Category Archives: experiments

Future Creature Presentation

I presented my Future Creature concept to the Illuminations: Lighting class last week. The class is comprised mainly of Product Designers and Environmental Designers. I was able to get a lot of feedback about my project, and I also recruited a few people that offered to help with my thesis! Because this was a lighting class, we focused a lot on how the object could serve other purposes. We also discussed other observations about the behaviors of the object.

Here’s some of the feedback:
– It’s really entertaining and considerations should be made to turn it into a product.
– Color and math games can easily be attached to this object.
– The object seems alive. The smaller light balls seem to have a personality when they roll around together.
– A good starting point to evoke imagination and storytelling (YES! This is what I wanted to hear!)
– Consider other materials – i.e. what if it was softer, what if the outer capsule was made of silicon, what other colors could be used, etc.
– What would it be like if the balls were different sizes too?
– People liked the sound of the clicking tilt switches – it sounded like a very low level of communication between the balls

After the presentations were over, I went home and took some photos of the object in the dark. Enjoy!

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Future Creature…Almost There!

I have pretty much completed the heart of my probe kit!  This is part of the “Future Creature” Kit that I’ll be using next term. Details to come soon regarding the kit, but for now, here are some fun photos!

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Water Creature Prototype II

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Worked on getting the “Lillites” into the water today. These are just rough experiments using silicone molding. It came out looking a little like a jellyfish, or some sort of bioluminescent creature. The good thing is they are waterproof and buoyant! That was my goal for this round. Now it’s on the the important stuff – form and communication! More experiments to come! I’ll keep you posted.

“Lillites” Pre-Prototype

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Spent some time making these tiny things today. I decided to call them “Lillites” for now because they’re only 1-inch in diameter. I’m going to prepare to try and get some swimming in the water! More to come…

String + Breeze Experiment

Did some testing of some materials the other afternoon. It flows well with the breeze, but can get tangled up pretty easily. I’m going to experiment with other types of threads that don’t “stick” to each other so much. Nylon threads, metallic threads, fishwire to name a few.

Reed Switch Prototype

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I just finished making this quick prototype this weekend. This particular prototype responds to the wind. You can’t see it, but there is a piece of conductive thread dangling from the the leaf-like structure. When that thread hits an open loop, it closes the circuit, allowing the LED to turn on and flicker. I’ll write more about my observations in a little bit, but just wanted to get this up. Check out the video below.

Sound to Light Unit Made!

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Today, I made a simple sound to light unit. This unit is often used for alerts such as doorbells or barking dogs. Basically, when the microphone picks up a certain level of sound, it then triggers the LED’s to flash. There is a knob where you can control the level of sensitivity, but the range isn’t too large. 

I made this in order to see how it would react to environmental sounds. In the video, I demonstrated how the lights react to music. In regards to my thesis, I started to ask how this contraption would be useful to detect and visually environmental noise or noise pollution levels in a space or city? What if there were different light behaviors or colors that indicated specific types of noises? What if a bustling city was enveloped with these lights? What would it look like from a Google Earth map? Is this an opportunity to amplify an man-made noises or population density? 

Lately, I’ve been contemplating how my work can visualize environmental issues through the affordances of light. I’ve been questioning how to get people’s attention in new ways and I’ve also been wondering how the beautification around what I’m trying to create  might allow someone to be more conscious of environmental factors often caused by man-made interferences (like noise pollution). 

Here’s the demo of the sound to light unit below: