Off the grid

NYC grid map

The New York subway can be overwhelming to navigate. Max Roberts, professor at the University of Essex, believes he has created an unconventional method to more effectively map public transportation. Rule of thumb in map making is most importantly to be geographically accurate, always draw straight lines, and never use circles. In an attempt to challenge traditional map design, Roberts ignores all three. You might ask, why design such a map? Roberts hopes to encourage people to fully understand the intricate subway network rather than simply memorize points. He states, “A map that encourages study, encourages use.”

What sparked our fire: A chaotic city network organized via a non-traditional system. 

How does Roberts’ mapmaking method compare to the new Google Maps? 


-Canopy Team

If logos could talk


Paris-based art group, Maentis, recently redesigned many classic brand logos in a collection entitled, Universal Unbranding. Drawing upon how American’s really perceive many popular consumer brands, Maentis has created satirical interpretations. For example, McDonald’s “golden arches” have now packed on a few pounds and the IKEA logo is shown deconstructed in multiple pieces humorously hinting some assembly required.

What sparked our fire: How art is used to humorously disrupt and expose truths through culture-jamming.

Do these intelligent parodies more accurately represent what their companies stand for?


-Canopy Team

Order up!

blog pix 19

Entrepreneur Joe Ariel has cooked up an ingenious idea; deliver delicious “local” food, nationwide. Just seven short months ago, Ariel became Co-founder and CEO of startup, Goldbely, an online marketplace for food purveyors to discover the most authentic cuisines in America, WITHOUT traveling. Want a delicious pastrami sandwich from Katz’s deli in New York City? Well, now you can have it. Can’t make it to Chicago for a deep-dish pizza? Not a problem. Craving authentic Texas BBQ? You got it! Maryland crab cakes? Philadelphia cheesesteaks? Done and done. How is this possible? Thanks to advancements in transportation and refrigeration, Goldbely is able to ship products while maintaining the highest level of freshness. Next steps, order and enjoy!

What sparks our fire: Goldbely’s ability to “crowd-source deliciousness.” (Joe Ariel)

How does this concept enhance the definition of “local fare”?


-Canopy Team

Genetics takes us back to the future

genes are awesome1          Father/Son, 56 yrs and 29 yrs

genes are awesome2              Cousins, 29 yrs and 29 yrs

genes are awesome3Daughter/Father, 13 yrs and 55 years

Genetics have always been viewed and studied in a scientific setting, until now. Ulric Collette, 34 year-old photographer from Quebec City, coined a photography style called Genetics Portraits. Utilizing his ownable method, Collette takes portraits of two family members and mashes them together. The result? A mesmerizing yet eerie display of genetics hard at work. When pairing a child with their parent, it seems as though you are transported back into time. Equally as interesting are the differences, which highlight the jumps in genetic code from one generation to another.

What sparks our fire: Photos that make people stop, think, and question.

Where else has photography been used to change how we view the world?


-Canopy Team

Sketching New York City

Brooklyn-based artist and professor, Willy Hartland, is raising money on the increasingly popular crowd-funding website, Kickstarter, in efforts to finish production on his short film. Entitled, New York City: An Animated Documentary, Hartland has spent the last several years sketching over a thousand portraits of The Big Apple. His drawings capture the urban lifestyle of New Yorker’s in subways, parks, bars or anywhere people rest long enough to be drawn.

What sparked his fire: Watching total strangers face everyday challenges and creatively capturing them in that moment.

Imagine a documentary using this method was created for all major cities, which would be your favorite?


-Canopy Team