Please briefly introduce yourself and your background
Here's our "official" bios:
Joseph Kosinski has designed and directed a number of award-winning digital short films including 'Desert H2Ouse' which was featured in both the RESFEST and SIGGRAPH film festivals; and 'iSPEC', which won an Autodesk iDesign Award and was featured in TEKKO Future Beautiful. He recently was selected for the ADC Young Guns as one of the most innovative people 30 or under working in design. He graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1996 and from Columbia University with a Masters of Architecture in 1999. Since then, he has taught Advanced Digital Design at Columbia and serves on the beta board for Discreet in the development of their next-generation design software.
Dean Di Simone has been the creative director and designer on a series of award-winning branding, print and interactive projects for both clients and KDLAB, and was featured in SIGGRAPH's Web Expo as creator of one of the 'finest web-graphics' works of 2003. Dean has also acted as Creative Director on exhibition designs for clients such as The Eyebeam Atelier, Nike and MoMA, where KDLAB was selected as a finalist in their Young Architects Program. With two undergraduate degrees from the University of Miami in 1991 [BS in Architectural Engineering, BS in Civil Engineering] and a Master in Architecture from Columbia University in 1999, Dean continues to engage academia through teaching. He has taught Advanced Digital Media at Yale University, Internet Protocols at Columbia University, and Information Culture at the University of Pennsylvania where he is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture. Dean has been invited to participate as juror in numerous international design competitions as well as speaking engagements focused on both architecture and new media.
What is KDLAB? What type of work do you do?
KDLAB is a small studio in Tribeca which has focused on a wide variety of design-oriented projects since its inception in 1999. Currently our focus is in two areas:
I am currently pursuing opportunities in the design and direction of commercials and music videos that incorporate both live action and digital elements. I recently directed another digital short for Nike titled 'EYE[D]' which will be released online this summer and just finished a project for Madonna's Re-Invention Tour.
Dean is designing a number of interactive online branding strategies for clients ranging from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design to photographer Camilo Vergara, in addition to collaborating with Ali Rahim on the design of his long-anticipated book due out later this year. He is also continuing to provide design and direction on motion graphics elements in all of KDLAB's animation, commercial, and music video work. In addition to working with Nike on the interface design of their contribution to Wired's 'NextFest' issue, Dean recently headed up the collaboration with Lynch / Eisinger / Design on a design and installation for Nike entitled 'The Genealogy of Speed' which just opened in Nolita.
How did Nike approach you for the Art of Speed project?
Nike dropped us an email early last summer which said we were being considered for an upcoming project and asked if we had any recent work to show. I had just wrapped up a 3D short called "iSPEC" which I sent out to them. A couple of months later, the invitation to participate in the Art of Speed arrived on DVD in a slick package.
Were you given complete freedom?
Pretty much -- the assignment was to interpret SPEED through RHYTHM/CADENCE. The only other requirements were that Nike had to be [or feel] present in the piece and it "should contain 3D rendering".
Explain your project. How did you come up with the concept?
I had just been turned on to this band from Chicago called TRS-80 and really liked a track they had called "I Am Energy" - it seemed like a perfect fit for this project. I did some investigation into the relationship between speed and energy and rediscovered Einstein's concept of "Time Dilation" - something which had always seemed fascinating to me. Basically it states that as you approach the speed of light, time seems to slow down for you, and speed up for everything else that isn't moving. The example commonly used describes a twin who boards a spacecraft and travels at an extremely high rate of speed to another planet. When that twin returns to earth, the twin who remained behind has aged significantly faster. That core concept was then re-interpreted for this project; rather than boarding a spacecraft, the twin puts on a pair of the new Nike racing shoes.
The whole concept of "les jumelles" or "the twin" served as a concept that guided all aspects of the piece from production design to the structure of the edit. If you look closely at the piece you'll see the idea of "the twin" in almost every shot.
How long did it take to create?
About 3 months from storyboards to final edit -- I was on it pretty much continuously during that time. Dean put almost 3 weeks into the intricate titles and motion graphics, and our frequent collaborator Oliver Zeller put 3 weeks of incredible modeling work in as well.
What were your inspirations in this piece?
Michael Kenna's photographs of Le Notre's gardens were a great starting point. Dean was inspired by Negreponte's writings on autonomous agents for the window's motion graphics.
Anyone you would like to thank?
Our contacts at Nike -- especially Topher Sinkinson and Chuck Patton.
All the people who helped out in the production -- Oliver Zeller, Dan Pak, Melissa Hilmer, Koji Higashino and Jay Rajeck.
Finally, Chris Buckley, Richard "dr." Baily, and Mark Romanek for their guidance along the way.
Nike was born from a track coach's obsession with making his runners faster. We exist because of the determination of one of those runners to bring the benefits of that obsession to athletes everywhere.
Speed has been a part of our DNA from the beginning. In our pursuit to help athletes attain ever greater speeds, we have studied, examined and dissected what makes one thing fast, and another not. We have explored the physics, mechanics and geometry of speed-as well as speed's psychology and aesthetics.
With the Art of Speed project, we sought an outside perspective, asking 15 digital artists to create their own visions of speed through a Nike lens. The artists themselves are as diverse as their results suggest, combining multi-media backgrounds in filmmaking, graphic design and architecture among others. They are featured here because of a trait they share with each other and with those of us at Nike: A desire to innovate and a willingness to push-and even cross-the boundaries of their craft.
Through their eyes we see 15 unique visions of what it is to be fast. It's both an exploration and a celebration of what speed means to the human experience.
Paul Petrunia is the founder/publisher of Archinect.com (1997) & Bustler.net (2006); the CEO of Extra Medium, Inc., and co-host of the weekly podcast Archinect Sessions. Paul studied arts and sciences at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. He then moved on to study architecture ...