For the IDEO CoLab Hackathon, our group’s brief was called “Revealed Realities.” The main question that our challenge posed was: in what ways can we reveal invisible information in our environments (home, office, cities, etc.) using Internet of Things and Augmented Reality?
The following prototype was created in four hours with Matthew Young, Windsor Cristobal and Jonathan Melendez-Davidson at IDEO Cambridge in March 2017.
For the ITP halloween party, Shir and I volunteered to make a halloween-themed GIF photobooth. I repurposed some code I had written for another project to make an easy and fun screen-based solution. Aside from a couple of annoying technical things — like noise from the camera because of the lighting — it was super successful. We bought a bunch of masks and decoration to make it extra-themey for people. Code is here on Github and a preview of some GIFs are below.
Mnemograph is a participatory installation that connects two people through the language of their memories.
Sitting at a one-person writing desk, a participant is invited to anonymously contribute a personal memory in the form of a handwritten note. They insert their memory into a slot in the desk, and, through a process of automation, receive a print of someone else’s similar memory. Through this experience of anonymous exchange, Mnemograph creates brief moments of connection between untold stories, providing an uncanny glimpse into the private moments of another person. Its material — language — points to both the specificity and the sameness of the lives we live, and to our unique tendency as human beings to make meaning by connecting the dots.
Combining analog interactions and digital automation (in which the technology itself is obscured from view), Mnemograph poses questions about the relationship between technology and memory. What possibilities open up when we think about memory as an active process of creation rather than something fixed or static? How can a device illuminate the ways in which remembering is a generative act?
Media: Printer, document scanner, custom software, custom-built plywood desk, acrylic, paper, pens
More photos and documentation coming soon!
The biggest challenge for me with my fabrication so far has been figuring out what exactly I want to create — a desk? a booth? a wall? a machine? With this kind of project, and in general, fabrication is so much more than sticking your project in an enclosure last minute; it’s really the part of the project that people see and interact with, and so it carries a huge statement about what the project says and is about. Very stressful.
I went through tons of rounds of sketching, first with my friend (and master fabricator) Luke Stern. We came up with the design for a kiosk-like machine, prototyped the scale in cardboard and started to plan my fabrication.
The next day, I realized the form factor was wrong for the kind of experience I want to create (something more intimate that people spend time with) so I switched to the idea of creating a writing desk with all the hardware embedded.
I’ve met a few times with Ben Light who, as always, has amazing suggestions and guidance both in terms of design and construction. I’m going to be creating the top part of a desk (essentially a box with all of my equipment inside) that I’ll put on pre-fab legs.
Ben suggested I prototype in cardboard which I’ve been doing a ton of over the past few days. It’s really informed my decisions about scale, the placement of things, and been helpful in thinking through a series of challenge with the construction. Here are some highlights from my fabrication prototyping adventures.
At Nick Hubbard’s suggestion, I went to look at an exhibition at Brooklyn Historical Society about letter writing. It gave me some great ideas about scale, as well as subtle visual (and aural) cues I can use to create the experience I want. I also visited an exhibition on the first floor designed by Potion that had some very satisfying tactile interactions. Pics below.