All posts by Roger Belveal

Sculptor to the DFW tech design community, known for 3D steel tech art commentary on digital culture. Belveal's Iconic work, My Favorite Machine, a trio of six foot tall smart phones of concrete and steel celebrated the affection people have for objects of great design and its impact on the contemporary human experience. It has been called the mascot to mobile design and has become an icon for mobile product innovators. It is currently on display with technology incubator, TechWildcatters. The sequel, MyPhoneHenge, a circle of giant monoliths resembling smartphones of steel, concrete, selected objects, and live interactive media extends the commentary to the social and historical. Artist crossing boundaries between the digital and real worlds, Belveal's work has served as the centerpiece for the BIG(D)ESIGN Conference two years in a row and has been featured in multiple Human-Computer-Interaction articles and videos. It has been a popular backdrop for podcasts and tech talks in various locations. Links to many of these, videos, photos, and other features are located on the web site/blog . Check out Kickstarter

Custom stand

This is something I just finished for a client. I have completed design and construction of a base for an art piece from the “My Favorite Machine” series,


The client had requested a stand to be less boisterous than the iconic culvert I had used originally. While I am immensely fond of the culverts, I understand that if she is to place this in her gallery next to her Andy Warhol prints as she said (which excites me, I admit), the culverts are a bit loud. So, I embarked on an effort to create a less loud alternative, still keeping with the original look and still structurally sound, yet a little less pronounced.

The design somewhat resembles an Egyptian Obelisk, in keeping with the metaphor of the smart phone as a monolith of the digital culture, however it is simplified and transparent, per my minimalist sculptural style. Industrial materials are used to render digital age themes in an industrial age motif.

The stand is constructed of steel in keeping with the aesthetic of the original art work, yet more understated than both the art and the previous platform. It has a much smaller footprint, being only 28 x 30 inches wide rather than 36 x 36, but it is extremely stable. The art can be easily removed from the stand and all pieces fit easily thorough doorways for easy portability. The steel legs have soft composite feet inserts to protect client’s floors.

This has been a labor of love it was very important that I create something that preserved the original spirit of the art work while making something less pronounced to better fit with the existing art collection in a home environment.

This is another step in the journey of TechXpressionism which is all about the impact of technology on our lives individually and collectively as a culture.  I hope you can enjoy these as well.

Which is it?

My cousin, Lonnie Brown was a game warden in the mountains of Colorado for many years. A good man, in a noble profession.

On one visit to his little ranch in the mountains, he showed me the bear trap he used occasionally to trap a bear needing to be relocated to a more remote area. It was a simple piece of culvert opened on one end. They would put some stinky piece of meat or something in there to attract the bear and of course close the gate once he was inside.  It wouldn’t hurt him.  Actually it might save his life. But there is not much chance of explaining that to the trapped bear.  Lonnie told be you better believe that bear makes a heckova racket inside that steel tube.

Sometimes when I am watching a usability test in which a user is lost and frustrated, clicking around on everything trying to get a foot hold, I think of that bear in a trap, thrashing about trying to get some control of his situation.  Then when someone tells me that  some stupid feature is getting a lot of clicks, i smirk a little. Quantitative data is compelling, but qualitative data is smarter.  Knowing what users do is information.  Understanding why they do it is intelligence.
My point is: A whole lot of clicking going on is not necessary necessarily a sign of success.
My question is this: What is the nature of interaction on your web site? Is it site exploration and discovery? or is it thrashing and flailing?  How can you know?


Focus Fast

Is it Magic? Genius?  Process?  Or Principles?

What makes for great design?

Some of all of these?

You decide.


Come to hear me speak about the Fishbone2wishbone design thinking strategy at #BigD15.

Move beyond rock tumbler usability testing.

Learn the Short Story interview process to exercise your empathy muscles and focus fast on what matters most for user experiences.

Track the elusive GonnaWanna.

Follow the iii “insight inspired innovation” method to convert ideas into hypotheses.

Improve your passing game this season!

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