Thursday, 24 February 2011

Catch up

Alright, so my project is about utilising the data abandoned on the internet. There are gigantic amount of database out there, and they are potentially useful. Then, what I'm aiming at is to sort of recycle the information.

I build the programs which read the noise and convert it into links, getting some data from the internet. These programs use the data of wikipedia and create and interaction between people and the data that we don't usually look at.

That's why I came across the idea of 'physical search engine'. If I can make interface interesting enough to invite people, they would have the occasion where they see some potentially useful information without feeling like 'learning' or 'being forced'.

I just finished the presentation yesterday, and now I'm sort of looking back at where I started.
I started with focusing on SNS because I was interested in the live feeds people created online. We don't necessarily have a look at facebook, or twitter in order to catch some information on there, rather, we use SNS to put ourselves in the surge created by users. We want to feel the ambient sociality to reconfirm that you are not out of your society.

What should physical search engine search for? Instead of typing the letters into a form, me and my fellow decided to have dials. I'm picturing it as looks like radio.

Maybe this search engine searches for people's online activity, but not in terms of literal, or intrusive communication, but maybe in terms of ambient sociality.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

SNS Object

SNS is prominent, because it offers us with where we can always get in touch with someone else. The good thing of it is that we don't have to be bothered with intrusive communication. We can simply being a part of network and feel someone's existence, which help us to get rid of loneliness. So basically we are passively active on SNS.

Thus, if you don't have accessibility to these services, you are out of the network. For example, homelessness is one of the biggest social issue all around the world. And these homeless people doesn't have access to the internet, that means they are physically alive but socially dead.
Then I thought about what's the idea of "Socially Alive"? I think so far that means being a part of social network, passively exposed to information communicated on its network. Then we react to some of these information based on our interests.

So I came across this idea of SNS Object which is physically dead but socially alive. It lives in twitter, and reacts to some tweets on public time_line. It has its own interest, and choose the tweets to react based on that interest.
It's also important to have some follower or someone following, since the point is to be a part of network, having at least trifle influence on the network which the object belongs to.

My plan is below;
* the interest: Homelessness
* what it does: React to the tweet containing the word "homeless", and post a tweet such as "@####, I think we have a similar interest. Would you follow me?"

I think "@####" is essential to attract people's attention to SNS Object, aiming at having some followers. And also, this might be a bit too ambitious but I want to get SNS Object to be a hub of people who's got a similar interest.

I don't know how to realise this yet. But I will give it a try. Realistically, I would better start with getting object post "I think we have a similar interest. Would you follow me?" without "@####" because I don't know how to do it yet.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Ambient Intelligence

I've been researching about playfulness and prank.
One of the important aspects of play and prank is to encourage people to explore joyful potentials of mundane life.

The society put the grid of banal behaviors, blinding us by its banalisation. Both play and prank are means to go beyond the current norms, or systems, and make a positive shift to the next civilisation.

In 50's and 60's, Situationist tried to use play in a city as a tool to build the next civilisation. For them, manipulating the existing context of objects and architecture and creating some new meanings out of them (detournement)would lead people to realise the next civilisation which is based on the new norms.

I'm aware that the play in terms of playfulness, and play in terms of situationist are slightly different. Essentially, however, both play is the same in terms of observing things from the perspective which is free from the established way of seeing things.

Then, what's the difference between play and prank? Simply speaking, the difference is if it needs victims or not.
For me, prank needs victims as it's called "Practical jokes" in other words.

One of the historical pranksters, Abbie Hoffman, was an American social and political activist who co-founded the Youth International Party ("Yippies"). His aim was obviously to be against the conservative social systems of America in 60's to 70's.
An American media artist Joey Skaggs is famous for his hoaxes, aiming at screwing up the media and reveal mass-media's manipulation on people.
At this point they need someone to be embarrassed or even sacrificed to show off their stupidities.

However, there is exceptions. For example, in the manifest of the company called Improv Everywhere, they stated that "Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places."
Although they mentioned "Long form improvisation troupe which executes pre-planned "missions" which usually involve socially awkward or unusual situations", what they do is basically to encourage people to get involved in their lovely pranks and cause enjoyable mess in public.

I would love to encourage people to be more playful, but I don't want to cause any victims, so I gave up pranks. So there was playfulness left. Then I asked myself again that do I really want to design toy or games? Well, could be, but if I can intervene more ordinary aspects of daily life, I would be more motivating for me.
Then I looked back what I've done in the past, such as this.

And I found this.


When I found this, I felt like less-motivated to complete my sort of knock-communicator, but it gave me the interesting words "Ambient Sociality".
This device is for "people who work isolatedly to experience the presence of other, geographically dispersed people in a way that is at once playful and non-intrusive. "
This work really helps me to realise Why I prank.

My pranks are not aiming at annoying people or even anti-{insert your words here!!}
Since I'm not a native speaker of English, especially when I speak to someone whom I didn't talk much, I'm so afraid of annoying them that end up being less-speaking.
However, I DO want to communicate with people a bit more, then I try to do something playful in order to attract people's attentions, or even communicate by these playful behaviors.

In that sense, I tried to achieve nonverbal communication which aims at, for me, confirming that I'm connected to someone.

I think that the desire to stay in connections with others is one of the essential desire of human-being. That's why these social networking services, and GPS apps such as Foursquares are so popular.
But for me, these social networking services are still deeply relied on verbal, or linguistic communication.
As you can see in the example above, sometimes people want to confirm that they are not alone but can't be bothered with too intrusive verbal communication.

I think that is the place where I can match myself as a designer with the social contexts.
As an international student here in London, I do know the demands to get rid of loneliness, the difficulty of verbal-communication, and the importance of playful, or I would say emotional, communication.

I think Ambient Intelligence is the issue for me. But Ambient intelligence as encourage smooth, playful, and emotional communication among those people who are in need.
As expressed in the term of "Ambient", they are not like the feeds on facebook or tweets on twitter.
They are merged into the environment, and being as a possibility for people to interact with someone when they are in need. Also, sometimes they positively sense the people's need and modify our environment in order to smooth our communications.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Loop object

Laser + LDR = Loop object

The Laser from object A shoots the light sensor attached to the object B on the other side, activating its laser. Then, the laser from object B shoots back to the light sensor of object A, activating its laser.
This process repeats continuously.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Midi Gun

This is sick.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


I've read "Flatland" written by Edwin A. Abott in 1884.

I've been struggling to somehow visualise 4th dimensional world in 3rd dimensional way in terms of design, but always ended up facing with the aporia that 4th dimensional world is 4th dimensional world because it's beyond 3 dimensional perceptions.
There are some intersting insight about 4th dimensional cube saying the net of 4th dimensional cube must consist of 6 cubes, as the same way as 3D cube. But we hardly imagine how it would works.

In Flatland, the main character (square) had a hardship to understand 2nd dimensional representation of cube, since they don't have a sense of depth, or height (so there's no shadows) in Flatland. A drawing of cube is merely a hexagon for them.

In exactly the same way, it's difficult to visually understand how 4th dimension are, but in 'Thoughtland', as expressed in the book, we can grab a bit of conception of 4th dimension.

On the other hand, Some physicists say (forgot the title of book) the different factors are represented as different dimensions. For example, when you ride a bike, your body conducts 10 different movements. That means, there are 10 dimensions when you ride a bike.

If you think in that way, 4th dimension of objects can be extra 1 factor added to (x, y, z).

I randomly chose book to start thinking about this issue. Apparently, book is 3D object, consists of a pile of 2D papers (if you ignore the thickness of a piece of paper). If decided to add 'Frequency' as a different dimension (don't ask reasons). What's the frequency of a book? This is a part of my brains storming.

Frequency → waves of air → sounds → vinyl records
This get me imagine the utopia where people use noises instead of letters, to signify something.
It could be one of other possibility of human development in terms of many world interpretation, isn't it? (I know this isn't too logical, but wanna make it more fun to think about, for myself)

At this phase, I realised that 1 extra dimension wasn't frequency, but a history of books. We can't go other worlds even if many world interpretation was right. However, we can have an insight (not eyesight) into it.

I don't think it's too bad to take history as a dimension, because the time space is taken as 4th dimension in Relativity Theory.

White noise

So, the white noise is caused by photons emitted by Big Bang.
These neutrons and electrons have been cooled down throughout eras, forming atoms. But these photons are still too hot to settle down, moving randomly in the air. Thus, TV aerials catch these photons and show white noise on the monitors of TV.

In terms of it, TV is the machine to translate the random movements of photons into a graphical representation.

It's quite interesting that this mundane object shows a small segment fascinating history of the universe.