#hxd2013scholars Response for HxD 2013

This post is in response to Mad*Pow‘s sponsored conference pass giveaway to this year’s Healthcare Experience Design Conference at the end of March. Those interested in participating were given a list of six questions and were asked to answer one and write an amazingly articulate two paragraph response. Below is the question I chose and my idea/response. Thanks Mad*Pow!

Question #3:
If you were given $1 million and one year to improve the health outcomes in your community, what would you do?

I’d create a traveling social good incubator & internship program.
Located just outside of our nations capitol, my community (Reston, Virginia) is both incredibly dense (56K people within 17.4 square miles) and culturally very diverse. It would be short sighted for me to sit at my desk by myself and decide what type of healthy programs or initiatives my community needs to succeed, so with that I would use a million dollars to begin a traveling incubator staffed by 5 recent graduates (either from local universities or originally from the area) and mentored by myself and 2 other advisers. I would solicit applications from students interested in a year-long internship to lead the charge. It’s important to keep the incubator as diverse as our community so it would be required that no two students have the same degree. Each student would have graduated with a four-year degree from one of the following: political science / medical science / design / software development / business & communications.  Advisers would have a minimum of 20 years of business experience in one of the aforementioned fields. Having both a mix of backgrounds and age groups will provide the incubator with a diverse strategy for thinking and solving problems. This will be our core team.

Our goal would be to use the first three months of the year to understand our community. We will literally drive through town (in our RV) to watch, listen and learn from our community. We will need to set up interviews across age groups and cultures to find out what’s existing and missing. By the end of the third month we will have determined the most pressing need and can define our program. We’ll use March and April to solicit local volunteers and schools to participate in the execution of our goal, with final program deliverables determined by the core team. While our interns are working I will develop a plan with our advisers to begin to establish partnerships with local businesses. Being a diverse and dense area also means that there are a lot of local businesses that could become potential partners (both for communication and fundraising strategies). From there we’ll use April through June to develop all aspects of the program, be it events to mobile applications. In July we’ll soft launch our initiative and work out any kinks, allowing us to officially launch in August. By September we should be able to calculate some results which we will use to raise revenue and more partners for the incubator’s second year. Ideally this isn’t a once and done traveling incubator. Hopefully it’s something that lives on and changes with the needs of our community for many many years to come.

Money breakdown (estimated):
Students would be paid $40K, advisers would offer their time gratis = ($200K)
RV costs + gas & maintenance = ($200K)
Supplies / Equipment (computers, etc) = ($50K)
The determined Initiative = ($400K)
Remaining for overages & reinvestment the following year = ($150K)

26 Days of UP by Jawbone

Yeah so Hi. It’s been a while since my last post on my favorite smoothies. I’ve started and stopped several posts until NOW.

Yesterday I purchased the UP by Jawbone and I am officially IN LOVE. UP is a new device created to track daily activities, specifically: eating, sleeping and movement to inspire healthier lifestyles. The device itself is a bracelet that you wear 24 hours a day. It collects data on steps, workouts and food intake during the day and sleep patterns at night. I really like the bracelet because it’s both stylish (IMO) and comfortable. I forget I’m wearing it!

So far the most interesting data collected is while I’m sleeping. It tracks how often I wake up and whether I’m getting light or deep sleep. IT’S CRAZY! The first night I slept horribly — probably because I was anxious to get the reading as soon as I woke. This is what the reading looked like on my first day:

The other really cool feature is that you can set it as an alarm clock – a silent alarm clock that vibrates to gently wake you. The technology is designed to intelligently wake you at the ideal moment in your natural sleep cycle just before your desired wake time. This might be the best feature.

The active data is interesting – not sure how accurate it is though. I wore it to the gym today where I did cardio for over an hour – a mix of running, step and latter work. It couldn’t accurately calculate my steps on a machine, but it did calculate my time on the treadmill.

Another very cool feature is the movement reminder. Set an interval of time (I set mine at an hour) and your UP wristband will vibrate on your wrist to remind you to move when you’ve been inactive for too long. This could also be my favorite feature.

The food log is, eh OK. It tracks food with images you take with your phone, which is a great reminder but it can’t accurately tabulate calories through those images (that would be cool!). I wouldn’t suggest getting the UP solely to track food intake since the data collected isn’t giving a reading of anything useful if you are trying to count calories.

I’m anxious to use UP steadily for the remainder of the month of December. I’ll report back in January with a more accurate review once I’ve used it daily for 26 more days.

I met Gabrielle Bonheur tonight.

Breathtakingly gorgeous, Coco Before Chanel was an amazing look at the life of Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel, the pioneering French fashion designer who’s menswear-inspired fashions with expensive simplicity make her one of the most important figures in the fashion industry, ever.

The film began as the quiet young Coco, at the age of 12 years, was dropped at the orphanage of Aubazine where she learned the trade of a seamstress. After six years in the orphanage she left and continued her work as a seamstress by day and a cabaret singer by night. She performed in clubs where the regulars called her “coco” after the songs she used to sing: Vous n’auriez pas vu Coco?

Chanel was a determined young woman. She was tough, hard working, dedicated to her craft and terribly ambitious. While living as a mistress with Étienne Balsan, a French textile heir, she continued her work in the tailoring shop then began designing hats as a hobby. She designed many hats for Balsan’s friend — the theater actress Gabrielle Dorziat which helped her gain recognition as a designer. Her hobby soon turned into a deep interest, a passion that took her to Paris and opened her eyes to the world of fashion.

After becoming a licensed hat maker (modiste) in 1910, Chanel opened a boutique at 21 rue Cambon, Paris named Chanel Modes. She continued to design luxurious hats for Gabrielle Dorziat until the love of her life, Captain Arthur Edward ‘Boy’ Capel, whom she met through Balsan, died it a tragic car accident. The film portrayed Chanel’s devastation as life changing, fully propelling her fashion design. She spent her days and all hours of the night developing her ideas into a career as a fashion designer.

The film’s cinematography was sensational. Each frame was gracefully articulate in color, composition, lighting. Here are a few frames in sequential order.











Watch the trailer and submerse yourself in Coco.

Summer, Preserved.

It’s been a very hot and humid summer here in the DC Metro area. Upon an escape to visit my parents in my hometown of Coopersburg, PA I finally had a chance to read my August 2010 edition of Whole Living: body+soul in balance magazine.

Half way through my read I stumbled upon a chapter on canning local produce. I’ve never canned anything before, yet have always had the desire to do so. As I paged through the ideas, from tomatoes to pickles, the last recipe was on canning plum jam. Sold.


So, on Saturday morning (after Bootcamp, of course) I headed over to the farmers market in Reston (right on Lake Anne) and purchased 4lbs of plums from one of my local vendors.


Next I washed the jelly jars that I got from my grandmother.


I set aside all the ingredients (plums, sugar and lemon juice) and started to boil the jars and the lids. Boiling the jars and the lids helps prepare your tools to properly seal during the canning process.



Next, I had to prepare the plums by chopping them into quartered pieces and removing the pits. This process took FOREVER!


After everything was properly chopped and the pits were removed, all ingredients were combined in a stockpot placed over high heat. Ingredients were brought to a boil as I mashed up the plums with a potato masher.


The process of mashing boiling plums in not easy. The bubbles of the plum sauce are hot and splatter easily. Be sure to wear an apron as your mashing. Then you’ll begin to notice a bubbly scum compiling on top of your mashed, juicy plums. Be sure to skim that scum off the top of the surface while you’re mashing and mixing.


After about 10-15 minutes, depending on how much plum jam you’re making, the fruit should begin to rise to the top of your hot sauce. Once the mixture clings to your spoon, falling off in languid clumps, you’re ready to start filling your hot jars with the mixture. Take one can out of the boiling water one at a time. Funnel the plum mixture into your jars, leaving about a half inch at the top. Wipe rims and threads of the jar clean with a damp cloth.


Put the warmed lids on each jar of plum jam, seal them tightly and place them back into boiling water. This process should take about 10 minutes.


After 10(ish) minutes remove the canner from the hot stove-top and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Once cool, use your tongs to remove each jar of jam from the hot water. Check the lids for a seal, and wipe the lid and jar with a cool, clean cloth. Allow the jars to sit for 12-24 hours and then store in a cool, dry dark place until ready to eat!



The Man With a Heart Made of Gold.

I’m fairly certain that Michael Osborne has a heart made of pure gold. He has an obsession with design, a true-love for it that keeps him designing round-the-clock for some amazing charitable organizations.

Photo by: Joe Carabeo, Astray Productions
Photo by: Joe Carabeo, Astray Productions

This is a picture of Michael Osborne and I moments after I met him for the first time. It was a unseasonably warm and sunny Sunday evening on November 15, 2009, at a special meet-and-greet gathering held by AIGA DC for the AIGA DC Design Continuum Scholarship Fund Circle donors. Michael was invited to join our social gathering and share some of his work from 1 Heart Press. Among Michael’s many passions is the fine art of letterpress printing. His love for finely set typography and skillful printing required more and more dedication and strict diligence, so in 1991 he decided to open his own letterpress printing shop in San Francisco. Since then he’s been letterpress printing anything from fine books to wedding invitations.

By day Michael is President and Creative Director of the San Francisco-based graphic design firm, MOD/Michael Osborne Design, Inc. Established in 1981, the firm’s work in corporate/brand identity, package design, and print collateral has been recognized by many organizations, and publications and is on display in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, and the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

With Michael there’s always love, or a heart, something he’s become well-known for in his design work. There are many different kinds of hearts in his body of work, but the majority have been created for projects at Joey’s Corner.

In 2004, Michael Osborne created a non-profit 501(c)3 organization called Joey’s Corner, a studio dedicated to providing pro-bono strategic creative services to non-profit groups focusing on healthcare, children’s and social well-being issues. The studio was founded to honor the life of Michael’s deceased son, Joseph Michael Osborne, 1980-2004. Joey’s Corner operates on donations, fund-raising events, and whenever possible, projects may be underwritten by a sponsor or by the non-profit client itself.

Joey’s Corner is the first heart in a series of Michael’s many hearts:


Next he created Valentines Day cards for sale with the proceeds going to Joey’s Corner.

Valentines Day Cards by Michael Osborne

Then Ethel Kessler, Art Director for Stamps, called up Michael and asked him to design Love Stamps for the USPS.

Heart Stamp_Candy Hearts

All of a sudden, there were Hearts in San Francisco. Hearts were all over the city, actually and most were designed and constructed by Michael himself.

Intel Heart

Then there is Heart to Heart, an orgainzation founded to save babies by teaching doctors abroad the art and science of open-heart surgery for children.


There’s a heart in yoga, The Art of Yoga Project. This organization’s mission is to lead teen girls in the California juvenile justice system toward accountability to self, others and community by providing practical tools to effect behavioral change.


I’ll conclude with one final heart, his work for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Memory Walk.


Michael Osborne came to Washington, DC to give a presentation to the local AIGA Chapter on the work he’s produced at Joey’s Corner. His presentation moved the audience. A dozen plus people came up to me after the presentation to thank me for inviting Michael to our chapter. A few even marked this as one of their top 3 AIGA DC events, ever. I just couldn’t be happier.

Thank you Michael for coming to DC, but mostly for your boundless ability to inspire and delight designers and change organizations so their messages are finally heard.

Recommended Reading

While on my way to my hometown of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania to visit my parents and my girlfriends this weekend, I’m taking a minor detour to Lancaster (which isn’t exactly Amish Country, but it’s the same county). I’m visiting an AIGA student group of graphic designers at PCAD, whom I worked with while at the National AIGA Design Conference in Memphis.

As I began to consider what I’d speak to the students about, I kept going back to books. I love books and I’ve always loved books. While working towards my undergraduate degree from RIT in Graphic Design I was always in the library. Not only did I continually have the maximum number of books out (25) I worked there too, at the RIT Archives and Special Collections. This is where I developed my love for gorgeous books. These books were my extended education. They became my bible for design inspiration, encouraging me to think beyond the project.

So, I prepared my top 10 list of all-time favorite books. Some are current, some are historical and some are pure inspiration. Enjoy!

1. History of Graphic Design by Philip Meggs

2. The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters by Chip Kidd

3. Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

4. Lester Beall: Trailblazer of American Graphic Design by my former RIT professor, R. Roger Remington

5. How To Think Like a Great Graphic Designer by my mentor, Debbie Millman

6. The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier

7. The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry by Jay Hambidge

8. Inside the Business of Graphic Design by Catharine Fishel

9. Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design by Steven Heller

10. Obey the Giant: Life in the Image World by Rick Poynor

Here are two more books that are really important for anyone to read (designer or non-designer):

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

365 Days of Creativity

Recently, my great friend (and former RIT roommate) Katie (she also goes by Kate) decided to start a little project called 365. During this project you’d take one photo a day for an entire year. Katie’s project isn’t new, in fact this kind of project has taken many different forms. Each one is unique and displays the creators personality, inspiration, skill and motivation. Here are two other examples:

1. Ze Frank’s “The Show”
The Show with Ze Frank was a short video program produced Monday through Friday for one year from March 17, 2006 – March 17, 2007. I was absolutely obsessed with this show. Ze usually filmed the shows in the morning and by the afternoon they were loaded up and posted to his website. Each show included current events, a funny thought and usually an overview of what Ze was doing that day. At the beginning the video was rough and the interface was basic. As The Show progressed, he developed programs for community involvement, a new interface to display the videos and a huge following. My favorite on-going project was probably Friday Fabuloso where the audience (AKA “Sports Racers”) got to suggest what Ze would say during the show. My all-time FAVORITE show was Austrian Arrows from May 8, 2006:

2. 52 Weeks
If 365 days sounds daunting, you might want to consider the 52 Week project where you take a picture of yourself each week. The photo you take of yourself should represent a little bit of what happened that week and what’s on your mind. Jim Darling, my good friend and fellow designer, is currently participating in the project and you can see all of his pictures on his Flickr page.

On Sunday after seeing Katie’s photos, I decided I wanted to do a similar project. Then I realized that my blog is pretty much the same thing, but might happen a little less often. Then I thought, what if I devoted one day a week to this concept and posted my images here, for all you wonderful Innerspaeth fans to see!? Yes! So today I will start the project. Tuesdays will be, for the next year, my photo of the week day! Stay tuned for today’s photo!

The Stream of Life

This film gives me those chill-bumps every single time I watch it. It captures Lawrence Weiner in his natural light. You get to see how he thinks and rewind through his process. I’ve watched this video more than a dozen times, and yet I always find something new about it that I love.

Produced with Hillman Curtis as part of his Artist Series, starring artist Lawrence Weiner.

Informing and Delighting

A week ago AIGA DC hosted a film screening of Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight, a film by Arthouse Films and directed by first time filmmaker, Wendy Keys.

Milton Glaser: To Inform & Delight Poster

I first heard of Milton Glaser when I was in college, but he was never as big as Lester Beall for some reason. At RIT, we had a design archive which included the work of Lester Beall, Paul Rand, Will Burtin, Saul Bass, Alexey Brodovitch and of course my all-time favorite, Cipe Pineles. There are so many historical figures in graphic design that have really paved the way for where design is today, it’s very hard to focus on just one.

Of living historical design figures, Milton Glaser represents graphic design. Among all of the things he’s famous for, in my mind Milton is I ? NY, which was part of a campaign to bring tourism to New York State, not just New York City. Milton always describes the logo as part of his campaign to bring “love” back to the streets of NYC in the late 1970s. He never would have guessed how far his little mark would go and did this work pro bono. Now, I ? NY is everywhere. It repesents other cities, it’s on key chains and coffee mugs and it was also recreated less than a month after September 11, 2001 when the logo became especially prominent.


Overall, the film’s content artfully personifies Milton Glaser, capturing his immense warmth, humanity and the boundless depth of his intelligence and creativity. The film took over five years to complete, by first time filmmaker, Wendy Keys who is a former student of Milton Glaser. The cinematography is very basic, shot with an ordinary video recorder and edited by Wendy herself. At first I thought it felt like a student project. The lines are fuzzy, the colors are not vibrant, and I thought it lacked luster, but as the film progressed I was less interested in the film quality and found myself submersed in Milton. I felt like I was right there next to him, learning about his life and being inspired by his way of life.

If you’re a graphic designer, you know Milton Glaser. If you’re not a graphic designer, you probably don’t know Milton Glaser. That’s the great thing about this film, it’s one that everyone (designer or not) can enjoy. It’s a film you absolutely should not miss.