Creativity + Technology in Chicago

The crowdSPRING crew has the honor of attending WIRED NextFest 2008‘s opening event in two weeks. The festival, which will be held in Chicago’s Millennium Park from September 27th – October 12th, features innovative exhibits that bridge design and technology together.

Here are some great exhibits that will be on display throughout the upcoming weeks:

Alinea

Gourmet Magazine named Chicago restaurant Alinea 2006’s Best Restaurant in America. Their innovative fusion of food and chemistry, coupled with great presentation, has made Alinea one of America’s most creative fine dining establishments. Have you ever seen bacon look so high end?

Art of Play

Interactive designer Erik Natzke takes Flash to the next level as a medium for fine art rather than just ad banners. By using drawing engines, generative algorithms, and color studies in Flash, Natzke created prints 9 feet wide with an impressive aesthetic.

iPoint Presenter

Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications’ iPoint Presenter takes the idea of a touch screen to the next level. Using a system of cameras, the iPoint tracks your motion to move elements, press buttons, and more on an existing screen. The screen reacts with just a swoop of your arm or finger. Imagine a touch screen that you don’t even have to touch!

As a creative start up, it’s great to see our hometown begin to evolve into a viable technology community. On Monday, Ross and Mike will be speaking at the Chicago New Media Summit, along with people from 37signals, Critical Mass, Microsoft, Avenue A | Razorfish, Tribune Interactive, and more. Our fearless leaders will be speaking about community based creative content – a concept that is changing how people sell, collaborate, and share their creative ideas. We look forward to discussing the benefits of this global creative network with other tech-related professionals, whether in digital advertising, publishing, or marketing, and how community based creative sites such as crowdSPRING and fellow Chicagoans Threadless can be an asset to the creative world.

It’s a great time to be living in the Windy City if you’re in the technology business, and we are proud and excited to be a part of this burgeoning community!