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

Posts tagged ‘travel’



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


Flight Search with a Twist

As an avid traveller, I’m a seasoned user of flight search aggregator tools to find the cheapest and most convenient flight that fits my requirements. Tired of scanning through tables of text, I was delighted when I played around with the user-friend Hipmunk, a new flight search tool that visualizes all the flight results in a timeline that makes it easy to read, understand and manipulate.

First off, I love that I can constrain the search to only Star Alliance network since I’ll only fly those airlines to maximize my Aeroplan points.  Once the search is performed, the basic information such as price, airline(s), departure/arrival airports, number of stopovers, stopover airport, flight duration, and departure/arrival times are all colour-coded, organized and displayed in the timeline. Exact details are shown in a popup when you select an individual flight. It hides flights worse than others, decreasing the amount of visual clutter to sort through. In addition to the ability to sort by price, stops, arrival/departure times and duration, Hipmunk can also sorts by agony, which co-founder Adam Goldstein describes as

..a combined function of price, duration, and number of stops—basically the total agony you’ll experience in your butt and your savings.

The draggable departure and arrival times on the visual timeline is not groundbreaking, but it’s definitely a refreshing alternative to the existing flight search engines.

And finally, I gotta give brownie points for the awesome name.

via FlowingData


Wayfinding in Colombia

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Source: wikipedia

Colombian cities and towns are mostly organized on grid plans, where streets running north-south are known as Carreras and streets running east-west are Calles. Other types of streets include Diagonales and Transversales. Street orientation is quite simple as they are numbered sequentially.

The most interesting aspect is their addressing system, which consists of a series of numbers in the form Calle 23 No 5-43, for example. This address refers to the building on Calle 23, 43m from the corner of Carrera 5 toward Carrera 6. Given any address, it’s possible to accurately pinpoint any place using this format, making it one of the most precise addressing systems in the world. Quite an easy and practical wayfinding system.


Tokyo Morning Commute

Experiencing a morning rush hour commute on Tokyo’s metro is a fascinating, albeit overwhelming ride. In a car stuffed with crushing bodies, just when I don’t think I can physically get any closer to a perfect stranger, more people take the plunge

buy cheap cialis

in at each new station stop.


In a city as dense as Tokyo, these cramped commutes are a daily fact of life. Imagine not even having the room to lift up your arm to hold on to a pole yet in the end not making any  difference since the mass of bodies squishing against you seem to keep you in balance from falling.


A subway etiquette I appreciate over all of Japan is the restricted use of cell phones, which makes the ride unbelievably quiet. Unlike in Hong Kong, where everyone chats loudly on their mobiles, Japanese  subways are filled with people busily texting or playing games on their cellphones. Just a tiny glimpse of everyday life in Japan.



Traveller Safety Net


Focusing our concept direction on the idea of the “safety net”, we provide the traveller a sense of security that they are connected back home and have medical records tracked and stored with him or her. This idea stems from insights acquired from interviews detailing situations where even the most adventurous traveller wanting to explore on his own can feel terrified in medical emergencies, particularly, when he has trouble communicating his situation or understanding his medical condition. I have personally found myself in this situation too in a foreign country and have felt the panic of not only trying to communicate with the local hospital staff, but also trying to connect with family back home.

Our direction will be exploring the idea of tracking the history of travel locations and medical/physiological data in order to address the health concerns of travellers while maintaining a connection with people back home.



Travel Experiences

I just started a new project for my Collaborative Workshop run in conjunction with Tsinghua University in Beijing. My team consists of 3 members from Hong Kong and 3 from Beijing so it will be an interesting exercise in communication and teamwork . The project is focused on the “independent tourist on the go,” where the independent traveller is defined as one that arranges their own travel plans rather than going on an organized tour or travelling on business.

We targeted a broad group of travellers that we categorized as the Wandering Traveller, who is spontaneous, free-spirited and loves to connect with the local culture and people while exploring the world. To get a better sense of these travellers, we set up an online survey to collect stories, memories, and photos of people’s travel experiences to understand their values, motivations and what they deem important while abroad.


From our collected surveys, we categorized our wandering travellers into 3 types: those who are “On My Own” enjoy travelling solo and being challenged, “Laid-Back ‘Locals'”  do not feel the need to sightsee but rather just enjoy the place as an everyday local, while those who are “On a Mission” are goal-oriented and create schedules to see and do as much things as possible.

We decided to target our use group to that of the solo traveller as these travellers seemed more varied and interesting. We conducted in-depth interviews to get a better sense of their various backgrounds and demographics, their motivations for travelling alone, and to understand their different concerns and needs while travelling.




After the interviews we were able to illustrate a more detailed description of our target group: the Solo Culture Seeker.


These people come from all around the world of different ethnicities and speaking different languages. We found that many of them tend to travel outside their own geographic area (and outside their own comfort zone). We found a correlation between sociability and the level of adventure exhibited by travellers, that is, the more sociable the traveller and more willing to communicate with other strangers, the more adventurous he/she tends to be.





Taipei aka Japan Lite?

On a recent weekend trip to Taipei I discovered the city to be quite an interesting mix of mainland China and Japan. On the one hand, roads are much winder and space seems more abundant allowing for more green space and parks (something I don’t see much of in Hong Kong). In the denser shopping/entertainment districts, the streets begin to look more like Japan’s urban landscape with vertical shop signs and the familiar ubiquitous Japanese shops like Family Mart and Mister Donut.


Apart from the streetscape, many buildings in Taipei are built with a Japanese architectural style and Japanese-style teahouses are dotted throughout the city. Additionally, Taiwan boasts having the world’s highest number of Japanese restaurants outside of Japan. Of course, besides trying the famous local dishes of beed noodles, shaved ice, Taiwanese breakfast hamburger, one must also enjoy some Japanese food (“kareh raisu,” anyone?), which tastes just as good as any authentic version in Japan.

taipei food

Taiwan is also big on tea culture, especially milk tea. Walking into any 7-11 store, you can have any choice from an entire fridge of teas, ranging from black to green or milk teas in various flavours. Bubble tea also originated from Taiwan, so it is no wonder why the locals love their teas in all styles and flavours with tapioca or jelly (and again, either flavoured on non!)