My permanent coordinates: San Francisco, CA LinkedIn Twitter <my first name> @ <my first name> .com
My current coordinates: Back home in SF

Upcoming Speaking & Travel:
June:
• 2-4: Dallas
• 23-30: Paris
July: 18-20: Seattle
September 6-7: Washington DC
November: 8-10: Seattle

The beginning of nathan.com

While compiling a presentation of my old company, vivid‘s, work, a trip to the Way Back Machine at the Internet Archive yielded the old versions of my own site. Here was the first version, from 1996. From the beginning, I had a list of Nathans, though it wasn’t yet called The League of Nathans.   Next was 2.0 in 1998: Then, a little expansion in 1999: Then, the last full redesign (3.0) in 2001: I kept this design for nearly 15 years until the current 4.0 design a few months ago.... read more

Design Quarterly 145: Hats

I designed this publication around Richard Saul Wurman’s writings. It’s got some of mine and Richard’s favorite examples of his work (as well as others). It was one of my highlights from working with him at TheUnderstandingBusiness. 1989 It’s only available from Ebay every now and then but the entire PDF is... read more

SONY Tradecomm interface

In 1994, SONY hired vivid to design the interface for a stock trading system within General Magic’s MagicCap OS for the SONY-branded device to use this system. It was a very limited interface (a small screen with only 4 levels of gray) but a fascinating device. The interface had a place-based metaphor, specifically, rooms, buildings, and a street that users moved between. That’s the reason for the colonnade image (it was what you saw as you first entered the “trading building.”  ... read more

Kellogg’s Cereal Mixer

In 1998, working with some of the most fun professionals ever (especially Steve Gundrum and Davis Masten), vivid was hired by Mattson to work with Kellogg’s on an online customer cereal store. This system allowed anyone to create custom cereal using hundreds of ingredients with real time price and nutrition information. The solution was prototyped in a limited, closed-run, but Kellogg’s never let it loose in public. The code name for the project was “Jamaica” (for Ja-maka your own cereal). Sadly, I can’t find any of the screens from inside the customization and commerce engines. All I have are the following alternate homepages. From the first comps:   And the second round:    ... read more

Sustainable Mobile Phone Charrette

In July of 2012, I and my colleague, Susan Worthman, led a group of experts from all over the mobile phone industry through a series of exercises, over two days to imagine how mobile phones could be more sustainable. Our frame for sustainability included not only materials and recycling but social and cultural issues as well as new business models. The charrette was hosted by the Lowell Center at the University of Massachusetts University of Massachusetts at the Santa Clara University campus. Participants were selected from a broad cross section of the cell phone industry, including manufacturers, service providers, and suppliers, along with representatives from NGOs, waste disposal industries, and other sustainable design experts. They collaboratively explored opportunities for increasing the sustainability of mobile phones, and the business and social ecosystems that surrounds their design, manufacture, use and disposal). The participants identified many challenges and potential solutions throughout the mobile phone life cycle and across a wide array of stakeholders. The synthesis of these observations were combined into three sets of concepts that might be achieved, grouped across three time periods: within 2-5 years, 5-10 years, and more than 10 years. Common themes that emerged include: the need for more explorations of this type and across the variety of domains touched here (and not merely the standard manufacturers and NGOs). user-configurable phones that allow customers to choose only the options and services they want and need (dubbed the “Lego phone” by the participants ) phones that are easier for customers to disassemble, replace parts, update, repair, and recycle. I think that many who attended were pretty skeptical, in the beginning, that there... read more

There’s a Storm Coming…

This was a talk on Multimedia back in 1996 in Melbourne (my first time to that city) for OZCHI. I don’t think it’s ever been posted to the Internet so I only have a few screenshots left from it. It was about the possibilities of these new digital and online media and how designers and artists could take the opportunities to develop new kinds of media and interactions.... read more

Consumerism is a Fail

The image quality on this is terrible because it’s so dark but this was a talk I gave at SCAD in Savannah at their fantastic Design Ethos conference in 2012. The topic was about how Consumerism has been a fail for the US economy and both designers’ culpability in this as well as a call-to-arms for designers to step in to help make the... read more

CISCO Interviews

These are two of the micro-interviews I did with CISCO back in 2011. They were beautifully-produced and there was a lot more material than they eventually released. These two are on the need for 6 Billion problem solvers and the challenge of leading a sustainable life. I’ve uploaded the third (and my favorite) to Vimeo. It’s... read more

Autodesk Cage Match at TED

This was the second cage match hosted by Autodesk, this time at the TED conference in 2012. This time, I debated Mark Foster Gage. This is just some slight highlights, not the full match. The topic was “Evolution vs. Interference, basically whether Evolution was relevant anymore and, if not, what was. I barely one this round, making me two for two but it would be my... read more

Autodesk Cage Match

This was the first Cage Match Autodesk hosted (in Las Vegas at their annual conference) in 2011. It was an evolution for the “Design Fight Club” bouts they hosted at their IDEAS Summits. It was a hoot. I squared-off against Adam Richardson, debating whether incremental or radical innovation was... read more
 

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