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See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception at Work Gallery

June 27th, 2011

I went to the launch of Madeline Schwartzman’s book See Yourself Sensing: See Yourself Sensing and exhibition opening at Work Gallery. As mentioned earlier I was part of a project called XSense which is now featured in this book. So of course I wanted to get a signed copy!

Special blog offer: If you’d like a copy of See Yourself Sensing with a 40% discount, please contact Jess Atkins at jess@blackdogonline.com with your delivery address and write ‘SYS OFFER’ as the subject heading.

It’s a fantastic book, containing a vast amount of really unique and strange art projects in the realm of our senses. I can really recommend it, as well as the exhibition if you’re around London this summer (open until 24 September 2011).

Madeline Schwartzman

Madeline Schwartzman signing her book See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception.

Several amazing pieces are exhibited, the first one catching my eyes was Face to Face by Ann Hamilton. She is replacing speech with sight by holding a strip of photographic film inside her mouth, using her lips to control the exposure time and aperture.

Face to Face by Ann Hamilton

Face to Face by Ann Hamilton. Pigment print, 2001.

Another classic piece exhibited is the Audio Tooth Implant by James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau. Letting a wearer perceive sound transmitted from a customized audio device inserted into a tooth.

Audio Tooth Implant by Auger and Loizeau

Audio Tooth Implant by Auger and Loizeau. Resin model with electrical components, 2001.

At the gallery I also met a former architecture student of Madeline: Jude Tedaldi, who besides architecture also is an amazing cello player…

Degree show at Central Saint Martin 2011 – MA Industrial Design

June 27th, 2011

At the MA Industrial Design 2011 show at Central Saint Martin, energy consumption was a present subject in at least three projects.

It’s well known that rewards and enjoyment are important factors when trying to achieve behavioral changes among people. In Switch by Orange, Marie Bachoc has investigated how to support teenagers in lowering their homes’ energy consumption through social networking activites and rewarded competition.

In Energizing Neighbourhoods, Bharat Bhargava has designed a multifunctional, public piece of furniture that lets people light up its surrounding through pedaling.

Energizing Neighbourhoods

Energizing Neighbourhoods by Bharat Bhargava.

Petra Schmidt has in her project Completing Absence designed a wall lamp that turns off itself after a limited amount of time. It’s constantly pulled up in its cable, letting its current position reveal how much time is left.

Completing Absence

Completing Absence by Petra Schmidt.

Degree show at Central Saint Martin 2011 – MA Creative Practice for Narrative Environments

June 27th, 2011

I visited the 2011 degree show at Central Saint Martins. This was the very last CSM degree show at Southhampton Row, Charing Cross Road and Back Hill before moving to King’s Cross.

The course MA Creative Practice for Narrative Environments aims to put their students in the hub of developing user experiences for museums, science centres and any other place where the narrative is central.

MA Creative Practice For Narrative Environments 2011 show

MA Creative Practice For Narrative Environments 2011 show.

Since I love bicycling, Pamela G. Parkers’ Writings on the Wall quickly became a favorite. She has created a audiovisual journey by bicycle to explore street art in London’s East End, using a stencilled system for turn-stop-slow-listen instructions, and a handle-bar mounted kit consisting of a map, speaker, light and instructions.

A positive effect from this kind of project is that it can attract an otherwise atypical cycling audience, who, as Pamela puts it, “are encouraged to find new connections to the city through cycling”.

Writing's on the Wall by Pamela G. Parker

Writing's on the Wall by Pamela G. Parker.

Other projects were e.g. Hayley Clack’s Olfactory Portraits and Keiko Furukawa’s home to HOME, both incorporating the sense of smell, and Corinne Rockall’s Sonic Stash.

Olfactory Portraits by Hayley Clack

Olfactory Portraits by Hayley Clack.

AA School of architecture Projects Review 2011

June 27th, 2011

At AA School of Architecture’s Project Review 2011, one diploma catching my interest was the one from the Unknown Fields Division.

In the project Never Never Lands: Prospecting in Dreamtime, the group has investigated new relations between science, nature and fiction, formulating visions of coming futures, built upon modern and historical narratives about each site. They have been out for a road trip across Australia, and one of their inspirations came to be Dreamtime – the creation mythology of the Aboriginals.

[…] our architecture will operate in the no-man’s land between the cultivated and the natural: a new dreaming for a new kind of wilderness.

The Unknown Fields Division: Never Never Lands

The Unknown Fields Division: Never Never Lands.

Going from Australia from Abu Dhabi, where the Intermediate Unit 10 has looked into urbanization using the conception of oasis as a model – Network Oasis. Their research was focused on “the qualities of the desert landscape and on the re-evaluation of the local cultural heritage”.

Below are some of their topological map illustrations.

Self-Organising City – City Oasis

Self-Organising City – City Oasis.

Self-Organising City – City Oasis

Self-Organising City – City Oasis.

Gone with the Wind

June 25th, 2011

I visited the sound art exhibition Gone with the wind at Raven Row (Wednesday-Sunday until July 17th 2011), presenting works from the sound art pioneers Max Eastley, Takehisa Kosugi and Walter Marchetti. Beside these artists, “the world’s first radio art station” Resonance104.4fm is  there broadcasting and organazing workshops.

Mano Dharma

Mano-Dharma, electronic, by Takehisa Kosugi.

Pulses by Takehisa Kosugi

Pulses by Takehisa Kosugi

Interspection by Takehisa Kosugi

Interspection by Takehisa Kosugi

XSense featured in book!

May 25th, 2011

I’m happy to announce that a project I was involved in as a student, XSense, is now featured in a book written by New York based filmmaker and architect Madeline Schwartzman. The book is called See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception, and can be pre-ordered e.g. through Amazon, or if you’re in Sweden,  Adlibris.

See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception

Testing a small heat element

January 8th, 2007


I’ve tried using a small element that generates quite a lot ot energy / heat (power resistor). The element was placed in a small keychain like piece of wood, which was intended to be worn in the pocket. Eaven though the power resistor in it self gets really hot, I discovered that it takes more energy than that to heat up a small piece of wood. I could sense that the device got a bit warm held in the hand, but definitely not hot, and there was no way to sense a difference in temperature when worn in my jeans pocket.

So, to save energy, I thought that it might be better to use metal in direct contact with the skin. This would be possible by embedding a heat element in e.g. a bracelet, or ring. I attached a power resistor in direct contact with my skin under my ear, and experimented with how hot it needed to be in order for me to react. I discovered that I didn’t really react until it almost hurt, the same kind of feeling as when touching something really hot, and the pulse from finger to brain through the nerves can be sensed. You know that it will hurt before it does… This kind of feedback can’t be disrespected, it’s very direct and draws attention immediately.

A strange phenomena that occured to me was that after using the power resistor for a while, and removing it from my ear, it still felt as if I had it there, and the spot still felt warm. Maybe this can be prevented by cooling the skin off again?

Two scenarios

January 8th, 2007

A thermal feedback system could be used for supervising certain situations, where it would be enough to show that information in “the background”. Under circumstances where an approximate picture of the current situation is enough.

One scenario could be when out in the woods with a dog. It’s impossible to see where your dog is all the time in the terrain, thus it would feel quite comfortable to be able to sense how far away from you he is at the moment, without having to actively look at e.g. a display. After all, you’re in the woods to enjoy the moment too. Having a small device in your pocket, you can tell by its temperature how far away your dog is at the moment. If it’s getting really hot, it might be time to call him in…

Using a change in temperature as feedback in an ambient information device could play its role as a navigation tool. E.g. when coming to a new town, one might have a number of places known on beforehand to visit. But knowing just about where those places are, not exactly, may lead to that I discover other places on the way to and around those hot spots.

Imagine going to the tourist office to get some information and inspiration about where to go. I decide a number of places I’d like to visit, then being allotted a small device with which to navigate to the hot spots. I dive into the city and explore it in a random but still controlled manner. I don’t have to know exactly where I am on the map, the ambient display gives me enough information to keep me on the track, still doesn’t force me to move in a specific pattern. I can find what I’m looking for on my own premises.

Videoprototype 1

November 21st, 2006

Sharing the Experience

A video prototype in the areas ‘context-based interaction’ and ‘sharing the experience’. Another way of saying that you can’t take the phone right now. Just put your profile on ‘eye’, and all incoming calls will be answered with broadcasting what you currently are seeing. The caller see what you see, a very direct way of diving into somenone else’s world.
Videoprototype I


November 20th, 2006

The theme for the body storming session was “Does it make sense without a display?”. The question was rised in order to examine how one could interact with a mobile device on-the-go without using a display, which would invite to faster and easier operation under specific circumstances.

The participants were given roles with connections to sport to play, e.g. a skier, a motor cyclist etc. For representing a mobile phone idea, each person chose one or more things from a random set of inspiration objects provided. Then the roles were played, performing tasks with the new “mobile phones”.

The runner chose the tennis ball. The shape and soft material makes it nice to hold in the hand while running. For answering and hanging up a call the ball was bounced once on the ground. For saving the last incoming phone number in the phone book the ball was put in a pocket and saying the name out loud. Calling a contact is made using voice recognition.

Depending on the pulse it’s sometimes hard to talk while exercising… It was suggested that prerecorded messages could be play-backed to a caller. Different messages could be played when squeezing the ball in certain ways.

The motor biker picked a hairband and put it on her wrist. Different tasks were performed by quickly holding the hand outside the helmet. Safety quickly become an issue here, taking the hands from the bar. It was discussed whether it would be possible to do the operations with the left foot instead.

The cross country skier chose the needel-cushion and needles. The needel-cushion was placed on top of the stick, for operations to be made with the thumb. One of the first comments from the skier was that it would be great to have a video camera on the stick, so people who call him can see the beautiful surroundings. When one doesn’t want to take a call, but still want to send back a message, simply just put on the camera. The caller sees what’s going on, and in the same time gets a bit entertained.

Each needle would represent a contact, placed in groups around the tomato needel-cushion.

The alpine skier wanted to embed the communication controls in the stick handles. Another idea was to embed them in one of the sleeves on the ski jacket, and just connect the mobile phone somewhere.

The boxer picked the pens. Here, the communication wouldn’t be two-way verbal, that would be impossible. Instead, it would work more as a motion based communication, maybe between the boxer and his trainer.

Runner 1
Runner 2
MC 1
MC 2
MC 3
MC 4
Crosscountry skier