For those of us who are still slightly baffled by the Internet -- and even for jaded digerati -- the MONOcrafts site is magic. It's the bunny that disappears into a top hat to end up squealing in the third row.... [more]
For those of us who are still slightly baffled by the Internet -- and even for jaded digerati -- the MONOcrafts site is magic. It's the bunny that disappears into a top hat to end up squealing in the third row. Magic.
Even the front page of MONOcrafts' site provides potentially endless entertainment. To the tender sounds of keyboard tapping and computer bleeps, a series of text-filled gray boxes wraps across your screen and grows, shrinks, slows down, and speeds up in perfect accord with the movement of your mouse. This inventive, snaky entity is actually the table of contents -- the TOC of the technological revolution. Like everything else at MONOcrafts, it is user-interactive, reacting to both keyboard and mouse. But most importantly, everything on this site is beautiful. Grayscale monochromatic backdrops show macro and aerial views of landscapes. The site displays all the subtle nuances and contemplative atmosphere of traditional Japanese brushwork.
Enhancing the gorgeous design schemes are nifty toys like Typolauncher, a program designed by MONOcrafts that allows users to move their mouse so characters appear from mid-air onto the screen. The characters smartly assemble themselves
into words, sentences, a greeting, and a semi-explanation of the design team's mission. The wizard behind the scenes in this Tokyo studio is Yugo Nakamura; his "passion" is "exploring new forms of expression in networking situations" -- and new ways of communicating on the Internet.
A particularly engaging example of MONOcrafts' work is the Nervous Matrix. It's a reproduction of the Mona Lisa in her virginal unaltered form -- except for the number grid hovering above her face. The "8" key represents the bridge of her nose, "7" and "9" for the eyes, "2" for the lips, and "3" for a dimple. A gentle stroke of the keyboard turns Mona into jello. Her eyes enlarge to grapefruit size and then shrink into grapenuts. Her lips swell up, forcing her nostrils to flare while her eyes recede to the corners of her forehead. Thin her, fatten her: she won't stop smiling.
MONOcrafts ingeniously challenges the ways we communicate and interact with computers -- and ups the stakes on what is possible, entertaining, and ambitious. [show less]