Can something high tech be powered by trash? My design combines the newest LED technology currently available with a battery made of simple, often thrown away materials as its power source. I put these two elements together to create a portable lantern that is both a useful light and a source of recycling intrigue. This lantern hopefully demonstrates the broad scope of materials we have here on earth, both old and new, and combines them. I decided to try and create a power source out of paper, metal, plastic, and organic materials from the trash and then publish a construction guide to recreate it using simple household tools.
Basic Analog Circuits, Project Development Studio, Thesis
DIY/GYN is how women in the near future hack their access to health care. Using tongue-in-cheek language, speculative thinking and emerging technology, DIY/GYN calls attention to precarious futures in the United States and reflects on what this potential situation means for us in the present.
At a time when technology creeps closer to science fiction, the news has a tone more similar to dystopia. DIY/GYN takes the role of imagination in relation to social justice as its starting point and explores how fantasies of the future can help us deal with our present realities.
Since Trump's election, we live in a time where things could change at any moment – bans, deportations, and other executive orders are frequent actions with life-altering (and threatening) ramifications. The project takes the current issues surrounding women’s health at its starting point – the closure of Planned Parenthood in Texas and potential loss of federal funding, the re-implementation of anti-abortion policies. We talk about these things possibly happening, but what does lack of access really look like? This project attempts to materialize and make real possible future scenarios in a way that feels familiar, yet strangely off.
Speculative narratives and futurist projects create space for alternative structures and a way to question our current practices. Similarly, DIY methodology finds agency outside of institutions, promotes alternative narratives for how the world can work, and provides human solutions to precarious situations. There’s a long history of alternative, specifically female medical practices and while some provide important alternatives to clinical care, more often they are stop-gap measures to solve issues of access to medical resources. After years of advancement in reproductive and sexual health worldwide, things might soon get worse in the US. Planned parenthood might be defunded and Roe vs. Wade could be overturned. However, these issues are still framed as a “female” problem and do not take into consideration their impact on all aspects of society.
DIY/GYN is set in a future world where Planned Parenthood has been defunded and many centers have closed. This is not far fetched – when Texas voted to close PP, only 10% of patients have transferred to other clinics. This begs the question, what are the other 90% doing to take care of their health?
DIY/GYN imagines that women take advantage of relatively inexpensive electronic components and everyday objects to find solutions to their gynecological health care problems. As this information is considered dangerous and prior resources unavailable, they source their knowledge and pills from a website on the darkweb: diy-gyn.info. The site is a cross between Silk Road and Rookie, Our Bodies Ourselves and Instructables. It teaches people how to take care of themselves, how to build tools to manage their health and how to smuggle in birth control pills from Canada (or set them up with a supplier).
I’ve focused on building out four pieces to illustrate my concept: the diy-gyn website (also hosted as an actual tor site), the porTORble purse router, the selfie-cervical-exam-stick, and the the Boob Tube smart bra. The objects use emerging forms of technology like IoT, bluetooth, raspberry pi, and wearables and familiar objects such as bras. As a set, they pull from current makerspace culture and playful feminism while assessing future needs and dangers that might arise from the erasure of planned parenthood and the criminalization of abortion.
The Periodical is a period subscription service that aims to change the way we experience our period holistically, making it celebratory, inclusive of all bodies who menstruate, while promoting safer products for our bodies and the planet. <br />
Menstruation is happening all around us. Yet society treats menstrual periods as a burden, something to feel ashamed of, and something we must pay for. It has been calculated that people can spend upwards of $40 per month on their periods alone, which includes tampons/pads, new underwear, chocolate, tea, heating pads, and a variety of other products we use during that time of the month. But what if people could get everything they needed, including treats and self care products, delivered to their door every month for an affordable price? The Periodical aims to do just that. It is a customizable period subscription service that delivers the products you use, as well as samples of safer alternatives to cater to your individual period needs.
The projected video installation rotates through a queue of 360 degree videos I recorded at Standing Rock, along with rectangular and 360 video clips submitted by any number of Native American contributors who recorded video at Standing Rock. Taken together, this flow of recorded perspectives is meant to offer a sense of place and the people who occupied it.
We develop socially and emotionally through play, but for children with disabilities, opportunities for play can be hindered through hospitalizations and extended separation from friends and family. Play:Connected employs connected devices to foster play for children with disabilities through real-time streaming video and internet controlled toys.
For children with disabilities in medical facilities, the Internet offers a connection to the lives of parents, siblings, and friends. Though their bodies might not be able to inhabit the same place, they can still play through the networks that connect people with a wider world.
Play: Connected features an internet controlled rover streaming video and audio to a child in a remote medical facility. Built from various microcontrollers, motors, and electronic components, the rover senses and responds to play with other children. In its current iteration, the rover engages other children via a foam-dart turret mounted on the device and activated by the child remotely. Others can retaliate via a sensor embedded in another foam-dart gun. When fired at the rover, the sensor activates a turret in the remote child’s room, discharging foam darts at him or her.
Hand gesture is the most natural way that people interact with the world. Chakr Gloves is a pair of gloves providing haptic feedback and gesture recognizing functions, which help people gain a better experience interact with the virtual environment.
The technology that enables the core experience that comprises virtual reality is progressing quickly, but as VR headsets become more advanced companies are looking to where the next generational leap in VR will come from. Arguably, that next advance will probably involve input. With spatial movement of motion and gestures, we can design and train a computer to get a better understanding of user’s intent. Meanwhile, we can enhance user experience by providing visual and haptic feedback.
Chakr is my thesis project, I designed and build a pair of gloves equipped with motion tracking technology and haptic feedback system. It can work with both virtual reality and augmented reality environment. When paired with HTC Vive headset and trackers, the user could see their hand and finger movement in virtual environment. The glove brings intuitive interaction to virtual reality. With vibration motors set, the user would get instant feedback from virtual environment. By utilizing machine learning technology, it can read gestures and movements precisely.
In Texere, digitally generated designs make up the patterns for a hand woven textile that highlights the commonly hidden context around spoken words. Inspired by traditional Folk Art and the use of language in Oral Societies, it’s about crafting unwritten forms of language as a way of preserving the human side of collective memory.
Language shapes the way we see the world. Language is the way we learn how to communicate and relate with each other. Technology cannot capture the human side of language, and that is how things are said. And in the way we say things, is where human empathy is being shared. Digital devices transmit and store text, digits and characters, but disregard any type of context. And without it, language is being reduced to meaningless words.
This project preserves the essence of the meaning behind being human in a world that is foreseen to become more and more automated. Since technology lacks our unique capacity of transmitting empathy and we rely on computers to talk for us, this project analyzes oral histories told by people. However, preserving daily social memory must now include not only the spoken words, but the context around it, represented mainly by the patterns of intonation, pitch, volume and pauses. These are characteristics present in every language.
After performing audio analysis of oral histories collected, and gathering inspiration from traditional Folk Art and crafting techniques, a digital language pattern that translates the spoken words into weaving designs was generated. Finally, these designs became a physical weaving piece.