Posts Tagged ‘exhibition’

First Skills Upgrade

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Ouch. This stuff actually happened before Christmas… I’m not that good at updating regularly. I’ll be back soon with a post about the TUI course we just finished, and hopefully that will make this site a bit more up-to-date.

Well, the last week before Christmas was dedicated to “Skills Upgrade”-courses. The class was split in two, one half was working with James Tichenor and Joshua Walton from Rockwell Group, on different proposals for interactive installations for SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. The other half (which I was part of) worked with games and computer vision which was taught by Yaniv Steiner.

The scoreboard featuring "pebernødder"

We spent the week experimenting with different small things within the field of computer vision. The first project we did, was the game “Style Wars” – a reaction game, where you use your hand as the game controller. The game is very simple: you and your opponent face each other like in a classic western duel. When you hear a specific bang-sound, it’s all about being fastest to draw your gun (gun = pointing hand). If you react too early (before the right sound), you lose. The name “Style Wars” doesn’t really make much sense – but the reason for the name is, that in the game, one player has the role of a flamenco-dude, the other player is a hip-hopper. I am assuming that it’s common knowledge that flamenco-dancers and hip-hoppers don’t get along very well.

Dave Mellis captured me and Erlend dueling in the video above. After making “Style Wars” which was based on simple Flash-motion tracking, we moved on to reacTIVision, where we made our own lo-fi reactable with a standard camcorder, a window and a desklamp. We used the table for testing and having fun with both Flash and Processing.org. One of the applications were a “body-mixer”, that made it possible to build your own custom CIID student (or freak) by mixing the legs, torsos and heads from all of us. The controls were three “dials” with fiducials underneath.

Playing with the body-mixer

I uploaded some pics from the skills upgrade on Flickr – you should check them out if you want to see some of the other cool stuff people made, like the Dancing Game, for instance… The thumbnails are here:

The last minute light solutionDaveErlend wonScoreboardJacobFiducials
Danger! Dutch techno aheadDanger!A wallA wallStyle WarsThe camera we used for Style Wars
The camera we used for Style WarsJacob and his thingTired peopleEline explainingEline's light installationEline's light installation
Eline's light installationEline's light installationKevin catching the ballKevin catching the ballUjjval explainingUjjval's sketch with fast shutter
Ujjval's sketchYves explainingAsh checking out Jacob's thingJacob's graphics projected on the wallPlaying with Jacob's thingreactable
A view through Jason's glassesFrancesco againThe dancing gameFrancesco dancingThe dancing gameSimona
1-day reactableFast shutter = Funky colorsYves shooting fiducialsMagnus and the scoreboardSkills upgrade exhibitionIt's in the hair

Graphical User Interface design – Part 1

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

After having spent time with the elderly, we started thinking in concepts that could improve the life of the elderly. We had the honour of having Niels Clausen-Stuck as guest teacher for the first two weeks of our GUI design module, where he, along with Alex from CIID, helped us through the whole design process. A process looking a lot like the good old ISO13407 which I am quite familiar with after having studied product development at DTU for 5 years. Well, this post is not going to be about design processes (though it’s a topic that I’m very interested in).

After having visited the elderly, we found out that they are no longer interested in creating and sharing new memories, they are more interested in re-living old memories, with people that can help them filling in the gaps and completing their stories from the past. But it’s not always easy to find people at your own age that you can actually do this with, as almost 85% of the residents on the old folks homes have dementia to some degree. And as the course was about graphical user interfaces, we also had to create some kind of device. After lots of thinking and another visit to Plejehjemmet Aftensol, we decided to develop a “time machine”. Well, not a time machine in the traditional sense, but at least something that would help you think back in time.

Radio in BW

We decided to build a radio, that could go back in time. Instead of having a frequency scale, this radio has a time scale. Turn the knob back to the year you would like to get refreshed, and the radio will start playing content from that period. If you only want to listen to specific types of content, there is a knob for selecting that, e.g. news, radio-theater or classical music. I won’t go into the details of the UI, but we put a lot of thought into arranging the buttons and the graphical layout of the screen, to be as intuitive as possible. As this mock-up was developed in the second iteration, it is still very early – unfortunately we didn’t have time to take it to the elderly to evaluate it.

The radio set to 1978

Technically speaking the radio is just a device with a wifi connection, and access to digitalised radio archives, e.g. from Danmarks Radio or BBC. The interface is kept “old-fashioned” on purpose, to keep a higher level of familiarity to the user. Our philosophy was, that this concept is a radio and therefore it should look and feel like a radio. Not a computer or streaming mp3-player.

Electronics-wise the mock-up (or hardware sketch) was built using Flash, Arduino (+ potmeters), a hacked Nokia speaker and an Asus Eee 901, all put into a cabinet covered with sheets of paper with a wood texture printed on them. The picture below is showing the radio when it’s not covered by the fake table.

Under the hood of the radio: Arduino and Eee 901

In general the GUI class resulted in some really nice models, considering we had very short time for the projects. Take a look at some of the other mock-ups in my Flickr photostream. If you don’t want to go to Flickr, the photos from the exhibition (and some from the process) can also be found here.

Marcin's smurfFirst concept sketchPutting Post-Its on the wallMessyBrainstormingKey value
Discussing ideasGood or bad?In or out?ScenariosScenario sketchesInterviewing
Taking notesInterviewingInterviewingInterviewing EbbaSid's fist snowNordic Brainstorming
Deciding placementDeciding placementSetting up ArduinoAndreas finishing the fake woodAlmost readyCool proto. Great UI.
Cool proto. Great UI.Controlling the showNice drawingsSetting the moodAndreas demonstratingAndreas adjusting
Hmm...Singing or presenting? Or both?Memory protoTired girlsFilmingNice setup
SimonaActive wallKevin and SidUjj pretending not to have a camera aroundJust tiredTired of it
Calendar systemVisitors from JapanRadio protoThumbnail sketchesThumbnail sketchesThumbnail sketches

Physical Computing Exhibition

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

The second week of the physical computing course ended with a small exhibition/presentation where we had the honour of having Bill Verplank as part of the external crit group. The second week was dedicated to developing a small concept and building a working prototype. The brief that Gwen gave us said:

Home automation and the internet of things enable our intelligent objects to silently communicate amongst themselves at faster and higher degrees of autonomy. This requires less and less interaction and relationship with the user. These trends also create and depend on cycles of replacement and upgrading, leading to the rapid discarding of old objects. Our project will challenge these behaviors of passivity and obsolescence by exploring and adapting the cultural, physical, and psychological user interfaces that reside in the objects we have given up on or replaced. How can new interactions with and between our old objects create more meaningful, engaging, and thoughtful relationships with contemporary situations, needs, and desires?

As more and more behaviors and interactions get packed into smaller and smarter objects, what are the physical gestures and interactions we threw away with “outdated” technology that could add logic, humanity, and meaning to our daily lives or specific situations.

Please find old objects and re-imagine their functionality: the way they interact with either another object, other objects, people, or the computer in new and relevant ways.

The result of that brief ended up in many different projects, ranging from games to physical products and public installations. Our project dealt with how technology makes our lives more efficient, but at the same time steal more time from us. We wanted to create a product that would facilitate break time in the otherwise hectic workday at the office. The project was called “Rock is the new swivel” and basically combines a rocking chair, Gilbert O’Sullivan and a coffee machine. Sounds strange? I’ll explain the project in more detail in the beginning of next week when we have a video ready. Meanwhile, check out the pictures from the exhibition (thanks to Ashwin by the way – he helped me by taking a lot of the pics).

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Photos from the computational design exhibition

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

The last two weeks have been really great! I’ve learned a lot, and I have found myself a new field of interest: Computational Design. The exhibition went well, and I think it is a nice way of ending a course. Tomorrow we’ll start the video scenario course, looking very much forward to that one too!

Here’s some of the pictures I took during the exhibition. You can also go directly to my photostream at Flickr.

CIID - Exhibition 1-17CIID - Exhibition 1-20CIID - Exhibition 1-19CIID - Exhibition 1-18CIID - Exhibition 1-14CIID - Exhibition 1-1
CIID - Exhibition 1-13CIID - Exhibition 1-12CIID - Exhibition 1-11CIID - Exhibition 1-10CIID - Exhibition 1-9CIID - Exhibition 1-8
CIID - Exhibition 1-7CIID - Exhibition 1-6CIID - Exhibition 1-5CIID - Exhibition 1-4CIID - Exhibition 1-3CIID - Exhibition 1-2

Computational Design Exhibition: My poster

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Here’s a quick pre-release! My poster for the exhibition this afternoon.

The graphics on the poster describe the head and hand movements of people performing a typical greeting from their home country. Recorded data (using a Wii Remote) consisting of the pitch and roll values of the movements, has been normalised and divided into 400 steps each. The visualisation – formed by coloured ribbons – allows a comparison of the different greetings just by looking at the overall shape.

Coloured Ribbons - my poster based on computational design

Coloured Ribbons - my poster based on computational design

Setting up friday’s exhibition

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Tomorrow is the last day of the Computational Design course. We’re ending the course with an exhibition, where we are showing our work. Basically it is going to be a mix between posters and interactive installations to try out. All based on data from a Wii Remote. This post is just going to be short: 3 pictures I took right before leaving this evening.

Preparing hangers for the posters in the exhibition room

Preparing hangers for the posters in the exhibition room

The eMacs are almost ready for running the Processing sketches

The eMacs are almost ready for running the Processing sketches

Meanwhile Erlend is sucking out the last bit of information in Dennis' brain

Meanwhile Erlend is sucking out the last bit of information from Dennis’ brain

There will be more information later this weekend, when the exhibition is over and I am sober (that almost rhymes).