Michael Graves Turns Tragedy Into Opportunity

Michael Graves - Prime TC Wheelchair

“It was far too ugly for me to die in there.”

Those are the words of designer Michael Graves, known for bringing well-designed products to the masses, who in 2003 suffered from a sinus infection which, left unattended, ended up infecting his brain and spine, leaving him paralyzed. It’s a horrific story which lead Graves to find his newest calling: the design of hospitals and related equipment.

He spent three years recuperating in eight hospitals and four rehab centers, in each one learning more about the limits of the spaces in which he was expected to recover. Because the rooms weren’t built according to principals of universal design (in which elements are created to be both aesthetically pleasing and usable by the greatest number of people, including those in wheelchairs) he couldn’t reach the outlets to plug in his electric shaver (they were too low) or turn on the faucets to wash his face (they were too high). Portable toilets were stacked against the wall, the bedside tables dirty. “It doesn’t make you feel very good when everything around you says ‘sick,’” said Graves, 79.

Many may have taken this as a defeat but he took it as his last challenge. So far he’s designed the Prime TC, a wheelchair that’s ergonomically sound, is made of anti-bacterial materials and is meant to replace the x-frame wheelchair which is still regularly in use, though it’s design has remained unchanged since 1933.

I had no idea that such a tragedy had befallen such a monumental designer but I’m glad to see that he’s taken this as an opportunity. Hospitals for the most part scare the crap out of me and I’m sure I’m not alone. Most seem like spaces designed to fit machines, not people, and hopefully the work that Graves is now doing will begin to make a mark on the health industry.

You can read the full story on Quartz.

Bobby Solomon

June 16, 2014 / By

ctrl+c Gives The Soccer Jersey A Fashionable Upgrade

ctrl+c Gives The Soccer Jersey A Fashionable Upgrade

Everyone I know has World Cup fever right now and I have no idea when it’s all going to stop. Instead of trying to fight the mania I’ve decided to embrace soccer/football and feature this handsome collection of jerseys by British brand crtl+c. The designers were influenced by the past for this collection stating, “…we drew inspiration from our love of 80s and 90s football shirt design. Reinterpreting the heritage in bold colours, strong graphics and gradients.”

Continue reading this post…

Bobby Solomon

June 16, 2014 / By

2014 iPhone Photography Awards Winners Announced

Yilang Peng

The winners of the 2014 iPhone Photography Awards have been announced and the results are remarkable. We’re to the point where mobile cameras and photo editing apps can produce photos that rival their more expensive brethren. Examples like the photo above by Yilang Peng and the ones below demonstrate that it’s less about the equipment you have but your ability to see the world in a beautiful way.

Highly recommend checking out the sections of Architecture, Animals, Others, and Sunsets. It’s also interesting to check out the winners from past years, dating back to 2008.

Adrienne Pitts

Cocu Liu

Danil Konovalov

Bobby Solomon

June 16, 2014 / By

Captivating Illustrations by Molly Mendoza

Really loving the work of Molly Mendoza, a Portland based illustrator. Her work tends to be loose, sketchy, and abastract with lots of brush strokes that give each piece a wonderful character. I particularly like this series (though I’m not sure what it’s called) because of her choice of color palette. Not normally something I would lean toward but it really works when you see all of the pieces together.

Molly Mendoza

Molly Mendoza

Molly Mendoza

Molly Mendoza

Bobby Solomon

June 16, 2014 / By

Sponsored – Get Certified Training in All of Adobe’s Software from Train Simple

Mighty Deal

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A 1-year membership to Train Simple normally costs $100, but for a limited time only, you can have a full year of unlimited access for just $47, or take advantage of life-time access to Train Simple for only $79.

Bobby Solomon

June 9, 2014 / By

Instagram Made Me A Better Documentarian

Bobby Solomon Instagram

Instagram is a funny beast. Like most things people have a lot of opinions about and for me personally I’m an avid user. To me it does two things:

1) Allows me to keep a record of my life.
2) Gives me a way to be creative in a relatively simple way.

Being able to document my experiences and share them with friends/strangers/whomever is fun to me. Making aesthetically pleasing photos is certainly part of it but it’s also exactly how I perceive the world. I love bright colors, I love balance, I love the way light fills a space or gives depth to an object. These are also principles which I use in my day-to-day career as a designer.

It’s also a “cheap” way for me to create something with my busy life. Being able to take a few minutes out of my day to share something beautiful or clever is a simple act that brings me joy. A lot of people get caught up in what other folks are doing with Instagram but that’s a mistake. Like anything in life, go down your own path and don’t look back. If someone is annoyed by my food photos or a selfie or more photos of dogs, oh well, they can unfollow.

Related, Jeffrey Kalmikoff has a great take on Instagram, that you should follow your interests, not the people you know. He also has a similar view on the “just do it” attitude I described above.

My Instagram feed is filled with content that amazes me. I feel inspired by and connected to things I care about. I’m constantly finding new content through the network effect built off of my interests—not my friendships: that’s what Facebook is for.

That being said, I did not change the way I share on Instagram. If you follow me, you’re getting a constant stream of pictures relating to my cats, my health, what I eat, weird things I find, and basically anything that compels me to point my phone and shoot. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t follow me, but hey…

Bobby Solomon

June 9, 2014 / By

Listen to Caribou’s New Track, “Can’t Do Without You”

It’s been four long years since electronic musician Caribou released a new album. Thankfully come October 7th he’ll be releasing Our Love, a 10 song affair which features the likes of Jessy Lanza and Owen Pallett. Yesterday he released the first single from the album “Can’t Do Without You” which fits the title of the album so appropriately. This track is a little more dance-y and sample heavy than what we heard on Swim, his last album, but it still feels distinctly Caribou. Really looking forward to this one.

Listen to Caribou's New Track, "Can't Do Without You"

Bobby Solomon

June 4, 2014 / By

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