Archive for March, 2010

Artists Are Magical Helpers

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Artists are magical helpers. Evoking symbols and motifs that connect us to our deeper selves, they can help us along the heroic journey of our own lives. […]

The artist is meant to put the objects of this world together in such a way that through them you will experience that light, that radiance which is the light of our consciousness and which all things both hide and, when properly looked upon, reveal. The hero journey is one of the universal patterns through which that radiance shows brightly.

-from Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation by Joseph Campbell

RapidFTR: Via USA Today

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

USA Today also indexed the Ostatic post.

The word is spreading!

RapidFTR: We’re On Ostatic

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

A nice little write up on Ostatic – an open source blog.

http://ostatic.com/blog/rapidftr-helps-reunite-children-and-parents-after-large-scale-emergencies

RapidFTR: As We Go Along

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

We mocked up these screens and put this video together back in November/December, but I never posted it – until now. RapidFTR has progressed greatly since then and much has happened in the past three months. Jorge’s been doing an incredible job managing the project and I’m excited that it’s evolved beyond our Design for UNICEF class.

For more info: http://www.rapidftr.com

Rapid FTR: Mock Up from teknevision on Vimeo.

Cycle 2: Installation Design Sketch

Monday, March 15th, 2010

A rough sketch of the inflatable installation idea. This is definitely NOT to scale.

CYCLE 2, DAY 7

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Design Notes:

Installation
*Ripstop Nylon
*Vacuum Fans w/ Motor
*Leafblower
*Lighting w/ gel designs
*Hypersonic speakers
*Motion tracking(?)

Website:
*Ingredients/Components
*Origin of each.
*Modular?
*Which parts are easily re-purposeable?
*Energy intake?
*Energy output?
*Local materials?

CYCLE 2, DAY 6

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

I just downloaded Balsamiq Mockups to use for wireframing the website idea. I have OmniGraffle Pro and even though there are a bunch of stencils available for web wireframing, I find the mish-mash of different styles distracting. OmniGraffle may be useful for the installation idea.

I’ve been looking online for a website dedicated to some kind of DIY Sustainability and though I can find the term in random articles and blog posts, nothing yet is full on. I’m concerned that I’m possibly not using the right combo of search terms and that perhaps one or several exist, but are just not prominent via Google.

At this point, the idea is to have a reader/user submissions that go through a review process before being published.

Some ideas:

What makes this project sustainable?
Is it the energy it uses?
Is it the energy it generates?
Is it the materials?
In what way are the materials sustainable?
Where do the come from?
How will this break down after?

For the art installation (2nd project idea):

The concept of an installation that pops up only when there are viewers illustrates how the artwork only exists if there are people there to view and experience it.

It also reminds me of the philosophical idea of “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

I have to figure out how large and powerful the fan needs to be in order to blow up the inflatables. I’m thinking the “final prototype” of the forest will be somewhere between 4 & 5 feet high.

I’m wondering if the fan/fans can be turned on and off using a midi-controlled light dimmer. I will test something other than a light this week and hopefully there will be a fan of some sort on the floor I can use.

Also found the work of Chico Macmurtrie.

Sketch idea:

Person walks into room
Sound starts
Then video
Then inflatables.

CYCLE 2, DAY 5

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

I’ve been enduring a headache since early this evening and feel it more as I use the computer. I believe the headache is a result of considerable tension/achey-ness on my eyeballs – so I will make this very brief.

I’m currently looking at CMS (content management system) options for the website. I looked through a CMS matrix, but it only does initial comparisons by name, instead of having a tick-list of features.

So – I’m narrowing it to the three popular ones: Joomla, Drupal and WordPress.

The site will basically be composed of a combination of submissions that will be subject to an review process (similar to Make) but possibly have video embeds and/or several still images per submission.

For the installation idea, instead of several fans per pop-up, I was thinking that a routed pipe with a big fan on one end could work – similarly to a ventilation system.

CYCLE 2, DAY 4

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Today was very Sunday-like: late-start, sunny, warm(!), slow, incongruous pop-lock-krump-flipping to Classical music (a la Oscars)….

In other news, I’ve been researching inflatable art online and Lina was kind enough to suggest an artist that works with inflatables – Carlos Blanco. Here is some of his work.

I’ve seen a lot of cool artwork, but nothing yet like what I have in mind. So far – the work I’ve seen – with the exception of the subway grating pieces – use some kind of polyvinyl – which is too heavy for what I have in mind.

I’m also looking at 360 degree projectors.

Since I seem to be having this conflict of either going with something resourceful and sustainability related or something that’s purely artistic expression/exploration, I just had a whim to look up existing combos.

Some interesting resources:
http://greenmuseum.org/
http://www.thegreenartproject.com/

CYCLE 2, DAY 3

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Today was composed of….

Day:

Night:

CYCLE 2, DAY 2

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Today was primarily about the Cymatics exhibit build and prepping for my performance tomorrow night. Though – it was more of an equipment check and no practice whatsoever.
Aside from those things, I’ve had two ideas in mind for my thesis project. One is web based resource – which would also be the continuation of my If Products Could Tell final. The other idea is more whimsical and artistic and essentially an interactive installation which incorporates a pop-up environment (with inflatables). I will have to post my sketch of it later on, possibly Sunday – as tomorrow is a full day of class, then the exhibit/performance at 319 Scholes.
Today was primarily about the Cymatics exhibit build and prepping for my performance tomorrow night. Though – it was more of an equipment check and no practice whatsoever.

Aside from those things, I’ve had two ideas in mind for my thesis project. One is web based resource – which would also be the continuation of my If Products Could Tell final. The other idea is more whimsical and artistic and essentially an interactive installation which incorporates a pop-up environment (with inflatables). I will have to post my sketch of it later on, possibly Sunday – as tomorrow is a full day of class, then the exhibit/performance at 319 Scholes.

319 Scholes: Night Set-Up

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Moments ago:

CYCLE 2, DAY 1

Friday, March 5th, 2010

I’ve successfully gone through the 21 days of meditating, observing, documenting. I am now in my second cycle of 21 days. This cycle is supposed to be the Design Process. Although, I believe during the Design process will also involve prototyping and building throughout. This morning I felt like I had a better idea of my direction. However – in this rather late evening/wee morning – I am feeling unsure. In this moment, I’m sifting through personal feelings, connections, inspirations, illuminations, aspirations, disconnections, discouragement and doubt.

What is the right direction?

Where is my heart?

Where is my head?

Where do the two meet?

What are the steps moving forward?

Today’s design should also entail the initial  aspects of a framework. I will lay this out in more detail as well as more of today – in a few hours.


WEEK 3, DAY 21

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

I feel like I’ve just had the recipe for getting to sleep ASAP. It includes an early morning, day of stuff, beer before a meal, and a filling dinner. Add a dimly lit room and voila! Instant sleepiness!

I received the Tisch Alute notice today in the mail and the card colors are more or similar to the cover of  the Cradle to Cradle book, but bolder.

Today, I also ate some yogurt and found this under its lid:

The idea of reducing junk mail and al the paper manufactured along with it is a great task. But this makes me think of SPAM and electronic junk mail – and I wonder just how much SPAM is actually circulated. What percentage of email is straight up junk? And how much data storage does all that SPAM take up in data centers around the world?

For my final last year in the Sustainability/If Products Could Tell their Stories class – I found a 2007 Environmental Protection Agency report (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=prod_development.server_efficiency_study) that stated in 2006, data centers consumed 1.5% of the total electricity used in the U.S. – or I 61 billion kilowatt hours. When this study was published, it was estimated that those numbers would double by 2011 and 10 additional power plants would be needed – if the energy consumption continued on the same track.
Since then, many companies have started to make/build “energy efficient” data centers – such as Google . But even then, I don’t know what kind of follow-up has happened via the EPA or other organizations, nor do I have a clue what those numbers are today in 2010. Energy efficiency is addressed in the Cradle to Cradle book and essentially they say “efficiency” is not enough and should really be replaced with “effectiveness”.

Going from paper junk mail to virtual junk mail and the data centers that store all the virtual and electronic-ness – prompts me to question how much energy “cloud computing” currently consumes. As the cloud grows (just as gmail’s storage capacity grows infinitely bit by bit) and the need for space increases, how many more data centers will pop up in the next 3-5 years? And with them, how many more power plants? The next question after that is – what kind of power plants?

I also just found this article from a few days ago about Facebook building their first data center in Prineville, OR – and this related blog post by Jonathan Heiliger of Facebook.

Some food for thought.

WEEK 3, DAY 20

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

As I was adding the Journler tags to this entry (usually “Documentation, Observation, Focus, Thesis”), I had the inclination to write “Determination”. I didn’t see last night’s entry in the proper folder and panicked for a few seconds, thinking perhaps I had slipped and forgotten to make one. But I remembered that I had drawn a doodle on my new Wacom tablet and checked online to make sure I actually did post. Eventually I found the entry oddly in the Trash folder.

That moment of doubt was a bit weird, but similar to double checking that the stove is off before you leave home, even though you haven’t been cooking for a few hours. I will say that that moment of doubt also exemplifies how this exercise still manages to be quite challenging for me. I’m afraid of lapsing somehow, but determined to continue. My hope and intent is to continue with this and evolve it considerably in the next month as well as after Thesis. I know this may seem like a super simple task to some, but again this process is challenging for me.

Three words that enter my mind since I’ve started meditating daily are “focus and flow”. I guess those are inherently my goals at this stage. At the next stage (which starts this Thursday), I will have to take the focus and flow and integrate it into “plan and prepare” or “strategize and devise”.  Nothing solid enough has entered my mind, but I at least feel good about my direction and concept of timeline.

Taking a deep breath
and exhaling.

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