December 17, 2007

Touch Project: jane powers "comfy: whenever/wherever"

The piece "comfy: whenever/wherever" is a portable (somewhat) seat that attempts to provide a place to "retreat" to regain calmness/quietness. The thick foam cushioned seat and back allows the body to sink in. A fleece throw-blanket is attached to offer warmth and the soft stuffed cat cuddliness. Sitting on the seat causes a red light under the fur of the cat's forehead--referencing a third-eye--to being pulsing. It is meant to catch the focus of the seated person with the hope that the person will pick-up and engage with the cat. Stoking or hugging the cat will shift the red light to a blue pulsing light. The longer the cat is stroked/hugged, the slower the light pulses until it becomes a steady blue light.

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November 15, 2007

Project: What I used to call BodyMemory


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October 9, 2007

Infinity Box Schematics

This is the diagram to help me begin the fabrication of these infinity mirror boxes. This is the trigger switch as well as the possible housing for 3 of these boxes.


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Ephemeral Graffiti

Ephemeral Graffiti is project that I am working on that allows one to influence a space with their touch and gesture. As one places their hand near one of the nodes it will light up, glowing green. They can move their hand around the area lighting up the rest of the nodes, creating various patterns. I am designing this piece to be expandable or "shrinkable" according to the space it is installed----
the basic group consists of a mother node (which contains the arduino chip and power source)--- then from the mother various parasite nodes will connect (only containing a sensor)--- from my research it seems as though one mother will be able to run about 6 parasites-- however this is not yet tested---


Project 1: Sensitive

For my project I will be doing it with light and color. My project will be a soft ball, small pillow, or anything soft and small. The pillow or soft ball will change color accordingly to the pressure that it is given. The pillow will be sensitive and will react accordingly to the pressure given to it. For an example, if I was to grip the pillow very hard, then the pillow will glow a violent red. If the pillow is to be handle carfully and sofly, then it will shine in a calm blue. The colors will vary from blue to red.

October 8, 2007


Photo 5.jpg

I finally was able to make a circuit board and surface mount this wee little ic on!!!

ps-- don't feel like you need to understand anything I just said--- if you wish to know more ask me/i will create a tutorial!!

October 2, 2007

Body Memory

Concept: Body Memory is an investigation into a field, a grid, of autonomously reacting devices, in this case to the heat of touch. The grid is made up of thermistor-LED pairs. Ideally, the LED of each pair can display a range of values/hues.

When a hand, finger or otherwise warm touch comes in contact with the grid, the warmth is remembered and depicted as a glow from the LED array. The amount of time of contact determines the intensity of the reaction, depicting a slow "warming" of the memory. Once the touch is removed, the glow remains but attenuates slowly until another source of warmth is introduced.


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Touch, response, and inanimate objects

For this project, I chose to focus on the connections people make with inanimate objects. People rarely make strong emotional connections with hard and/or cold objects, while the opposite is common with soft, warm, or otherwise tactually inviting objects.

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Finger Painting, Music, and Movement

Conceptual: Finger painting creates direct contact between creator and product. And although it requires only very little coordination or skill, its sensory application make it a unique outlet for creative expression. My project gives the opportunity to create art without the limitations we ready associate with academia and art. It is a place where you are free to do as you wish, paint anything you want to paint; and it is finger paint so no historical or contemporary norms and standards. Failure and inadequacy are not given consideration; the choice of color, the use of space, and they type of stroke applied is never defined.

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September 27, 2007


There has been a nightmare that has been plaguing me because it was so visually stimulating that I felt this urge to depict it. I could not give the vision justice in a painting so I pretty much gave up. The nightmare goes as follows: I was falling for a massive chunk of the dream; falling in between a system of pipes, but the pipes had spikes as well as other individuals who had managed to clutch for their lives and were thusly ferociously grasping at me for aid as I fell. Finally, I splashed into a body of water with relief. Then assessing the situation I realized that the water was not only grotesque but also filled with dead bodies. I looked to the distance for an escape and woke with the realization that all I could see through the eerie fog was an infinite grid of these pipes and speckles of corpses.
My goal for this project is 1.) to attempt to accurately share the emotion felt during this dream and 2.) to discombobulate the viewers perceptions (this is a general goal I am currently struggling to achieve with all of my art). However, all I may be able to do is allow people to feel a nightmare.
My idea is to set up my old bed for the viewer/participant to lie down in. However, when a head touched the pillow it will activate sensors that will control spooky effects. I am thinking about sounds from under the bed, and isolated/dark lighting. I was also contemplating adding a stuffed animal that one could squeeze to get it all to stop.
If I were to depict this nightmare, I would need to somehow simulate falling with noise, moving lights, or something of that sort. I could set the actions in a time line, lights go off with a solitary eerie light, falling, a splash, possibly a stink, and dying groans/screams of people near and far, and then maybe (if I want to be more complicated) either activate cardboard pipes to lower or shine lights on previously hidden piping. I could make the whole set up more intense with dry ice and probably numerous other cheesy and over complicated special effects. My hope is to figure out an accurate way to represent the fear and dismay invoked in the nightmare in as few sensory displays as possible.
I am currently working on a painting of this nightmare, attempting to depict the horror in a serene and beautiful composition. (Not to boost, but I think I may have succeeded). I am trying to decide if it is necessary to follow through with my original idea of having the viewer interpret the painting one way and then having their perceptions unsettled by other sensory clues. I could hang the painting and somehow inform the viewer to get comfortable in the bed in order to interpret the artwork.
That was a long explanation of where I am.

nightmare plan

Interactive Teddy Bear


Here is an incomplete schematic of a Teddy Bear whose behavior is altered by the approach of a foreign body (human or otherwise). I'm attempting to create an equilibrium between our natural tendancy to want to touch the bear (since its cute and cuddly) with sensory information that might disuade us from doing so. The presupposition is that we have an "imagination response" of feeling the bear which arises from our previous experience of other like objects. This is to say, before we ever touch the object we have already formed a perception of what touching the object would be like. This imagination response can both amplify or diminish our desire to come in contact with the object.

Starting from the initial assumption that the teddy bear represents a desirable object for touching I propose a series of demotivations as the viewer approaches to interrupt or derail their imagination response and replace that response with a perception of danger or inpending defensive action. This will be acomplished with various visual and auditory cues (facial expressions, showing teeth, eyes lighting) and audio cues (beginning from benign sounds, becoming more violent and forboding as the person approaches). However, if the person's need for touch supersedes their reactions to these demotivators (they are undeflected) they are rewarded by a pleasant environment for touch.


resistor plate touch sensor

The touch sensor project I’m working on involves a variety of resistors connected to conductive objects. When the objects are brought together the circuit is completed providing different values that the microcontroller can collect. The different resistance values then can be used to trigger different sounds, notes, and possibly lights or video. One object described in my sketch is a metal plate that has been cut into pieces and reconfigured with an isolating material between the sections, thus creating different resistance zones that another object can be touched to which completes the circuit.

resistor plate sketch.jpg

Download PICO file

steven's thing

steven .jpg

Andy's Proj Sketch


Jessica's Sculpture Installation Idea

My aim is to create suspended cocoon-like forms from the ceiling to create a sculpture installation. Viewers are invited to walk between the cocoons and pet their exterior. When brushed softly, light will illuminate the interior of the individual form to reveal something unseen otherwise. Petting will also cause the forms to illuminate and purr.

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Switch as a gateway/portal


Project 1 - touch /sensing the intangible

Ceate a new entry and add you project descriptions to this category.

The Process of Touch

As a designer in the 21st century, it is quite often a computer that aids in the actualization of a concept or design idea. The mouse in particular is the instrument that makes many of our intangible thoughts or rough sketches into a reality. While this tangible product gives life to the intangible form, it takes away the life of the conceptual idea. To me, the ideation stage can be more stimulating and satisfying than the production, for it is during this creative process that I thrive and feel energized. There is obviously a level of desire and intent to actualize a concept, and as it is happening, it is both satisfying and disenchanting; however, while thoughts become reality and receive new life, their original form is diminished. Therefore, I see the mouse as a dual-edged sword, a necessary evil.

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