Tag Archives: personal

Sino-Urgic Easter eggs

19 Apr


Blog makeover.

31 Mar

Probably not the best time right now, but I decided to try and customize the whole blog with the sandbox theme.
It’ll look craigslisty for a while, bear with me.



New portfolio online.

29 Mar

I have a new portfolio, at http://cargocollective.com/caseywong which I have found to be the best portfolio service yet. I’ve tried carbonmade, and krop and wix, but cargo has been the most easy and attractive, and you the best value (for free). So far I’ve been uploading all my works in progress. I’ll upload my older projects and my photography as well, when I have the time.

ToDo: Green Living show

1 Mar

Part of my work at Sander Design includes the design and building of a unique fence to give a garden feel to the booth they are designing for this year’s Green Living Show.

Urban agriculture fence. The shelves also pivot to close the fence when you’re not growing anything, so that you can choose when you want to be social, and when you want to be private. The fence takes sprout and herb growing vertical. An important part of the design work for this project will be to test whether or not it’s worth it to grow plants out of the ground outside. Vertical growing is likely to become important in our urban setting, but I suspect that growing in the ground outdoor and in the sunlight yields more than container growing. I would like to find out how a healthy, robust rhizosphere could be nurtured in a container environment, given a limited soil depth and area.

The other, almost larger portion of my work will be to design/build a community harvest table for 20 people. The table will be a part of the Urban Forests booth, which will be shared by 10 environmental NGOs or ENGOS. I’m quite excited and nervous about this piece, because it will be built from irregular pieces of reclaimed, dredged from the bottom of the lake wood, and it will live in a public park in north Toronto called Ben Nobleman park. Growing For Green has planted a community orchard in the park, and the table will be used for sorting the harvest, picnics, events and so forth.

The Inuit are Canada’s Ninjas.

12 Dec

I’ve been fascinated by the Inuit for many years now. On the West Coast, we grew up with stories of the Haida, the Salish.  We learned of their cedar clothes and boxes, how they lived in cedar homes and cooked with heated rocks in cedar pots, and how they foraged and hunted.  The city has long since replaced the rainforests of the aboriginal time, but examples of it can be found less than an hour from downtown.  The point is, the first nations people didn’t have the same draw for me, because they were here, and BC is not the hardest place to survive, by any stretch of the imagination.  The arctic, however, is cold, barren and hostile.  In my eyes, it was a huge feat to survive up there. The ingenuity of the northern people amazed me, and their stories ( the real stories, not their myths, which I can talk about later) were legendary to me.

An example is the grandfather who hated the sedentary life that his family had adopted. So he snuck out, made a knife by freezing and shaping his poo, killed a dog and made a dogsled out of the skin and bones, and then harnessed the other dogs to it and vanished into the snow.

Personally the best and smartest thing is how they used to make the runners for their dogsleds.  Before steel and milled wood, dog sleds were made from walrus bone and drift wood. The bottoms of the runners were not guaranteed to be flat.  So the way they made it flat, was with moss and ice and fish. The moss and the fish acted like rebar to strenghten the ice, but also to fill in the gaps of the structure, be it bone or gnarly driftwood.  The ice was applied slowly, layer by layer by spitting water in a mist, and then buffing with a scrap of fur.  The result was a strong, straight runner.  The best part, however, is that that fish would keep all winter, and in the spring, when things were tough, the fish would thaw and they could eat it.  BRILLIANT.

Watch Wade Davis on TED talk about Cultures at the far edge of the world, and the story of the Inuit elder and his poop knife.

Environmental Health Clinic

11 Dec

In November I had the opportunity to visit and speak at the Environmental Health Clinic in NYU’s Steinberg school, which is run by Natalie Jeremijenko.  The clinic deals with regular people’s concerns about the health of the environment, and through a consultation, they devise various experiments and interventions to both measure the health of the environment. The photo above was taken immediately after the talk. I had been drafted into the Imaginary Airforce to retrieve a dead woodpecker for examination. Why are we triking across Manhattan to retrieve a dead woodpecker? I’m just a draftee they don’t tell me these things The X Clinic or Environmental Health Clinic is researching bird wings to better build a flight simulator to allow people to experience flight viscerally again.  As commercial flight is a completely insulated experience, so simulated flight via the Strap on Flight Trainer [sorry I have a huge problem with this name. I think wearable is a much less alienating name.  I get the point, of course, but I don’t think it adds to the project] is experienced completely via the body, on a one to one basis.  That we should experience things physically should not be anything special, but these days the technological and digital mediation of experience is getting such that purely physical experiences are becoming academic.

I had a short discussion with Natalie about methods to construct this flight trainer in larger numbers.  The current design is fine for a beginner, but I also see limitations on finer controls. Control surfaces should be operated via the fingers in an advanced model, and perhaps a skin and bone construction.  I will try to find some time for modeling and prototyping in the New Year.

The dream that I dared not dream. Personal flight.

4 Nov

Do Birds Envy Anyone?

I don’t know, but all of us envy birds.  From the very beginnings, flight and imaginings of flight have drawn us forward.

It’s not very Taoist of me to envy birds for their flight, but is it really crazy for us to yearn to fly?  If those crazy individuals had not risked their lives and fortunes in the early days of flight, how would the development of flight looked like?  Certainly we would not have had the early weaponization of airplanes, and the subsequent commercialization/isolation of flight from the individual.

Experiments in personal flight, from Lego models to Second Life to real life.


Second Life Moewe Glider.