Idea: Carrying your home on your back.
Future scenario: Nomadic lifestyles and homelessness due to overpopulation in urban centers.
Idea: Carrying your home on your back.
In his book, The Poem’s Heartbeat, Alfred Corn likens the composition of poetry to the process of weaving. He writes,”The word line comes from the Latin word for linen. Lines of poetry form a weave like that of a textile. Text and textile have same origins as well.” Poetry is essentially a literary work composed in meter, which is a controlled pattern of relative syllabic stresses that traditionally falls into some kind of pattern. Like a heartbeat. As someone who enjoyed but never quite understood poetry, I thought that it would be an interesting exploration to create a physical representation based on the concept of poetry as textile and meter as heartbeat.
In particular, I wanted to take a closer look at series of poems written by ee cummings. I had recently discovered his “experiments” poems, which he wrote as graduate fresh out of Harvard in 1917 while waiting to hear back from employers. At that time, the typewriter had just emerged on the scene as the hottest new technology. Cummings, who was fascinated by the work of a poet by the name of Ezra Pound (known for his unconventional meter and line spacings), saw the typewriter as a tool to push the boundaries even further. Though he also wrote traditional poetry (he was a big fan of the sonnet), he is most well known for his lack of capital letters, odd punctuations, and some nonsensical, almost unintelligible compositions. I found this story of young ee cummings fascinating and inspiring because he sounded like, well, an ITP student. If ITP was around in the late 1910s and instead of ICM, there was a typewriter class, I’m certain that his experimental poetry would have been jaw-dropping Spring Show material. He rebelled against rules and convention, took risks, saw potential in new technologies and succeeded in doing what he was most passionate about. And I’m almost certain that the jobs he was applying for at the time had nothing to do with poetry.
My visualization looks at 8 of the 10 experimental poems. The yellow/orange threads essentially link the relatively stressed syllables together, while the secondary color links the unstressed syllables, thus illustrating the meter of each poem. I also laser etched the words on plexiglass frames exactly as Cummings intended for them to appear on a page, for reference and integrity. Each piece is been purposefully displayed sideways so that the representation of the meter by thread resembles that of an EKG. Though maybe not what one would consider a typical data visualization, I thought my personal experiment with the “experiments” turned out quite successfully.
Inspired by summer play patterns revolving around camping experiences and the wonders of nature and the night sky, Kemeya Harper and I teamed up to develop Sky Bub for our Toy Design final project. Sky Bub is a fantastical half-dome planetarium in which whimsical representations of celestial elements such as stars, planets and atmospheric gradients are conjured up by combinations and variations of sound created from a drumming circle consisting of three drums within the dome. Each drum controls a different celestial element. Sky Bub encourages children to experiment with the sounds created by each drum and collaborate with each other to produce a rich, musical, visually-captivating immersive experience within the dome.
In concept, the Sky Bub will utilize a new technology called Lumalive, a breakthrough light-emitting fabric developed by Phillips. Phillips is currently preparing for a full-market launch of the material in May 2011. For our prototyping purposes (as the Lumalive fabric is currently unattainable), we will use projections to simulate the experience of the light-emitting fabric.
I think I have some sort of weird infatuation with data visualizations. There is something about presenting hard numbers and words in a visually appealing/ accessible format that makes the nerdy artist in me all giddy.
Moving on, using the New York Times Article Search API, I was able to generate a list of the 15 names and organizations that appeared in the most “Fashion & Style” related NY Times articles from 1981 to now. At the top of the list of names are Karl Lagerfeld, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren. Of the organizations, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Council of Fashion Designers of America, FIT, Vogue and Chanel. Moving forward, I think it would be interesting to create a visualization that will illustrate the relationships and draw connections between the top figures in the fashion world.
The 2011 Microsoft Design Expo theme is “Get Connected, Stay Connected,” posing to us the challenge of exploring possibilities of “real time data transmission and seamless connectivity.” Here at ITP, we narrowed this broad and daunting topic down to something more palatable and relevant to us as students living in New York City. We decided to put our own spin on the theme and challenged ourselves to come up with ideas that 1) served to improve life in the city, 2) focused on a demographic other than our own and 3) were doable within the skills of our teammates.
My team consists of JiHyun Moon, Miguel Bermudez, Doug Thistlewaite and myself. The working title for the first idea we proposed to the class is called “Streets,” an online resource of user-generated maps in which users can submit recommended walking routes and points of interests within particular neighborhoods. Streets is designed primarily for visitors to New York City, more specifically those who consider themselves “non-tourists,” interested in exploring the local culture within neighborhoods as opposed to the larger, typical tourist attractions.
How it works: Let’s say that Sandy is visiting New York City for the first time. Instead of joining her grandparents for the Empire State Building tour, she’s more interested in spending 3 hours on a Saturday morning having brunch and doing a bit of thrift store shopping in the East Village neighborhood. Using Streets, Sandy could easily search for a walking route that matched her specific requirements and have immediate access to the highest-rated map for brunch and thrift stores, recommended by a native New Yorker.
Streets basically allows a visitor to take a walk in a new city in someone else’s shoes. Not only does it connect visitors directly with the local community, it provides a better way for them to find things to do that is tailored to their interests and trip specifics.
I created the wireframe below to give a sense of how the website might look and function:
Our assignment this week was to utilize HTML and CSS to create a website for a classmate’s project. Below is the simple microsite I created for EunYoung’s “Dynamic Canvas” project, which was featured at the ITP 2010 Winter Show.
Our Toy Design assignment for this week was to create our own version of a Jack-in-the-Box, complete with the element of surprise, a repetitive action, a “box” that opens. I wanted to recreate the house from Pixar’s “Up,” one my favorite movies of all time.
I tested a water balloon with helium chosen for its smaller size to be able to 1. fit approx. 10-12 inside the house, 2. be of relative size to the house. I attached the balloon to a thin piece of thread (heavier strings seemed to weigh down the balloon too much) and taped it behind the chimney. It floated successfully!
30 minutes later, the balloon was on the ground. Water balloons I discovered are made of a thin latex material (thinner than the standard 12″ latex balloons) which allows for the helium (one of the smallest and lightest of atoms) to leak through quickly. I realized here that I would be unable to present the project in class using water balloons would lose much of the helium by the time the project could be brought to school. Standard-sized balloons would have to be used instead, unfortunately.
With the outward facade completed, I began to code the Arduino microcontroller and design the crank and internal mechanisms of the box that would control the music (via wave shield and speakers) as well as open the roof/release the balloons. The crank was created using a 3/8″ dowel with a pen casing used as the shaft through which the crank could turn. A gear was laser cut from a piece of acrylic plexi, which was then attached to the dowel. The crank was specifically designed to hit a momentary switch when turned, which would then trigger the Arduino to begin the music. A last minute decision to cover the momentary switch with black felt helped mute the loud sound of the plexi hitting the plastic switch button. To open the roof, a piece of string was attached from the base of the roof to the crank shaft using velcro. As the crank turned, the string would wind and eventually become taught, pulling the roof open. The velcro made it easier to unwind the string from the shaft after every run.
//THE FINISHED PRODUCT
If I were to recreate this project in the future, given more time than a week, I would like to use more durable materials, such as wood instead of foam core. I had not anticipated that the foam core would warp when painted over, which made it extremely difficult to attach the pieces together.