Jon, Tom and Mike from the studio have recently been busy with their Fieldguide project. Along with fourth Fieldguide co-founder Pete Thomas and his Uniform colleague Martin Skelly they created StarLight, an interactive lighting installation using space data. StarLight is a concept first seeded by Jane Wallace and James Thomas from the University of Northumbria.
StarLight is a collaboration between Fieldguide and the Swedish lighting manufacturer Wästberg. In 2009, NASA launched their Kepler space observatory to look at the light from far off stars and interpret their flickering and pulsing in order to discover habitable planets. StarLight uses NASA data to allow people to replay the light that originated from stars light-years away, giving people a sense of connectedness to these stars and encouraging them to dream of far-off worlds. Wästberg works with the most renowned architects and designers, combining aesthetic sensibility with Swedish engineering mentality. Their products have won over 40 awards for excellence and they represent a leading player in the future of lighting design.
The launch for this event is on Thursday the 19th Sept from 6pm onward at the Imperial College reception.
Images to follow…
Space Issue of Fieldguide at findplaymake.com
Together we came up with a workshop that allowed the attendants to connect paintings created with the amazing Bare Conductive paint to the International Space Station. This paint conducts electricity and meant that the painting could have a bunch of LEDs glued on that could flash when turned on.
We created a giant space communicating antenna that all the painting were hung on. As the International Space Station flew over the antenna became live and the painting all started to light up!
This would not of been able to happen if it was not for the amazing support from Bare Conductive!
Interactive Newsprint (INP) has just come to an end (April 2013). It was an 18month EPSRC funded project that involved academics from UCLan, Dundee and Surrey and the project’s technical partners Novalia.
It was a co-design project, we worked with the people of Preston to explore the future of print and journalism through the media of traditional print and an emerging technology, paper electronics. Back in November 2011, we began the process off with a series of workshops in Preston. Demonstrating where the technology currently was and using it is an opportunity to ask and discuss how paper electronics could work within Preston communities and where improvements needed to be made to interactions and technology specification.
Below is an introduction video to Interactive Newsprint, including user feedback, from our lead partner at UCLan:
We had the pleasure of working with some great people from around Preston and a few further afield. Below are a couple of examples of the projects we worked on:
We first showed the Lancashire Evening Post and Outsiders at London Design Festival with Fieldguide. The LEP and Fieldguide went on to be announced as a highlight of the Festival by Blueprint magazine.
Artist – Garry Cook and his project ‘Outsiders’
These examples above, are all connected to the internet. This affords some super-interesting possibilities and functions. Two of which are updatable audio, and analytics. Below is a video sketch (may need to be fullscreen and HD) that demonstrates our early thinking around analytics:
Our most recent, and last outing with Interactive Newsprint was to SXSW in Austin in March. We were invited to demonstrate, Web-connected Paper at the Mozilla, Knight Foundation, Soundcloud, MIT Media Lab Party, which went down really well. The following day, Paul Egglestone and I were joined on our panel ‘Pitchforks and Printed Electronics’ by Nick White of the Daily Dot and Garrett Goodman of Worldcrunch to discuss the future of print, journalism and paper electronics and how they could affect everything from community journalists through to global news organisations.
Much more information on Interactive Newsprint can be found at http://interactivenewsprint.org/
Additionally, in the near future, our research, findings and impact will be written up by the partners in a number of papers. These will be announced soon.
Mike Shorter from the Product Design Research Studio will be presenting his thoughts on the future of paper tomorrow night. This event is part of the Edinburgh Science Festival and is being organised by the brilliant Electric Bookshop at Inspace.
There is a great line-up for this event, Mike will be talking with:
Ian Sansom the author of the amazing book Paper; An Elegy.
Alyson Fielding, an artist who hacks books, stories and Arduinos.
And finally Yvette Hawkins, a paper atrist who makes wonderful artworks and sculptures out of paper.
Check it out here
With this great diverse collection of speakers there are going to be some great conversations!
Over Christmas I was having a bit of a rest from writing my transfer report by playing with my new Electric Imp.
This wonderful little device is the size of an SD card that can be embedded into objects to make them internet enabled. I managed to create a few Christmasy experiments over the festive period. The first experiment was to borrow Bendan Dawes’ wonderful example to create a tweeting Christmas tree, every time the tree lights went on in the house it sent out a tweet to let everyone know. This was done by sticking an LDR directly onto one of the tree lights to recognise when they were turned on. When the imp sees that the lights are on it sends a message to open.se, which composes a message and tweets for you.
The second experiment was to make the Electric Imp work the other way round. Instead of using the real world as an input and digital world as an output, I wanted to control the real world using the digital world. I managed to hack some code together from online examples so that every time a website was refreshed it activated a servo motor to spin a mini Christmas tree.
This code was then combined with a mains relay, now when the website was visited it turned the Christmas tree lights on, and then off when visited again.