Archive for January, 2008

Twirl the reactive skirt

Thursday, January 31st, 2008


Twirl
, created by Megan Galbraith, is a dynamic and reactive skirt that is controlled using a fuzzy logic reasoning algorithm, and programmed with a fuzzy logic controller, dixit Megan. This skirt has a bend sensor embedded along the seam of the back side, and it thus detects when the wearer is standing up straight, sitting down, or bending over. The sprinning flourishes alter their behavior based on the posture of the wearer.

Posted by Cati Vaucelle
Architectradure
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Talking with owls using mobile phones

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

This project explores technologies to augment our understanding of bird populations in order to allow these populations to speak to us about their habitat. In particular, in a collaboration between the MIT Media Laboratory and Maine Audubon, the researchers use cellular technology to augment the process by which volunteers collect information for an annual owl survey in Maine.

The core methodology was developed in a regional pilot census of Connecticut’s owl population demonstrating that the audio quality of cell phones is sufficient for the discovery and interaction with owls.

In Maine, they plan to deploy cell nodes for calling and recording owls, and provide an interface for the public to vicariously participate in the census from the internet. They hope to gain insight into the social networking processes of collaborative interpretation and annotation of a shared database; and knowledge representation for the bird-census domain.

The cellular-based survey may also provide insights into the hearing range of owls, duplication of vocalizing individual responses in adjacent experiment sites, the response rate of owls due to current weather or human presence, and comparison between trigger-based and naturally occurring responses in surveys.

The Owl project’s web site.
This work is created by Dale Joachim, Susan Gallo , Glorianna Davenport.

Posted by Cati Vaucelle
Architectradure
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Zone of emergency - Networks, Tactics, Breakdown

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Amber Frid-Jimenez is teaching a class at the MIT Visual Arts Department this spring on Introduction to Online Participatory Media: Zone of emergency - Networks, Tactics, Breakdown (4.366/4.381). The course is equal parts theory, art, technology and play, exploring the wild archive of the web. The class combines an overview of the historical “art for all” approach of early net-art and tactical media with an experimental take on the popular social web today.

Time Mondays 7 – 10pm and Wednesdays 9:30am – 12:30pm
Location N51-315 IEL

The course introduces an overview of web-based platforms as means through which to explore the cultural, social, political, and economic impact of mediated communication. Hands-on design exercises and experiments are continually framed and examined by critical reflection and discussions. An overview of historical “art for all” and participatory art practices, of early net-art and current public art practices will show how digital communication and culture have altered the way in which collaboration occurs, changing conventional notions of authorship and giving rise to the collective elaboration of meaning.

This seminar/workshop is taught in two parts. The Monday Night@VAP lecture series entitled Zones of Emergency co-organized by VAP Director Ute Meta Bauer and Lecturer Jae Rhim Lee will be open to the public, but will be considered a lab for the course. Lectures and panel discussions will serve to contextualize the theory of participatory design practices in times of emergency. This course is being co-organized with Jae Rhim Lee (4.391: Understanding the Problem: Research as Artistic Practice - FEMA Trailer Project).

Students from various disciplines and backgrounds are welcome. Please
contact Amber at amber [at] media [dot] mit [dot] edu for more information.

Prerequisites: permission of the instructor. Limited enrollment of 12
students. 4.381 Graduate Level H (12 units), 4.366 Undergraduate HASS-E
(2-4-6 units).

Instructor
Amber Frid-Jimenez,(617) 869-9840, Office: N52-342, Hours: W 1–3pm and by appointment

Teaching Assistants
Kate Hollenbach, Course
Cati Vaucelle, Lecture Series
Lauren McCarthy

About the Instructor
Amber Frid-Jimenez is an artist, designer, and recent graduate of the MIT
Media Lab, where she studied with John Maeda in the Physical Language
Workshop. Her work confronts issues ranging from politics and surveillance
to representations of women in media. Her recent work includes interactive
video installations, performance-based participation from large-scale online
audiences, and painting. She has presented her work internationally at
institutions including Banff New Media Institute, Rhode Island School of
Design, Cornell University, Harvard University, School of the Museum of Fine
Arts (Boston, MA), Smithsonian Institution, American Institute of Graphic
Arts, and at independent venues such as Art Interactive (Cambridge, MA),
Upgrade! International (online), WMMNA (online), and DFN Gallery (New York)

More resources
Amber’s MS Media Lab thesis
Course

Posted by Cati Vaucelle
Architectradure

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Designing the future

Monday, January 28th, 2008


Food for Thought: typography and food reunited.

“Holidays are always a time to gather around the dining table with family and friends to share good food and stories about times gone by. Now family favorites–whether text or images–can actually appear on the fruit, nuts, and vegetables being served with the help of a laser sign cutter. Since the process takes only five minutes per edible, the food messages can be extremely timely.”

Before 3D printing musical instruments or computer etching on bread, David Small had thought of printing on fruits, a way to catch the attention of Martha Stewart. This is the story that today Dr David Small told us during a talk at our lab.

Awesome speaker and visionary designer, he presented his twenty-year history of inventing the future of visual design. From the beginning, as a student of Muriel Cooper in the Visible Language Workshop, he has maintained a strong interest in understanding how technology is changing the way that information can be designed and appreciated. His company, Small Design Firm, creates unique environments in which people come into contact with rich, tactile information. With a focus on the interplay between computer technology, interaction, dynamic typography and information design, he sketched out some next steps towards the Design of the Future.

I loved his story, the way he is fond of typography and sees it everywhere as a design principle for his interactive products. I found his Museum of Sex installation perfectly expressive.


One of the four interactive exhibit for the Museum of Sex

He revisited the written correspondence of a prostitute with one of her client. The exhibition presents a bed, with a women underneath a fabric, with letters projected onto the body shape traveling through the interstices of the white sheets. The letters resemble ants that dynamically convey the message of her fate, constructing words from her correspondence that announce her death. Very well executed, the piece is moving. What fascinates me about his work, is the actuality of his design principles. He proposes that design research is the key to the future innovation, well… we’ll see…

Posted by Cati Vaucelle
Architectradure

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Graphic new theme for iGoogle

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

After Boing Boing’s Adventure in Lollipopland theme for iGoogle, John Maeda just released a graphic theme. John Maeda offers a series of online gadgets, e.g. a calculator, a clock, an elegant interactive display of his Ten Laws of Simplicity. More recently he launched a new theme on iGoogle. The theme changes based upon the time of day (every 4 hours), and is based upon a series of strokes he drew by hand and a simple algorithmic manipulation thereof. Enjoy!

Posted by Cati Vaucelle
Architectradure

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Web trend map 2008

Friday, January 25th, 2008

I loved the web trend map of 2007 by Information Architects Japan. Here it is, the 2008’s version as an interactive web trend map and/or A0 size printable poster for your office as presented by Swissmiss. The map includes almost 300 of the most influential and successful websites and pinned them down to the greater Tokyo-area train map. Enjoy!

Posted by Cati Vaucelle
Architectradure

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Wearable vs furniture radiator

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Another interesting design concept, the modulo radiator by Anna Gotha, discovered on Kontrastblog. Anna Gotha wanted to make more use of the heat from a radiator by designing a radiator with multiple functions. The modules are designed with an upholstered aluminium core to use the installed radiator parts as a piece of furniture to lean up against. The core is warmed up by the radiator to be used outdoor.

Apparently the radiator is made of multiple parts that can work independently from one another or connected to each others. Heating parts can be hanged on a wall, carried in a purse, or used more traditionally as a “furniture” that heats a large surface.
Existing radiators take up too much room and the design is often rather conservative. With the new radiator, Anna Gotha has made use of the heat, and at the same time given the user a more functional and simple design.

Posted by Cati Vaucelle
Architectradure

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RSS feed what is in my pocket!

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Burak Arikan just released his latest creation my pocket commissioned and announced by Turbulence.

“MYPOCKET discloses the artist’s personal financial records to the world by exploring and revealing essential patterns in the daily transactions of his bank account. These are the records that we usually keep secret, whereas financial institutions intensively analyze them to score our credibility. Archived on the site, the artist’s two years of spending history is analyzed by the custom software to predict future spending; these predictions sometimes determine his future choices, creating a system in which both the software and the artist adapt to one another. Influenced by today’s techno-cultural milieu, MYPOCKET presents a hybrid interface to a living physical/digital process.”

Woaaaaa I cannot wait to know what Burak is spending these days away from the media lab! The software does object prediction -ATM, groceries, rent, Fauchon, Les Galeries Lafayette, and so on.
The objects are the products of deliberate analysis and living. A predicted object is the physical evidence of a future event, it is produced when the event happens.
It does generate stunning graphs of transactions with Burak’s personal touch. The network model generates list of predictions about future spending. It shows the unprocessed model of dynamic relationships between transaction items and their effects changing overtime.
And the cherry on the cake: an RSS feed of banking transactions!

Posted by Cati Vaucelle
Architectradure

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Hugging my furniture

Thursday, January 24th, 2008



A landscape designed for the body. These livingstones, “les coussins galets” created by French designer Stephanie Marin, remind me of Ernesto Neto’s work. I stumbled upon these and I love them. I can now embrace my furniture, discover the spaces inside, around and between my body!

See also the felt rocks by Molo!

Posted by Cati Vaucelle
Architectradure

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A button to learn electronics

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

If electronics for dummies does not work for you, there is a button that teaches you electronics.
The Digg button works as a beginner electronics that teaches how to solder and program microcontroller. The link with Digg is that each time you push the button, the button flashes “Dug” and increments the counter up to 999 “diggs”. The Digg kit was created by Phillip Torrone from Makezine, Kevin Rose from Digg and Limor Fried aka Ladyada from the MIT Media Lab.

The project is open source, and documented with parts list, schematics and code available.

NB: For every sale of the Digg button kit the designers are giving $1 to the EFF Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Posted by Cati Vaucelle
Architectradure

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