Eileen Gray Exhibit

Eileen Gray-inspired rug design

One of our professors had us do a poster and invitation for an exhibit of Eileen Gray‘s works, and a rug design based on hers. Even though this was the last assignment of our monochrome term, our professor invited us to pick a signature colour for the assignment. Myself, I like red.

I did my typesetting and layout in Indesign CS2, since I wanted some precise effects with colours and overlaps that I couldn’t do by hand. The typeface is Futura. The illustrations of Gray’s pieces are all done by hand, as was the assembly. Oh, the scent of rubber cement in the morning. Continue reading

Research Essay: Trajan’s Column as Comic

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As I mentioned earlier, I’ve read a couple of Scott McCloud’s books about comics and storytelling — what makes a comic a comic, and how do they manipulate space and time with only paper and ink. So, when my art history textbook talked about how the artists for Trajan’s Column divided scenes, marked time, etc. I was primed to think “just like a comic.”

Since all the suggested essay topics for the course were dull to me — I’ve learned the hard way that the topic has to strike sparks off me or the essay will suck — I got permission to instead explain how comics work and why Trajan’s Column is one, despite its pretending to be a Greek frieze.

Read Trajan’s Column as Comic (PDF, 1.5mb).

Intranet Improvement Proposal

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In 2003 Chris Reed of BlueLightning Studios and I collaborated on a speculative business proposal to Solectron about why and how they needed to improve their callcenter intranet and knowledgebase (KB). Chris, having worked there between contracts, knew what condition the intranet was in. Working at HP had taught me that KBs have to be maintained, and it’s best if they’re maintained by the people using them,1 because nobody else has the same incentive or expertise to keep it up to date. Therefore we recommended turning the KB into a wiki with some editorial controls, and using an enterprise-strength wiki engine on a Debian Linux server for maximum value at minimum cost.

Intranet Improvement Proposal (PDF, 1.3 mb)

The Long Version

When Chris worked there, the Solectron callcenter in Belleville had a rudimentary intranet and KB, but the de facto way to get information was to ask your neighbour or a second level tech (henceforth a “second”) for advice. Having worked in callcenters before, Chris knew that this was an inefficient, unreliable and unscalable way to do research. When he and I had worked together at Compaq, we had a comprehensive, up-to-date KB, which made it much easier and faster to support our callers. Personal advice is a wonderful way to get answers, but often those people are busy, and you could look the answer up for yourself. Continue reading

  1. This was before Wikipedia became a household word and people admitted that user-maintained content might be worthy of consulting. Only geeks knew about wikis at all.