Monday, October 02, 2006

Direction one: Home décor appropriation

Furniture is often thought of as having personality, or a least reflecting the personality of its owners. Is modernism cold? Victorian stuffy? Is an easy chair easy? Is the sofa jealous? What if furniture had a secret life that we are unable to perceive? Can we use our technologies to bring out these hidden personalities and domestic aspirations? Developing a chair that truly invites one to sit, or tries to avoid being sat upon, or lamps that flicker for attention, mirrors that wink…

Things that are similar:
Table that remembers where thing were placed on it

Roy McMakin
Marcel Wanders blow lamp

Direction two: Rooms that evolve

The way a space or room is designed, furnished, decorated and illuminated can have a powerful effect on how comfortable we are in it. Most spaces are not limited to a single use, but handle several depending on time and need. Take, for example, the kitchen: it may be used for food storage, food preparation and consumption, as well as the home office. Each of these activities places its own demands on the same space, yet we have very limited options over how a space can be adjusted to meet these needs. Rethinking this equation may offer a way to create rooms that react to our activities and enhance our moods.

Sensing changes in occupants as well as their activities could trigger changes in the physical appearance of a space. Walls that inflate to make a room feel more cozy. Or how about walls that change color, patterns and texture to move a room from bright and cheerful to intimate and sultry (Austin Powers’ bachelor pad, for example).

Things that are similar:
Philips TV, with integrated back lighting that matches onscreen color

Direction three: Objects that provoke interaction

Rather than passively waiting for an interaction to occur, design an object that demands interaction. Objects could be attracted by activity, movement, sound and move themselves towards it. Sound and light could also can be used to demand attention, whether it is a blaring alarm or a directed beam.

Things that are similar:
Ivrea alarm clocks
Cell phones
more relevent stuff?

Very cool project


Cactus with LED?

Monday, September 18, 2006


Videos of past project that will serve as the starting point for this one.




As a designer, I have always had a fascination with the products and objects we produce. The marketplace truly offers a mind-boggling array of choices, ready to meet the consumer’s smallest need. But while some products become huge successes, others are doomed to the scrapheap. What is it that differentiates these?

Besides the obvious components of price, function, brand and marketing, there is often an emotional attribute to a successful product. This emotional component can sway our choice when purchasing an item, or it may be the sole factor in our decision to buy. Designers have long tried to build in this emotional connection, both as a way to express the product’s function as well as a way to set it apart from its competitors. Through form and materials, designers have been able to create “cute” or “sexy” or “friendly” objects.

It is my intention to develop a series of objects whose emotional connection goes a little deeper than just the surface. With microprocessors and sensors, my objects will monitor and respond to their surroundings and to the way they’re used. The objects will be embedded with several “emotions” (most likely contrasting) such as friendly/unfriendly, or optimistic/depressed. The objects’ behaviors will only reveal themselves through interactions with the user.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Start Developing

Ok heres the plan for fall 06

Project definition: I intend to write a clear statement that clearly defines the scope of this project. This statement will describe the interactions I hope to create between the observer and the objects.

Ideation/exploration: I will explore various physical forms and means of physical expression. I plan to research behaviors, technologies and materials that may be appropriate in obtaining my goals.

Design refinement: At this stage, I (we?) will pick one or several directions for further development. I intend on building 3D computer models as well as physical models to scale. Technology will be at the breadboard stage with code developed in tandem.

Prototyping: At this point I will combine all the pieces to determine their validity and adjust accordingly. I expect this stage to be the longest as lead times may be lengthy. Depending on how things go, I may have to go back one or perhaps two steps to finesse the project/s.

Finalize design/presentation: Put the finishing touches on things, debug if needed and build working finished pieces. Also, prepare a presentation that explains the intent of the project, the process and technologies used.

Finished model: Present final pieces. Go home and sleep.