Archive for March, 2007

What if we were 11 feet tall?

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Yumiko Tanaka created SpyRod, a camera connected to a long stick with fishing line. The idea is that children can see and record the world from very different view points: a very low viewpoint, as if they were little creatures, a world as if they were giant or simply discover the world from their size-view.

By exploring the potential of new small cheap cameras, and by rethinking how children might use them, they stop being cameras and become third eyes.


Friday, March 30th, 2007

Children playing with Moving Pictures

Tangible artifacts have been linked to video as a way to support collaborative exploration of a video collection. More recently, Labrune and Mackay designed the TangiCam, a tangible camera made of two cameras on a circular frame to capture both the child and the video of the child. Researchers have worked on token-based access to digital information. See also pioneer research done by Hiroshi Ishii and Brygg Ullmer.

A broad range of interactive table-tops have been designed for collaboration. From Yumiko Tanaka’s Plable, a traditional looking table under which children can build an imaginary world, to the DiamondTouch table that allows the collaboration and coordination of multiple users at the same time, designers developed a new concept for movie editing to help children understand the process of editing. In Moving Pictures, children arrange tokens on a table, guided by a GUI, in order to create and visualize the storyboard of a movie.


The Plable web site has awesome videos both of the process and the final project.

This interesting concept started to take a more “card shape” with Mika Miyabara and Tatsuo Sugimoto, the Movie cards, a set of printed cards that can be re-arranged in any order. Their bar code is used to identify them on a digital screen. Regine Debatty gives more details about this very interesting project.
Also, TVS explores the manipulation of digital video clips using multiple handheld computers.

Movie Cards

Recently, Dave Merrill and Jeevan Kalanithi created the Siftables, a set of small displays that can be physically manipulated as a group to interact with digital information and media. I bet that these miniature video cards will lead to very interesting projects …
Paper on the siftables.

The siftables

Philips Design developed Pogo, a system that allows replaying visual sequences using tangible objects with a stationary computer for capturing and associating media to objects. Even though these systems invite capture and editing of the movie segments, they donnot propose the publication of the final movie created and the possibility to share it with peers remotely. For this reason, Moving Pictures integrates a videojockey mode to allow children to perform a final movie as much as inviting them to revisit the movie impact.


Allowing authorship as a design principle in most Tangible Interfaces is rare. It is probably due to the fact that it requires a very flexible interface and a software architecture that takes care of data management. This design principle can allow children to become active participants instead of simply observers. In Moving Pictures, tangible media containers can easily be integrated in mobile technology and also be combined for performance using a video jockey platform. Maybe a new version could use the potential of the siftables ;)

Interactive toy for autistic children

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

LINKX an interactive toy that stimulates the language development of autistic children. Via Idealist

Helma van RijnI designed LINKX, a language toy for autistic toddlers. Throughout the process, experts in autism were involved. She tested the prototype with three autistic children in several play-sessions.

The following is the video of her tests:

The beautiful people

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

The American Look (1958) discovered at paper lily.
America lifestyle in the 50’s with an *idealistic* sense for design. A must see for any designer.

In France, we have Mon Oncle made in 1958 by Jacques Tati who portrays magnificently a materialistic lifestyle contrasted with a Mr. Hulot who struggles with postwar France’s mindless obsession with modernity and American-style consumerism. I recommend anyone to watch any of Jacques Tati’s movie. Delight for sure. A must see for anybody!

The following is an extract from Playtime

Mon oncle

I’d like to finish by a welcome into modernity by Jacques Tati. Awesome.

Create your own doll

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Oh, I Feel Naked!

Yes, I collect toys, toys that are charged with a period. Maybe this one is charged from the Victorian era, but I love it. It resembles a mix between a voodoo doll and a customizable one. If the author of the work, Eli Gutierrez, commercializes it, I immediately would get one!

Interview in Neo-Nomad!

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Yasmine Abbas challenged me on mobile-related questions for her NID serie.
The interview.

Yasmine initiated an interview serie the NID. The NID stands for Neo-nomad ID. The concept wants to push the envelop of a classical interview by providing readers clues to reflect on mobilities, and the paradoxes engendered. These NIDs are “tranches de vies”, meaning “slices of lives”, rather than a questionnaire listing projects. They dwell into the intimate and the everyday life of beings to understand better our relationship to mobilities and technologies. Necessarily, because the method of investigation relates more to ethnography than journalism, I felt that visuals were essential to the NID. Also, NID in French means “nest”.

The world as a palette reviewed by Pantone

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Kimiko Ryokai invented I/O brush willing to use the world as a palette, well Pantone just released the Pantone’s color cue, a color matching device that one can hold to any surface to know the matching paint from the Pantone library, and get it to decorate their interior. Via Metropolismag.

With the Color Cue, designers can match Pantone paint to any flat surface, including these objects from the MoMA Design Store. From top: Karim Rashid’s Kaj Watch, Frank Gehry’s cardboard Wiggle Side Chair, and Marc Berthier’s Tykho Radio. By Evelyn Dilworth

Image courtesy Pantone

A view on conventional work

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

At the present time there are enough cultivated entertainment and issue-oriented films, as if cinema were a stroll on walkways in a park… One need not duplicate the cultivated. In fact children prefer the bushes: they play in the sand or in scrap heaps. - Alexander Kluge

Germany in Autumn

As a medium that organizes human needs and qualities in a social form, the existing public sphere maintains a claim to be representative while excluding large areas of people’s experience. Among the media that increasingly constitute the public sphere, the cinema lags behind on account of its primarily artisanal mode of production (in Germany, at least), preserving a certain degree of independence thanks to state and television funding. This ironic constellation provides the cinema with a potential for creating an alternative, oppositional public sphere within the larger one, addressing itself primarily to the kinds of experience repressed by the latter. Thus the cinema’s intervention aims not only at the systematic non- or misrepresentation of specific issues—eg. family, factory, security, war and Nazism—but also the structure of the public sphere itself. - Alexander Kluge

Music sofa

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Very simple input output! Via idealist

Josiah McElheny

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Adolf Loos, provocative architect from the early 20th century, basically declared that ornament is a crime and that moving ornament from the world is pure. Ornament in architecture but also on people such as tattoos. To some extend, it is a very colonialist statement … He expressed that most primitive societies use ornaments and that the most advanced ones rarely use them, basically form follows function.

I discovered the work on Josiah McElheny on art21 and I was immediately impressed by his work: through the quality of the work that is self explanatory and also his excellent presentation of his work.

In the documentary series, Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century, Josiah McElheny explains how his white glass sculptures and installations are inspired by Adolf Loos’ manifesto, Ornament and Crime. By this idea that primitive people are the ones who decorate and the natural course of progress in men is to remove this decorative impulse from our psyche. He explained that it is about making the world white in the sense of a world without ornamentation, without individuation, without grayness and that almost immediately it falls apart and becomes something really horrible, especially when it becomes imposed upon the world.

“Adolf Loos’ Ornament and Crime“, 2002
Blown glass, wood, glass, and electric lighting, case dimensions: 49 x 60 x 10 1/2 inches. Collection of the Detroit Institute of the Arts. Photo by Tom Van Eynde . Courtesy Donald Young Gallery, Chicago. With Art21 Copyright Notice.

I recently saw Josiah McElheny’s Mirrored and Reflected Infinitely piece exhibited at the ICA in Boston.

Modernity circa 1952, Mirrored and Reflected Infinitely, detail. 2004
Mirrored blown glass, chrome metal, glass, mirror, electric lighting, 30 1/2 x 56 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches
Collection Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo by Tom Van Eynde. Courtesy Donald Young Gallery, Chicago.