Archive for July, 2016

if we take

if we take what we can see
the engines, driving us mad,
lovers finally hating;
this fish in the market
staring upward into our minds;
flowers rotting, flies web-caught;
riots, roars of caged lions,
clowns in love with dollar bills,
nations moving people like pawns;
daylight thieves with beautiful
nighttime wives and wines;
the crowded jails,
the commonplace unemployed,
dying grass, 2-bit fires;
men old enough to love the grave.

These things, and others, in content
show life swinging on a rotten axis.

But they’ve left us a bit of music
and a spiked show in the corner,
a jigger of scotch, a blue necktie,
a small volume of poems by Rimbaud,
a horse running as if the devil were
twisting his tail
over bluegrass and screaming, and then,
love again
like a streetcar turning the corner
on time,
the city waiting,
the wine and the flowers,
the water walking across the lack
and summer and winter and summer and summer
and winter again.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Reality Editor

Notice the shift. Once we no longer see the computer, we have achieved the promise of computing. I’ve been playing with this tech for the last half year, and am convinced it’s hinting at something radically new. Check it out.

REALITY EDITOR from Fluid Interfaces on Vimeo.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Bill Buxton on NUI, Ubicomp

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Everything is best for something and worst for something else

Everything is best for something and worst for something else.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Near Space Balloon Simulation


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

All Near Space Related Updates Here

I created a new forum for local Chicago and Chicagoland makers, designers, and creatives to talk about their projects and collaborate. Here you’ll find discussion about anything ranging from Maker Faires and makerspaces, near space balloons, 3D printing, teaching, and more. If you’re interested in learning how to do these things, sharing how you do these things, or collaborating on actually doing them — this place is for you!

Also, it’s where I’m posting near space related work.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus


Tinkering is an essential part of how I inject myself into anything that I’m trying to understand. It’s how I take the mess that I’ve created in the gathering phase of the creative process, and begin to figure out what the problem really is that I’m trying to solve. It’s also the starting point, for me, in the design process.

This isn’t the traditional way to approach design, though. The typical design process begins with a problem that needs solving, and then follows an iterative process in solving that problem. This is part of something that we call, generically, design thinking.

Conversely, my process is more intuitive. I begin by exploring something that’s bothering me, which I follow through tinkering until I find a direction, which leads into discovering a problem that I want to solve.

In Design Thinking is a Failed Experiment, Bruce Nussbaum (Professor of Innovation and Design at Parsons The New School of Design) addresses the problems he sees in design thinking, and largely arrives at a conclusion that I agree with. One of the main threads in the above article, as well as in his book Creative Intelligence, is that design thinking has failed in delivering true creativity, and that we need to learn to be creative through exploring and making again.

I’m not really sure where this all ends up yet, but I do think it’s something worth exploring. My intuition is that what I’m really interested in is the overlap of design and making, and how making is a part of the solution to the creative process that Nussbaum writes about.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus



To the right: everything I’ve read so far this summer break. To the left: everything I’ve yet to read, not including e-books (Change by Design, Adversarial Design, Make it So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction, Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, What’s Mine is Yours, Democratizing Innovation, Street-Fighting Mathematics). The problem is, the pile on the left keeps growing.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

…only the ingrained belief in the sovereign power of causality that creates intellectual difficulties and makes it appear unthinkable that causeless events exist or could ever exist. But if they do, then we must regard them as creative acts, as the continuous creation of a pattern that exists from all eternity, repeats itself sporadically, and is not derivable from any known antecedents.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus