Custom Design
Penumbra interactive wall lighting at Helix Science Center

Penumbra interactive wall lighting at Helix Science Center

A few weeks ago we posted some production photos and video of Penumbra, a new piece we designed and built for glass designer Romy Randev, who guides the Looma collection. Penumbra is an interactive, motion-sensitive light installation done in bamboo and fused glass. It’s currently on display at the Helix Science Center in Los Altos, CA.

Here are some photos Romy sent of the installation and some of our production images.


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Aurora Lamp designed by Hero for Looma

Our friends at Looma just sent us the great preview video of the new lamp we designed for them.


Giant LED light Boards for Adobe

Giant LED light Boards for Adobe

Vine Video!

A few weeks ago we built a giant (16′x8′x5″) LED light board for Adobe. The boards feature hundreds of RGB LEDs in a 2″x2″ grid, behind a snazzy diffusing acrylic. We built a 4′x8′ prototype before hand to be sure to get everything right. Adobe is going to outfit the boards with pressure sensors and do some coding  to make the boards interactive and responsive. They will be mounted in The Children Creativity Museum this summer!

Here are some photos of the the prototype

Mobile Makerspace for teens

I grew up in a school system that, mistakenly, saw no need for a shop class. But perhaps it was for the best because today’s teens get something even better: Makerspaces. Makerspaces, or hackerspaces, or fablabs, (all variations on a theme) are shop classes for the modern day. A place where people explore the fantastic world of making.

Now I have my very own makerspace: Hero Design, and we are going to help the teen makers at the Palo Alto Art Center and the Palo Alto City Library design the furniture for their new Maker Space.

Working with the Palo Alto Art Center and the Palo Alto City Library and at Noll and Tam we’ve guided the teens as they embark on their design process. Based on the designs they imagine, Hero will produce a set of Makerspace furniture that will then tour Bay Area public spaces.

Several weeks ago the teens toured our studio and we introduced them to world of CNC fabrication. And yesterday the teens presented their final prototypes for the type of furniture they want. The concepts were fantastic, creative, and practical.

The concepts included:

  • A showcase/shelving unit spelling out the word MAKE
  • A seat, with a small cubby underneath, with a bouncy ball top
  • Configurable, collapsible tables on wheels
  • A two part  mobile tool chest
  • A mobile parts-bin wall

We are going to have a lot of fun designing and building these.




Voronoi Bookshelf Project on Kickstarter

The Voronoi Bookshelf project is live on Kickstarter. With 33 days to go!

This project is about more than an amazing bookshelf, it’s about a new way to design. My goal is not just to design beautiful objects, but to design intuitive, interactive ways for you to create beautiful objects with them. You are the designer-collaborator.

I want you to have a deep connection with the objects in your life, to know the story of the design, to understand why a line angles in the way it does, or why that curve goes in that direction.

I believe great design is not something you consume, it’s something you do. It’s an interaction, a collaboration. These ideas are at the core of Hero, from my custom design and build work and my one-on-one lessons to interactive design projects like this. And I want more of both.

With the success of this Kickstarter I’ll not only be bringing this project to the next level, I’ll be creating a host of digital tools and skills needed to bring even more projects like this to life.

Voronoi Bookshelf Prototype, an experiment in interactive, generative design


What is this?

  • This is a prototype. An experiment in generative, collaborative design.
  • The prototype consists of two parts: a generator and an object.
  • The generator is a piece of software that designs the object.
  • The object is a bookshelf based on a Voronoi Diagram. (I pronounce it vo-ro-NOY)

So what is generative, collaborative design?

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