Monday, February 27, 2017

project 2 | noise

read & respond | Hertzian Tales Ch. 2

Becoming apart of an integrated circuit

Sociopolitical environments:
  1. Capitalist democracy
  2. Comunism

Subtle enslavement of human beings to their devices:
-mental consumption
-lack of variability in design

Conceptual model of technology:
-increases efficiency
-supports workplace
-not human-centered
Transition from our design origins of electronic objects (the military)

DARPA-collegiate military funded research

Human factors
-Participation, competition
-Our behaviour is sculpted by the hegemony

Hegemony-dominant thought
-have to be apart of the hegemony to affect it

Zanuso and Sapper - 1969 - TV for Brion Vega ~ black, shiny cube; all the interface disappears into the cube; black monolith; object of art
Art movements happening at this time - minimalism, pop art, surrealism
The Atom
Very slick designs (ie: The Jetsons)

Semiotics, semantics
Fan Heater - 1981 - Scheuer - Fibonacci sequence

Metaphorical definitions:
Opaque: black, mystery box; undefinable
-no semiotics, instructions
-can’t operate the interface without noticing
-good for dangerous things, methodical

Biology is redundant - Stelarc
Satori TV

Adelbretch - globe shaped robot that follows you around
Pet or alien?
Reacted to touch with speech

User unfriendliness does not mean user hostility

ICE - interrogation and customs enforcement
Interrogation robot
Look up: Psycho-Pass anime

Anthony Dunne
Critical or speculative design - theorycrafting, tries to project what will be designed years from now using a critical eye
Technological Dream Series No. 1: Robots

Intimate posture (like holding a baby) to use Sentinel

week of february 6th

Monday: discussed more about how our noise project will interact, the design

Wednesday: group project critiques

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017

project 1 | integrate, interact, intervene



{To see more about our project, click the links above!}

For our group project into the world of simple circuits and their interaction with the public, we decided to get a little adventurous. After perusing the interwebs for inspiration, we ended up ordering a kit online for a 9V Siren. Not quite knowing how we would eventually have this interact with the public, we carried on. Our kit arrived quickly, and once we took it out and began to look at it, I think we realized we may have been a little ambitious. 

Following proper procedure, we attempted to identify all the pieces, and then planned to breadboard our circuit initially. But, this was going to be a complex and time-consuming task, and Thomas gave us the go-ahead to skip breadboarding. We had misidentified some pieces previously, resolved this error and replaced a missing piece with one from the FABLAB. After that our only difficulty was making sure everything was placed in the board with the proper polarity. Allie was most skilled with the soldering iron, and we quickly got the circuit together.

Instructions for our kit

The image we would have used to breadboard our circuit.

Our touch point (and back of the circuit--nice Hersey's kiss soldering)

Our kit's speaker

More soldering to connect the speaker to the board

We immediately needed to see this bad boy in action. It was definitely working and was much louder than we expected!

So, skip a few days later, and we're getting our circuit together and putting it in its packaging. During our interlude we had been working diligently on our noise project, which inspired us to use circuit bending in this project as well! With Thomas' assistance we modified our circuit to include a potentiometer, which allows us to adjust the volume of the speaker. We also played around with touch and how the sound would change depending on if someone's hand was touching the board and/or attaching to jumper cables to the board.

The potentiometer we added

This new idea of including circuit bending finally allowed us to see the full potential of our project--why not introduce circuit bending to the world! We used a shoe box, electrical tape, duct tape, an exacto knife, and handy-dandy Illustrator to create a DJ Booth.

Circuit Bending DJ Booth

Inside the box!

The on button (red) and poteniometer (black)

Our next step was to get our DJ Booth out in the real world! We took it outside and had multiple passersby come over and want to see what all the fuss was about. The reactions were pretty humorous; one girl thought that Eugene was controlling the noises with his phone. We also took our project home, and I had one of my roommates react to it. She just thought it was making funny fart-like noises. Allie also took the device to her work.

Overall, I was surprised by how much people liked what we had come up with. I think its success with the common public was likely from the personalization that came from each person. Everyone tried different methods of controlling the sound; it was literally in their hands how the simple circuit would react. It was fun to just see this person-to-person change. .

Our circuit bent siren in action

Sunday, February 5, 2017

read & respond | Hertzian Tales: Ch. 1

When reading this article, my mind was immediately drawn to smartphones. There is so much technology in this small device and its casing is quite simple. Any changes to it are minute and the public has large reactions to even these. The smartphone has lost all art in my opinion--it is just meant to be aesthetically appealing--there is nothing that pushes boundaries. The device is just as the article says--a way to use and understand the "incomprehensible technologies" (20).

Smartphones are all in the same shape and very similar is style. They have essentially become icons because of how recognizable they are. The design choices, as I said before, are minimal and sleek. Which, works in our consumer market, but to take these devices to their full potential, should we experiment with more unique and interesting ideas? Can you image someone walking around with a circular smartphone? It would be weird, but it could catch on and become the new normal.

Radio in a Bag by Daniel Weil is a questioning of our modern packaging. We buy all of the electronics and use them everyday, but rarely do we know what is happening on the inside. Most of our phones are difficult to open, so we never see the inside. It's a curious thing that has been taken for granted because of its deep integration in our lives. Just taking this class is opening my eyes to how much of my world is run by technology and how everything is technology and art--at the same time.

I feel that at some point, the commercial industry stole technology from art. Devices were designed in a logical, efficient manner; not that this is bad or wrong, just it has become the precedence for all electronics. When, in actuality, this false divide between art and electronics needs to be taken down. Artists need to come in a start pushing boundaries and taking risks in product design. We shouldn't be playing it safe--we need to make movements and questioning and staying curious. Technology needs to come back into the art realm, and technological art needs to be created just for art's sake. On that same note, there does need to keep a balance of the functionality and art aestheticism, at least for consumer products.

If you look in the past at cameras, you see varying designs and unique choices. The product has functionality but also looked nice. You could differentiate one camera type from another. Now you can hardly tell the difference between an iPhone and Samsung Galaxy until you see the OS.

Overall, design is often looked over by consumers of technology, and designers keep it on the simple side. I think we need to expand more in dynamic design of our electronics.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

week of january 30th

This week we got knee deep in circuit bending. I'll admit I'm still in over my head with all this circuitry but I'm trying to figure it out. I was actually able to get my initial circuit breadboarded pretty quickly thanks to the handy-dandy Fritzing image that Thomas provided us with. From then on I tried changing capacitors and resistors and their placements to create weird wacky noises. I found that I got the best response from having two 10K resistors, and 330uF, 220uF and 1uF capacitors. Even with this, I had to touch one touch point and then add an additional touch point at the same time.

I'm not sure how I want to integrate this into an object yet... we'll see next week.

Also this week my group and I soldered our circuit for a siren. You can see more on this in the project 1 blog post.