Category Archives: who

We Can and We Should

We’ve been talking about holograms for years here at Continuous Designs. Hatsune Miko‘s American debut in Los Angeles in 2011 was big news!

For the first time in a long tome, no one at CD went to Coachella. We didn’t get to see 2Pac live in 2012.

There are mixed reactions here, just like the rest of the world. Some of us are creeped out. Some are excited about the futuristic aspect of it. And, some, well I, think both are equally good reactions.

The general response has been similar to Fred Astaire dancing with a vacuum cleaner ten years after his death.

Nostalgia is a powerful thing.  But, if it’s manipulated for aggressively commercial use, it backfires.  We love seeing Natalie Cole in a duet with her father, Nat King Cole.  We love seeing Steve McQueen behind the wheel of a Mustang.  It feels right.  It feels good.

Tupac on stage at Coachella is commercial.  Freddie Mecury performing with Queen in 2012 is still commercial, but a little more sentimental.

Brands need to be selective in their use of this new technology.  Think it through.  A hologram boarding agent in Hall 40 at the Orly Airport in Paris, France is a great example of applying the technology well.  Even using holograms in-store to demonstrate functionality in sporting equipment could be received well by most consumers.

We expect to see much more of this in the near future from the estates of the late greats.  And, although we try to stay neutral here at CD, we sincerely hope not to see the Beatles or Grateful Dead reunion tour.


Brands to watch

While at MAGIC, we stopped in at workroom. It’s the latest add-on from the MAGIC family. Yes, it does look a lot like CAPSULE…but it’s not. Frankly, CAPSULE is a stronger show.

But, there are a few brands that made us do a double take:

18waits ::

Deus Ex Machina ::

Grown&Sewn ::

Orange ::

Zurlick ::

Kanvis ::

Story we love :: The Taqwacores


Back to our theme of ID (Individual Delineation) for 2011 trends-Taqwacores. This started as a fictional story about the islamic punk scene in 2003 written by Michael Muhammad Knight,. Then bands started to form creating real life inspired by art.

Not bound by stereotypes of what it is to be Muslim or to be Punk, these artists create their own identity and awesome music.

The book, which became reality is now again fiction as a movie that just showed at Sundance.

Bands to look out for:

Vote Hezbollah
The Sagg Taqwacore Syndicate

Person of interest :: Bill T Jones

“Fondly Do We Hope…Fervently Do We Pray” is the latest piece from choreographer Bill T Jones.

This is an excellent example of a well designed piece. The first time I saw the show, I didn’t follow the storyline or even the set. I couldn’t take my eyes off the costumes. Does the red under Mary Todd’s skirt symbolize the blood of the nation, her slain husband or the children she loss? All of the above? The skirts flow gracefully with every step; the shirts billow and flutter as if on cue.

The second time I watched the show, I couldn’t take my eyes off the set. The stage and lighting design create excitement, awe, joy and sadness.

I haven’t personally been so excited about dance since watching the Moscow Ballet perform Paganini in the late 80’s. Hopefully, I’ll get to see this new production again soon and focus on the entire show.

Detroit Techno :: back to the roots

I finally listened to Terra Nova: Sinfonia Anarctica, the latest from Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky-that subliminal kid. It’s awesome! But, I’m a longtime fan. A few years ago he and Prof Lawrence Lessig held talks on the rise of censorship in music and media; enlightening and a little scary. DJ Spooky is “out there”. If you love Laurie Anderson, the Velvet Underground or early Yoko Ono, you’ll love this. His film of ReBirth of a Nation is definitely a must-see.

Techno is often the preferred inspiration music for many designers and artists today. In our continued exploration of the trend we call I. D. (Individual Delineations), we saw an opportunity to highlight the roots of techno. The music is most often seen as a Northern European invention. Even some techno snobs will declare that they ONLY listen to techno from Europe, since the American techno is inferior. Interesting how something that came out of Detroit, with mostly African American artists can be completely re-invented and re-categorized.

The Belleville Three – Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, along with Eddie Fowlkes, are the best known and most influential artists from that period.  In 2003, The Detroit Historical Museum was home to the exhibit Techno: Detroit’s Gift to the World for a year.

Other artists such as DJ Minx, aka Jennifer Witcher, Jeff Mills, Carl Craig-the genius behind the label Planet-E, the group Octave One continue the tradition.

Anyone who’s attended DEMF already knows this but so  many fans who don’t get a chance to visit the Detroit Electronic Music Festival may need a little reminder.

The newest wave in cinema : Han

Everyone’s talking about Avatar and Alice. Even ComiCon had it’s moments with a potential stampede when rumors about Depp stopping by quickly spread. At least that’s how I describe it, since I had to duck and cover. But, there’s something more interesting in theaters today.

I went to a screening of Bong Joon-ho’s latest film, MOTHER. It is a funny, creepy, exciting murder mystery that also explores the mother-son relationship. And, yet another example of the latest cinematic talent out of Asia.

Hong Kong dominated for years, giving the west stars like Jackie Chan and directors like John Woo to fall in love with. Hollywood has had a long relationship with Asian cinema. The Pang Brothers minimalist horror film, Gin Gwai was remade as The Eye. Andy Lau’s Infernal Affairs 1,2 and 3 were merged to become The Departed. And, Japan’s Takashi Shimizu brought us his own remake of The Grudge.

Korean Cinema, sometimes referred to as Han Cinema, brings something new to the mix. The latest wave of movies out of Korea cannot be held in a narrow category. One thing they do have in common is the unexpected angle used. Stories that have been told since cinema began are updated and given new and broader perspectives. The subject matter ranges wildly from romance-starring septuagenarian lovers, to horror-where the monster is revealed immediately, to history-taking on brotherhood, loyalty and the effect of history on the present during the Korean War in the 1950’s, to mystery-a woman in ancient Korea use forensic science to solve a murder.

Last year, Na Hong-jin premiered his first film, The Chaser. It was picked up by an American studio before it even hit the film festival circuit. I’m curious but wary of how American film will deal with a story with a sympathetic serial killer and corrupt ex-cop/pimp as the hero. But, it’s due out in 2010, and rumored to star DiCaprio. That’s a story that could only come out of Korean Cinema today.

This is inspirational for design, marketing, branding, etc, because it shows how a creative mind can tell the same old story in a new way. The old quote, “There’s nothing new under the sun” is often used to discourage designers and artists. It may be true, but how you look at and how you show the same old, same old can create something new.

EXTREMIS thinking :: innovate or die

Way back in 2009, Community was the trend. Everyone talked about it. Community covered everything from sustainability to social networking; both global and local. We looked clearly at one another and the effect & affect we have on each other.

extermis_Exterieur 08

Extremis, a self described togetherness-company, based in Belgium is the best example we’ve seen of that trend. Every product, every space is designed to bring people together. We couldn’t confirm if they designed the lounge at PV in Paris, but if not, they were a great influence. We especially love PicNik. The piece comes in all colours, and unique variations. It can stand alone very well but works even better when two come together. Just like people.

Dirk Wynants, the company’s founder and big boss, will reveal the ping pong networking table at Design at Work next month. It’s a variation of the popular DoNuts piece. As a Californian, being in Belgium in December doesn’t warm my heart (or any other body part) but this show is worth the cold. It’s on our short list of shows to see for 2010.


Because “networking is serious fun”, the tables will be available for the attendees to use for meet and greets.