Project Runway for Computer Nerds

Yahoo Hack Day = Amazing. Some of the most prominent people in technology were there, and they would come right up and talk to us. We saw the creator of PHP, atleast one of the cocreators of flickr (I didn't see the other), co-founder of Yahoo, etc.,etc. Fashion largely influences how we see the world (i.e. trends and styles trickle down to influence the look of every product). And the people we were hanging out with, and eating pizza, influence how we function through the technology we use. I saddly must admit that we went a bit fan girl on David Filo and took a photo with him (he's the only celeb. I've asked to take a photo with). Meeting so many talented people, talking with them, listenning to their ideas ...

A competition: 24 hours to create a new way to use Yahoo applications. A team of three: Emily Albinski, Audrey Roy, and myself. We decide to integrate Yahoo applications into a more tangible interface, a purse. The purse has GPS, wired to a basic stamp (microcontroller) which counts the steps. Once 20 steps (or some amount of steps) are taken, the triggers a cell phone to take a photo. The photo is sent to flickr, and uploaded onto a blog. Location is monitored via gps and zone tag. Thus: At the end of the day, you can look at your blog and trace back through your steps by viewing photos of where you have been and their locations.

Basically it's a prototype of a purse that takes photos for your blog. Thus since it is a prototype and was made quite quickly, it doesn't look exactly as we would like it too, and the tech isn't as efficient as it could have been.

Here is the site, very much in alpha (if even that): www.BloggingInMotion.com.

The idea for Blogging In Motion was adapted from the Heartbeat Hoodie concept. Heartbeat Hoodie was never able to load photos to the internet in realtime. Watching Blogging in Motion work, was an especially joyous occasion for me because it is a concept that I'd had in mind for a long time. It never would have come to fruition if there wasn't a great team of people working together (Yahoo Research Berkley even made us a special version of zone tag thanks to Jeannie Yang and Simon King!).

And also, we won!

Tomorrow, I'm going to blog my freelance job at GAP Body!

Yay Team: Jeannie Yang, Caleb Haye, Tara Kirchner, Me, Audrey Roy, Emily Albinski, Eric Wu,Niels Joubert(not pictured: Dean Eckles and Simon King)


Photo Credit: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid - laughing squid hosts Black Box Nation (crazy that they took our photo), freshelectrons, jeannie, avatara

Questions, Comments, Concerns



Hack Day comes with a private Yahoo Beck concert.


Beck Bowl Banging: My favorite part of the concert. + I like how he moves his head from side to side when he sings/talks? Post show we explained our project to him. He wished us luck.





I don't often get to walk down the red carpet, but when I do, it's like an instant ego boost. Everyone calls out your name and asks you to look at them ("Diana look over here, look to your right, look straight ahead, Diana, Diana, Diana"). It gives me the sense of faux popularity, "Ooo, I'm famous, but not really because right before I walked on the carpet, this nice guy named John went along and introduced me to all of the press."

I was feeling really great about myself and until I got to the end of the carpet. There was a man with his camera pointed right at me so I stop and pose. Then the man, says, "No, move out of the photo, you are in the way of my shot." I was so embarrassed. Apparently he was taking a photo of the empty red carpet. I'm not sure why, but there was no one on it and I was ruining the emptiness.

Photos courtesy of Ghetty Images, WireImage, and Brad Walsh

Your embarassing moments


The Victoria Secrets PINK Pajama party
D-list celebrity embarrassing moments on the red/pink carpet



Official website release! Our company website is officially up and running. If you use firefox and have viewed the site before, please go to tools--->options and clear your cache in order to view updates.




Project Runway Premeire Party
Here's me poking the giant pin cushion full of designers' heads.

I liked Katherine
of season 3. She wore
sneakers to the launch
party. I feel a special
RISD affinity for her.
She was a senior when I was
a sophomere. So I helped to
dress her fashion show. And
she wasn't one of the mean
attitudy designers and didn't
boss us around. Also Keith
bought me a drink, Malan
invited me to watch the show at
his house, and Alison was super
cute and stole the giant pin
with her head on it.

Would you poke the giant pin cushion too?


3JUL06 Shot with Polaroid Propak Camera in an apartment in Brooklyn
Your thoughts, comments, etc.



Now for sale!
Electronic component jewelry designed by Diana Eng and Emily Albinski


Reed Switch (single pole, normally open)
an electrical switch that is turned on and off when it passes by a magnetic field.

Purchase at: www.BlackBoxNation.com


Reed Switch (single pole, normally open)
an electrical switch that is turned on and off when it passes by a magnetic field.

Purchase at: www.BlackBoxNation.com


3/16amp 250volt slow-blow fuse
an electrical safety device consisting of or including a wire or trip of fusible metal that melts and interrupts the circuit when the current exceeds a particular amperage.

Purchase at: www.BlackBoxNation.com


2amp 125volt slow-blow fuse
an electrical safety device consisting of or including a wire or trip of fusible metal that melts and interrupts the circuit when the current exceeds a particular amperage.

Purchase at: www.BlackBoxNation.com


20mm 150 ohm speaker

Purchase at: www.BlackBoxNation.com


BLACK BOX NATION fashion show at Maker Faire-
Some clippings from the show and many thanks to the models and crew!

What would you have shown? Questions, comments, and concerns


your comments




WANTED: As you know, we will be having a Black Box Nation fashion show at Maker Faire. In addition, we will have a booth to sell our fashion and technology wears/wares. We are looking for folks to help us manage our booth while we are preparing for the show. In exchange we will give our helpers jewelry or a signed fashion sketch and possibly free passes to the fair. If you will be in the San Mateo CA area Sat/Sun April 22-23 and would be interested in helping please contact us at Black.Box.Nation@gmail.com. Include your name, number, website (if you have one), times when you could help out, and tell us a bit about yourself. PLEASE HELP US!

SKETCHES for our Maker Faire fashion show: These are two of the new jewelry products for Black Box Nation. Since we are probably not supposed to send the models out wearing only our jewelry, I made these quick sketches to help us figure out the models' "looks" (what they should wear).

15APR05 MAN OUR BOOTH GET FREE FASHIONTECH and the problem with clothing models

Questions, Comments, Concerns


Look, there's Diana Eng and Emily Albinski. Four years ago they took an electronics for artists class together. Diana was intimidated by Emily's speedy circuit building skills, and Emily thought it was neat that Diana was helping the other students with their basic programs. So they joined forces and created the inflatable dress.

Now they are building things together in preparation for their Maker Faire fashion show where they will reveal their latest project, Black Box Nation. They've been creating rubber molds to cast resin. Emily has been etching circuits on everything she owns, cd's, records, glass. Diana is afraid Emily will die early from too much exposure to hazardous chemicals.

join the collective




What I said at WYSIWYG
The entire speech all typed out for you
Hi, I am Diana, I am a c-list or more probably a D-list celebrity from Project Runway season 2. In case you aren't familiar with the show, Project Runway is a reality TV show for fashion designers. In each episode, we create an oufit, have a runway show, and the person with the weakest outfit is eliminated.

As with all reality TV, everyone is sort of characterized. I was the "techy" or "nerdy" person on the show. Which means that they went to extra lengths to portray my awkwardness. They showed lots of clips of me adjusting my glasses ::adjusts glasses::, rubbing my eye ::rubs eye behind glasses::, picking up the wrong color marker…

However, I was thrilled to have this role. While fashion designer by profession, I am basically a big computer nerd. I've been programming since I was 8, was an international science fair participant, and never really thought about boys until I was 19.

I did encounter some difficulties as a nerd wanting to enter the fashion industry. The main difficulty being that I wore the basic nerd uniform of free t-shirt from software company/old science fair, tucked into high waist jeans, topped of with a belt and hiking boots. I never wore make up, always wore glasses and I also managed to find a hair product that made me look like I had greasy hair when it was otherwise quite clean.

Thus, in my first few fashion designing classes, my classmates were constantly trying to give me make-overs. They would take away my glasses, leaving me blind, give me new hair and the occasional clip on earrings.

I would get little lectures from folks about how if I couldn't dress myself, I couldn't expect a company to hire me to dress their customers.

Their advice was quite true and has helped me find my way to Project Runway. Which has led to my current status as very, very minor celebrity.

Of course being a very minor celebrity computer nerd fashion designer means that I get all sorts of interesting fanmail ranging from propositions from men old enough to be my father, to a death threat, to letters written completely in L337. "L" "3" "3" "7." The secret hacker code which consists of numbers such as 3 used to represent letters such as E. Meaning that I get a big mish-mash of letters and numbers in an email that is completely unintelligible to myself.

My favorite fanmail, was sent by a mail admirer who included a photograph of himself dressed as a robot. He had all the robot parts except for the parts that should have been covering his essential bits ::gestures towards essential bits::. He had robot arms, robot legs.... but then he was bare chested with poorly photoshoped in muscles and below that that were his exposed guy parts! To top it off, he had coated his body in a horribly glistening oil. And after a few years of nude figure drawing, I noticed that he had photoshoped a few inexistent muscles onto his glistening torso.

I sort of admired his creativity. The robot parts seemed made of tin foil, Wrigley's spearmint gum wrappers and duct tape. But the nakedness was just too much.

Despite all of my lovely fanmail, I have to say that my favorite part of having been on Project Runway is that I can now wear my glasses to cool people places. Cool people places are clubs, bars, etc. places I used to wear make-up and contacts to in attempts to look my very best. However, now it is more advantageous for me to wear my glasses increasing my chances of having folks recognize me.

Of course, I only had to go on national television to make wearing my glasses cool.



Tonight I will be participating in a blog reading at
The WYSIWYG Talent Show.
I think I will be reading
about how I went from nerd to fashion designer. I'll
write about how it goes tomorrow!








suggestions, comments, concerns?


22FEB Reunion Show
During reunion filming, we made everyone pile out of the van in from of the Red Lobster to grab this candid.

Andrea at Red Lobster for another charming evening with a new companion, Emmett. Tim was reportedly heard saying, "What happened to Andrea?" Hee hee, just kidding!

who would you take to Red Lobster?


Your comments, thoughts, ideas



I showed mathematical knits, two knit pieces that use number patterns to dictate how their decorative structures are knit (using holding and lace techniques). Pleasing aesthetics are commonly based on mathematical proportions. The proportions relate to number patterns. This collection was designed to investigate if number patterns can be used to create design elements. You may also notice that the creations are more commercial. So these design elements can actually be worn.

The technique would take me too long too explain, so I opt to describe the math patterns. The scarf uses a mixture of different odd number patterns spliced together. More interesting is the fringe of the knit jacket. I used the Fibonacci number pattern which naturally produces a ruffle. While other number patterns that increase will create a ruffle (sooner or later depending on how the pattern increases), Fibonacci creates a more pleasing one in correct porportions.

The neat part is that the Fibonacci jacket was modeled by Shawna Speltz, a middle school math teacher. It's kinda all sorts of cool to be a teacher and a model in your spare time.

clockwise (starting at top left)- Vincent Leclerc with Accouphene a jacket that allows the wearer to modulate the sounds by placing his hands close to embroidered speakers at various distances and speeds; Alyce Santoro's Sonic Fabric in designs by Boring Inc.; myself and model Nadia practicing at rehearsal; two of three producers, Nick Knouf and Christine Liu; Heartbeat Hoodie; Ayah Bdeir's Arabiia explores the stereotypes of the Arab woman. The mechanically converts from a sensual bellydancer's outfit to a Burka when certain sensors are triggered; talking backstage with David Lu
photo credit and special thanks to- James Patten and Cati Vaucelle

your lovely comments