infovore + invention   8

The Father of the Digital Synthesizer
Cracking article on John Chowning, who invented FM synthesis whilst at Stanford, and the long road to it becoming a commercial and creative prospect. Interesting on the relationship of IP to universities, but also fascinating on Chowning himself - a composer and musician, not a mathematician, who developed one of the hardest-to-understand forms of synthesis simply as a way to push the palette of timbres he could compose with. Brilliant.
johnchowning  yamaha  stanford  fm  fmsynthesis  synthesis  invention 
march 2015 by infovore
The Invention of the AeroPress
Alan Adler sounds like a smart and thoughtful chap. Really nice story of just sticking at making things, and understanding what you're doing. (And: not just for coffee fans; there's a LOT about flying rings in this).
frisbees  flyingrings  aerobie  aeropress  coffee  invention 
march 2014 by infovore
Twisted toymaker Paul Spooner on his 'wooden cartoons'
"I'm a mechanical jokemaker". Completely charming; I love the typewriter-robot. Also, excellent footage of a sketchbook.
making  machinery  humour  sketching  invention 
march 2013 by infovore
Designing for and Against the Manufactured Normalcy Field | Ideas For Dozens
"The [Manufactured Normalcy] Field is Rao’s attempt to explain the process of technical adoption. Rao argues that when they’re presented with new technological experiences people work hard to maintain a “familiar sense of a static, continuous present”. In fact, he claims that we change our mental models and behaviors the minimum amount necessary to work productively with the results of any change." Cracking post from Greg, which pretty much resists blockquoting, so go and read it all.
normalcy  design  culture  weird  strange  normal  invention 
june 2012 by infovore
stamen design | Esquire: where the maps come from
"I've often felt a sense of sadness that it's only the final piece that sees the light of day; there's a lightness to the experimentation that goes into the early parts of projects, when you're not worried so much about final implementation and instead can just play. We're going to start exposing some of this process, and this post is about the thinking that went into http://migration.stamen.com/, a recent project for Esquire Magazine." Lovely post from Stamen about the early stages of invention for this project.
showeverything  stamen  design  maps  invention 
february 2012 by infovore
tantramar: More and Moore
"Where does this go from here? DVD boxes that have screens on them, that are players too. Or perhaps simply projectors. Player and media combined as a single usage item. Experiments like this have been around for ages but are mainly novelty items. I think we need more of this silliness, relating to what I said recently about dreaming and being experimental. We need seemingly crazy ideas like stickers that are screens. That's how we create the new stuff, from the random throw-away ideas." More hopeful monsters.
music  mooreslaw  invention  hopefulmonsters 
march 2011 by infovore
The Silver Age - The Gameshelf
"I see Valve Software today holding the same position in the overall media landscape that Marvel Comics occupied in the early-mid 1960s. In both cases, we have two experienced studios, neither the mainstream-recognized giants of their fields, who made an unusual decision: they chose to spend the creative capital gained from prior commercial success to quietly revolutionize their respective medium's dominant genres, rather than take the safer path of grinding out more derivative sameness."
comics  games  valvesoftware  valve  marvel  invention 
march 2010 by infovore
"In his heart he's a cowboy, and in mine I'm Batman"
"The game is very impressive, and gives some great experiences. For example, a friend at work solves most problems with a jetpack and a lasso, instead of a grappling gun. In his heart he's a cowboy, and in mine I'm Batman." A comment on Brandon's year-end post about the uncanny valley of Scribblenauts; this line really, really stood out for me.
play  imagination  invention  games  scribblenauts 
december 2009 by infovore

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