My first interactive banner was the #nikefuture 40m wide display in Johannesburg

After a month, a little bit more probably, of sufferings and efforts, we have press releases, thanks to @WKAmsterdam and their immense work. The first review I am reading is published on Cool Hunting, and it is pretty amazing to see some official pictures of our little preciousss.

Nike Life Center Johannesburg

I was involved in the Nike Life Center as project manager for the digital production, while freelancing with my funky buddies at The Rumpus Room. Our team was:

  1. Joel Baumann, Lead Creative Technologist
  2. Steve Wyles, Executive Producer
  3. Thomas Alisi, Project Manager
  4. Gerard Delmas, Software Developer

From a technical point of view, this huge display is rather simple, still interesting in some specific issues. Animations were developed in Flash using a heavily overrode Flint particle system. Headlines are pulled daily from a moderated feed and animated in 4 steps to create a full resolution portrait, the feed is UTF-8 encoded and the animation fully supports 16 languages. The moderation tool was developed by Deeplocal, Pittsburgh while the massive LED columns were installed by Spectrum, Johannesburg. Both the teams were super sharp and even if we worked with different timeshifts, and tons of emails, almost everything ran like a charme (er... last minute panic is always part of the game).

A super special thank and appreciation goes to Ross Plummer, mighty producer at Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, who has been enviably calm and steady even during the few panic attacks that sometimes could rise here and there across the world. The result is super cool, published tonight through Wieden's official press release.

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Flux of MEME wins a research grant at Working Capital Bologna

It was the last of a sequence: the project was briefed, submitted for an elevator pitch, then checked in a couple of meetings, refined, presented again, and at the end it won. The project will be funded by Telecom Italia @workingcapital and was presented during the last Working Capital event in Bologna, June 9th 2010.


Goal of this project is to create a semantic web application capable of predicting the future through the analysis and clustering of concepts.

Memes flow through the social networks and can be paired with their geo-reference information to understand how they move in physical space. Terms used in a single meme describe its semantic domain and images, when present, can enrich their interpretation.


Now the research begins. Part of the semantic engine for term extraction and expansion is already working. From my personal point of view I think that two outcomes will be really important:

  • applying results on mobile devices - contexts still have to be defined, but mobile networks and entertainment is an immediate transfer for this project;
  • data visualization - huge amounts of data are useless if not digested and visualized in a simple and attractive way; at the moment I am exploring Processing, as it appears a good desktop environment, and this is the reason why I cited in my presentation.

Any suggestion and comment greatly appreciated.

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Particle Animations with Flint

In the last few week I have been working on a project that involved the development of a particle animation system. The project is still under development and we are working under NDA: for this reason unfortunately I still cannot post any details about it, even though I will post details as soon as it goes live.

What I can definitely do is show the tests I had to develop using Flint particle animation system, developed by @Richard_Lord and give a brief explanation of the code, since I saw that a lot of people are having troubles with, to say the less, a little bit sparse documentation.

Let's show the results first, it is a tweaking of the logo tweener example found on the website.

[swf src="" width=400 height=400 version=10]

It was not rocket science at all, since it was only matter of tweaking an already made example, still I noticed from the forum that loads of people got stuck while introducing some changes, and I had to go more in depth of some aspects related to EmitterEvents, ParticleEvents and Easing.

I wanted to use extensively the TweenToZone effect for a series of bitmaps which had to be displayed in the .swf, for this reason I decided it was better to create a class and reuse it when needed. The emitter can also reuse existing particles instead of blasting a complete new set of them, the code is the following.

public class Tweener extends Emitter2D
    public function Tweener( init:Boolean, bitmapFrom:Bitmap, bitmapTo:Bitmap, particles:uint, lifetime:uint, color1:uint, color2:uint )
        if( init ) {
            counter = new Blast( particles );
            addInitializer( new ColorInit( color1, color2 ) );
            addInitializer( new Position( new BitmapDataZone( bitmapFrom.bitmapData, 0, 0 ) ) );

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