Native Creative: Real Life Slow Motion, Living Walls, and Much More

By James Kwon

Here at Figmints, we thrive on the new, the creative, the esoteric, and the eyeball-widening joys of the Internet. Every other week, we meet as a team to share the coolest and most interesting things we find online. From the latest in website design, to a piece of content that speaks to us in meaningful ways, to a product we just can’t seem to believe. Native Creative is the net that catches all of it.

This week’s bubbling cauldron of awesomeness includes podcasts, calming productivity tools, and the latest kickstarter sensations. Enjoy!


Productivity: Zenmix – Ambient Noise Generator

Does your attention span constantly disobey you? Does it tug at its leash as you beg for it to heal? Noisey offices, disruptive music, caffeine-crazed co-workers.. They all impede on our ability to get sh*t done. 

So if you’re looking for a way to reign in your focus and drown out distractions, Music for Makers has developed an ambient noise generator that immerses your mind in serene soundscapes. In fact, it’s so effective at calming the mind that I’m using it as I’m writing this post. Choose between six soundscape or combine them to create your ideal listening experience. 

Cool Company: Habitat Horticultre 

You’ll be hard-pressed to come across something more beautifully innovative than the work Habitat Horticulture is bringing into the world. They’re busting down the barriers between the constructed environment and the natural one, devising jaw-dropping living-walls that enchant the imagination and enrich the soul. These intricate installations are sophisticated, well-considered, and, most of all, drop-dead gorgeous. (The ambient video on the homepage alone makes the trip to their site well worth your time.)

Product: Slow Dance Picture Frame

“How do you let someone own something that actually moved in slow motion?”

That’s the question that’s been driving Jeff Lieberman, a graduate of MIT’s electrical engineering program, for over a decade. His wildly successful Kickstarter campaign for Slow Dance, a picture frame that makes real-world objects appear to move in slow-motion, reached it’s funding goal of $70,000 the very first day! 

The frame ingeniously conflates a recessed LED strobe light with an electromagnetic coil hooked up to magnetic springs. The coil and springs jolt common objects (like feathers and flowers) to life while the strobe “illuminates the movement at one spot. Since the blinking is too fast to be perceived by the human eye, it looks to us like the object is ethereally dancing in slo-mo inside the frame.” 

Podcast: Song Exploder

Song Exploder is a stupendous podcast that casually converses with some of planet Earth’s most talented musicians about one of their favorite new tracks.

Each episode is dedicated to deconstructing one song, drawing out the artist’s inspirations and thought-process, giving listeners a captivating look at what makes their favorite artists tick. This podcast is extremely well produced and also happens to be supremely entertaining. If you’re a sonic junkie and have 15 minutes to spare, I highly suggest this podcast.

Funny Article: How a Web Design Goes Straight to Hell (Via the Oatmeal)

Leave it to The Oatmeal to capture the infuriatingly funny essence of a web design project gone wrong. Sure, web design projects start out shrouded in optimism and hope. But, as any web designer and account manager knows, crisis looms and frustration waits to pounce on its unsuspecting prey. While slightly over-exagerrated, this piece will most definitely give you a laugh or two.

UI/UX Must Read: First Time UX TearDowns(Via Samuel Hulick)

Onboarding – the process of getting someone “up and running” with your site, app, or service.

Teardown – an act of completely dismantling something.

Onboarding Teardown –  a critically amusing analysis of onboarding experiences, with an eye for what could and should have been.

Samuel Hulick, a UX designer based in Portland Oregon, has compiled a repository of onboarding reviews that will make you laugh and learn. Take a look-see for some insight into the nuanced world of onboarding for some of your favorite websites and applications.

The New FaceTime: Google Duo

Google Duo, a basic video calling service, takes all of the shortcomings of Facetime and addresses them head on.

With features like connecting calls between IOS and Andriod Users and a pre-call screening feature aptly named “Knock-Knock”, Google Duo is taking video calling to new and exciting places.

(Video courtesy of CNET).


Podcast: The Memory Palace

This illuminating podcast takes you back in time to poignant moments in history using the vehicle of storytelling. And mighty fine storytelling at that. Follow Nate DiMeo down the hallways of human history and come out the other side with a changed perspective. You can also see Nate’s work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he’ll be the artist in residence in 2016/2017. 

And, if you’re interested in memory palaces as mnemonic devices, this fantastic article will show you the ropes in how to create your own. Remember, memory is a muscle!

ArticleStranger Things Product Placement – The Definitive Guide

Before you continue reading this article, if you haven’t checked out Stranger Things, a campy sci-fi masterpiece available on Netflix, stop what you’re doing and go watch. I finished the series in two days and am preparing to watch it again. 

On that note… Stranger Things is situated in the wistful setting of a sleepy, Indiana town in the early 1980’s. The show follows Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) on her desperate pursuit to track down her lost son Will. Will Byers finds himself lost in a dark, supernatural world after getting unwittingly tangled in a devious goverment experiment being carried out on a telepathic girl.

This article lists out all of the old-school products peppered through the show’s first season that we know, love, and miss. The show’s deft product placement adds a wonderful tinge of nostalgia to an already stellar plotline.

Case Study: Queenstown Airport (Via Identity Designed)


Rounding out this week’s issue of Native Creative, we have a wonderful case study coming to us by way of Identity Designed. The study goes through the development of a communication design system for one of the world’s most scenic airport’s, showing the importance of a thoughtful “big idea” and serving as a shining example of systems level thinking. 

The final design solution is unique, eloquent, and extremely effective.


That’s all we’ve got for you this week, tune in next Native for more cool things we find on the internet!