Chaotic Moon Studios Gives SXSW Visitors a Glimpse of Futuristic Urban Parks

In “The Future 100 Report: Trends and Change to Watch in 2015,” JWT analysts predicted that creatives would collaborate in designing “Experiential Public Spaces” that would use new multi-sensory experiences to augment nature and public spaces.

On company at the forefront of this trend is Chaotic Moon Studios, a creative technology studio in Austin, TX. They are partnering with the Austin branch of the global architecture and design firm Gensler to consider how technology could be used to create new types of parks.

Their first initiative will be an “Orchard” of 30 ft. interactive trees designed to enchant and delight visitors and bring new life to an urban environment.

Orchard will include 30 pneumatic structures standing three-stories tall. Each structure inflates to form the abstract shape of a tree. This form is anchored by a steel pole running up the center of the “trunk”.

Chaotic Moon Studios Orchard

“We intend to create a pop-up icon that will transform any place into a destination,” said Gensler’s John Houser. People who touch any tree will experience a harmonious kaleidoscope of light, sound, and color as the Orchard blossoms into an homage to technology and nature.

Chaotic Moon Studios Vision

A prototype of the first tree was unveiled during the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin.

About Chaotic Moon

Chaotic Moon describes their studio as “a group of thinkers, builders, designers, developers, leaders, dreamers, and doers hell-bent on changing the world through better digital experiences.” Forrester Research mentioned Chaotic Moon as an example of the fact that “The lines between creative developer and technologist are not neatly drawn.”

The founders of Creative Moon agree that “traditional shops are a thing of the past.”  According to CEO and co-founder Ben Lamm, Chaotic Moon is based in Austin because they believe in the city’s potential: “The fact that every leading name in tech has built an outpost here is a testament to that.”

About Gensler

Gensler is a global design firm that partners with clients to create more livable cities, smarter workplaces and more engaging leisure destinations. Last year, Gensler worked with 2,390 client in 114 countries. Gensler is headquartered in San Francisco and has office in 30 U.S. cities and 16 offices in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Their clients include 40 of the 50 top-ranked Fortune 500 companies, 8 of the top 10 retailers in the U.S., and 9 of Interbrand’s 10 best global brands.


Chaotic Moon Studios




JWT Future 100 Report Highlights Trends to Watch in 2015

Take Your Photography to the Next Level by Hacking the Digital Print

Digital photo printing has reached the point at which anyone who knows how to push the right buttons can create a decent print. Getting a high-quality image out of a desktop printer is no longer the challenge it once was.

In her new book, “Hacking the Digital Print,” artist Bonny Lhotka illustrates how photographic artists can take their work to the next level through alternative methods of capturing and printing photographs. She proves that the hands-on art of printmaking is alive and well in the digital age. And she explains why you don’t always need Photoshop to alter the reality that you capture through your lens.


By using analog distortion filters and lens modifiers you can create images that look like you—not an app—made them.  As Lhotka explains, “Capturing altered reality is different from altering captured reality.”

In the book’s introduction, Lhotka points out that, “A photograph is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional world. We can restore the third dimension by using materials such as slate, granite, wood, or metal that have heft, mass and texture.”

In “Hacking the Digital Print,” Lhotka shows how to make original art objects and hand-crafted photo gifts by transferring your photographs to materials such as wood, glass, plastics, and metal. Lhotka also shows how to create skins that can be layered to make mixed-media photographs.

Some projects explained in the book use non-toxic digital alternatives to re-create classic printmaking techniques. For example, Wonder Sauce is a water-based transfer solution that is safe enough to use anywhere, whether it’s the studio, classroom, or kitchen counter.For the truly adventurous, Lhotka shares her custom techniques for taking photographs and applying them to 3D-printed objects created with popular consumer-model 3D printers.

Part artist/part mad scientist, Lhotka has spent many hours experimenting, hacking, and tearing things apart to discover new ways to take, make, and print images.

In the early days of wide-format color inkjet printing, Bonny Lhotka organized “Digital Atelier: A printmaking studio for the 21st Century” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and was an artist-in-residence there for 21 days. The artists of the Digital Atelier demonstrated some of the creative possibilities of scanning and inkjet printing.

Lhotka is also a recipient of the Smithsonian/Computerworld Technology in the Arts Award.

Bonny says she designed “Hacking the Print” for “artists and photographers who enjoy serendipitous discoveries—those intuitive accidents that lead to new discoveries and possibilities.”

She encourages you to take the techniques in this book, hack them, and make them your own. She cautions that the process will be messy, and failures may require you to keep trying: “But in the process, you will make your exciting discoveries, find solutions, to your problems, and create a body of work that is uniquely yours.”


You can purchase “Hacking the Digital Print,” through Amazon or buy a signed copy through the DASS ART website. “Hacking the Digital Print” was published by Peachpit, the Pearson imprint the publishes technology books, e-books, and videos for creative people.

On the DASS ART website, you can also register for related workshops or order the specialized transfer media Lhotka has developed for transferring images printed with pigment inks on inkjet photo printers.


DASS has also started a Facebook group for artists and photographers who are creasting work with the techniques featured in Bonny Lhotka’s two previous books on contemporary printmaking techniques: Digital Alchemy and The Last Layer.

According to Lhotka, “The Facebook group is a place to post your work, share processes, and ask questions. I will pop in an out to answer questions and post tips.”


Hacking the Digital Print: Alternative image capture and printmaking processes with a special section on 3D printing (Voices That Matter)

The Last Layer: New methods in digital printing for photography, fine art, and mixed media (Voices That Matter)


Can You Believe Photoshop Debuted Just 25 Years Ago?

To gauge how rapidly innovations can revolutionize entire industries and create new opportunities for millions, note that the first version of Photoshop was launched just 25 years ago this month. Who could have imagined how much creative power that program would unleash in designers, photographers, artists, and publishers?

Today, we see imaginative imagery and visual communications everywhere — in smartphone apps, on building-size wall murals, in interactive digital signage, and immersive multimedia displays.

According to a fascinating timeline and an interview published on the Adobe website and Photoshop blog, Adobe shipped its first version of Photoshop on February 19, 1990. The program originated in 1987, when Thomas Knoll developed a pixel-imaging program called Display. It was a simple program to showcase grayscale images on a black-and-white monitor. However, after collaborating with his brother, John Knoll, the two began adding features that made it possible to process digital image files. The program eventually caught the attention of industry influencers, and in 1989, Adobe decided to license it.

“Adobe thought we’d sell about 500 copies of Photoshop a month,” recalls Thomas Knoll, Adobe Fellow and Photoshop co-creator. “Not in my wildest dreams did we think creatives would embrace the product in the numbers and ways they have. It’s inspiring to see the beautiful images our customers create, the careers Photoshop has launched, and the new uses people all over the world find for Photoshop every day.” On YouTube, you can watch a video of Thomas Knoll giving one of his first demonstrations of Photoshop.

“For 25 years, Photoshop has inspired artists and designers to craft images of stunning beauty and reality-bending creativity,” said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe president and chief executive officer. “From desktop publishing, to fashion photography, movie production, website design, mobile app creation, and now 3D printing, Photoshop continues to redefine industries and creative possibilities. And today that Photoshop magic is available to millions of new users, thanks to Adobe Creative Cloud.”

Photoshop’s massive popularity can be attributed to its constantly evolving capabilities and pipeline of deep image science. This steady stream of innovations is now reaching customers faster than ever before. The Photoshop and Lightroom desktop and mobile apps are constantly updated as part of Adobe Creative Cloud.

Photoshop 1 was aimed at graphic arts and publishing

In an interview with Russell Brady posted on the Photoshop blog, Thomas Knoll points out that the first version of Photoshop was really ahead of its time: “Photoshop 1.0 and the first several versions weren’t really tools for photography – not only because there wasn’t appropriate hardware available in digital cameras, but more importantly, because there were no digital printers. The only real way to get photographic-quality output from Photoshop back then was to create four-color separations on film and take them to a printing press, where the first copy of your photograph might cost you $2,000…If you wanted to print a roll of 35 millimeter film, you’re talking $35,000 to $40,000. So, Photoshop 1 was primarily aimed at the publishing and graphic arts markets.”

After full-color inkjet printers were introduced, Photoshop users could scan the film, manipulate the images, and print them out. The explosive growth of digital photography in the 1990s further accelerated the widespread adoption of Photoshop.

Photoshop’s success has helped Adobe develop and deliver a wide range of products and services used by tens of millions of creative people worldwide. In addition to Photoshop, applications such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Dreamweaver and others have pushed creativity forward, no matter what the media. And today Adobe Creative Cloud services such as Behance and Creative Talent Search are helping a new generation of creatives find a global audience and market for their work .

Adobe is celebrating Photoshop’s milestone in a big way. For example, Adobe is showcasing 25 of the most creative visual artists under 25 who use Photoshop. To be considered, artists upload their projects and use the tag “Ps25Under25.” In the coming months, those selected will take over the Photoshop Instagram handle (@Photoshop) for two weeks and present their work for the world to see. Fredy Santiago, a 24-year old Mexican-American artist and illustrator based in Ventura, California is the first one chosen to display his incredible images.

Adobe has also launched its “Dream On” advertising campaign as a tribute to 25 years of amazing art created In Photoshop. The TV commercial includes incredible work from Photoshop artists and iconic images from major motion pictures that used Photoshop In the making, including Avatar, Gone Girl, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Shrek.



Adobe Blog Post: Celebrating 25 Years of Photoshop

Thomas Knoll Q&A

Adobe Photoshop Anniversary Timeline

Augmented Reality Conference To Be Held in San Francisco

InsideAR, the epicenter of the rapidly growing world of Augmented Reality, is coming to San Francisco for the first time May 20-21, 2015.

The event is hosted by Metaio, the worldwide leader in Augmented Reality software, research and technology. With over 10 years of experience in Augmented Reality and Computer Vision, Metaio serves over 130,000 developers with over 1,000 published apps.  Metaio’s AR software reaches over 30 million consumers around the world.


Metaio products have been used to develop AR apps for everything from publishing, retailing, and  marketing to industrial engineering,maintenance,and manufacturing.


Metaio defines Augmented Reality (AR) as a technology that blends digital content into our real world. AR seeks to integrate our increasingly digitalized lifestyle with our physical lives in a seamless, natural way.

InsideAR offers a comprehensive introduction to Augmented Reality by bringing together innovators and stakeholders to share technical insights and the latest and greatest AR applications.

Network with futurists, global leaders in AR, and other creatives who are paving the way for an Augmented Reality future  Additional AR events will be held in Munich, Beijing, and Tokyo.


In San Francisco, InsideAR will be presented at The Village at 969 Market Street in the heart of San Francisco.

If you can’t attend the conference, the Metaio website features case studies and white papers about how augmented reality is being used in print, marketing, education, television, sales, and manufacturing.



About Metaio

Metaio Case Studies


Metaio Offers AR Creator Plug-In to InDesign

Light Impressions Exhibit Shows State of the Art in Mobile Phone Photography

When photographer Colleen Duffley launched a 24-hour New Year’s Eve iPhone photo competition for her Studio b creative venue in 2011, she sensed that the 8-megapixel camera in the new iPhone 4S might empower people worldwide to become photographic artists.

Since then, Colleen has created a remarkable “Light Impressions” traveling exhibit that has been documenting the emergence of mobile phone photography as an art movement.

Colleen considers mobile phone photography a “a pure art form” because “It’s more about the creativity than expensive gear or intricate technique.” The fourth edition of the Light Impressions exhibit is on display until February 22, 2015 at the Wynwood Building in the heart of Miami’s Wynwood Art District.

As in previous years, Colleen will be taking the exhibit to sites throughout the U.S. this spring and summer. The Light Impressions installation features 40 iPads mounted on a metal structure made from materials salvaged from some wreckage that Hurricane Opal left on the beach in 1995. Each iPad presents 13 of the best images submitted by a single mobile phone photographer.

As 13 images from each featured artist scrolls across the iPads at different rates, the Light Impressions exhibit makes a powerful statement about how people around the globe are using their mobile phone cameras a means of creative expression. LightImpressionsExhibit Colleen Duffley is a professional photographer who shoots, directs, produces creative concepts for magazines, commercials, and campaigns. She has been shooting people, places, and things around the globe for 25 years.

Colleen devised the concept for Light Impressions four years ago as a way to display the best images submitted to the New Year’s Eve iPhoneography photo challenge. One of her goals with that first iPhoneography challenge was to level the photo-competition playing field and demonstrate that all people could be creative photographers, even if they didn’t have expensive equipment or extensive training.

“The camera phone was the perfect tool to encourage people to be creative because everyone had one,” explains Duffley. “The camera phone gives us the ability and freedom to be creative 24/7.” She says viewing Light Impressions is like watching a fish tank. It’s mesmerizing: “It’s hard to walk away from it.”

“Mobile phone photography is still an emerging art form,” says Duffley. “People are going to be astounded when they see what is being done in this movement. All of the work displayed on the Light Impressions exhibit was done on a mobile phone camera — from the capture of the image to its processing and publishing. It’s really mind-blowing and wonderful.”

Duffley mounted the iPads in aged, weather-beaten metal that she discovered on the beach. As an art installation in itself, Light Impressions illustrates the timeless nature of photography as an art. While photography technology has changed over time, the magic of photography as an art form remains solid. Plus, she says “Mobile phone photography has a ‘found-art’ sensibility to it, and what better way to frame it than on repurposed materials?”

The first three editions of Light Impressions traveled to art fairs, museums, and events nationwide. It has been exhibited twice in Miami during the Art Basel week. In March, the new exhibit will be featured at Duffley’s new Studio b site in Florida and at a photography event in Washington, DC at the end of March.

When curating the 2015 Light Impressions exhibit, Duffley chose portfolios that represented a mix of styles, subject matter, and processing techniques. Some images illustrate the creative use of processing apps. Other images are shown almost exactly as the photographer shot them, with only minor tweaks. You can learn more about the artists, the images, and the apps they used in a special book Duffley produced for this year’s exhibit. LightImpressionsBook

Teaching Mobile Phone Photography

Duffley, who has taught university-level  courses in traditional photography, enjoys teaching classes in mobile phone photography. Within a few hours, students go from knowing very little about photography to being eager to experiment with all of shooting and processing tools that are literally at their fingertips.

One participant in a recent class was the editor of a magazine that publishes some of Duffley’s editorial photography. The editor has since invited Duffley to teach other members of the magazine’s editorial staff how to shoot better pictures with their mobile phones.

For her own iPhone photography work, Duffley prefers composing and shooting great images right in the camera. After spending hours editing the images she captures for editorial and advertising clients, she likens using an iPhone to using a Polaroid camera. When she frames a shot, she thinks about composition, lighting, form, texture, and line — all the things that have always gone into making a great photo, painting, or illustration.

She encourages students to “Take responsibility for what you’re shooting. When you have a good image to start with, you do what you want with it–the app is your oyster.”

Even though Colleen uses a high-end Canon DSLR for her commercial projects, she doesn’t treat her mobile phone camera with any less respect. In fact, some of the images she has shot with her iPhone have been published alongside the images she shoots with her DSLR.

The Resurgence of Studio b

As an editorial photographer, Colleen has traveled around the world, befriended fascinating people, and enjoyed some remarkable adventures. To enable others to experience the same kinds of unique experiences, Duffley founded Studio b in Alys Beach, Florida in 2009. She established it as a creative venue that would bring together the best of the best and the up-and-coming in photography, art, literature, fashion, design, music, and the culinary arts to educate and inspire artists and students. Studio b also hosts and co-sponsors events throughout the U.S. and in Italy, Ireland, and exotic locations around the globe.

Unfortunately, the timing for Studio b’s launch was less than ideal. Just as the economy was slowly starting to recover from the Great Recession of 2008, The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 temporarily decimated the tourism industry on the Gulf Coast.

So Duffley closed Studio b for a while and re-focused her energies on her photography business, Colleen Duffley Productions. Now that the economy and tourism industry are rebounding, she is preparing to re-launch Studio b in a different location on Florida’s Emerald Coast this spring.

On the Run Website

Colleen Duffley is also launching a new website, through which people can order metal prints of some of Colleen’s best iPhone images. When she travels on assignments for commercial projects, she carries her iPhone when she goes for long runs to relax and unwind. “When you run or bike, you get a different perspective on your surroundings,” said Duffley.She is calling her the website “On the Run” because “It’s just me capturing the world on the run.”

The Rising Quality of Mobile Phone Photography

As she curates each Light Impressions exhibit, Colleen Duffley said she is amazed to discover the many different ways people have come to the medium of mobile phone photography and embraced it as a tool of creative expression.

Over the years, the number and quality of entries she receives for the Light Impressions display has steadily risen. While some of that is due to technological advances in smartphone cameras and apps, Colleen says the community of mobile phone photographers is exceptionally collaborative and supportive of one another.

She said the artists featured in the Light Impressions exhibit are doing amazing things with their mobile phone photography: “It’s an amazing art form, and some people are making a good living selling prints of their mobile-phone photographs.”


Ring in a Creative New Year with Studio b’s Camera Phone Event


Studio b: Light Impressions-Profiles of the Featured Artists

Studio b Boutique: The Light Impressions On Tour Book

Colleen Duffley Productions

Facebook: Studio b.the Beach Studio b

Learn Basics of Customer Experience Design at Digital Signage Expo

DESIGNERS. The artful use of digital displays, interactive technology, and digital communications networks is creating compelling and information-rich spaces for inspiration, education, and networking in retail stores, airports, museums, malls, and entertainment venues.

DSE_logoBecause designing these energy-infused spaces takes a unique set of skills and insight, the Society of Experiential Designers (SEGD) is presenting a day-long Customer Experience (CX) Workshop on Tuesday, March 10 as part of the Digital Signage Expo (DSE), March 10-13 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Geared for designers, marketing and branding professionals, and technology providers, the workshop runs from 9 am to 5 pm and covers the basics of customer experience design.

SEGD is a global, multidisciplinary community of professionals who plan, design, and build experiences that connect people to place. SEGD’s 1700 members from 20 countries include graphic and information designers, fabricators, architects, exhibition designers, technology integrators, interaction designers, brand strategists, and others who have a hand in shaping content-rich experiential places.

The workshop at DSE will present an overview of the basics of customer experience (CX) design and technologies that can be used to create dynamic interaction, customization, and unique, attention-getting experiences.

The experts at SEGD contend it’s important for creators of customer experiences to understand what technology can and cannot deliver.

“The Customer Experience is where new technologies and design meet. When you design the new customer experience using design thinking to focus on the user, not the technology, that is when the magic happens,” said Clive Roux, CEO of SEGD. “We’re partnering with DSE to bring design, marketing, and technology together at this event to experience what is possible when design and technology work together.”

The five program modules will discuss the state of CX, how to create a seamless customer experience across multiple platforms, how to use digital displays for more engaging shopping experiences, and best practices for integrating display technology. Speakers will also discuss what is possible with new models of immersive media for public spaces.

The presentations will include insights from top CX innovators, including :

DSE is the world’s largest and longest-running conference and trade show exclusively dedicated to showcasing innovative digital communications and interactive technology solutions for customer- and employer-facing organizations. Launched in 2004, DSE was the first event dedicated to the digital signage market and has contributed to the growth of this fast-paced field.

“SEGD’s program is the perfect fit with Digital Signage Expo because our attendees are increasingly interested in integrating digital displays into their venues as part of the built environment,” said Richard Lebovitz, educational director for DSE. “SEGD understands the importance of this trend to architects and designers who are charged with incorporating digital communications into the physical spaces they are designing. The association’s educational program at DES provides a unique opportunity for the design and technology communities to share ideas, insights, and information.”

The DSE 2015 Exhibit Hall will be open March 11-12 and feature more than 200 exhibitors of technology and services including hardware, software, networking, delivery, and content. The extensive educational program features sessions such as

  • Future trends in digital signage
  • Effective integration of social and mobile technologies with digital signage
  • Digital signage on campus
  • Data visualization: Using real-time information for create intelligent, dynamic content
  • The power of video walls in retail
  • Leveraging visual communications across multiple platforms
  • Technology-enabled environments
  • Digital signage in healthcare settings
  • Reinventing the fan experience
  • Human factors in digital signage
  • Getting results in the retail world


SEGD CX Workshop at Digital Sign Expo

Digital Signage Expo 2015


Professional Photographers Optimistic About 2015

Dozens of insights about what professional photographers and photography enthusiasts hope to accomplish in 2015 are featured in PhotoShelter’s new guide, “The Photographer’s Outlook on 2015.”

The report summarizes responses from almost 7,500 professional photographers and enthusiasts worldwide. It discusses their top business goals and challenges and their plans for marketing their work, using social media, and attending industry events.

According to the survey, 65 percent of the photographers feel positive about their prospects this year, with 52 percent expecting to get most of their revenue from new clients. When asked about their primary sources of revenue, 65 percent of photographers said they get most of their revenue from commissioned assignments and 11 percent get most of their revenue from in-person sales. Only 5 percent got most of their revenue from print sales online and only 5 percent got most of the revenue from stock photo sales. The highest source of revenues for the other 14 percent  included personal-use downloads (3 percent), commissioned video work (3 percent), gallery shows and events (2 percent), workshops and seminars (2 percent), and other (4 percent).


This is the third consecutive year PhotoShelter conducted the survey. Compared to the 2014 survey, The Photographer’s Outlook on 2015 reveals:

  • 64 percent of enthusiasts aspire to one day earn a majority of their living from photography (down 10% from last year).
  • The number of professionals who use Instagram as their number-one social-media platform was up 150 percent.
  • The number of professionals who expect to make most of their revenue from new clients increased by 30 percent.

“We’re thrilled to release The Photographer’s Outlook survey for the third year running,” says PhotoShelter CEO, Andrew Fingerman. “We’re encouraged to learn that a majority of professionals and enthusiasts are optimistic about 2015. But as the survey revealed, we know that photographers are most challenged to find new clients. We’re committed to continue educating the community on how to market themselves more effectively and reach the clients they want.”

The Photographer’s Outlook on 2015 survey was emailed in November 2014 to the PhotoShelter community, which includes users of PhotoShelter products, as well as members of the photography community at large who receive PhotoShelter’s monthly newsletters. Of the 7,408 photographers who responded, 69 percent were male and 31 percent were female.

The professional photographers (those who said they earned more than 50 percent of their income from photography) received a different set of questions than enthusiasts. The results of the two groups are reported separately.

The top specialty among enthusiasts is landscape/cityscape photography (19%). Among professionals, the top specialty is portrait photography (15%).

PhotoShelter is a world leader in photography portfolio websites and sales and marketing tools for photographers. “The Photographer’s Outlook on 2015” is the latest in PhotoShelter’s ongoing series of free business guides for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter’s library includes 40+ educational guides including topics such as creating a successful photography portfolio, email marketing, and starting a photography business.


The Photographer’s Outlook for 2015