One of the recent issues of Esquire features a list of the best breakfast places in America. Although they snub City Limits Diner the list still looks pretty good. You can find it on the home page of esquire.com but I think the entire magazine is worth reading.


I saw Michael DiTullo yesterday. He is back on the east coast living in a great apartment in the Cambridge area. After seeing an assortment of the cool stuff that he has been doing for Converse it reminds me that I need to pay more attention to that brand. Really impressively artistic stuff. This is not one of his. But it is interesting.


More Target

Target also has better seasonal items, a better card and stationary section and a better cashwrap set-up. The only thing that I do not need, another starbucks. Enough is enough with them. The coffee tastes burnt to me and the breakfast sandwiches are good but what is up with their baked goods?


Why do designers prefer Target? Is it because Walmart is evil. Maybe, but not for me. Although you could certainly argue that the merchandise at Target represents better design this is not the primary reason why I prefer Target. The reason is that it is a superior shopping experience. Less clutter in the aisles, more cleanly stocked shelves, better lighting and WAY better signage. If you shop item by item the prices are fairly close. (Of course Target is way ahead in clothing, infant toddler, homegoods and HBA.)


SEE: Sealed Air

Their stock is at a 52 week low today with dividends approaching. Today is a nice day to buy.


Wrong VW

Sorry that was not the VW bluesport concept. I think that this is it.




I forget a what the stats are on this, the VW BlueSport, but it is pretty nice looking. I wonder if it has that solid VW feel. It reminds me a little of the old CRX/Civic hatch look. Good call Heather.


Core 77?

Is it a cop-out to say you do not know? I don't know if these are meaningful suggestions or not but they seemed interesting. They came from the boards on Core77. I believe it is originally from "Do Good Design".

Have a personal mission. Rethink. Know what you need, then seek out products that fit you for a long time. Read Cradle To Cradle. Demand objects that are designed to last. Avoid disposables. Carry one great pen. Carry chopsticks. Carry your own shopping bag. Carry a tune. Be happy with your hair. Give ideas as presents more often, things less. Give a gift subscription to Adbusters. Eat less junk. Eat fewer animals. Avoid bottled water. Drink local beer. Seek simple entertainment. Have fun. Remember that you are already beautiful (and embrace those that have told you so). Avoid style magazines: fashion is declared rebellion, and a weak substitute at that. Entertain yourself simply. Don't leave your car idling (except in Wasilla). If you don't have democracy, fight for it. If you have democracy, fight to keep it. Then vote for lawmakers who will make laws that control visual lies and will regulate products that steal dreams. Shake off the excessive amount of stuff you have in your life, then see how much lighter you feel. Plan more carefully, so you can consume more efficiently. Resist all messages that seek to convince you that you need to consume in order to feel good. If shopping is your hobby, find a more sustainable hobby. If shopping is your habit, figure out why. Avoid products made of PVC, the hazardous waste of the display industry. Buy products that tell the truth. Resist designer products unless you see the value the designer has contributed. Resist being manipulated by visual lies. Resist giving up your mental environment to corporations that wish to post billboards in your mind. Don't get too comfy. Stay alert. Demand truth. Share your truth. Speak out when you see visual lies. Think about how you can apply the principles in this book to all professions. Lead by example. Teach it. Live it. Share it. Design your better future, then help us all design ours.

Architecture for Humanity

The new website and logo are excellent. It is great to see that Cameron and his team are expanding and doing so much good. I believe that Mike DiTullo did the new logo...but please do not quote me on that.


"Endgame" is an energetically written doomsday book by Derrick Jensen. It is not as well supported or as analytical as Collapse by Jared Diamond but it is provocative and engaging while also being exhausting to trudge through. The meandering negativity, heaps of judgement and over-indulgent arrogance can be a bit much at times but it is also hard to put down. I am looking forward to getting the rest of the way through it.



From Bertrandgoldberg.com "Built in downtown Phoenix, the Good Samaritan Hospital consisted of a twelve-story monolithic concrete bed tower, which rested on a lower, rectangular ancillary building housing support services." There is a good article in this months Metropolis although I think a little more information about he innovative of concrete and how it has held upwould have been great.


I think that this is Rachel Ray. I like the basic form but it is too bad that they did not pay more attention to the integration of the attachments and the detailing of the touch points. Both looks overly plump and crude even for the fun body form. Also, it looks like your hand is directly in the steam path. The finish looks good though.


Doc Martens

I am not sure what these should be worn with or where they should be worn but they are cool. The finish is interesting and would be even better if there were sections of it that were a little different instead of the whole thing being high gloss.



In case someone asks you what a Frisper is at least you will be able to say you have seen one.


These look good and I have read/heard from a couple of people that yellow is about to be the "in" color. I doubt it, at least not in a highly-saturated version.


This tricycle was designed by Shabtai Hirshberg after visiting a children’s hospital in Jerusalem. According to various websites " it was created so disabled kids could mount and ride it by themselves. When a child mounts the trike, stepping on the pedal locks the wheels, enabling the child to literally walk right into a seated position. The chest support keeps the child stabilized, and the whole trike can be customized to each child’s needs." That is all cool but the most impressive aspect of this design is that any kid would want one.


I am not sure what the game is all about but the logo is pretty cool. However, I think that this is a good example of an over-effected logo that would not translate across the range of requirements most brands have. I mention this because we are working on a refresh of our own logo and I think that this kind of look is tempting.


The Waltons

This seems like a harmless and humble starting point doesn't it? It is so quaint, what could possibly go wrong?


Cool building. I like the proportions and the complimentary door color. This would make a great design office.

pork shank

I had to saw the 6 pound pork shank into 6 pieces in order to braise it and as disgusting as sawing through pork bone is, I think it was worth it. Here is the recipe from last months esquire. One note: I do not think that you are supposed to soak the beans prior to cooking. Also, have a really large pot ready to keep the spill overs to a minimum.

5 lbs pork shanks, cut osso buco style (approximately 6 2-inch pieces)
kosher salt (I used coarse French Grey salt)
spice mix: 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp ground white pepper, 1 tsp cayenne, 4 tbsp New Mexico chili powder mixed with 2 tbsp each: ancho chile powder, ground cumin, chipotle chili powder.
½ cup canola-and-olive-oil blend 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced (I used 3 onions)
2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 bottle stout
2 14-oz cans diced organic tomatoes (with juice)
4 qts organic beef stock
Dried bean mix:1 cup each: red beans pinto beans black beans posole (dried hominy)
1 bunch green onions, sliced
Garnish: diced tomato
shredded pepper jack cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

Generously season pork shanks with kosher salt and a handful of the spice mix. Reserve remainder. In a very large pasta pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shanks and brown all over, about four minutes per side. Remove from pan and reserve. Add garlic to cooking pot and sauté until just golden, about two minutes. Add onions and chiles and cook, stirring constantly, until tender, about four minutes. Add bay leaves and remaining spice mix, stirring constantly to toast spices, about three minutes. Add stout, tomatoes, and beef stock and stir. Return pork shanks to pot, add dried bean mix, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally until shanks are very tender, about three hours. Remove shanks from pot and cool. Add Tabasco and salt to taste -- typically about 2 ½ tbsp each -- to the chili. Keep simmering for a thicker chili; otherwise, reserve and keep warm. When shanks are cool enough to handle, remove bone, excess fat, and sinew, and return meat to hot chili. Stir in cilantro and green onions. Bring to boil and adjust taste, adding more salt and Tabasco if needed. Add garnish.


More Puma

This is pretty cool too. But the closure needs some love. After all, the 80's are over.


Puma should bring a diluted version of this approach to their cross-trainers.


Save money

Thank you notes seems like a good place to save money since they just get recycled. This set of cards is on sale at MoMa for $2.99. "Design Doubles juxtaposes two objects from MoMA's design collection to highlight design elements like shape, color, and texture. A selection of eight note cards features a comparison of chairs, cars, block toys, or a typewriter/computer. Either cover can be used as the front. Two each of four cards."

Real American Hero

The preview that ran during the Super Bowl has me thinking I might be wrong about this movie. I am still not sure that I can take Dennis Quaid seriously but Sienna Miller will make it worth giving it a shot. The preview in on IMDB. Oh, and remember, they are not dolls, they are action figures.


I am reading a book called Endgame. At about 200 pages into it the author seems to be building a case for civilizations inevitable collapse due to a variety of factors but primarily the exploitation of the planets resources. He paints a pretty grim picture of almost everything that humans are doing right now including the proliferation of "needless" stuff in our lives. I do not get the sense that he is targeting product designers in particular but we are certainly near the top of the heap of people feeding an unsustainable system that is rapidly running out of resources and will eventually crumble, according to the author. It is a thoroughly annoying process to sift through his unsubstantiated claims, arrogance and condescention but it is provocative. It makes you think a little harder about what you need and what you can do with out.



Jon, You mentioned that you were looking for an interesting, non-cliche natural pattern that also has a slightly geometric feel. I think that this is kind of cool although I am not sure how it will interpret into 2D. Also, not sure if the color works for you. If you want me to email you the file when you are back at your desk let me know.

Lego Escher

This must have taken some time.