Traces of Touch

serendipity into the oblivion

Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Framework

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For my project I have been looking around for a framework to evaluate the physical interactions. This was a task that was harder than expected but after a while of searching I have found “The Tangible Interaction Framework” from Eva Hornecker. It is a framework that takes into account the softer sides of physical interactions and also trying to create some values to evaluate them with. It isn’t as quantifiable as for example material properties evaluation seen at Materia but since we are dealing with much softer values I dont think it is possible to do it. I will await my response on this matter from Bill Verplank and some other people I have been in contact with before deciding but this look like a good candidate so far.

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Written by sjunnesson

August 11, 2010 at 14:55

Posted in Inspiration, Notes

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Instructables

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The instructable I wrote yesterday has been selected as featured by Instructable and now resides on the frontpage and also earned me a 3 month PRO account for free. A nice touch and good motivation to keep posting instructables and motivate the extra 3-4 hours it takes to document the process and post it online. Also shows that there is an interest in what Im doing seeing it has ~600 views the first 12 hours.

Written by sjunnesson

July 21, 2010 at 13:20

Repair

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Repair and modifications of object in todays society is often made impossible by the manufacturer by purpose. Putting big blobs of glue on ICs and using special screws is today more standard than an exception. Also the fact that many objects cost to little and is to easy to replace when they break a minor details also weigh in on the one time use society we live in. What incentives could there be for people to keep using their object over longer time letting the object mature and grow with them?

Back in Japan the art of fixing broken pottery called Kintsugi was highly honored and instead of trying to throw away the broken pottery cracks was enhanced with gold letting the use to be visible and appreciated. It went so far that people was breaking their brand new pottery just to get it fixed and get the desirable patina.

Melanie Drane writes this on the subject referencing her dad and the way he mended the  objects

My father accorded tenderness to the objects that served us. He monitored every wheeze, gasp and clank from appliances. He set the broken legs of tables, re-wired lamps, radios and toasters, and when I returned from college, I’d wake to find my shoes and purses polished and lined up in the hallway outside my room — as if he were preparing me, in the only way he could, to set forth again alone. His repair work was meditative. The methodical rituals of repair seemed driven by a bone-marrow memory of times when family survival depended upon keeping things whole.

As his daughter, I am still drawn to objects that bear the touch of human hands. In Tokyo for a decade, I foraged at flea markets, collecting imarii porcelain and pottery. I became fascinated bykintsugi, the Japanese craft of mending ceramics with gold lacquer resin, so cracks and fissures are transformed into a web of tiny golden veins. Exquisite gold maps spread across the landscape of a bowl. Kintsugi repairs leave the history of breakage visible, while rendering the piece unique and more precious. At times, I’ve wondered what might become possible if all experiences of breaking could be honored this way — if the wounds and wear of time were recognized as survival’s beauty.

Huffington Post

Also the Smithsonian made an exhibtion of this Kinjugi items

This notion of fixing and doing yourself (DIY) is growing steadily in todays society and I wonder where it will take us. We have places such as the Fixers collective where people can come and upcycle their objects or just repair them back to their original functionality. Is this a lash back on the stream of messages  we get covered in each day saying “Buy New and be COOL”. How does this relate to Dumpster Diving which is spreading as a virus in the class? Just looking around the studio Im sitting in just now I see more recycled and dumpster dived items than new ones and it is not just the fact that dumpster is free and we are students that creates this facts it is something of creating an environment of feeling at home which used objects radiates. Not sure where to take this but I think there is a  lot of things to bring with me when designing objects not just for the next 18 months but for the next 18 years.

Written by sjunnesson

July 6, 2010 at 15:05

Posted in Inspiration, Thoughts

Worn web

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During my research I have been looking into different ways wear and use is represented. One project I feel very interesting is the Wornweb by Kenneth Auchenbergs and Morten Just of which I first saw at a Demodag in Copenhagen, video of the presentation.

What it basically do is that it tracks where you have been clicking on a webpage and sends that data to a central location. The next person visiting the page and using the same firefox plugin will get a small smudge where the click were. This is accumulates over time showing the use of the page and how previous people have been navigating through the page. I like the idea of that probably the person who was at the page before you came there had similar reasons for visiting the page and being able to see where he went is interesting and valuable and a nice translation from the wear on doorbells and alike.

So what does this mean for the user? I think the thing Kenneth brings up in his talk that we will be able to take more informed decisions about the product is somewhat true. Seeing a massive build-up of smudge upon support might ring some warnings and at the same time you have to take into account that all the satisfied customers maybe wouldn’t even go in to the webpage in the first place. This problem is hard to take into account and work  around with technical solutions and absolutely one of the problems with this kind of traces that is generated by a grey mass without any way to ask the person in question about the reason of clicking there. Still I see it as a very handy tool for speeding up surfing through the web and finding relevant  paths especially in a bit more messy webpages or webpages that use a bit more “creative” components for navigation.  There is also the aspect of getting interested in a new part of the website that you  might never had clicked before just because you see the buildup of clicks on the heatmap. This leads you to new findings in a very serendipitous way enabling new and interesting connections and information.

I really like this small plugin or more I like the idea behind the plugin. The idea isn’t buggy, firefox only and works so so which the plugin unfortunately is…

Picture from wornweb.com

Picture from wornweb.com

Written by sjunnesson

June 7, 2010 at 17:17

Posted in Inspiration

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“Urban Analysis” by Gerrit Schwalbach

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I just finished reading through Gerrit Schwalbach book “Urban Analysis” that I borrowed from Mayo Nissen here at CIID.

The book is a introduction to how to conduct urban analysis and the whole book is very practical laid out with good suggestions and very hands on. It is pretty clear that this is a book written for students just starting out studying urban structures and want to learn how to analyse it. Large part of the book is  very practical with tips on where to get hold of maps and at what scale and such. That said it has some good thoughts especially in the beginning of the book where he talks about how differently different persons perceive the city and it always in the context on what that person expect to see that the persons experience it. Also some  notes on the sensorial experience a person have and how persons  filters through different kind of sensor experiences to take the one that is most appropriate. Just some good thoughts to have in the back of my head  when I start to think on what kind of traces I would like to focus on and what kind of senses that is used to perceive that trace. Maybe could be nice to break some patterns or enhance and concentrate on one specific sensorial input and overload that one.  Still random thoughts and trying to fill my brain with ideas and thoughts to find my way through this area.

Amazon link

Written by sjunnesson

June 1, 2010 at 11:55

Digital Bread Crumbs: Following Your Cell Phone Trail

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Noteworthy podcast of what you leave after yourself in the digital life you are living. What kind of privacy exist when everything can be tracked? Can we control it? Should we be able to opt out? Is the benefit of being able to solve crimes more valuable than the privacy that we give up? Who have the right to see and use this kind of information?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114241860

Written by sjunnesson

May 31, 2010 at 18:53

Posted in Inspiration

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Signs

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I have started to look into signs made in material by purpose. First we have the hobo signs which is small markings hobos used to leave when travelling the road to alert people of the surroundings and how the people are responding. There is markings for things such as “kind woman”, “man with a gun” and “wealthy” which gives the person entering the area a good idea of what to expect but also more interesting kinds of markings,  in my eyes, such as “tell pitiful story” which tells the reader of the signs on how to behave to get the best outcome. I wonder of there is similar markings in today’s society which tells the reader on how to behave to get the best outcome. We have the dress code for certain clubs which tells the rules on how to dress to be let in but this is relative obvious signs and is open for anyone to read. I think it misses, and doesn’t try to be either, the secret society feel of  the hobo language where just the invited is able to read the signs. This goes back to many different groups of people and organizations that used this secret language to spread their knowledge. Just look at the insanely popular books by Dan Brown which circles around finding, leaving and interpreting signs in all kind of form and sizes such as architectures, city planning and paintings. I think the idea of leaving signs is really interesting. Something about showing what you have done, what you should expect and also preserve it for the future. It also adds the mystery of trying to interpret a sign and to get the underlying message to join the unique group of those that know. It is something about presenting information out in the open but still let it remain hidden.

With this markings and signs I draw a parallel to the way people use object. Even though it might not be by purpose that people leave marks in the object they use they still do and it tells stories about the use of the object. Maybe not as elaborate as the one telling that that the house coming up down the road host a angry dog but it might tell you about what parts of a device the user most frequently use which tells about how the persons sees the object and in what kind of context he might have been using it  and so on. This layer of information is maybe lost in today’s  digital interfaces where for example on the iPhone the use of the different apps doesn’t leave any traces. Are we missing out on something or is that a good thing? Would we interpret, use and maybe think twice on how the device is held and consumed because we don’t want to leave unfavourable traces?

Link to some more hobo markings

Written by sjunnesson

May 31, 2010 at 15:01