Now Splinter-Free!


Maybe it’s just me but I hate it when chopsticks don’t match. And to be clear, I’m not talking about the cheap ones you get in your takeout that you have to snap apart like a Kit-Kat bar and rub together to make sure there are no splinters in your chicken chow mein. I’m talking about the nice ones made of something other than secondhand balsa wood  you pay for and expect to use more than once. Invariably, you get the nice pair and one always disappears, and you’re left with the infuriating single.


For the OCD among us, here are two chopstick designs from Japanese design firm Nendo that will make sure you never lose the second one. The first is a wood-carved double helix design that allows the two pieces to twist and snap together to form a singular, nigh-seamless whole. The second, magnetic.


Japanese designer Oki Sato created these in conjunction with chopsticks manufacturer Hashikura Matsukan, with the objective of improving the normal chopstick design while respecting the simple aesthetic of the traditional eating implement.

What Sparks Our Fire: Improving the design of a common utensil while maintaining the traditional concept.

What other common utensils would you like to see redesigned?

Minimalist Household


The concept of a micro-apartment is pretty much taking a closet, giving it a hip, name, hiding your bed in the wall, and bragging about how awesome it is to your friends. Well, you insufferable hipster, there’s an apartment in Madrid that not only saves space but creates a sense of constant movement and change in an attic apartment. So yeah, keep your Murphy bed.

Transparent walls slide along rails to create different rooms or separation between sections of the kitchen or living room. The ceiling is filled with drop-down accessories, and the upstairs has storage-trapdoors. The design team from Spanish architecture firm elii were fascinated by the idea of life as a performance and the home as a theater and “of giving the possibility to rehearse, perform and live as many lives as you want.”


What Sparks Our Fire: The way architects have begin to rethink and simplify living space design.

Would you customize your home using this new space saving design method?

The Clapper 2.0


Next up on the “Internet of Things” (at this point, putting it in quotes is probably passe), the app and gadget can do pretty much anything in your house you want it to, and see everything in the room, and attaches to the internet. So if you’re with the NSA, stop reading right now.

In addition, the gadget and app, known as Piper, attaches to devices that can be plugged in with Z Wave plug adapters, giving you remote control over anything that can be switched on and off. In essence, this functions as a set of if/then commands that allow the device to act as both an automatic light switch and a break-in alarm. For instance, if you walk into the room the lights can turn on, or if you’re not home and someone walks into the room an alarm can go off.

This system, at a price of $359, is a lot cheaper than many things we’ve seen to help internet your house, and cheaper than many home security options. The device stores data locally, so there’s no chance of lost footage, and provides vital stats for the home environment, including humidity, noise level, indoor and region temperatures. As well, a future update could include voice commands, so you could literally order the lights on as you walk into a room.

What Sparks Our Fire: Making the Internet of Things so commonplace and normal that it seems redundant to put it in quotes, like “Facebook”, or “Incandescent Light-bulb”.

Would you want a gadget like this to have full control over your devices?

In the Beginning…

It’s extraordinarily difficult to conceptualize what scientists refer to as “The Big Bang”. The theory that from infinite nothingness, a singular explosion containing all matter in the universe erupted, is not easy for a layman to comprehend.

The video above, titled Beginning, is the product of animator Grzegorz Nowiński and Novina Studio, it shows in grand stylized detail, the bullet points of the existence of the universe, Earth, and Life itself. Portrayed in stark black and white on a canvas of running water, the video leaves one with not only a concept of how science theorizes how we came to be, but how magnificent things like the impact of meteors or the formation of a planet may have looked or felt.

It’s one thing to read these things in a textbook, but it’s quite another to be shown them on a curtain of water within the span of several minutes. Such an elegant portrayal is truly a thing of beauty.

What Sparks Our Fire:  The visualization of things that normally couldn’t be visualized.

Does this video help attenuate your understanding of the Big Bang?

Marc-eting 101: Fact or Myth?


When Canopy’s Managing Director, Marc Sampogna, was asked to discuss common digital marketing myths, here’s what he had to say:

While I wouldn’t call them marketing myths, I believe every marketer and brand for that matter, has a different perspective on how to reach their target audience, especially in the digital space. For instance, there’s been a lot of speculation around the notion that “traditional marketing and advertising is dead”, and that “everything is digital”. This is total bulls#*t. There will always be a need for traditional marketing methods like TV, print and out-of-home. But, as marketers, we need to understand mobile/digital is now the first screen for most consumers, but this is most likely a generational thing. Boomers and older generations still value the traditional, while Gen Xers and Millennials are certainly more digitally focused. There will always be a need for both. My advice about this “myth”: Find the right balance based on who your audience is, and create your media mix from there. You’ll reach them both ways as appropriate.

The second “marketing myth” I’d mention is the PC card (that’s Politically Correct, not Personal Computer). Some marketers think there’s a need to be PC in their communications due to potential backlash from certain activist organizations. But, this is really a matter of taste, and what’s on or off brand. We live in an era where no matter what you do, you will always offend someone — you can’t please everyone. As marketers, our job is to generate awareness and attention for brands. If it’s Ron Burgundy throwing eggs at a Dodge Durango, you’ll likely get someone from some food activist organization to find it offensive, but you can’t let that hinder your judgment on what’s right for the brand. The right consumer will accept it, which is primary, and any debate about food conservation will become secondary. Lastly, take Cheerios and their interracial ad that had conservatives cringing. Are you kidding me?! And how did Cheerios respond? By taking out Super Bowl spots (for the first time in forever) to air more of these so-called controversial ads. I love it! My advice: If worried about creating controversy, watch what Cheerios has and will be doing. A family brand that’s taken a so-called risk that is completely tasteful and on brand, and made people really think about what’s a fact of life versus a controversy.

My two cents…