Project Blue Sky

Project Blue Sky (November 2009 – April 2010)

We were awarded the Coca Cola “Living Positively” Award for this project. It was accepted by Dave Calder on behalf of the team.

My latest project has been helping out the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Sustainability and Social Innovation (or CSSI) on an Olympic Athlete inspired project called “Project Blue Sky“. The premise is to get people to walk, bike, or use public transit instead of their car to reduce their carbon footprint. By entering their distances into the widget they can see how, if everyone contributes, we can make a difference.

One of the big challenges for me was that I knew a lot of the theory of accessing databases, but only worked with one once before for a two week project. Furthermore, I didn’t have an artist to help me out and have not considered myself much of one. However, given the existing assets I feel I pulled off a decent job of using Adobe Photoshop on an old splash page of theirs to create backgrounds, logos, and buttons. (We removed the splash page as one of our first items of business since it stopped more users than brought them in)

Here is the project before I joined the project (November 2009) :

Project Blue Sky when I arrived

and here is the website currently (February 2010):

My Improvements to Project Blue Sky

Back-Country Skiing

I was fortunate enough to go back-country skiing in the Selkirk Mountain Range this past week. Back-country skiing is really neat because you’re getting to ski in untouched powder snow that is soft, fluffy, and uncrowded to ski in, unlike regular ski hills. Using Alpine-touring skis and fur skins (to give you traction) you hike up to the top of a hill and then switch to downhill mode and ski down. Skiing down is different from on a groomed slope because the snow is so thick it would slow you down to a standstill if you used traditional techniques. So you have to kind of “bounce” your way down the hill. It’s neat because if you’re used to doing blue runs with an occasional black diamond, like me, you find you can do much steeper hills and get a real nice flow to your skiing. It’s lots of fun!

I even got to check out a natural ice cave! It’s quite pretty inside with the sunlight turning the ice shades of blue.

It was a useful trip because it also helped me refine my ideas for a snow-level for a game I’m working on called “Abscond”. It’s a game that uses the “Escape the Room” game motif as a starting point to springboard off into something quite creative and new. I’m planning to use that as a featuring point for my new website design. (coming soon…)