.

And so when a small group of people does this. It's an expression. It's a message.

If you read on Lebanon, and if you know about it's recent history, you will realize that people have different goals. And different intentions, good intentions, bad intentions.

This mark is an expression and representation of this. A representation of how complicated it is in Lebanon. But also, it has a deeper meaning, for me.

Margaret Mead says:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

It takes a small group of people to change the world, and it always had. It takes a community to take a change into a culture and into beauty. However, it also takes, another small group of people, to ruin everything.

As we approach a hyperconnected world, with tools and knowledge open for all, reaching a better world has never been so accessible... However, it has never been, so complicated.



Sunday, February 12, 2012

IKEA Tabs Concept

A table doesn't have to be a flat surface. A table consumes a lot of space in the ever-smaller apartments of the post-crisis era.

And our lives at home still revolve around these tables. They are where we eat, where we play, where we meet... I want a table to be more flexible to simply follow our needs.


This is the skeleton of the IKEA Tabs concept table. It allows you to take advantage of the 3D space that the table consumes.


You can fit it in different types of stackable storage. In this case, translusent boxes.


The boxes fit right in.


And disapear.


You cover the table with multi-function Tabs. Think of the Tabs as Apps for your table. Different tabs have different functions.


When you don't need a Tab, or you just want to switch to use a cutting board Tab, just simply role it and hide it away in the box.



The storage are placed in locations that doesn't bother you.


It's very easy to switch functions with the Tab.


Hide away your letters, your keys, and even store your cutlery.


Slide away your rubish. Simplicity isin't dirty.


Place your large objects in the big box. Hide away your books, computer, bottles.

Your annoying phone can now rest in peace away from sight. Disconnect yourself, and focus on the people you are with.

And simply reach in when you need it.


What about IKEA?

Well, IKEA Tabs Store is a new market. It opens up the possibilities for people to customize their table. Most importantly, this is my idea for an IKEA version of the App Store. People can now come back to IKEA to buy new Tabs. Because Tabs can be board games, cutting mats, table mats, storage boxes, plates storage, puzzles, picture frames, drawers.... etc.

IKEA, if you are reading this, your customer service sucks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Art meet Arduino

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You walk into one of London’s 300 museums. And you are presented with art work. It might be paintings, sculptures, ceramics. Art is a flexible medium. A reaction is expected. Art in essence makes you think. It makes you question. It stimulates you to discover.

I believe Art is a medium that artists use to convey their ideas and concerns to the world. Political. Economic. Social. Conceptual. Sexual. Etc.

Art is not as stimulating as it once was. I think so because we live in humanity’s most stimulating period of all time. We are stimulated by TV, the internet, advertisements, SMS, Apps, phone calls, emails... And I believe to some extent, the brute power, the deep emotional stimulus of Art, has faded. Paintings don't have such an impact on the new generations anymore.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Art can rise up to the challenge. That is, when Art is not made in the sake of art. Artists can take advantage of the tools we have today. And more effectively stimulate their audience, in a highly creative way.

Arduino is an open source electronics platform that makes all of this easier. It’s a piece of hardware that you can apply to make your ideas come true. It allows artists to take advantage of sensors, cameras, computers, screens, projectors, LEDs, speakers… To stimulate their audience with feel, sight, sense and sound.


Art, meet Arduino.

Friday, January 6, 2012

3 Ideas for Near-Future Applications

It is a cliche, but it's amazing. Technologies have always changed things. And now it's our turn to have our lives changed. I believe that these changes are coming in fast.

From observations here are my 3 ideas to near-future changes:

1. Machines will replace some people:


If a machine can replace a human, then it should.

Some employment positions will be automated isntead. Replaced by touch screens for example. The good thing about it, is that now people can go ahead and do something machines can't do... Something creative, innovative or delicate for example.

2. Personal 3D Printers will make consumer goods, at home:


It costs a $1,000 dollars to get your hands on one. It reminds me of the $40,000 flat screen TVs when they first came out, now at $100. Soon we will have one at home. We will print out our plates and cups. If something brakes, we will print a replacement.

I'm just excited for my children to print out and make their own games. And it's great for the environment too.

3. Digital CV from Facebook, LinkedIn, Google...:


Interviewers will ask for information about you. This time, you will click "Connect to Facebook", then "Allow" access to my information anytime of day. If you are an interviewer, you can go through CVs by scrolling a mouse, looking at pictures, interesting infographics and skimming through posts Very much like a timeline.