Tag Archives: Skills

Updates from Georgia Tech

Driving Cassini: Doctoral Student Controls Spacecraft in Mission’s Final Days

By Jason Maderer – When the Cassini spacecraft plunges into Saturn on September 15 to end a nearly two-decade mission, Georgia Tech student Michael Staab will have a front row seat. It’s almost literally the driver’s seat.

Staab is working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California while pursuing his aerospace engineering doctoral degree in the distance learning program. He’s a Cassini Spacecraft Flight Controller, which means he’s one of only three people authorized to tell the machine what to do and where to go as it orbits Saturn.

The job is almost finished. Just before 8 a.m. (Atlanta time) on Friday, Staab will hear Cassini’s signal for the final time before it dives into the planet’s atmosphere, becoming a part of Saturn.

Prior to attending Georgia Tech, I was a flight test engineering intern at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California and, later, a test requirements and analysis engineer for Boeing in St. Louis. I had a lot of control room and operations experience, which is exactly what JPL was looking for.

The duty of a flight controller at JPL is fairly straight-forward; we possess absolute command and control authority of the spacecraft when tracking it through the Deep-Space Network. more> https://goo.gl/aAU76G

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Updates from Adobe

Brooke Shaden Connects Through Art

By Alyssa Coppelman – Photographer Brooke Shaden crafts images that are steeped in symbolism. Each image encapsulates a full story, or at least a crucial plot point. It makes sense that she got her start by experimenting with filmmaking—most dubiously when she made her first video at age 13, set to an N’Sync song.

After going to college in order to study filmmaking, Shaden realized she preferred photography, notably because she could work alone and more quickly than when making a film. And while she was able to take elements of her formal filmmaking training and apply them to photography, she is otherwise self-taught.

When searching for ideas to translate into photographs, Shaden loves to explore overarching concepts. “Symbolism and storytelling elements like conflict and characterization are at the core of why I want to create,” she explains. “When I am brainstorming, I often write down keywords—themes, loose ideas—that are occupying my mind in that moment. From there, I write down descriptions of visuals that go with those words in an effort to visually bring about art from the ideas. I focus on location, color, and character, and sometimes props or wardrobe, as well. Once I have the idea, I write down a little paragraph about what the image is, why it is meaningful, and how I plan to technically achieve it.”

Because her planning phase is so thorough, Shaden generally spends only five to fifteen minutes, depending on the image’s complexity, actually shooting. more> https://goo.gl/dXJZsb

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Beware The Perils Of Groupthink, Yet Meetings Can Still Be Useful

BOOK REVIEW

Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter, Authors: Reid Hastie and Cass Sunstein.
The Conversation – Traditional groups exacerbate some individual judgment and decision biases. Examples include the planning fallacy, in which people underestimate how much time will be needed to complete a task, and the sunk costs fallacy, irrationally investing more in a project because so much has been put into it already, when it would be better to just let it go.

But groups also cure some individual bad habits. Among these are anchoring (a tendency to rely on the first piece of evidence offered), availability (overestimating unlikely events) and some forms of narrow framing.

This is where the important role of leaders come into play, to prevent groupthink and bring out the best in their employees. more> https://goo.gl/tX215a

Updates from Aalto University

Collaboration and partners

By Pia Kåll – When I was still in high school and even during my matriculation exam, I was convinced that University of the Arts was the place to be for me. However, at the time of applying I changed my mind and applied to Aalto University to study applied physics because it sounded challenging. It also felt like the right thing to do – to let art be a hobby and get a job from another field.

After I graduated, I started my dissertation. However, I didn’t finish it because I visited a McKinsey recruitment event and decided to grab the opportunity to influence the development and strategy of large, global companies as a consultant.

When I was offered a seat on the Executive Board of Outotec, I just couldn’t decline the challenge. At first, I led Strategy and M&A and later on broader responsibilities including product development and development of business processes and operational models.

In that position I realized that I enjoy working in different situations and with different people in as many different fields, and among as various questions as possible. In private equity , these sides are combined. When I transferred to CapMan, I first worked as a Partner in Buyout, and starting from June 2017 I have worked as a Managing Partner. more> https://goo.gl/DzM5Na

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Updates from Adobe

Jennifer Kinon On Taking Chances
By Serena Fox – Jennifer Kinon loves to build big identity systems. “The bigger, the better,” says Kinon, who with partner Bobby Martin co-founded New York-based Original Champions of Design as a firm that specializes in creating cohesive visual identities for brands.

Recently, Kinon embarked on the biggest and most high-profile identity campaign of her career when she took a 16-month hiatus to serve as design director of Hillary for America. Despite the outcome of last year’s presidential election, Kinon and her team of 16 designers were widely lauded for applying a rigorous brand strategy that produced a memorable and unified branding and social media campaign. more> https://goo.gl/tMnXKr

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Updates from Adobe

How to Choose the Right Logo Color
By Terri Stone – “The idea should precede the palette,” says David Airey, a graphic designer and the writer behind Logo Design Love. “An idea will always be more memorable than a color: The bitten apple, the hidden arrow, a smile from a to z.”

Everyone interprets color differently. (I don’t mean color-blindness, although that can be a factor, too.) When you present initial concepts to the client in black and white, you avoid a potential pitfall.

When you and your client have agreed on a concept, it’s time to consider how the competition uses color.

Of course, some clients come to you with established corporate colors. When those colors aren’t effective, designers must walk a delicate line. Hinrichs says, “If they have equity in that color, but you think it doesn’t stand out, try to educate the client as to why they may want a range of that color.

In addition to analyzing the competition, designers must also think about where a logo will appear. Does the color you chose work in all of these situations? more> https://goo.gl/4rAs6Y

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Updates from Autodesk

Autodesk Highlights Next-Gen Storytelling & Collaboration Tools at SIGGRAPH 2017
Autodesk – Leading up to SIGGRAPH 2017, Autodesk released a series of updates for its media and entertainment tools, including Autodesk Media & Entertainment Collection, Autodesk Maya, Shotgun, Arnold, Autodesk 3ds Max, and Autodesk Flame. Engineered to streamline and accelerate production on films, TV shows, games and immersive experiences, the new releases include improvements and user-requested enhancements that connect creative workflows and teams, helping them bring engaging stories to life for a worldwide audience.

“The continued growth of AR and VR and steady flow of new productions from Netflix, Amazon and others, mean animation and VFX houses are in more demand than ever. We’re focused on helping our customers create, connect and compute faster and more efficiently so they can balance their increasing project loads with tighter schedules and budgets,” Chris Bradshaw, Senior Vice President, Media & Entertainment, Autodesk, stated. “Everything we’re showing at SIGGRAPH streamlines production and equips artists with the tools to handle nearly any creative scenario.” more> cadinnovation.com

Updates from Adobe

The Geometric Illustrations of Yo Az
By Charles Purdy – The graphic designer and illustrator Yo Az works in a distinctive geometric style, creating beautiful, intricate vector images based on colorful combinations of shapes.

I started out studying visual communication. For me, the best way to illustrate an advertisement was with a drawing or a photograph. During the course of my studies, I began illustrating posters and flyers—I really enjoyed doing that and seemed good at it, and it became apparent that this was where my future was.

I think that, in general, when someone starts drawing, they first try to copy reality. Then, with time, you try to put on paper what you have in your mind. Also, I think the way I use Adobe Illustrator has shaped the way I draw—I’ve evolved by using Illustrator. I think more in terms of geometric shapes and in terms of harmony between different shapes. more> https://goo.gl/gou2oG

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Why Is Donald Trump Still So Horribly Witless About the World?

By Robin Wright – “The President has little understanding of the context”—of what’s happening in the world—“and even less interest in hearing the people who want to deliver it,” Michael Hayden, a retired four-star general and former director of both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency, told me.

“He’s impatient, decision-oriented, and prone to action. It’s all about the present tense. When he asks, ‘What the hell’s going on in Iraq?’ people around him have learned not to say, ‘Well, in 632 . . . ’ ” (That was the year when the Prophet Muhammad died, prompting the beginning of the Sunni-Shiite split.)

Trump’s policy mistakes, large and small, are taking a toll. “American leadership in the world—how do I phrase this, it’s so obvious, but apparently not to him—is critical to our success, and it depends eighty per cent on the credibility of the President’s word,” John McLaughlin, who worked at the C.I.A. under seven Presidents, from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, and ended up as the intelligence agency’s acting director, told me.

“Trump thinks having a piece of chocolate cake at Mar-a-Lago bought him a relationship with Xi Jinping. He came in as the least prepared President we’ve had on foreign policy,” McLaughlin added. “Our leadership in the world is slipping away. It’s slipping through our hands.” more> https://goo.gl/Nza7eC

Updates from Adobe

The Hand-Crafted Wonders of Kitiya Palaskas
By Jordan Kushins – Kitiya Palaskas revels in “more is more” excess. Her aesthetic is bright and kitschy, willfully retro but also super fresh.

Check out her site for eye-catching, off-kilter client projects, which include everything from a plush puppet mascot for British band The Wombats, to partyware plates, cups, and more for the We Love Sundays boutique.

Pop by her Instagram feed for quick, colorful glimpses into her latest goings-ons, which often include glitter, good friends, or a cocktail. (Sometimes all at once.) It’s easy to be enchanted with her wares, and Palaskas is clearly busy living her best life; but what, exactly, does that entail?

“I’m quite niche,” she says with a laugh. “And I’ve found it can be hard to explain myself in a way that’s not too obscure, that other people can understand. I had been calling myself a ‘craft-based designer,’ but that doesn’t mean anything to anyone because it’s just a term that I made up.” Instead, she’s going with “stylist and prop designer.” And then some! “I create objects, images, sets, and installations. I write DIYs, I teach workshops, I mentor others.

I do client-based work. The thing that ties them together is that they all have a base in craft, with things that I’ve handmade.” more> https://goo.gl/CPgypd

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