Major Studio 2 | Three & Five

It’s the beginning of the semester and we are off  with our first assignment, Five and Three.

Unlike our previous 7×7, the numbers refer to making five lists of three things:

  1. Three things you are good at.
  2. Three things you want to learn more about (specifically).
  3. Three things you fear.
  4. Three things you did/made last semester that surprised you or you never expected to do/make
  5. Three things you want to make

From here we had to develop three project proposals incorporating one thing from each of the five lists into our inception of the idea and execution. I am a huge fan of mental exercises to get things started. In fact, I noted late last semester that I have often found as someone who is extremely verbal and likes to talk, it is often first helpful for me to explore/refine my ideas with words (mashed up with images/videos). I guess I am wired for multimedia at this point you could say, but words are always the foundation for me.

So, let’s begin.

My 5 Lists of 3

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After developing these lists, I set about to thinking about some different projects I wanted to propose for the beginning of the semester.

Some of the most interesting things for me last semester came from unexpected exploration into new areas that we were learning. I really loved using OpenFrameworks, and I also enjoyed putting together the Arduino a lot. The thing that was the most important to me in both cases was breaking apart how the technology that fundamentally controls everything around us works and putting it back together in new, critical, funny, a little dirty but always awesome ways.  This is at the heart of what I want to keep exploring this semester, linking more and more technologies together to see what will happen.

With that said, on to my project proposals.

Project 1: Communikit

Major Studio 2 First Project Presentation - 3x5

For this project I am interested in a few different questions that I have had regarding Wireless Mesh Networks. I wrote my D4TC final paper as a proposal studying their implementation both locally and abroad and am absolutely fascinated by how they work and the implications for their usage. I seek to answer things like, how can we create local, interconnected and alternative digital spaces, are there benefits to privacy, experience, or community-specific need matching, what if we could build our own private digital spaces for communication, collaboration, organizing, and resiliency?

I propose to build a prototype wireless mesh network for D12 by following instructions for a RaspberryPi based PirateBox setup while seeking to answer:

This is the first step in a larger project i would like to explore the viability for centered around building networks with community-based organizations.

List of 5

  • (Good at): Communicating, writing
  • (Learn more about): Connecting new tech together
  • (Fear): Having big ideas, but not beginning to realize them
  • (Last Semester): Arduino Treasure Chest
  • (Want to Make): Community-run Wireless Mesh Networks


Project 2: UI Stencils 4 All

Major Studio 2 First Project Presentation - 3x5 (1)

I have been taking several heavy-design classes this semester, or at least I have just started to, and already I am scrounging for things to help me sketch out layouts, wireframes, etc. I’m not wonderful at Illustrator, so I don’t have the background in this program to do many of the layout tasks easily and quickly. Also, its not super portable. At the end of the day, Design resources and tools are costly and increasingly fast-paced technology changes make them quickly irrelevant.

What if students could use their university’s own resources to stay up to date with the best UI/UX tools and standards possible? What if there was an affordable option to help students sketch & vision design ideas?

I propose to design a series of UI/UX stencil templates for use with a laser-cutter. These stencils would be free to access by all New School students.

I will also laser-cut the stencils for my own use and sell already cut copies to students at a low cost.

List of Five:

  • (Good at): Communication
  • (Learn more about): Connecting tech together in new ways
  • (Fear): That I’m not a real Designer/Artist
  • (Last Semester): Giant Vagina
  • (Want to Make): Things that can save (or gain) me time, money, and productivity

Project 3: Smile

Major Studio 2 First Project Presentation - 3x5 (2)

So I really want to dive back into OpenFrameworks and Processing this semester. I had alot of fun stitching together pieces of code from examples, tutorials, and anything else I could get my hands on. I especially loved connecting different and new types of tech together in interesting and playful ways. It is so easy for us now to go into different types of devices, peripherals, circuits, computer inputs like cameras, audio etc. and to find values in there we can manipulate. Even easier, people have put together entire libraries of algorithims for us to use to do different things!

With that said, I am very interesting in technology that senses, responds to, and views us in new ways. I have been reading some dystopian science fiction lately about smile and emotion tracking, and it really makes me wonder what is going on around us with the amount of surveillance it is, and how easy it is to monitor us. On the other hand I also wonder what beautiful interactions we can start to have with our technology as it can better sense our inputs through new interactions and interfaces. Dark and light, always the case. So for this project I want to look at a few questions.

What if you needed to smile to access interactive content in urban spaces? Would you do it? We often hurry through urban public spaces without sparing a smile or glance at our fellow travelers – maybe sometimes a slight ironic shrug.

What would it take for us to show some emotion? Can we use interactive art in our public spaces to get people to stop, slow down, and just smile for once?

I propose to design a prototype for an interactive urban installation that is powered by users smiles.

A facial-recognition software will recognize smiles and show positive content (other people smiling, cats, happy things) to people passing by. Otherwise it will be a blank screen with a sign that just says “Smile” below it.

List of Five:

  • (Good at): Picking up code
  • (Learn more about): Connecting new tech together
  • (Fear): Not being a real artist/designer (not making an impact)
  • (Last Semester): Sinosidal
  • (Want to Make): Community-run Wireless Mesh Networks


The Conclusion

After presenting all of my ideas in class, the inevitable conclusion is Smile. The wireless mesh project will hopefully be implemented more on a program scale, and while the UI Stencils are cool, they can be done on my own time or later. Plus, why get super super into Illustrator if not needed? Is that what I want to spend 3 weeks on?  I agree with all comments. Smile, here we go!

Full Presentation

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