Tag Archive for 'inspiration'

01JulWhat’s next for fitness centers?

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I read an issue of Art in America -featuring the amazing work of Janine Antoni on the cover and discovered a past work of Antal Lakner: home transporter (from the passive working devices series).

Skewering a vain leisure society that “labors” pointlessly on exercise equipment, Lakner designs workout machines like the “Forest Master” (a saw) and the “Home Transporter” (a wheelbarrow). Each is accompanied by a didactic photo of a worker using the prototype tool.

I find this work actually very marketable as a neat idea for making fitness centers more fun! I know it is not the point and the work is remarkable, but it is also an amazing interface design for transforming fitness centers. Instead of trying to hook up a rowing machine to a virtual boat in a video game, why not connecting the actions with meaningful activities!

lakner1.jpg

lakner2.jpg

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

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30JunOrganic prosthesis

growonyou_2.jpg
Grow On You by LucyandBart.

LucyandBart is a collaboration between Lucy McRae and Bart Hess described as an instinctual stalking of fashion, architecture, performance and the body. They share a fascination with genetic manipulation and beauty expression. Unconsciously their work touches upon these themes, however it is not their intention to communicate this. They work in a primitive and limitless way creating future human shapes, blindly discovering low – tech prosthetic ways for human enhancement.

Playing with suggestive photography for high impact, they seem obsessed with the body metamorphosis. I call their work organic prosthesis, because they mainly use organic material in their body extension. For instance, they grow seeds on a fabric, which gives the impression of a body grown of grass and soil. The following pictures show the germination from day one to day eight.

germination_day_one.jpgGermination

I love their work with foam. The foam transforms the body in a gentle way. Here the artists embrace the prosthetic impulse …

Body and foam

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

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16JunA century of evolution between La Guerre des Boutons and Harry Potter

I’d like to share the notes I wrote about a fascinating French book:
De la Guerre des Boutons à Harry Pottter by Jean-Marie Gauthier and Roger Moukakou.

In this book, two psychiatrists connect the novel of Louis Pergaud, La Guerre des boutons (English: “War of the Buttons”) written in 1906 with the best seller of Joanne K Rowling (1997-), Harry Potter. The authors present a century of evolution in the teenagers’ life: their space/time structure, their relationship to a group of peers, and their appropriation of the land. The authors analyze the progression from developing concrete skills (close to the ones of adults) to an imaginary virtual world. Based on these two influential novels, a repository for this evolution, they illustrate their clinical analysis with real life scenarios of teenagers.

La Guerre des Boutons VS Harry Potter, The Order of the Phoenix movie

You can read on La Guerre des Boutons flyer: “Il y a des guerres qui durent des années, celle-ci doit se terminer avant le diner” which stands for “There are wars that last for years, this one needs to be over before diner”. For the ones who do not know this French novel, I am posting some screenshots from a movie interpretation of La Guerre des boutons made in 1962 by Yves Robert.

An excerpt from the movie can be found ->here<-

La Guerre des Boutons

Notes from: De la Guerre des Boutons à Harry Pottter by Jean-Marie Gauthier and Roger Moukakou.

Essais anthropologiques

The authors observed that the ones who usually have difficulties to talk and show some reserve towards socialization, tends to spend a long period of time on internet for remote communication. With the computer, the relationship between distance and proximity, direct communication, corporeal and indirect, mediated is transformed. It is as if these teenagers privilege a communication in which the body is absent. The authors propose that this transformation induces difficulties in sharing and exchanging across generations and difficulties in the position that parents take place in the growth of their children.

The relationship to the body
- Rhythm of lives is different. We neglect the sun’s motion in our lives! Before the industrial revolution, a rhythmic life was imposed due to the constraints of working in the field, outside! Now we eat at unstable hours, find abnormal quantity of food anytime of the day, forgetting that meals can have a social function. The social function of meals is replaced by their nutritional function.

- The physical constraints related to transportation have been transformed. We walk less, thus transforming our relationship to time and space as well as our relationship to the body: feelings, feeling tired, cold/heat or being well.
At the time of “la guerre des boutons”, children were progressively learning how to build toys, hunting equipment, using the wheelbarrow under the grand father’s supervision! Now we can be a champion in Karate without moving a finger! The measure of each gesture (cause and effect) goes through an iterative process usually explored by gathering in locations & spaces.

La Guerre des Boutons

The Land
Play is key for social & individual development, a way to measure personal skills in comparison to others at the same time than measuring one’s body, a necessary step imposed by the life as an adult.

guerre3.png

Harry Potter, The Order of the Phoenix movie

Urban concentration has reduced the children’s possibility to gather outside. The space for play and collective experience is disappearing. Not only that but the parents themselves lost their everyday corporeal connection, their craftsmanship and their personal space. These transformations impact our ability to measure the consequences of our actions; this can explain a come back of the magical thought in a world where the relationship between causes and effects is more and more uncertain. Not only the quantity of available land has changed but also its quality has decreased. Before one could close his house with doors and windows, now it is completely impossible. The house walls not only did become porous, but the family remains in communication with the entire world through telecommunication, TV, internet, mobile phone… thus interrupting the paternal order of things!
Distinguishing between the inside and the outside world is harder (this relationship becomes more and more ambiguous). Distinguishing between private, individual, internal and external realities becomes very hard.

The Group
Children have a predisposition to form groups in which learning by imitation is very important. This helps children leave the exclusive parental relationship to enter a more complex form of socialization: creating an identity and functional skills. In La Guerre des Boutons one practices his skills by crating weapons for hunting while in Harry Potter to compete with one another the children use magical formulas.
In psychoanalysis, authors such as Leroi-Gourhan, Winnicott, Mendal, Montagner, Gibbs show the importance of a psychic construction that needs to connect to the outside world, necessarily going through gesture and object manipulation. Playing without using the body, without manipulating objects is very different.

La Guerre des Boutons

Harry Potter, The Order of the Phoenix movie

Creating relationships between children is a considerable advantage as it allows children to realize early on the human’s fundamental destiny: a social being (De Waal, F. 2005). It also allows kids to find modes of learning outside of the parental relationship. The authors remark that we need to think of this child’s pleasure to group and learn in a group and reevaluate the quality of learning that can happen within the group. It is not impossible that behind this pleasure of the group, kids can rediscover values of solidarity probably essential to our humanity and that were still very present at the beginning of industrialization but that are disappearing.

With La Guerre des Boutons one would constitute a group that opposes itself to another one, but today individuals are pushed towards being identical. Solidarity as a value is the most compromised, while individuation is assimilated to the general identical. Consumer society can only live if it destroys values of sharing and solidarity benefiting individualization …

Time and space
Important for rational thinking, time and space are constituted and function via intuition. These intuitive forms of representation are constructed progressively while the child uses his corporeal skills. Corporeal exercise has a direct influence on the essential cognitive functions (Gibs, Gauthier, Montagner).
With a computer, one can be in contact with the entire world without having moved from the parent’s house. The computer is the perfect compromise between the teenager’s necessity to go outside to become independent and the necessity to keep the protection and security of the parent’s house.

La Guerre des Boutons

Harry Potter, The Order of the Phoenix movie

While in the 20th century, kids were riskily gathering outside, creating groups, risking their identity confronting others, now kids can just stay home while contacting the external world, protected by their parents. According to the Oedipian complex, teenagers have to develop their personal lives outside of the family environment [Winnicott & Mendel], the computer seem to be the perfect compromise as children avoid the risks of the foreign while being closely connected to this outside world. The teenagers can also escape their fears related to their own body in comparison to the severe criticisms induced by co-located peers! The narcissistic image remains idealized. The teenagers will not quit their bedrooms and will remain dependent on their parents, because this context does not offer a way to move physically away from the family house.

Speech
Communication technologies modified our relationship to space and time and this cannot be left without consequences on the development of thoughts. Instead of confronting peers using a verbal exchange, communication is now guided with icons that one needs to only “clic” in order to be projected in the other side of the globe. The relationship to speech in which the exchange is contrary to the magical icon formula, is a relationship of time.
This modification of the general relationship to space/time can explain the modification of our potential to take time to share thoughts. Language is more and more stereotypical and univocal (close to the marketing discourse) which appears in the political speech today (Chomsky, 1986, 1998).
The dialog with the computer is a series of keywords and reveal the transformation of the structure and use of language in our occidental society. Harry Potter is truly a hero of our time!

Transmission
To separate themselves from their parents, children need to be a minimum aggressive to distant themselves. At the same time, children need to identify to their parents.
However, parents are questioning their role models and hesitate to propose them as references to their children. So the entire reproduction of behavior and models is questioned. Speed, technological progress and the fact that children possess higher skills in tech fields such as IT, all contributed to this change in the parental role. Harry Potter and his adventures confront us to tendencies and forces, that are modified both in the parental and social space.

The hunting land and the exploration space are restricted. It is now rather difficult to find resources outside of the parental home, parental home from which one of the two parent is usually absent. Grand parents are usually distant geographically. Living conditions have changed so much that there is an unbalanced between our human potentials and the environment in which we evolve. This can explain largely the developmental difficulties of the children. The authors question how socially we can address the educational needs of children considering that we cannot go back in time!
The conditions for education have changed because parents have changed. It happened before, but this time it happened extremely rapidly and the educational methods have not evolved as much. Harry Potter raises interesting questions on how the individual maturation of a teenager is a complex and uncertain process, because of the uncertainties that rest on the transmission mechanism across generations.
Most probably the teenagers need to rediscover the joy of living in a group, the values of solidarity and the belonging to a group of peers. Wouldn’t that be what these novels of youth are demanding from adults?

La Guerre des Boutons

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

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22AprA little bubble and a little LED

Bubble
Tri-Color LED, Tilt sensors, 1.5″ diameter sphere

Bubble Bobbles by James Clar are water-resistant floating globes each embedded with a tri-color LED. Tilt sensors are placed in each Bubble causing it to change colors depending on which direction it’s tilted. Used in multitudes Bubble Bobbles can be placed in a pool or lake, causing ripples of colors with each splash and wave.

Bubble2

-> Movie <-

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure
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15MarThese little things in the dark …

Our childhood was filled with creatures hidden in the dark. The feeling of them existing outside of our imagination was a source of interaction with the physical world, creating places for them to live. Our imaginary friends were sharing our secrets, they were our closest partner in the world discovery. One book that I recommend on the subject is The House of Make-Believe: Children’s Play and the Developing Imagination by Dorothy G. Singer and Jerome L. Singer, one of my favorite book on imagination and child development.


Children interacting with Kage no Sekai

When I discovered Kage no Sekai, I immediately felt in love with it. The piece projects cute tiny creatures on shadows -and only on shadows- so that anyone can play with them, try to grab them, make them exist in specific places with shadows created just for them, or even trap them (see video of the children interaction with the system).


Photo by the authors of Kage no Sekai

“This device expresses this perspective not by using existing media but in the real world itself. The mechanism is concealed, giving the device the appearance of an ordinary piece of furniture. Although at first glance it looks like a regular wooden table, if you look at the shadows on its surface you’ll see the movement of mysterious life forms. When you approach it to have a better look, they sense your presence and hide away. They do not emerge while human shadows are cast over the table, but the life forms hiding within a distant shadow are watching them.”

Video


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