Work completed with Sae for this week’s assignment following examples from Wireless Networks book.
Before delving into the design process for the Central Park South Building for Sensitive Buildings class, we interviewed four current residents of the building over a weekday evening meeting. It was quite a revealing experience, where Victoria, Renata, Kim and David shared fragments of their life and their stance towards the building. Some insights below:
For Sensitive Buildings, our first Xbee assignment was to make to xbee’s talk to each other and send signals to light the LEDs in opposite breadboards. Sae and I worked on this small project. The outcome is in the video below.
For Sensitive Buildings, our first assignment was public space observations. With Annelie, I focused on discovering the patterns of use for Columbus Circle. All the notes are below.
This week’s Renatured readings / videos included:
- Jane Bennett : Vibrant Matter Preface (2010)
- Jane Bennett : Vibrant Matter Chapter 1 : The Force of Things
- Kate Soper : Alternative Hedonism (2008)
- Video -Adam Curtis: “Machines of Loving Grace” #2: The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts
As the first assignment of Pop-up Window Displays, Karolina, Phil and I created a “retro apple” product, where we dissected an old Macintosh Classic 2 monitor and replaced it with an iPad. The remit was to create surprise and wonder, i.e. double take, in public space, so we went out with this artifact and observed people’s reactions in Think cafe and the Apple store in Soho. The movie of this adventure is below:
Renatured is an ITP class taught by Marina Zurkow, described as a “studio class in critical creativity,” dealing with artistic strategies to address “nature” via public projects. Aside from the major projects, we are tasked with responding to the readings each week. This week’s readings included:
- Epicurus : The Happy Life
- Robert Pogue Harrison : The Garden of the School of Epicurus
- Christopher Manes : Nature and Silence
- Aldo Leopold, Thinking Like a Mountain A Sand County Almanac
- Bruno Latour: Love Your Monsters
- Michael Warner: Publics and Counterpublics.
It was interesting how the readings ranged from the concise philosophical headlines of Epicurus to a detailed scholarly exploration of the same ideas by Harrison, as well as poetic ruminations about the subtle dynamics of nature by Manes and Leopold, followed by a sharp inquiry on political ecology and post-environmentalism by Latour. All of these were capped by a rather thick essay by Werner on the linguistic and sociocultural implications of “public” as a phenomenon and construct.
For this week’s signal for the Intelligent Cities class, I am developing a response to a media critique article written by the writer Baekdal, entitled Debunking the NYT Interactive Mirror. In this article, Baekdal states that most of the interactive spatial projects today still design for the “stationery computer” context, but the future is in mobile devices (e.g. iPhone and iPad), and the associated applications.
For the Intelligent Cities class taught by Anthony Townsend, I will be writing a critical piece on the future of smart cities on a weekly basis. These signals will cover contemporary news articles and project examples, and will eventually culminate in a final paper.
This week, I will cover an example smart development project with recognition in the international design arena. Masdar, PlanIT and Songdo are leading the pack, but there are also other, smaller projects that are currently in design phase, and will probably cover the design/technnology news landscape quite soon. Pedra Branca is one of such projects. Situated in south-east Brazil, across the greenfields close to Florianopolis, it is yet another utopian project with serious environmental ambitions, yet also fueled by deep commercial real estate interests. As part of the Clinton Foundation’s Climate+ project portfolio, the project aims to be a carbon positive development with a “sustainable urban infrastructure” that spans across transport, waste water, solid waste, energy and IT.
Over the last two weeks, I worked on the first assignment for the Data Representation class, which was to take an online data set, and explore two static visual representations that capture the essence of the data. I selected the Per Capita Carbon Emissions Data for each Country. Organized within Gapminder and covering annual emissions data in metric tons per person per year, the data was sufficiently complete from 1950 to 2008.
Below are the two visualizations that I have done, using Processing for the majority of the work, and Illustrator for the headline and the legend. Both of them are very dense because of the nature of the dataset (more than 13,000 data points!), so their ideal media is probably a large poster, sized at A1 format. Nonetheless, I hope the images below give a sense of what they could look like in ‘real life.’
For the Spatial Media Midterm project, I am working with Luisa Pereira Hors. We have generated a wide range of ideas initially, from very artistic to very pragmatic, and then settled to tackle the problem of isolation caused by computer work. Our project is called Hive, and is using projection and multi-touch sensing to visualize and share one’s work activity in informal educational settings, such as the ITP lounge. Hive emphasizes ambient informatics, aggregating and mapping user activity within computers over time.
For the first week, we have developed a one-page concept sketch of a possible enhanced table projection system. Then we developed and refined the concept via storyboards, additional visuals and architectural diagrams. Over the next three weeks, we will have to refine the technical specifications, start coding the project using poCode (a library within c++), construct the table, and then make it all work. It is going to be hectic, in a good way.
For the first Spatial Media assignment, we had to come up with an spatial media application for a kitchen. My project is called “needl,” and it is an interactive cookbook platform that combines a recipe library with a touchscreen interface and a smart needle. For more information, see the one-pager project description. Feedback welcome!
For the Sculpting Data class, I am working with Adria-Navarro Lopez for the midterm project. We have developed a wide range of ideas initially, and then have narrowed them down to a candleholder object that is sculpted by data (see image above as our tentative project name). Our project posts live in the class folder, which can be found here.
From all these posts, perhaps the most interesting one is our recent concept presentation for CandleDark. We are interested in using candlelight as an ephemeral source to cast shadows to visualize data, either associated with light pollution, or environmental degradation. I will keep you posted as we proceed with the project.
It has been almost a month since Spring semester started, and I am just getting around to updating my blog! This semester, I am taking five classes:
- Spatial Media by Jared Shiffman (from Potion)
- Data Representation by Jer Thorp (from Blprnt)
- Sculpting Data into Everyday Objects by Esther Cheung (from escdesign)
- Comm Lab Web by Ruxy Staicut
- Intelligent Cities by Anthony Townsend