In with the New

January 03, 2012 • by colin

Lots has happened to the extended Stresslimit family in 2011, and I’m not going to try to summarize but I wanted to share a few thoughts and pictures here. A lot of what we do involves sitting at a laptop clicking & typing away, which is not very photogenic, but I’ve pulled out a few image-worthy moments.

First, a blast from the past above—a group brainstorming and process meeting led by UX lead Francis Raymond [standing up; now Senior UX at Huge Inc in NYC] with [from left to right]: designer Kathryn Dreier [also now back in NYC]; controller Eric Fillion [concentrating on his masters in music and small historical Québec record label Tenzier]; programmer and front-end engineer Wes Hatch [continued core Stresslimit team member and expanding to Node.js for our friends Mouna & Melissa at Daily Tous les jours]; founding partner and former president of Stresslimit Justin Evans; project manager Eric Craven [now director at the Digital Literacy project at Atwater library]; photographer & designer Yannick Grandmont [continuing his freelance work with the New York Times and tons of independent music projects]; the empty chair was mine, Colin Vernon, founding partner and acting president of Stresslimit [also director of independent record label No Weapon].

Below, another great moment from this past spring, we have Joey Kudish setting up our js/css teleprompt system on iPad for the live webcast of Bu sur le web with Aurelia Fillion. We had set up a feedback console for the program manager to read real-time twitter & facebook comments, from which he could choose the most relevent and paste into a field that would show up on the teleprompt. The teleprompt itself was a simple html page which would poll the feed of comments selected by the program manager, and display them using the webkit transform to make them appear mirror image—necessary so that the teleprompter mirror would make them readable again to the host.

Another picture-worthy moment was my wife and super UX/UI designer, strategist and theorist Céline Semaan [or celinecelines in the inter-world] leading a panel conversation at South by Southwest in March on emerging Arab identities in the wake of the then fresh Arab Spring revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East. In this photo we can see the four panelists: Jon Philips or Rejon as he is known, Ayah Bdeir of recent Little Bits fame, CélineCélines with the microphone, and Habib Haddad, entrepreneur and founder of Yamli and YallaStartup and CEO of  Wamda. To the right we can see Blue Sponge’s Fady Atallah and wife Mouna Andraos behind him, and the back of technology and democracy activist and speaker Katherine Maher’s head. Author and friend Julien Smith showed up but didn’t make it into this shot :)

Now we have a bit of a before & after montage of the new Stresslimit office/atelier space—we moved in August/September. On the right you see the woodshop that was occupying the space before, and at the left is The Woodshop [as we are continuing to call it], cleaned and empty, primed and ready to go.

A few personal notes now. First, taking a place of honour in the Woodshop now is a free piano that Wes hooked us up with from a piano repair shop that has a yearly giveaway. It is a Willis Piano, proudly made here in Montreal—locals can see the paint fading from the brick of an old advertisement at Ste-Catherine and de la Montagne as below; I’ve pulled out a detail so we can really see the old sign.

A bit of frivolity: out with the old, in with the new…. running shoes!

And now the most magical amazing thing for last…. in the early hours on December 31st, the last day of the year, my wife went into labour, and it was just a few hours into 2012 that our first daughter, Selah Grey Vernon was born. Here she is just a few minutes after being born:

And below,a bit later at home. I know the last thing the world needs is another “proud parent” spamming the world with pictures of their baby, but it’s worth it for the news just this once :)