Archive for July, 2010

Sketch number 011 of my 365 in 365 challenge above. I encourage you to be inspired today. If you have vision, and passion for what you do…and if you are committed to what you do and who you are…and listen to others… you can change the world!

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This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

salt and pepper, shakers, thinking insomniac, van, design

Salt and Pepper Shaker for Teachers

Sketch number 010 of my 365 in 365 challenge above. Salt and pepper shakers I designed based on the recognizable tools of teachers when chalk and dusters were used. The duster contains the pepper, and the stick of chalk, the pepper.  Hope you enjoy!

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This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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009/ 365


Sketch number 009 of my 365 in 365 challenge above. I think in shapes a lot..shapes, rhythms, lines, proportions…if this inspires you today…I am glad. Hope it brings something to you.

I saw a beautiful project today, the Fish House by Guz Architects, and thought I would share it with you. It is a very nice project in Singapore…very rich in detail, and the photographs are exquisite. The open spaces, natural ventilation, water features, rhythm, materials, color, elements. Well done!

I would also like to share with you today’s post by Why Not Start Now? Patty talks about dancing with heart. I found it to be a good way to start the day. Why not try doing as much as you can with heart? Sink into what you are doing, so that you have fun and give, give, give. If you’re doing a drawing, a detail, thinking of a design concept, writing a post…do it with your heart. Start with your heart, connect with it.

I am extremely playful, and I try to enjoy everything I do. If I enjoy it, then I can sell it much better than if I don’t. Try to infuse your work with heart, and play…expand your creativity and avenues to get your juices flowing. Get outside every now and again with your fellow employee, employer, kids…whoever. Why not just grab a ball, go outside and ask the first person you see to toss some with ya! Take a break, dance, and play. As creators and designers, I don’t think we should ever stop playing…that’s the secret to the sauce!

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This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

world cup 2010 spain netherlands holland espana

World Cup 2010 Winners - Spain

I would like to congratulate Spain and the Netherlands on a nail biting World Cup finale of “almost” goals and a fight to the finish. It was for me, one of the best finales. It was filled with excitement, some terrible fouls (kung fu), hard running, tackling, ball possession, technique…it was fantastic!

Spain persevered and got the winning goal in the end. I did not want this game to go into penalty kicks AT ALL, because we all know penalty shoot outs can be very unfair and does not indicate who really played the better ball. Well done Netherlands, you all put up a great fight (De Jong, keep your studs down next time please…this is football, not martial arts).

Puyol, my goodness, you are indeed a warrior! You fouled Robben I thought…but you go all out buddy…just awesome! Robben, I feel your pain…I was speechless that neither of those two chances converted. Well done though.

Casillas, fantastic work. Iniesta, good ball playing throughout, great goal. Xavi, Villa, Navas….congrats!

To all football lovers everywhere…we had a great world cup of great upsets and a great finale.. What the hell will we look forward to now? It was a great fete!

thinking insomniac netherlands spain world cup sketch cartoon

Wish you the best!


I am a football fan (yes football…or soccer if you prefer). I look forward to Sunday afternoon for a great game of skill, technique and determination. Who wants it more? The Dutch, or the Spanish? I always root for good football first…whoever plays the better game, I’m all for that. I will be supporting the Dutch on Sunday however. I grew up watching great players like Ruud Gullit, and Marco van Basten to name a few. I also have a couple very close dutch friends, and if all of Holland is like them…they deserve to win! Gijs, and Licia, I will be rooting for you!

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thinking insomniac, get me outta here, cartoons,

"Just get me outta here!!!!!"

006/ 365

Sometimes we feel like this… Just wanted to encourage you to keep your chin up. Surround yourself with positive people who encourage you. Continue doing meaningful work, and remember that YOU CAN.

information spreading hoarding thinking insomniac cartoons

Do you share or hoard information and knowledge


My post today deals with the sharing of knowledge. Are you a sharer or a hoarder of knowledge? In one of my previous posts “Share, Create, Ideate, and Be Positive”, I mentioned some knowledge sharers I have the privilege of knowing. In that post, I spoke of the importance and value of sharing. I also wondered what you do when your environment contains a majority who do not share.

If you had to place yourself in the above chart…where would you fall? Where would you say your company, city, region, or country falls? Some are against the sharing information for fear of it being copied, or used against them. Others seem to think, “I didn’t have help, so why should I help you…figure it out like I did.” Is your usual response to someone asking you for information, “I don’t know,” when you do know?

The point is to offer solutions to the world and help those who need it. Pass on good news to others, they may benefit from it. Stop being the Ebenezer Scrooge of knowledge and information. The more people know, the more they want to know, the more inquisitive they are, the more informed they are, the more they are likely to trade information with those who share.

One of my favorite writers, Seth Godin, in his blog post today talks about making customers smarter and spreading information. Have a read, and begin sharing knowledge with your customers, family, friends, etc, you will see the difference it can make in your life, and someone else’s. Read another one of my favorite writers, Tom Peters brief post “Little BIG Things – Ways to Pursue Excellence #167: Become a Student of “Helping.” Become a “Professional” Helper.” Hope you see the big picture…help others, in all you do make your goal be to help others. Fellow architects, designers, artists, bloggers, writers, share your knowledge and experience with others.

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This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Campo Volantin Table design thinking insomniac calatrava sanitago van

Campo Volantin Table

I have been experiencing designers’ block the past few days. Boy oh boy! I had to post a table design I did 3 or 4 years ago, the inspiration of which is the Campo Volantin Pedestrian Bridge by Santiago Calatrava in Bilbao, Spain (design details not included). The detailing of the bridge is great. I back-packed throughout Europe for 6 weeks in 2005. It was one of the BEST times in my life…and seeing Calatrava’s work was really great. His details and connections are worthy of much study and examination. See the photo below which  took while on my trip.

thinking insomniac calatrava bridge spain van

Campo Volantin Pedestrian Bridge by Santiago Calatrava

Gorgeous isn’t it?!
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thinking insomniac sharing knowledge

" time to share knowledge"

I write this post today due to my past and present experiences. I’ve been privileged to be in the company of ideators, and thinkers who share knowledge, who hold nothing back. Boy have I been lucky!

The first person who impressed this upon me was one of the best architects (my favorite Caribbean architect), Colin Laird. I would go to his office and read, make models, draw, etc. I would go to his office everyday and just DO, and learn. He would pay me (which I never asked for), but was still grateful for.

All I wanted from him was knowledge…boy did I admire him, and I still do. He is one of the greatest humans I have ever met. I have known Colin now for more than 13 years and he has been there for me, and continues to share his knowledge with me. That is greatness! That is his legacy, and I will always share and tell the world what a giving man Colin Laird is.

Another great sharer is Bob Massa, of whom I have spoken of previously. Bob is a fascinating man! He has an amazing sense for business, strategies, and runs an extremely successful SEO business. He is the Searchking! He shares his stories, experiences, and knowledge with me. He welcomed me to the world of online business, strategies, knowing your product and your market. Bob and I would sit and chat for hours at night into the next morning discussing ideas, and strategies. I look forward to those days again. His creative mind, his positive thinking, and great ideas are infectious. He is a teacher (although he will deny it).

Another sharer is Gijsbert Koren, an industrial designer. Gijs and I would stay up for hours researching, thinking and talking about ideas, looking at cool designs, just poring over the internet, books, we could go on forever! I mentioned him before here.

Alex Muspratt-Williams is my other sharer. He is a product designer with a wealth of experience. He has worked with IKEA, Motorola, and Ross Lovegrove on his famous organic bottle for Ty Nant Water to name a few. He now works at Tupperware. Alex, Gijs and I talked a lot about design, our experiences, and we had each others’ backs. We all encouraged each other. My constant idea exchanges with Alex and Gijs spurned my appreciation and love of product design. In fact, Gijs and I entered a competition together and we were one of the winning teams.

Devesh Dodeja is another creator, ideator, and sharer who inspired me. The long talks, the crazy ideas, massaging them, the late night pow wows with him and Bob, which went straight into breakfast at the Grand Bhagwati. Thanks for being that kind of person Devesh. Great times!

That’s how you get better, by surrounding yourself with those better, and smarter than you are. However, what do you do when you are in an environment where those better or “smarter” than yourself do not want to share their knowledge and information? I am trying to figure that out. That deep pool of creative people who loved to share changed me. It infected me. We are not all in the same geographic location anymore, so those late nights talking are no more. What does one do in an environment where those around them are not forth-coming with information? Where people hoard knowledge, and choose to not share? What does one do? Can anyone out there tell me? I really do not know what to do.

I will always share with others, especially those who will do the same and share. I stand on the shoulders of those giants who shared with me. I have had that privilege and sharing knowledge is a powerful thing. Colin, Bob, Gijsbert, Devesh and Alex (to name a few), keep up the great work. Don’t stop sharing, you all have taught me the value of teaching and just sharing ideas. I want to urge everyone, don’t be selfish with your ideas, because someday someone will think of it.

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cosmic love 003/365 thinking insomniac van

Cosmic Love

I love dancing. I find it such a beautiful art form. The spaces, the emotions, the concepts, I am really moved by dance, music and architecture. In fact, by thesis was on Music and Architecture. Last night I was watching one of my favorite dance programs and a couple performed a contemporary dance. The concept of the dance was that the girl is broken, she can’t stand on her own, she can’t move by herself and so the guy is her backbone, her spine, and she must trust him. They intertwine, relying on each other coming together to be one. It was a great piece, and danced wonderfully. She was fluid and he was strong. There were moments of quiet and softness, then explosive moments. The spaces, forms, movements, strength, femininity, masculinity, softness…it all worked!

I was moved to try capturing this performance on paper. The red lines are the motions that my mind, eyes, and hand captured of the young lady’s graceful movements. The black, of the young man’s movements through the piece. It is called cosmic love because that was the name of the song they danced to, sung by Florence + The Machine. I thank all artists for the emotions they bring to their work, it is such a powerful thing.