Simon Griffee
Design consulting, art direction, photography.

August 2016

Tree by South Field East, Columbia University, New York City, July 2016

Published 2016 August 31 is Ready #

The elegant self-hostable open source web app platform is ready for use. Congratulations to the team! #

Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science.

5th Avenue, New York City, September 2015

Published 2016 August 30

Washington Square West, New York City, June 2016

Published 2016 August 30

United Nations Visitor Center, New York City, August 2016

Published 2016 August 29

Drawing of Sputniko!, Butler Library, Columbia University, New York City, August 2016

Published 2016 August 27

Going to apply to Design Fiction @ MIT with Sputniko!!

Projects, Peers, Passion & Play #

Mitchel Resnick’s overview of the ideas underlying the work in the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten research group.

We want people to learn by work on projects, not just responding and filling out a worksheet, but work on projects where they design something and work on things that are meaningful to them.

The should do it with peers — we know that the best learning happens when we learn with and from other people around us, not just staying by ourselves.

We want people to work on things they’re passionate about — we know that people will work longer and harder and persist in the face of obstacles if they work on things they care about deeply.

And then play. When I say ‘play’, I don’t just mean playing games; I mean a type of attitude towards your interactions. When someone is playful in their interactions, that they’re doing things where they take risks, they test the boundaries, they try new things, they continuously experiment, and that’s the best way to develop as a creative thinker — by projects, peers, passion and play.

That’s the approach that we use here at the MIT Media Lab, and that’s what made the Media Lab, such an innovative place. It’s what’s worked in kindergarten, and now what we need to do is just take those ideas and help change the rest of the world.

Rewarding Disobedience #

Joi Ito:

How can we most effectively harness responsible, ethical disobedience aimed at challenging the norms, rules, or laws that sustain society’s injustices?

Douglas Engelbart, Inventor of the Computer Mouse #

In the early 1950s, he decided that instead of “having a steady job” – such as his position at NASA’s Ames Research Center – he would focus on making the world a better place. He reasoned that because the complexity of the world’s problems were increasing, and that any effort to improve the world would require the coordination of groups of people, the most effective way to solve problems was to augment human intelligence and develop ways of building collective intelligence.

Giardino degli Aranci, Rome, Italy, December 2013

Published 2016 August 25

8th Avenue Near 34th Street, New York City, June 2016

Published 2016 August 24

Washington Square West, New York City, June 2016

Published 2016 August 23

Moon and Fire, Beacon, New York, June 2016

Published 2016 August 21

Hand-made Coriolis Cuboctahedron Space Station!

I was inspired to make a Coriolis Space Station (a cuboctahedron) after seeing the recent Elite: Dangerous art book while reading The Hand by Frank R. Wilson (recommended to me by Milton Glaser).

A set of photos showing all build steps.

All the steps in one image.

The finished piece.

The finished piece not quite floating, but 🌟glowing🌟 in my workspace!

Update 2016-08-19: Comments from my high school graphics teacher :)

Tools and Materials

Build Process

  1. Three post-it notes.
  2. 002 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  3. 003 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  4. 004 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  5. 005 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  6. 006 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  7. 007 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  8. 008 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  9. 009 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  10. 010 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  11. 011 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  12. 012 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  13. 013 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  14. 014 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  15. 015 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  16. 016 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  17. 017 Coriolis Cuboctahedron
  18. 018 Coriolis Cuboctahedron

    Kepler City seen from a distance of ~8km in the HR244 system of the Elite: Dangerous simulator.

See you in space, Commander!

Cmdr Griffee

Update 2016-08-19

My high school graphics teacher, Master Alan Ceen's, reply:

2D net of a cuboctahedron.

It is much simpler with a little use of Graphics (remember Simon?) to obtain the 2D net for the Cuboctahedron.

Tools of the master.

And the instruments that did it in 12 minutes flat.

Broadway Near Madison Square Park, New York City, September 2015

Published 2016 August 16

Bar, Williamsburg, New York City, March 2016

Published 2016 August 16

42nd Street Near 8th Avenue, New York City, June 2016

Published 2016 August 15

Questions To Ask Potential Employers #

Select a few before your next interview.

Druid’s Den, Rome, Italy, March 2011

Published 2016 August 14

Odila, Simon, Pete, Back of Buxton Hill on Sunny Day, UK, 1981

Published 2016 August 12

Buddy Guy at the Filmore, San Francisco, California, February 2006

Published 2016 August 11

The Cage at West 4th Street, New York City, August 2015

Published 2016 August 10

Generating Fantasy Maps #

Elegant work.

Washington Square Park, New York City, August 2015

Published 2016 August 9

Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York City, August 2015

Published 2016 August 9

Fast and Accurate Document Detection for Scanning #

Impressive. See discussion on Hacker News.

Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York City, August 2015

Published 2016 August 8

5th Avenue, New York City, March 2015

Published 2016 August 7

The Value of Science #

Of all its many values, the greatest must be the freedom to doubt.

42nd Street Near 8th Avenue, New York City, July 2016

Published 2016 August 6

42nd Street and 7th Avenue, New York City, April 2016

Published 2016 August 3

The Gift #

The artist appeals to that part of our being… which is a gift and not an acquisition—and, therefore, more permanently enduring. —Joseph Conrad

I Vote Because I Exist #

Milton Glaser on why you should vote. See also: Art is Work and Lecture on Drawing.

Creating a Personal Website Using GitHub Pages

An octocat on a paper bag, colored pencil on brown paper bag.

The GitHub mascot is known as an 'octocat' — a cross between two very intelligent animals. I drew the one above for you, dear reader.

Summary: A brief overview of Git and GitHub followed by pointers to instructions on creating your own personal website hosted at for free.

Git & GitHub

Git is software for version control of files to help a person or a group of people do, publish and keep track of their work.1 One of the best things about Git is that it is free, open source software. This means that it will always be available regardless of whether a company still exists.

GitHub is a website that provides a good user interface for Git software. It is used by companies like Google — — Facebook — — and Apple — One of the people2 who created GitHub wrote a parable that helps us see how it works. One of, if not the best, thing about GitHub is it makes it easy for anybody to use Git!

You can easily create a website for free using GitHub and work on it alone or with other people (who have your permission), and publish it on or download it to your own computer or transfer it to other servers for editing, publishing or backup.3

Publishing Your Website With GitHub for Free

  1. Go to and create an account. Make note of the username you choose.
  2. Follow the instructions here: — once you are finished, your website will be visible at

Coming up next (you can sign up to my mailing list to receive posts by mail):

  1. Git was written by Linus Torvalds who also wrote the Linux operating system. ↩︎

  2. Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, PJ Hyett, and now, you! ↩︎

  3. Most of GitHub’s software is open source, too, but if you ever want to use another system (such as GitLab) you are free to take your work with you at any time. ↩︎

RIP Seymour Papert #

Logo was my first exposure to programming back in São Paulo. Goodbye, Seymour — I’ll never forget the turtle cursor! See also: Discussion at Hacker News and Scratch, which appears to be Logo’s spiritual successor.

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