Front Design receives 2007 Designer of the Future Award from Design Miami/Basel

( via core77 )


You’re probably most familiar with Front Design via the Sketch Furniture project, but it’s only one of many notable works by the all-female Swedish design group. Sofia Lagerkvist, Charlotte von der Lancken, Anna Lindgren and Katja Savstrom were awarded accordingly with this year’s Designer of the Future Award by Design Miami/Basel.

Each year in Basel, Design Miami/ recognizes an emerging designer who broadens our understanding of design by innovating new technologies, inventing new object-types, developing new approaches to the creative process or advancing new design philosophies…From initial concept to final product FRONT challenges traditional conventions of design with idea-driven work that powerfully reinterprets everyday objects.


For all those who missed the Sketch Furniture project, here’s the video :-

Filed under: art, design, physical computing, space/place, technology

Arm band allowing women to track their fertility in an easy and stylish way

( via twent1f by regine)


The Ovü, developed by Kathryn Bauer, is made up of a lace arm band, with a highly sensitive thermistor attached on the inside that picks up changes in the Basal Body Temperature (BBT) of a woman.This method of tracking fertility allows a dataset to be gathered of the woman’s cycle (which can be quite allusive at times.) This dataset, collected using actual sensors, allows women the tools to have more control over their bodies. There is no need to think and worry about babies all day long. Women go about their life as the temperature is tracked and uploaded to their online database.

The Ovü frees those women trying to become pregnant from having to be so focused on their cycle. The partner is involved in some way and the accuracy of the readings improves the chance of finding the right time to have a child.statistics and more research can be found in the PDF.

How it works:
1. Wear the Ovü on your upper arm.
2. The thermometer constantly takes in temperature in the underarm & tracks changes.
3. When the change is significant enough to imply a hormonal change (typically during ovulation), the device sends a txt message to your partner’s mobile phone.

Continue reading >

More on the trials and tribulations of the thesis process can be accessed on the artist’s blog.

Filed under: art, design, new media, physical computing, technology, thesis

Networked bodies: art, culture, environment and sustainment in cyberculture

( via networked_performance )


Lucia Leão

:: jun 14.2007 :: 7:30 pm @ i-People: Av Vergueiro 727, next to the Vergueiro Subway Station.

The relationships between art and nature have always been present in the human history. Since pre-historic times, draws of animals in caves reveal the aspiration to represent and/or control nature. Enigmatic pre-historic monuments and planetary observatories are also amazing samples of man interventions in order to understand the surrounding environment and its movements. From the Egyptian frescos, passing through moments of the Renaissance and 18th century art, the landscape becomes the environment for building narratives and, often, it takes an ornamental or symbolic character. The landscape paintings, not by chance, are very frequent and popular in the colonialist expansion periods and show very clear relationships between the territorial conquest and the aspiration of representation.

In the 20th century, starting in the 60’s, a radical transformation happens: the art stop seeing the nature only like an object for representation and the artists start interacting directly in natural spaces. In that period, artworks emerge pointing to several readings of the environment, among them: nature and space problems (Richard Serra); light transformations, time effect and visitor’s interaction (Robert Morris and Nancy Holt); environment and consumption (Christo); actions and incisions in the environment (Michael Heizer and Alberto Burri), among others.

Continue reading >

Lucia Leão is interdisciplinary artist, PHD in comunication and semiotics from PUC-SP and post-PHD in arts from UNICAMP. Author of several articles about art and new media and of the books “The Labyrinth of Hipermedia: architecture and navigation in cyberspace” (1999) and “The Aesthetics of the Labyrinth” (2002). She organized the Interlab collections, with international papers: Labyrinths of the Contemporary Thinking (2002), with nomination for the Jabuti Award; Cybercultura 2.0 (2003); e Derivas: cartography of the cyberspace (2004). Lucia is professor at PUC-SP and SENAC. As artist, she has exhibited, among other places, at ISEA 200, Paris; Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Campinas (MACC); XV Biennial of Sao Paulo; II International Biennial of Buenos Aires; ArtMedia, Paris; FILE -SP (2002); Arte Digital Rosario 2003; Cinético Digital, Itaú Cultural (2005); Mostra SESC de Artes (2005) e FILE Rio 2006.

Filed under: architecture, art, consciousness, design, fashion, films, locative, new media, physical computing, research, social, space/place, technology

Cell Phone Disco

( via the project’s website )



Cell Phone Disco is an experimental installation made out of flashing cells. By multiplication of a mobile phone gadget, only slightly altered consumer product, we created a space to experience the invisible body of the mobile phone.

Flashing cells basically consist of one or more LEDs, battery and a sensor that detects electromagnetic (EM) radiation transmitted by an active mobile phone. When the sensor detects EM waves it sets off the LEDs to flash for a couple of seconds. In general the flashing cells are enclosed in a plastic casing on a strap and sold as a fashion accessory for a mobile phone.

The Cell Phone Disco installation has two parts:


Flashing cells with sensors of higher sensitivity are used to detect electromagnetic radiation of active mobile phone in a range of approximately a meter. This way a sort of aura appears around the phone, revealing a part of it’s invisible body.

While the user moves around talking on his cell phone, this aura follows the conversation as a light shadow through the space.


Much less sensitive cells are used to create a canvas for an inkless marker. The LEDs get activated only by an extreme proximity of the electromagnetic source. Moving the phone close to the cells therefore leaves a trace of light, an electromagnetic drawing.


At the moment we are developing new variations as well as a modular version which can be used in public space and places such as venues. If you’re interested in applying such installation please contact us at projects@informationlab.org.

Cell Phone Disco is a project by informationlab.org & megla.org

Filed under: architecture, art, design, locative, mobility, new media, physical computing, space/place, technology

Selfish Joystick

( via wmna )

nOtbOt, by Walter Langelaar, is a self-playing videogame. Viewers who try to get hold of the controller can only be disappointed as the interface is controlled and deranged only by the reactions to its own virtual environment in a kind of loop where the bot is driven by the joystick and the joystick responds to the bot.

0ajoystti7.jpg 0ajoystti8.jpg

An old Logitech force-feedback joystick was modified so that it is used as input data to control a ‘first-person’ videogame. The view-angle data generated by the virtual player is sent to a PD app, which in turn loops the incoming data back into the force-feedback system of the joystick. The robotic maneuvers are projected in real-time in front of it.

Human interaction with the game/controller becomes obsolete, resulting in a completely erratic form of [art]ificial intelligence.


The work is part of the Gameworld exhibition at Laboral, Gijon, Spain. Runs until June 30.
Via Yves Bernard.

Filed under: art, hack, locative, new media, physical computing, space/place, technology

Helmet of the day

( via wmna )


One Eye Ball is an attempt by Hung-Chih Pen to experience the world from the view of dogs.

He mounted LCD displays approximately the size of eyeglasses in a helmet and connected them through a tube with a camera attached to the end of this trunk. The trunk reached to just below the knee of the viewer, just the height, where a dog’s eyes would normally be. Inside the helmet, the display shows what the camera records through the “dog eye”. You can control the camera by hand or by moving the body and thus view the world from various perspectives.

While learning to deal with this new medium, viewers experience a feeling of dizziness: it is as though they have to newly adapt all the nerves of their body to this situation, in order to experience the sensory perception conveyed by this new medium with its low-control and high-tech feeling.

More of Hung-Chih Peng’s work at the Virgil de Voldaire Gallery, New York. A solo show of the Taiwanese artist, Canine Monk, will run May 24 – June 23, 2007.

Filed under: art, design, new media, physical computing, research, space/place, technology

The Smoking Jacket

( via wmna )

The Smoking Jacket, by Fiona Carswell, has a built-in pair of lungs on the front that act as an iconographic “warning system”. The polite smoker can blow the smoke into a “container” at the collar, in order to avoid blowing it in the faces of people around them. The smoke then filters into a set of see-through lungs at the front of the jacket. Over time the lungs, which have an air-filter back, should darken from cigarette smoke.

0aatnijoki.jpg 0antismokej.jpg

I asked Fiona to explain me how it works: “When wearing the jacket, the smoker exhales cigarette smoke into a one-way air valve in the collar, trapping it in. The smoke is then channelled through some tubing to a pair of plastic lungs on the front of the jacket. Inside the lungs is air-filter material which darkens to a brownish stain after repeated exposure to smoke.

The lungs aren’t completely airtight, so the smoke will eventually seep out, allowing it to be used many times.”

So how did you get the idea? “My inspiration was not to change people, but to see if visceral, comic information displays could cause self-awareness and reflection in a way that literal, numerical displays can’t.

Continue reading >

Filed under: design, new media, physical computing, technology

Storytelling Wearables: An Alternative Autobiography

 ( via twenty1f )

Xiao Li Tan ’s Storytelling Wearables: An Alternative Autobiography explore storytelling and enable people to discover Xiao’s relatives and birth city through looking at the movie bag, examining the shell necklace, and by lifting the hidden pieces on the skirt.

The Portable Movie Bag shows images of Taishan in China. People can also learn about the stories of the artist’s relatives by lifting some fabric on the Peekaboo Portrait Skirt, and they can experience her childhood memory of shells through the glowing Mood Shell Necklace.

All the pieces are either powered by 3v battery, or self charged battery. They are portable and meant to be worn.

More pictures.

Filed under: academic, art, design, fashion, new media, physical computing, technology

The Desktop Factory

( via popsci )

  Nathan Ellis Perkel

Roboticist Hod Lipson wants you to stop shopping and use his portable 3-D printer to make your own stuff

By Corey Binns | May 2007

As a child, Hod Lipson lost Lego pieces constantly. Now the 39-year-old director of Cornell University’s Computational Synthesis Lab can build replacement parts on the spot. Completed last year, Lipson’s fabrication machine, called a “fabber,” can print thousands of three-dimensional objects, everything from toy parts to artificial muscles, using dozens of materials, including PlayDoh, peanut butter and silicone, by following simple directions sent to it by a PC. About the size of a microwave, the fabber costs $2,300 to assemble—roughly one tenth the cost of commercial 3-D printers. Lipson and his graduate student Evan Malone recently launched a Web site called Fab@Home (fabathome.org) to teach people how to build their own fabbers and encourage them to share their blueprints online. As a result, amateur inventors worldwide are now manufacturing their creations from the comfort of their own homes. The duo’s next step is to make a desktop machine that prints other machines, such as robots, complete with circuit boards. As soon as a robot walks out of the printer, Lipson says, Malone can walk out of the lab with his Ph.D. Q: What sort of things are people printing with your fabber?
A: Watchbands, squirt bottles, batteries, artificial muscles, even fancy chocolates. What you print is really up to you.

Q: How long does it take to print something like a Lego piece?
A: About two hours. The printer isn’t fast or efficient, but you don’t need to know a thing about manufacturing to use it.

Q: Wouldn’t it be cheaper, faster and easier to just go buy a new piece?
A: The only way to make something cheaply today is to have it mass-produced. For example, you wear the same shoes as everyone else. If you had a fabber, you could custom-make shoes that perfectly fit your feet. Three-dimensional printing will help us move away from the mass consumption that is so deeply ingrained in our culture.

Q: You’ve said you’re taking a lesson from the Altair 8800, a do-it-yourself computer kit that inspired the PC. Why?
A: Similar to computer technology in the ’60s, 3-D printing is a universal technology that has the potential to revolutionize our life by enabling individuals to design and manufacture things. Worrying about how you’re going to make something is a huge constraint—most people can’t make anything at home because it’s too expensive. We want as many people as possible to get their hands on this technology, experiment with it, improve it, and develop new applications for it.

Q: With all of the programs and product designs posted on Fab@Home, are you making a profit?
A: We’ve put everything out in a completely free way, no limitations. The Altair people never became rich, but they made history. We’re after that kind of impact. We just want people to use the technology to free their design creativity. Similar to sharing MP3s, people can exchange blueprints of product designs on the site. Maybe someday they’ll earn 99 cents every time their blueprint is printed.

Q: That sounds like an intellectual-property nightmare.
A: Oh yeah. This is going to make MP3 copyrights look like a piece of cake.

Q: Noy Schaal, a high-schooler in Kentucky, won first prize at a science fair for using a fabber to build a chocolate map of the Bluegrass State. Is she the kind of everyday user you have in mind?
A: Noy is an excellent example of how you can explore the fabber without much training. I’m really hoping this will pass the geek barrier. I want the technology to reach people who want to make cool stuff out of exotic materials but have no way of doing it. For example, you can put cheese in the fabber but not in a conventional manufacturing machine because you’ll void its warranty.The fabber is more about allowing designers to experiment with ideas than making anything in particular.

Q: What’s the most extreme use you have in mind for this technology?
A: I want a printer to be all we need to send on long-term space explorations. After landing, it would print a robot that could walk out of the printer, batteries included. If the robot discovers a cave that requires a special tool to explore with, it could head back to the printer to make the right gadget. And if the robot breaks, just print another one.

Filed under: applications, design, new media, physical computing, technology

Sonic Jacket

( via twenty1f )

The purpose of the ‘Sonic Jacket‘ is to record sounds from the environment through which one moves during the day or night. By the end of the day/night a traveler will have a collection of an environmental sound experiences.

Time of the traveling is determining different characters of experience. By the time differentiation are concerned distinct periods of the day and of the night.

So ultimately as a traveler can take pictures of places one will be able to take samples of sounds. A traveler is also able to share these sonic experiences through interaction with other people. Instead of using words traveler is going to use a sound to convey his daily or night activities, impressions and experiences. In this way ‘Sonic Jacket’ becomes a personal instrument of an individual creative expression.

Interaction between a traveler and people from his surroundings is obtained through physical contact. In the moment of interaction a random sound is played. The length of a sound is depending upon the intensity of interaction or the duration of physical contact. Intensity of interaction is depending upon the level of personal relation with the individuals involved in interaction.

Beside a sound as a new level of communication, ‘Sonic Jacket’ is also introducing another way of contact between people. Touch is concerned as a body language that can determine a level of personal contact between two people. As such it can also determine at what level is a relationship between two people. In this sense project is playing with a length of a touch. Length of a touch is determining a level of personal.

A project by Michelle Aoolfs.

Filed under: art, fashion, locative, mobility, new media, physical computing, space/place, technology

OFFF Day 3

A little background on Offf (through their web-site)>

Since 2001, OFFF is exploring software aesthetics and new languages for interactive and visual expression.

Every year, the festival features digital artists, web and print designers, motion graphic studios and avant-garde electronic musicians. But OFFF is more than an event about any of these disciplines. More than a design conference, a multimedia trade fair, or a digital animation festival. OFFF is an enthusiastic celebration of a new visual culture.

OFFF is spreading the work of a generation of creators that are breaking all kind of limits. Those separating the commercial arena from the worlds of art and design; music from illustration, or ink and chalk from pixels. Artists that have grown with the web and receive inspiration from digital tools, even when their canvas is not the screen.

From exercises in interactive synesthesia that excite all our senses to stage performances made of lines of computer code. All this, and much more, is shown every year at OFFF; one of the essential meeting points for the international scene of postdigital creation.

Past participants in OFFF include legends of graphic design and visual communication like Neville Brody, Tomato, Kyle Cooper or Stefan Sagmeister; acknowledged software artistssuch as Jared Tarbell, Lia, Casey Reas y Ben Fry, or Daniel Brown; innovators of the moving image like We work for Them, Tronic Studio, D-Fuse or Renascent; explorers of advanced interaction like Soda, James Paterson, Amit Pitaru or Craig Swann; and the most important names that have defined the aesthetics of the experimental and creative side of the Web: Joshua Davis, Yugo Nakamura, Hi-Res!, Josh Ulm, or Erik Natzke. The festival has also a special spot for the main names in the Spanish scene (Area3, Vasava, Innothna, Cocoe, Dani Granatta, La Mosca…) and for creators of surprising new kinds of sonic landscapes: Tujiko Noriko, The Vegetable Orchestra, Sutekh, Taylor Deupree, System, Daedelus, Stephan Mathieu, Kenneth Kirschner


Coverage by, (who else ?!) Regine

On the last day at OFFF in Barcelona, Matt Pyke gave a little walk-through of his work at the Designers Republic and especially all the things he has been setting up (from a lovely garden in Sheffield) with his multidisciplinary studio Universal Everything since he has left there.


Especially nice were the 20.000 generated characters for the Lovebytes festival which instantly became the subject of collecting and their installations for the Nokia store in NYC. On its screens you see people which are basically flocks of pixels which interchange parts of each other when calling – creating a simple yet poetic visualization of the company’s “connecting people”-mantra. They also have a blog called Everyone Forever on which Universal Everything collect stuff that inspires them.

Later that day, it was John Maeda’s turn which put me in a similar position to Régine when Bruce Sterling was talking at IFID since it was more of an eclectic lecture to inspire his numerous audience which is naturally difficult to write up. We’ll try anyway:

Actually, John Maeda never wanted to talk about his work in front of audiences like this again ever since an illustrator told him that his computer-based work “is so empty”. It’s much better to talk about ideas anyway. One of his latest ideas was Simplicity but he’s already getting tired of that by now. When he got really tired, he went on a vacation at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He needed to get khaki shorts, so he went to a GAP store and there was even more simplicity (“Keep it simple”), switch on the TV and you see Paris Hilton living “The Simple Life” and the list goes on. But maybe we just love complexity too much to make everything simple. Take the MIT media lab, a place which, thanks to I.M. Pei‘s architecture, looks very simple from the outside. Yet, it’s a very complex place. While at Google, you get free smoothies (and accumulate the dreaded Google 15), in academia there’s no such thing. Instead they give people titles, lots of them, making their lives ever more complex with growing responsibilities. As he also describes in his book Maeda@Media, John grew up in a family-run tofu factory in Seattle. Tofu also is simple food, but the edamame beans it is made of need to go through a complex process to become the final product. This was a very spartan education and made him thoroughly enjoy studying at school. When it was time to choose a college, he went for MIT’s media lab, which, from above, coincidentally also resembles a chunk of tofu. He met Muriel Cooper who told him to go to art school which is what he did and where he met more mentors like Paul Rand and Ikko Tanaka who were all very advanced in their careers and focussed more on humanizing their students than anything else.

John Maeda (sort of) and his Apple II

Early in John’s own professional career, Japanese cosmetics-company Shiseido had him working “like Batman, teaching by day, arting by night”. Yet, many would consider his work to be “eye candy”, a term which he would like to see replaced with “eye meat” since it tries to get to the core of the question about how to create with computers. Back in those days, Maeda got an Apple 2-computer for $1500 and it did nothing. In 1995 in Kyoto, he built the “Human Powered Computer” which replaced all the mysterious inner workings of the machine with people. Quite funny and it lead him to better understand the spirituality of the machine. Many said that “the computer is nothing more that a pencil”, a statement which made many designers and artists feel comfortable with great changes already on the horizon. It is indeed a great tool, but we’re still trying to find out what kind of tool it really is. Every today’s software works a bit like a tree with alternatives branching out everywhere. Problem is, when you try to make art you always get stuck on that tree. And: paradoxically, true art will always be off that tree entirely.

Read full article here >

Coverage by Regine >

Filed under: architecture, art, DIY, films, graphics, hack, locative, mobility, new media, physical computing, research, social, space/place, technology, urban

Sabine Seymour: Introducing Fashionable Technology


Sabine Seymour: sabine@moondial.com

Sabine Seymour focuses on ‚the next generation wearables‘ and the intertwining of aesthetics and function. She introduced the course ‘Fashionable Technology’ at Parsons, joined the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz/Austria, and consults on the ‘wearable initiative’ at Academy of Arts in Tallinn/Estonia.

Moondial Inc is the commercial entity that resulted from Sabine’s research and her role as an educator. Projects include prototypes for intelligent clothing, strategies for the integration of wireless technologies in clothing and equipment, and wearable HCI for healthcare and sport. Moondial Inc is now based in Vienna with an office in New York.

Sabine was a member of the International Programming Committee for the Wearable Experience section at ISEA2004. She publishes and presents for instance at Ars Electronica, Cooper Hewitt, and Viper. Selected press appeared in Financial Times, MSN Mobile Momentum, Advertising Age, De:bug, and Rhizome.

Sabine is currently writing her PhD dissertation dealing with creativity, innovation, and economics in smart clothing/wearables due to be finished in 2007. She received a Master of Social and Economic Sciences from the University of Economics in Vienna and Columbia University’s MBA program in New York and an MPS in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU’S Tisch School of the Arts.

Filed under: academic, art, DIY, fashion, new media, physical computing, research, technology

Carole Collet’s talk at Luminous Green

via wmna


Design & Sustainablity – How to get textile designers on the case?

Carole Collet is Course Director of the MA Textile Futures at Central Saint Martins, College of Art & Design which is part of the University of Art in London. Although it is the biggest university in the world, its programs deal very little with sustainablity. She explained how her message wasn’t really heard when she first proposed the College to integrate sustainability issues into the course. She just went ahead with her idea without really waiting for an official blessing from the institution. I then realized once again that i tour design and art school and still strive to meet lecturers or students who acknowledge the importance of being more eco-conscious. There are exceptions here and there of course. Tom Igoe recently told me about his scheme to push a sustainability discourse at the ITP School of the Arts in New York. With success as the list of student projects to be presented at the ITP Spring show demonstrates: the projects developed with sustainability in mind are clearly tagged with a green label.

Why should we be particularly interested in textiles? Because we wear them, live in them, sit on them, they are used in design, architecture, they surround us. If you look at the bigger picture, you realize that textile has dramatic environmental impacts on the world. Within 40 years there will be 3 billions more people living on the planet. Textile is a very polluting industry. An increased world demand of textile, especially of polyester, can have appalling consequences. Problems range from the use of textile chemicals, pollution to waste water problems, conventional cotton culture is damaging (workers have to wear protective clothing, etc.) But there are alternatives: organic, recycled, more naturally coloured cotton.

Full article here >

Filed under: academic, art, conferences, fashion, new media, physical computing, technology

Dialog table

via interactive architecture

Dialog Table is a shared interface where you use hand gestures to discover more about any dynamic information. Several people can gather around and together explore the table’s movies, narratives and 3D journeys. The table provides an opportunity for people to discuss with each other their thoughts on what they have seen, whether it be an artwork. a game or a service. The first Dialog Table was commissioned by the Walker Art Center as a permanent installation in their museum. The table won an international design competition to promote social interactions among visitors, to provide access to the Walker’s multidisciplinary collections, and to facilitate learning about art.

Filed under: academic, architecture, art, new media, physical computing, social, technology

Wash and Wearable: MIT’s Musical Jacket

via n_m_r 

The Musical Jacket–a Levi’s jacket that has been transformed into a musical instrument, complete with keyboard, synthesizer, and speakers, by students in the Opera of the Future and Physics and Media groups at the Lab.

The Musical Jacket looks like any other denim jacket, with an added decorative element: an embroidered keypad over the left pocket. This keyboard, developed by Interval Fellow Rehmi Post, graduate student Maggie Orth, and undergraduate researcher Emily Cooper, is sewn from mildly conductive thread. When it’s touched, it sends a signal to another processor, which in turn runs a MIDI synthesizer, built by Motorola Fellow Josh Smith and graduate student Josh Strickon. Sound is projected through mini-speakers in the jacket’s pockets. The whole setup weighs less than one pound, with most of that weight coming from batteries and speaker cases.

Filed under: fashion, new media, physical computing, technology