Thursday, June 11, 2009
as many people who follow my blog know, futurism is a big theme in my work, and indeed, many of the nooka designs were conceived during a very optimistic time, the dot com bubble. it was at this time there was a clinton as president, the stock market was on fire, miu miu had a men's line, seiko had spoon as a sub-brand, and i was carving myself a niche in the new field of interactive design. spoon is gone, miu miu only has women's stuff, then as now, i am frustrated that the planes i board to go to tokyo are the same technology and design as the ones i boarded to go visit my grandfather as a child. so it seems my job of holding up my tiny torch of utopian optimism in design is ever more important.
i always present nooka as a design studio, the nooka lab, but as of this writing all we have is our line of time pieces. there are a few reasons why we are a bit slow releasing new lines, the major one being the down economy of the past year plus the fact that we are a small self-financed studio. also, unlike other design stars, my designs, though aesthetically slick have philosophical underpinnings – not that this makes me a perfectionist, but it does limit the type of products i can put my limited resources toward.
well, this is all about to change, but first a little story to get us there.
i must go back even further to 1984 when i ran my first design studio at the age of 19 with a friend who was a student at pratt – var grahics [even then, obsessed with universal communication, i wanted a name that had no linguistic ties to any one culture]. one our first projects was to come up with the look and feel of a new kind of credit card, one with an ic chip in it to act as a debit card or credit card with the goal of getting rid of physical checks. at this time it was quite revolutionary and i truly enjoyed making realistic comps of these cards [i wish i could remember the name of the company!]. before i saw them bring the project to fruition, i closed var graphics and moved to tokyo and never saw the product take hold in the US [though it was adopted in europe by the mid 1990s].
so now back to the dot com bubble of the mid/late 1990s. i'm back in new york and the creative director of a small interactive design studio, new york zoom where we quickly make a name for ourselves creating corporate identities for new media. i created the corporate identity for screaming media with jay chiat who was someone i admired since i was a teen. it was amazing to be able to work with him before he passed away. another start-up that contracted with us was called net-gen who were developing a back-end system for managing credit card usage for kids and teens – a great idea. it was quite the dream team on my end: tina eisenberg [neé roth] now famous blogger swiss miss, alain grossenbacher [now the creative director at bodum], and of course me. we delivered a kick-ass identity system as well as a complete interface design for 3 different types of users. well...they didn't get their funding or were sabotaged by visa/mastercard [depending on which version of the story you hear] and another good idea never sees the light of day.
now we are in 2009 and i still have to fly in 1960s technology for 15 hours to get to tokyo when i was promised a 3.5 hour flight in a supersonic stratospheric jet as a child AND my wallet is full of a rediculous amount of plastic – credit cards, atm cards, id cards, store cards and paper currency. multiply this by 2 for the set i need to bring when i go to do work in my tokyo office. quite simply, bloated wallets ruin pants. the nooka solution to this design problem is to introduce the nooka card!
how does this story get us to my upcoming product launch you may be asking...
the nooka card ~ nookard™ streamlines access to all your financial tools into one single magnetic strip. a comprehensive web interface allows you to link any one of your bank accounts or credit cards to the nookard™. when you use the card at a terminal with a screen, a menu with all your linked accounts shows up for you or the shoppist to select. want extra security, add a password of your choice unique to each account or one as a master, or better yet, choose the "check photo id" option. not at a screen terminal? the account you select as primary will be used as a default. more than just that, you can protect the card by registering thes ites you shop on into the system so the card can never be used by anyone else. you can even require the extra security steps you choose for the check outs on the sites you frequent. the AMAZING thing about the nookard™ is the technology used to make all this magic happen – it's all existing for well over 10 years! why go use a time machine to go to the future when you can go back in time for innovation? WOW, the nookard can reduce average thickness and weight of your wallet by up to 99%! if any banks, visa. mastercard or amex want to license my scheme, it's not hard to contact me.
until the nookard system is adopted, you can help reduce pocket congestion by using the nooka AO [asset organizer], a color coded wallet system made of pliable silicone rubber – it conforms to the shape of your butt [flat or bubbiliscous] without breaking your cards and can be packed with cards without you 'losing' them behind a card in a too-tight slot of traditional wallets. keep one color for daytime and another for night / one for nyc, another for paris...seriously, it's a simple and elegant solution for organizing what goes in your pocket or bag. the nooka AO™ will be available in july! SRP is $35US. price and specifications subject to change.
so there you have it!
nooka is available at fine stores and here. join nooka and love nooka on facebook and nookaNOW on twitter.
Nooka is an official sponsor of The Juan Maclean US Tour happening now!