Commercials | A Continuous Lean.

Band of Outsiders Versus Steven Alan

May 20th, 2008 | Categories: Commercials, Men's wear, Style | by Michael Williams

We all know that Apple has a keen eye for good design. Apparently, it extends to the wardrobe for the company’s ubiquitous Mac vs. PC commercials. The Apple character in the commercials (Justin Long) has been wearing some of menswear’s most stylish woven shirts. I spotted him in multiple Band of Outsiders and more recently in Steven Alan button downs. I first caught on to the trend while looking through the Band of Outsiders website a while back. Then recently, I noticed the bunched-up top button (calling card of the Reverse Seam Steven Alan shirts) in one of the new commercials. That got me thinking —woven shirt smackdown? I tend to wear both of these brands, with more emphasis on Steven Alan, mainly because my body type is much closer to Steven’s then Scott Sternberg’s and I think that designers like to base their patterns on themselves. Anyway, what say you? Which do you prefer? Band or Mister Alan?

Steven Alan Reverse Seam cotton shirt $168

Art & Engineering | Theo Jansen.

Feb 9th, 2008 | Categories: Art, Commercials, Technology | by Michael Williams

Animals at the beach

Artist Theo Jansen has captured my imagination recently with the kinetic sculptures that he calls “Strand Beests.” The wind-powered animated works are released by Jansen on the beach in the Netherlands where they roam around freely. More info from Wikipedia:

Genetic algorithms can be modified to solve a variety of problems including circuit design, and in the case of Theo Jansen’s creations, complex systems. Some measure of “fitness” is introduced into the algorithm; in Theo’s case it is to survive on the beach while moving around within two enclosing lines on the wet sand near the ocean, and the dry sand at the edge of the beach. Those designs best at the assigned task within the modeled beach environment are bred together and graded again. Over time complex designs emerge which sprout wings and flap in the breeze pressurizing what look like plastic 2 liter soda bottles. Articulated legs sprout and scuttle across the sand like those of a crab. Theo uses plastic electrical conduit to make some of the computer’s most promising designs. He then lets them roam free on the beach, measures their success, and updates his model.


Further reading:

There is a very interesting and informative TED video featuring Jansen and his creations.

And BMW has featured Jansen in one of their commercials.

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