Bienville Legacy Motorcycle

Is this beautiful or what?

This is a concept prototype design of a Bienville Legacy Motorcycle. But what’s even more interesting is the story behind the design and the desire of one individual to address what he believed was a critical deficiency in America today: The decline of industrial design and craftsmanship.

This prototype was designed by JT Nesbitt of New Orleans, who in motorcycle circles, is considered one of the top designers in that space. He designed the amazingly awesome Confederate Wraith motorcycle. He had a motorcycle studio in New Orleans until it was wiped out back in 2005 when Katrina hit. Fast forward to 2012, when the aforementioned individual walked into Nesbitt’s studio and said “What would you do if you could do anything?”

And from that simple question and a blank check, Nesbitt designed the above prototype motorcycle that, according to the story, brought one man to tears.

“I think we’re at the beginning now of what could be another Renaissance” says Jim [Jacoby]. “You have more money sitting on the sidelines through private equity and venture capital and in business profits than has ever existed. My goal is to lead through example and inspiration, and say, ‘Let’s believe in great craftsmen first, and put that money to work with them.’ And the byproduct will create all kinds of other business opportunities.”

Not only is the bike an industrial design of unmatched beauty, it is designed to perform as well. It has a 350HP engine and only weighs 350lbs. Think about that for a second. That much power on a bike that light.

The bigger picture point here is that as everyone from coast to coast is obsessed about digital this and app that, some amazingly talented industrial designers are struggling to find the support and resources needed to drive true, game changing innovation that will have positive cascading impacts across the economy.

I know I’m not doing the story justice so take a listen to part one and two of the story on Marketplace – they are definitely worth a listen.

Source: Marketplace

The Future of Ping Pong

Futuristic Ping Pong Table

Who knew Ping Pong could be so technologically advanced? The above table has an advanced computer system baked into the table, along with a touch surface that responds to voice and real object interactions. So that means you can see where every shot landed incase there is an earth shaking dispute over that double break point serve that just nicked the corner of the table.

The table is part of a broader list of Unbelievable Futuristic Design Concepts That Inspire Creativity.

NFL Uniform Concepts

New England Patriots 7

For the 2012 NFL season, the league will be switching over from Reebok to Nike as the official uniform supplier/designers for the 32 NFL teams. I don’t know how legit these concepts are, but here are all sorts of uniform concepts/suggestions for each of the NFL teams from a user named Lil Phil on Flickr.

AFC East
National Football Conference (NFC)
Full Set of Photo Concepts

What I like about all of the uniforms is that there is a similar style or motif to each of the uniform designs, while still keeping the distinct and unique attributes of each of the team brands.

Mind The Gap

You may have heard about The Gap’s recent inept attempt to redesign their logo. To demonstrate just how poor the decision making was there, the fine folks at ISO50 held a Gap Logo Redesign Contest, reaching out to the broader interweb design community to submit their own redesigns for the iconic logo. The results are, in my humble opinion, spectacular…with a couple of snarky designs thrown in for good measure! Just some amazing designs that reinforce just how bad the one that The Gap chose really is.

It appears that the geniuses at The Gap are now backpedaling on their decision making processes.

And for those few that really do like the new logo, you can generate a logo of your own right here.

Designing For Mobile Gestures

An interesting article from Nokia on how their industrial designers are incorporating human gestures into their mobile product/device design. They are basically tapping into the “relationship” that everyone has with their mobile device these days, and are using human gestures as a new dialect of interaction and communication with the phone. I’m sure we’ve all looked at our phone with one of those WTF expressions. It appears that in the future, there will be an app for that. :-)

Power To The Peeps

Over the past week, we witnessed two distinct but related uprisings of customers voicing their opinions and companies backing down. It started with the Facebook Terms of Service fiasco, where FB made subtle but significant changes to their ToS such that there were questions over who owned the data that you have put on the social networking site. Eventually, Facebook backed off but the damage was done. This is a poster child for how NOT to handle this sort of change.

Then this week, Tropicana did an about face on a much more costlier change they made. Recently they released a new design platform for their brand and packaging and it was widely lambasted by critics and, most importantly, its customers. Today they announced that they would revert back to their more popular and pedestrian “orange with a straw in it” package design. On a side note, I don’t know who is advising or making the package design decisions over at Pepsi, but man, they are getting hammered.

These are again two very different but still clear demonstrations of how word of mouth and the power of customers coming together, rising up, and providing a big single fingered salute to companies will drive positive change.

Design Issues

I’m having website design issues. I’ve been trying out several new looks for the site recently and I’m just not happy with any of them. So I decided to go with a really straight forward look for right now…nothing fancy at all…just your basic deep grey header..until I get some inspiration that will prompt me to try it again. The font and link colors are from the previous design and I just don’t have the energy to go into the code and switch the colors right now.

Front-End Architects

This is it! I recently read this blog post by Garrett Dimon addressing the fact that the time is now for Front-End Architects. Options and applications being used on the “front end” (i.e. presentation layer) are quite diverse and as the Web becomes more pervasive, the need for an architect to handle the front end in its entirety is needed. I completely agree!!

www.sgclark.com

Sadly, one of the more exciting things that happened this weekend was that I was able to connect my recently reserved (early February actually) URL https://www.sgclark.com to this very site. Its still hosted by my friends (and former employer) Tripod but now I am using my own URL. I have arrived on the Web and I am a real Web junkie…I have my own domain and my own web site! Its all about appearences I even connected the kids site to http://kids.sgclark.com.