Archive for June 2009

iPhone Finger Painting Makes The New Yorker Cover

Posted by Dylan Tran on June 10, 2009 10:27 AM

A couple of weeks ago, The New Yorker debuted its first iPhone cover – a digital finger painting done on Brushes app by Jorge Colombo, an artist whose drawings have been featured in the magazine since 1994. It was a breakthrough of sorts because never before had a virtual artwork done on such a small mobile device hit the cover of a major publication, one that’s renowed for their creative illustrations. It was truly inspiring.

Watch this video on the making of The New Yorker cover:

Columbo just got his iPhone a few months ago, and like me, immediately obsessed and marveled about all the wonderful things the little device could do. As an artist, he found that it opened up new possibilities. Using Brushes, a cool iPhone application that allows one to draw and paint on the fly, he was able to express himself anywhere and without being noticed. Brushes Viewer records the step-by-step process, and as you can see from the above video, Columbo relied on the Undo feature to get the look just right.

Imagine creating your own masterpiece while waiting for the bus, or your next appointment, or even while walking down the street. I hope this technology motivates more people to get creative and free their artistic inhibitions. As for Columbo, he’s so inspired that he’s now posting a new finger painting every week on The New Yorker blog. No word yet on when his first iPhone gallery exhibition will be, but you can see what others have come up with on Flickr here.

Modifying Mecca – An Elegant Plan Revealed

Posted by Robert Weitz on June 8, 2009 11:40 AM

One of the five sacred duties (Five Pillars) for an “able-bodied” Muslim who can afford the trip is to perform the ritual pilgrimage known as the Hajj at least once in a lifetime.

Combine the fact that there are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide and the availability of relatively inexpensive easy transportation and you have a big 21st century problem – about 1.7 million pilgrims converge on Mecca every year.

Sadly, the infrastructure has been overburdened for many years and has resulted in deaths due to trampling and overcrowding. Fast Company magazine recently featured a short article revealing the existence of a YouTube video that is a fly-through of the master plan to modify Mecca. It caught our eye because it is an amazing scheme, a melding of ancient and contemporary ideas along with a state of the art digital presentation.

The video clearly demonstrates an elegant employment of the radial “parti” and a 21st century feel, echoing the shapes of Utzon’s Sidney Opera House, Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall and the structural rationalism of Nervi and Calatrava, while acting like an ancient amphitheater affording pilgrims view and access to the sacred Kaaba, which is the focal center of the plan.

In keeping with the Islamic love of mathematics, as reflected in the magnificent pattern language of Islamic architecture, this redo promises to be one of world’s wonders. We will keep you posted as we learn more.