Han Pham

Game On

Three young artists let people walk in their shoes in an intimate, irreverent video game.

In 2009, three creative entrepreneurs — Derek Yu, Hellen Jo and Calvin Wong — unleashed upon the San Francisco store-cum-art gallery Giant Robot a new breed of game that isn’t really a game.

The Curious Case of the Missing Chandelier

An inside look at the studio of Jean Pelle.

Photographer Hatnim Lee

THERE ARE CERTAIN things that may mark a person as successful.

It may be a gorgeous home, a successful career, a life shared with a husband named Oliver whom you met while getting your master’s in architecture at Yale, but that isn’t what defines designer Jean Pelle (although she can lay claim to all these things).

Her story is shaped by what she had and what she didn’t, and the things that bubbled up along the way.

Peace and Happiness by Design

Life advice from savvy, socially conscious entrepreneurs.

Admit it. We're all suckers for being wooed. Our parents first coddled us with unconditional love, regardless of bodily fluids we ejected their way. In elementary school, macaroni valentines and love notes slipped under desks made us swoon and swagger.

Today, as we've graduated from diaper bags to backpacks to suitcases, our relationships have grown more complex. Hence the dilemma: how to enjoy both peace and love - that is, how to maintain peace of mind while remaining open to the same wide-eyed, kneeknocking love you enjoyed before?

Eavesdropping on 24,000 Women at the 2009 Women's Conference


Twenty-four thousand women gathered in Long Beach, CA over the past two days at the second annual Women's Conference. Under the leadership of California First Lady Maria Shriver, the conference gathered together luminaries from Madeleine Albright and Arianna Huffington to Annie Leibovitz and Richard Branson with the goal of empowering women as the future's "Architects of Change."

Here's what we heard...

Code for America Hopes to Make Government as Addicting as Facebook


This month, I met Leonard Lin as he was on the move, something that seems to go hand in hand with his personality.

Amidst the boxes and the chaos, this multi-hyphenated entrepreneur mentioned there were a lot of barriers to making government really efficient and accessible, despite the hallowed web 2.0 ticker parade that met Obama's election (Lin was a part of the team behind the social media software for Obama's campaign). He almost said the idea of "Government 2.0" was a pipe dream -- almost.

His newest venture, the newly minted Code for America, hopes to make it a reality. Versed in launching other social magnets like the ubiquitous event-sharing site, Upcoming.org, Lin hopes to make government as appealing as Facebook. "What if you could have an iPhone app to track potholes?" he asked.

Students Rise to the Top of 2009 International Contemporary Furniture Fair

ICFFSukmo.jpgSometimes, living on a student's shoestring budget can reap big benefits, by teaching you how to think big by using less.

I had my Hyphen Takeout editor's cap firmly on while trolling New York's swank International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) last week for a good story. Specifically, I was looking for the kind of creative work we like to show off in our magazine -- the innovative, socially-conscious and often collaborative projects that can spark a conversation and add more value to a room than just sheer aesthetic wow.

I found it.

Win a Ticket to the Maker Faire Bay Area

mkrfre.jpgHyphen and Maker Faire, the world's largest DIY festival celebrating creative innovation, invite you Hyphenites to share your answers to "What would you do to reMAKE America?"

10 lucky readers with the most intriguing and thoughtful answers will receive one free weekend pass (worth $50) to this two-day extravaganza where entrepreneurs, risk-takers and artists collide amidst flamethrowers, indie fashion, rock bands, and rockets on May 30 and 31.

Email your groundbreaking answer to han(at)hyphenmagazine(dot)com by: Friday, May 22, 2009.
Please also include your name, age and mailing address in case you win the prize.

The World's First Sikh Supermodel?

scbb.jpgThe difference a year makes. One year ago, Hoboken-area Sikh entrepreneur Hansdip Bindra made the news as a victim of a bias crime when a fellow bar-goer demanded he remove his turban, and, when he wouldn't, knocked it off for him. Fast forward one year and another Sikh entrepreneur-turned-media darling, Sonny Caberwal, is being hailed for his ability to flaunt yellow, pink and green turbans with panache in campaigns for Kenneth Cole and GQ.

News outlets such as the UK Telegraph are anointing him as "the world's only Sikh professional model." Is he?

I doubt it. The Sikh community is a strong (and apparently fashionable) one, and Sikh models abound within the community if you know where to look.

But if you don't, or prefer not to see them, such as the people behind major fashion runways who specialize in one-color-fits-all fashion shows, then Sonny Caberwal (now signed to modeling agency BOSS) can seem like a wonder.

Let's hope he's not a one-hit wonder.

Cut & Paste Live Design Tournament

tour_corkcol_photo_2_________.jpgSan Francisco folks, the Cut & Paste global live design tournament comes to San Francisco this Saturday, February 28th. We might be a little biased because Hyphen's former creative director, Stefanie Liang, helped put it together, but it does sound like a great event.

Finger-biting time limits? Check. Razzle dazzle design in 2D, 3D, and motion graphics? Check. Over-the-shoulder voyeurism? Check. Brother-to-brother rivalry? Check. It's a design duel to the death! OK, not to the death. Just to the finish line.

Competitors include New Leaf Clothing co-designers Deny Khoung and Erik Otto (featured in our recent Road Trip issue). Here's a quick look at the artists who will be throwing down for your viewing pleasure:

Holiday Gift Guide: Give Your Wallet a Rest

Thumbnail image for KidsSmiling_small.jpg
Usually, the holiday season feels like a marathon sprint through the malls -- gasping for air, clutching credit cards, getting paper cuts from gift wrap.

As your loyal Hyphen Takeout editor, I realize you need to give your poor feet (and wallet) a much needed rest. So do it. Kick up your feet onto something comfy and explore a new way to give, stylishly, and, as we Hyphenators always do, from the heart.

One way is through CharityFocus.

Wisdom from the Hyphen Neighborhood: The What I've Learned Blog

My friends think I'm obsessed with stories.

My boss does too - I tried to change my work title to "Storykeeper" but they wanted something more professional.

But personally, I am obsessed with stories, and not the kind that I read about on the news. I'm enamoured with the stories of my friends and strangers.

I never ask "What do you do?" when I meet someone. I'd rather ask them what they're passionate about, what they've dreamed of, where they've failed and where they've succeeded. (yes, I actually have these conversations randomly in clubs and bars -- you'd be amazed at what you get when you skip over asking what's someone's job title.)

Of course, I like the big, huge moments (good for dramatic effect and a reason to get toasted) but frankly, I love to celebrate the mundane details about someone's day.

This is our life. More than the big moments, it's the little moments you remember.

For me, it might be what I learned when I asked my mom to make me cupcakes in elementary school. (Basically, I learned that my mom is very frugal and she used it as a reason to use expired items from the pantry. It didn't kill my classmates, but it did teach me humility, creativity, tough love, and an appreciation for cooking things myself.)

So when I was asked to dream up a blog for Hyphen, I thought of who Hyphen is... namely, you.

And I wanted to celebrate your stories. So, on this Valentine's week, I wanted to send you a valentine, from Hyphen.

Introducing "Wisdom from the Neighborhood: The What I've Learned Blog."

My Little China Doll

Searching for ourselves at the toy store.

Photographer Seng Chen

The Holy Grail, The Loch Ness Monster, The Asian American Doll. Do these exist? At times, it’s easier to believe in the first two myths than the last.

If Asian Americans are still disproportionately represented in the mainstream media, what are the chances they’d be poured, hot, into a mold and immortalized in plastic?

The Brief

Buddha Ia My OM Boy

Yoga clothes from paradise.

Photo: Seng Chen; Model: Cielo Oreste

There’s something to be said when a dog is the vice president of a company. This would be the kind of company that might sprout up on the palm-swaying shores of some paradise (Hawaii), and where standard attire might mean kicking off your flip-flops and tucking a flower behind your ear.