I’m happy to be teaching another pop-up class this quarter at the d.school. Co-teachers, Carissa Carter, Scott Witthoft and I will explore alternative ways to get to the meaning and insights that are the lifeblood of innovative products.


You can’t get to breakthrough innovation by being safe. Artists are versed in going to vulnerable places in search of meaning, truth, and beauty. This class will approach a design problem from an artist’s perspective and utilize design thinking as a way to enhance the craft, aesthetics, meaning and ability to provoke thought. Students will make objects using a highly constrained medium in response to a topic area. We will then discuss the artifacts and explore the connection between design thinking and the creative process. No prior artistic ability is required for the class, but you will need to come prepared to think with your hands and explore objects and challenges in new ways.

November 4, 5, 6th


Studio 1




I live in Oakland. I work in Mountain View at Intuit. For those of you who have done this kind of commute, you know how exhausting, soul-crushing and just maddening it can be.  And given that Intuit’s offices are right on the bay, it’s probably not surprising that I’ve had fantasies about commuting by water. After all, it’s a bit more direct if I were to go from Alameda to the wetlands, just off Shoreline. I thought about taking a Zodiac or a hovercraft. Neither of which I own. I heard about some folks at Google who bike from SF to Mountain View. I think there’s even something called the Golden Ride that where you go to Half Moon Bay, then over the hill to Google. But I’m not into biking.

But there has to be a better way to get to work. So this August I’m going to Stand Up Paddle board from Alameda to the Intuit offices in Mountain View. I’m trading in Waze and Google Maps for a nautical chart, tides tables and a lot of sunscreen. It’s my Aqua Commute 2013.

Here’s the plan.

  1. Leave from Alameda around 6am – 8am (depending on my speed – which I’ll test.)
  2. Paddle through the relatively shallow eastern side of the bay where the currents will be minimal to the point where the San Mateo Bridge Crosses the Easter side of the channel.
  3. Take advantage of the currents all the way down past the Dumbarton Bridge
  4. Get out at the East Palo Alto put in.

Right now, I’m targeting August 22nd since there’s going to be a strong flood tide that day with the max current sometime around 2pm. That should give me the most time to take advantage of it.

I don’t expect to get much work done after the 22+ mile paddle, but I think it’s going to be so much fun.

Total Distance: Approximately 22.5 miles

Expected time: 6-8 hours

DSC02057-800I’m excited to announce that we’ve finally launched Hummus Apparel. I’m one of the c0-founders. I’ve been working on this with two friends from work on our nights and weekends. After a ton of prototypes, epic fails and a whole lot of fun, we launched our first major product, the Booyah Belt.

We’re pretty excited about it.

Please support us and help spread the hummus!




shed-studioFor some context, I am launching an apparel company with a few friends from work. It’s been a ton of work, really fun, and more educational than I expected.
A few nights ago I was sewing the samples for our first major prototype. Ordinarily working late when I could be inside with my partner would be a drag. But this work is different. For me, the act of making, and more specifically, sewing, connects me to so many people that I love. There’s my mom, the quilter, who first taught me how to sew.  My dad’s side of the family who weathered the depression by making blouses. Gaza Bowen, who taught me how to make shoes as well as what it means to truly be an artist and craftsperson. My friends from grad school who continually inspire me with their wit and creativity.  As the sewing machine beats out it’s rhythm, I feel that all those folks are there with me. And it’s pretty great to feel that connected.

I’m excited to be running through a demo on how to build Ballet Flats at Maker Faire again this year. For those of you that don’t want to wait until May, you can view the break down of the demo from a prior post. Looking forward to seeing folks!

Buy Tickets to Maker Faire Today!

I’ve been having a blast working on a variety of side projects recently. Carissa Carter, Scott Witthoft and have been doing something called Make March. It’s been a great excuse to bring separate projects together with a unifying theme, then sell them on Etsy. The real product is the excuse to find time to work together, share ideas and benefit from each other’s insight, support and creativity.

Here’s a prototype of the belt buckles I’m working on.


I’m a bit obsessed with beautiful lines.
For this pair of shoes, I’m experimenting with ways of combining functional and non-functional straps. With the right material, I’m hoping that these will have a playful bounce as the woman walks along.

I used the sole design that I’d created on our 3d printer to test these out, but one could easily do a similar thing with a hacked pair of clogs.



Now that we have a 3D Printer at work, I’ve been revisiting some of the work I started in grad school around modular shoes. After muddling through AutoCad’s 123D Design this weekend I created this version that I’m planning to print tooday. (and maybe tomorrow – this is going to take a while).

My hope is that it’ll be a great platform for experimenting with modular shoes in a far more controlled setting that the hacks to existing shoes that I shared in the Craft article a few years ago. Stay tuned.

lasting-boot a video by tmaiorana on Flickr.

Time-lapse of a lasting a prototype boot that I’m working on for my father.

Recent Tweets