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Designed Two New Shirts
|| 10/20/2010 || 5:30 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Screen grab of the two t-shirts I designed

Earlier this month as a birthday present to myself I decided to design two new shirts for myself. The shirt design on top contains the emblem from the 1622 edition of Kepler’s Mysterium cosmographicum which says Gloria Immortalis Labore Parta. The other shirt design is of a little girl from a random newspaper advertisement from 1905 who kind of look like the Morton Salt girl. I think a present for Christmas is in the works :-)



Give Me Some %20 (space) – An HTML Code T-Shirt Design
|| 3/17/2010 || 10:36 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Give Me Some Space By Nikolas Schiller

Following in the same vein as my previous code-based t-shirts, this iteration uses the HTML character code for the spacebar, %20, as a figure of speech. Oftentimes when someone gives you a URL that includes a space between the characters, there is an automatic %20 that gets inserted. For example, http://nikolasschiller.com/example/this is awesome.jpg would automatically be converted to http://nikolasschiller.com/example/this%20is%20awesome.jpg because spaces in URLs are actually the HTML character code %20. Therefore the shirt above can be read two different ways: give me some space or give me some %20. For those without the basic understand of HTML, they’ll probably want to know what %20 is– a tax, a new band, 1/5 of something, etc. and for those who understand HTML, maybe they might take a step back.

Related Fashion Entries:

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A T-Rex Google Map On My Neighborhood Via Twitter
|| 3/15/2010 || 11:23 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

The other day I allowed Twitter to track my location. Much to my chagrin, the map that was created looks awful. At first I thought it looked like PacMan and now I’ve come to the conclusion that it looks like T-Rex, and that ‘T’ stands for Twitter.



My Urban Forest Project Submission: “Representation, Reforestation”
|| 1/15/2010 || 11:15 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Urban Tree Project: Washington, DC
From the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts & Humanities website:


This spring, The Urban Forest Project will plant 100 street banners by local designers and students in downtown Washington, DC. Each banner will use the form of, or metaphor for a tree, to make a powerful visual statement about the environment. Together they’ll create a forest of thoughtful images in the heart of the nation’s capitol. This project is being brought to Washington, DC as a platform to engage the public in the City’s environmental efforts.

A model of sustainability: The banners will be hung on city light poles in downtown Washington, DC during the spring of 2010 in celebration of Arbor and Earth Days. They will then be recycled into unique one-of-a-kind totebags designed exclusively for the project. Proceeds from the sales of the totebags will go to non-profit environmental efforts that help make Washington, DC a clean, green and sustainable city.

The brief is simple: Begin with the form, idea or a characteristic of a tree and use it to interpret and explore an issue around the environment that you feel is pressing, or an idea you find entertaining or intriguing. The only constraint is that the banner should not advertise a brand or product, nor endorse a particular political party. That’s it.

A short history: The Urban Forest Project was first executed in New York City’s Times Square in the fall of 2006. To learn more visit The Urban Forest Project website: http://www.ufp-global.com

Brought to you by: This project, conceived by Worldstudio, is being presented in Washington, DC in collaboration with: the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, AIGA DC and Corcoran College of Art and Design.


:: rendered at 10,000 x 6,000 pixels ::
My Urban Tree Project Submission: Representation, Reforestation

Programs Used: Bryce 5.5 to render the tree and Photoshop 7.0 for the layout
Font Used: Monaco


My Urban Forest Project Statement:
Citizens are like trees. The longer we live in a location the deeper our roots within the community grow. Unless, of course, you happen live in the District of Columbia. Here roots of civic pride are prevented from growing deep into the soil of democracy through the denial of representation in Congress. The lone tree at the center of this design is the State Tree of the District of Columbia, the Scarlet Oak, Quercus coccinea Inaequalis. Extending behind this solitary tree of liberty is a reminder that Reforestation, the act of replanting, or repopulating a terrain, is needed for Representation in this urban environment. 535 species is far too few species for the health & sustainability of America’s magnificent forests.


I had a Lorax submit my design last week and hopefully I’ll find out in the next few months if my tree was selected for this project.



Washington Monument Quilt #2
|| 10/22/2009 || 5:22 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

: rendered at 9,000 X 6,000 :
Washington Monument Quilt #2 by Nikolas Schiller

When the 2005 USGS aerial photography was released to the public in the spring of 2007 there were a few places that were censored through pixilation. On this blog I documented how the White House was censored. I documented how the U.S. Capitol was censored. And I even experimented with a QR-Code to show that the Washington Monument was censored. After doing some exploration within the newly obtained 2008 Washington, DC orthophotography, I discovered that the White House and the U.S. Capitol are STILL censored.

However, now that the construction of the new visitors center at the Washington Monument has been completed, which is the reason, I am told, why the Washington Monument was originally censored in the 2005 imagery, the imagery of the monument is now available without pixilation. Moreover, its the exact same imagery that is being used on Google Maps. While I expect to showcase the censorship of the White House & U.S. Capitol in some future entries, I decided to make make my first map of this new dataset of the Washington Monument because I wasn’t able to make it using the last batch of imagery.

To construct this map, I first rendered a full-size Hexagon Quilt Projection map using the original imagery, then sampled a portion of the resulting map, and used the sampled portion to create this derivative map. I chose to sample the portion in the first map because of two underlying aspects of the map. First, I really liked the way the shadows of the Washington Monument combined together. Secondly, I liked the way the apex of the Washington Monument was combined (see detail below) to create a pyramid. Over the years I have enjoyed playing with the notion of aerial & architectural chiaroscuro, as in, using shadows generated by buildings within the original aerial photography to create a new, larger shadow. This map embodies this ongoing design element perfectly.

View the Google Map of the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

: detail :

View the rest of the details:

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Twitter T-Shirt Design: “I PREFER TO BE FOLLOWED @USERNAME”
|| 8/24/2009 || 8:15 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

An Animated GIF of a t-shirt for Twitter Users

I recently saw a photo on-line of someone’s hand-written white shirt that basically said “follow me @USERNAME” and was inspired to modify his concept. Thus the image above is by no means an original design. However, I was looking through other t-shirts featuring roughly the same notion, and very few used the concept of following @USERNAME placed on the back side of the shirt. Most of the tacky shirts on customization websites merely mention that the wearer is on twitter or ‘huge or twitter,’ but since they are generic and don’t mention the user’s actual name, they have little practical use. In this design, the Twitter Bird (does she have a name?) extends the branding to visually legitimize the @USERNAME. Replace the stylized Twitter Bird with your company’s logo and, in theory, you’ve got a brand & social marketing t-shirt campaign. Or what about an entirely fake URL? “I PREFER TO BE FOLLOWED BY @JESUS” Or “I PREFER TO BE FOLLOWED BY @SPAM” By using an incorrect @USERNAME the wearer is poking fun at the nature of the website, but paradoxically advertising the @USERNAME. Since I joined Twitter I’ve taken issue with the lexical aspect of following people and while I’ll eventually start following (in name) people, I am curious about how this t-shirt design will slowly creep into the mainstream. On the other hand, I hope its not from people buying this shirt, which is cool in concept, but also somewhat aesthetically tacky.



[Found Map] Topographic window sign at Current Lounge & Sushi Restaurant
|| 7/9/2009 || 6:22 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

The other day I was walking by Current Lounge & Sushi Restaurant in Washington, DC and noticed that they were using contour lines as a visual design element on their window signs. On topographic maps, contour lines represent the vertical elevation change. The closer the contour lines are together on the map, the steeper the incline. Conversely, the more distance between contour lines, the flatter the topography.

In theory, the contour lines on the Current Lounge & Sushi Restaurant are supposed to represent the height of the three main area codes in the DC area- 202 (Washington, DC), 301 (Southern Maryland), and 703 (Northern Virginia), however, after looking over these “maps,” I don’t think the elevations are correctly shown. Check out the rest of the photos below:

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Domespace Versus The Dymaxion House
|| 11/8/2008 || 6:22 pm || Comments Off on Domespace Versus The Dymaxion House || ||

Undated photograph of the Dymaxion House

In November of 2007, I visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan with my family. Of all the exhibits that I saw, my favorite was Buckminster Fuller‘s Dymaxion House.

The house was conceived as way to help the airline industries transition away from airplane manufacturing in the post-World War Two era. The Dymaxion House was designed as a prefabricated metal house that could be delivered directly to buyers. Since it was only a prototype, there were only three were made and only the Dymaxion House at the Henry Ford Museum still survives.


The other day I stumbled on the Domespace building design and after watching the video videos below, I can help seeing the interesting parallels between the two designs.

They are both:
• Circular
• Internally customizable
• Prefabricated
• Environmentally friendly
• Can rotate along with the sun

However, there are some interesting differences:
• The Dymaxion House used aluminum for the exterior and much of interior furnishings
• The Domespace is constructed primarily out of wood
• The Dymaxion House was supported top down from one central pole
• The Domespace is built from the ground up
• The Dymaxion House is a relic of mid-twentieth technology
• You can buy the Domespace right now!


Watch these videos to get a better ideal of the design:


Présentation Domespace
Uploaded by Domespace-International

Solaleya Domespace NY TV Feature – World’s most extreme home
Uploaded by Solaleya

Someday I’d love to have a hybrid of the two houses on a big plot of land with a nice view :-)



Related Building Entries:

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A View of a Partially Decorated Kitchen Wall
|| 10/20/2008 || 1:24 pm || Comments Off on A View of a Partially Decorated Kitchen Wall || ||

I think the decorations are cute: a poster for kids showing the basic fruits & vegetables in written Arabic, a faux-antique plate, and a mandala dish. I don’t know where any of them are from or how they got to where they are at, but I am enjoying the random juxtaposition.



View of a House Party Censored By Colored Dots
|| 10/18/2008 || 7:33 pm || Comments Off on View of a House Party Censored By Colored Dots || ||

Friday night I went to a house party in Columbia Heights. During the party teenagers four houses down were throwing ice and eggs over the fence into the party. A couple of my friends went up to the back deck to escape the carnage. I took this picture and decided to add randomly colored circles over people heads as a way to remember the urban warfare. After all, they were all targets down there….





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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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