I aim to shape products, interfaces and services that mediate meaningful dialogues between people, systems and their environments within everyday life.

Posts tagged ‘inspiration’


Future Vision of Productivity

Microsoft has created a great video envisioning the future of productivity. How could emerging technologies transform the way we collaborate, explore information, work smarter and faster, and move fluidly between work surfaces?


Read more here



Such a wonderful film. Makes me excited for my next travel adventure.

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ….into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films…..

= a trip of a lifetime.

move, eat, learn

Rick Mereki : Director, producer, additional camera and editing
Tim White : DOP, producer, primary editing, sound
Andrew Lees : Actor, mover, groover


Rainbow City

One of the best things I love about New York City is its brilliant use of urban space to engage the public.

On my recent trip to NYC, I had to re-visit the High Line, a revitalization project transforming the elevated rail line into an innovative public park and space for exploration, interaction, and art installations. This summer, the High Line opened the new section 2 extension that lead to a new public plaza below called The Lot. To my delight I encountered Rainbow City, a whimsical playground filled with giant colourful balloon sculptures (including a bouncy castle) inviting both children and adults and to play.

The installation has since been taken down, but now in its place is another great idea: an open air rollerskating rink. Wonderful inspiration for other urban cities.


Lovely UI

Having worked on several projects in the mobile space over the past year, I’m completely drawn to the site Lovely UI, which showcases inspiring mobile user interfaces.

Other resources that serve as good references are Mobile Design Patterns (iOS) and Android Patterns.


MIT’s Recompose Concept

MIT Media Lab’s Tangible Media Group have developed Recompose, an experimental touch interface that provides tactile feedback.

Recompose is a new system for manipulation of an actuated surface. By collectively utilizing the body as a tool for direct manipulation alongside gestural input for functional manipulation, we show how a user is afforded unprecedented control over an actuated surface.

Made up of motorized tiles that pop up/down, the 3D interface can be directly manipulated by pressing down on the tiles or simply using gestures by waving your had over various areas of the surface, which move in response to your input. The feedback is a 3D visualization of the user’s physical interaction with the tiles. A camera and projector, combined with computer vision are used to recognize and understand the language of the physical interactions.

via Fast Company


The Wilderness Downtown

One of my favourite bands, Arcade Fire, has collaborated with Google and writer/director Chris Milk to create an experimental video for their song “We Used to Wait”. Made to play in Google Chrome, The Wilderness Downtown starts off asking for the address of your childhood home and then becomes in an incredible audio and visual experience that uses choreographed browser windows of varying sizes popping open or closing and displays animations of digital flying birds flying from one window to the next and a pair of feet running along a street. All of that builds up to a climax when images of your street and childhood home are blended into the video, creating moments of surprise, delight and nostalgia. Self-reflection and sentimental thoughts are triggered near the end with pause allows you to write a message to your younger self, after which animated trees sprout all along your old street.

Using HTML5 technology, the collaborators have created a technologically impressive and creatively piece of work to create an awe-inspiring audio/visual experience.


Life’s Little Pleasures

Images from the 2nd annual Toronto Cupcake Camp event on May 2, 2010.


Fall Colours

I’m starting to get back into some fashion photography, which I had started about 4 years ago. This shoot was inspired by the vibrant colours of birds and set in a forest by my house. My sister did a great job of the fashion styling.

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Clockwise from top-left: Golden-Breasted Waxbill; Indian Blue Peacock; Buff-Bellied Hummingbird; Red-Throated Sunbird.

More pictures on Flickr.


Nuit Blanche ’09

cn_tower_moon Personal Path To Pregnancy (tm $$$bonuses, Contests, Upsells

last” src=”http://michelleli.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/deadbeatblast.jpg” alt=”deadbeatblast” width=”160″ height=”241″ />Torontonians came out in droves last Saturday for the 4th annual “free all-night contemporary art thing” that ran from sunset to sunrise. It’s spectacular to see such an event bring out so much people and liveliness out to the streets during the wee hours of the night to experience city-wide art exhibits. Projects ranged from the playful and participatory to the haunting and mysterious.

Of course, this type of creative happening also brings out spontaneous activities unplanned by the city: buskers with fire and chainsaws, collectives encouraging group gatherings in the middle of the street, and my favourite, an awesome 8-bit musician by the name of deadbeatblast performing electronic music using the sounds from playing GameBoy and Nintendo games.

Unfortunately in the 6 hour span I was out, I didn’t get the chance to see all the exhibits on my must-see list and completely had to skip out on an entire zone. It’s become a victim of its own success — meaning huge lineups and massive crowding. Some projects had up to 75 minute waiting times, such as the fantastic Space Becomes the Instrument (but quite worth it in the end.) In total I probably waited around 2.5 hours in lineups, which was a horribly inefficient way to spend my time.

Below maps the highlights of my evening from 10pm to 4am.



Microsoft’s Tangible Vision

I found a video from Microsoft Research envisioning applications for touch interfaces. What I found really neat was the similarity of the bowl idea to my marble player, in which media storage devices are thrown in and images are projected onto the si

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des (@1:30 in the video).


Inspiration: Bubblegum Sequencer

Bubblegum Sequencer is another inspirational tangible device allowing one to create drumloops by physically organizing gumballs a grid of holes.

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Inspiration: Math Marbles

In researching various forms of play, uses and applications involving marbles, I came across a nifty marble calculator. Not only does it really add binary numbers, the playful visualization and s

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ounds make it a wonderful little contraption. Brilliant!


Projects Relating to Tangibility & Memory

I found two really interesting projects relating to my design concept: one dealing with small, tangible components that interact with each other, and the other dealing with memory capture and recall.

Siftables a

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re tangible blocks containing digital information/media that can interact with each other wirelessly by way of gestural motions, physical contact and proximity detection.

reQall is a memory aid system/service allowing one to capture, recall, remind and share information using a wide variety of platforms (text message, instant messaging, email or voice) and applications. In instances when you cannot write something down or are on the road, you can simple call reQall to say the information and the system will be able to interpret the natural language and organize your information according to the context of the reminder.

Really cool stuff!