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CNC Milling the robot shell master patterns (Mastercam assistance provided by Zack Jacobsen-Weaver).


Milled robot shell pattern located in a ‘pocket’ to prevent the piece flying off the machine.


The robot shell patterns after milling – some trimming and assembly required.


The forms coated with plastic resin glue. These will be used as patterns or ‘bucks’ for vacuum forming.


The forms sanded and polished (2 days of rubbing) and ready to have hot plastic pulled over them.


Chris Johnson and Westley Burger with a test section of the tea-house skin.


Various options for the laser cut Acrylic connectors between the paper layers of the skin.


A test panel of the vertical, moving elements of the tea-house structure.

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The ‘Tea House’ Structure
Conforming to the traditional dimensions of a Japanese Tea House of 9’ x 9’ x 6′, the space provides a series of interactions between user and space, space and robots.

MXR_011
The best kitchen aide you’ll ever have
Automatic and Autonomous – true multi-tasking and sensing in one appliance.

RDO_002
Most extensive dynamic tunable capabilities from both in-orbit and deep space sources.
Don’t buy any other all-in-one media device.

TST_003
Fastest of all sense-enabled toasters.
New and improved user-recognition settings.

For the “THR_33 (Teahouse for Robots)” exhibition (The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan. Friday, July 9 – Sunday, August 22, 2010).

rootoftwo and PLY Architecture – with help from Osman Khan, Zack Jacobsen-Weaver, Chris Johnson, Westley Burger and Robert Yuen.

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We are cranking on ‘THR_33‘.  Some ‘in progress’ images:

A test render of the re-designed exterior shell of MXR_011.

A test render of the re-designed exterior shell of RDO_002.

Test renders of the re-designed exterior shell of TST_003.

An early test of the chassis/electronics for TST_003:

THR_33 (Tea House for Robots) is comprised of a responsive architectural environment and a group of robotically-enhanced domestic appliances. Imagine if your radio could tune into any frequency that had ever been broadcast. What would we hear? Imagine if your toaster could remember how you liked your toast, or your entire family’s preference. What if your kitchen mixer could prepare ingredients based on downloadable techniques and recipes – where you just choose the recipe/technique, add the ingredients and it does the rest? What if household appliances in the future instead of plugging in to wall outlets recharged at solar powered light wells and required time to play in order to learn. THR_33 imagines all this and proposes that as our appliances become smart we will change the way we live and come to think of them. Perhaps we would cherish these products more than the throwaway gadgets we currently create. In our speculative future, appliances have evolved to become part of the family. THR_33 questions how we will relate to these autonomous and responsive environments and appliances. THR_33 mixes the sophistication of contemporary smart and super phones, with the design aesthetic of iconic industrial products to produce appliances we want to live with. The home will also be transformed. Domestic space will also change to regulate temperature, lighting and produce and store all its inhabitants’ energy needs. These power stations can form a dual purpose – providing power and providing space for the robots and their owners to interact and play.

The ‘Tea House’ Structure
Conforming to the traditional dimensions of a Japanese Tea House of 9’ x 9’ x 6′, the space provides a series of interactions between user and space, space and robots.

The Robots
TST_003, RDO_002, and MXR_011 all have unique traits, behaviors and interactions. The interactions move between user and object, object and space. TST_003 is a toaster. RDO_002 is a radio and MXR_011 is a stand mixer. They all have been reconceived as sense-enabled robots with speculative features.

TST_003
Fastest of all sense-enabled toasters
New and improved user-recognition settings

Have toast how you want it, wherever you want it.  The TST_003 can rove the kitchen and navigate your home with ease. Save time with user-recognition settings.  Store your preferences by bread variety and desired brownness to ensure perfection every time. TST_003 can fully recharge itself* and perform routine upgrades** too! It’s the perfect appliance for contemporary living.

*Requires solar-powered recharging station. Supplied separately.
** Requires interweb connection.

Functioning prototype of TST_003

RDO_002
Most extensive dynamic tunable capabilities from both in-orbit and deep space sources.
Don’t buy any other all-in-one media device

Personal Deep Listening Device able to tune in any homo sapiens-derived broadcast frequency in the known universe. RDO_002 intuitively selects media to suit or enhance your mood and puts together a completely immersive experience. RDO_002 with superior media programming from our extensive digital rights managed library*. RDO_002 moves between standard, mood enhanced or fully autonomous mode. And with a simple request you can set it to genre spinner – mixing across media. RDO_002 can fully recharge itself** and perform routine upgrades*** too! It’s the perfect media device.

* Requires lifetime subscription.
**Requires solar-powered recharging station. Supplied separately.
*** Requires interweb connection.

MXR_011
The best kitchen aide you’ll ever have
Automatic and Autonomous – true multi-tasking and sensing in one appliance

MXR_011 modern features makes cooking a real joy. Saves time by handling all your food prep needs. It slices, grinds, chops, and juices with included attachments. More powerful mixing makes batters easy. Mix finder dial gives you multiple speeds with the press of a button. It’s mobile for recharging* and can perform routine upgrades** too! It’s the perfect culinary integration device.

*Requires solar-powered recharging station. Supplied separately.
** Requires interweb connection.

Functioning prototype of MXR_011

THR_33 is a collaboration between rootoftwo (Cézanne Charles and John Marshall) and PLY Architecture (Craig Borum and Karl Daubmann).

The book that resulted from the ‘inter_multi_trans_actions: emerging trends in post-disciplinary creative practice’ symposium at Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland on Thursday 26 June, 2008 is nearing publication.

The book ‘Digital Blur: Creative Practice at the Boundaries of Architecture, Design and Art’ edited by Paul Rodgers and Michael Smyth will now be published by Libri Publishing following Middlesex University’s decision to close Middlesex University Press.

According to Amazon the book is due on 31 March, 2010.

The book contains an essay by Julian Bleecker and myself that is preambled thus:

Marshall and Bleecker, in their essay, propose the term “undisciplinary” for the type of work prevalent in this book. That is, creative practice which straddles ground and relationships between art, architecture, design and technology and where different idioms of distinct and disciplinary practices can be brought together. This is clearly evident in the processes and projects of the practitioners’ work here. Marshall and Bleecker view these kinds of projects and experiences as beyond disciplinary practice resulting in a multitude of disciplines “engaging in a pile-up, a knot of jumbled ideas and perspectives.” To Marshall and Bleecker, “undisciplinarity is as much a way of doing work as it is a departure from ways of doing work.” They claim it is a way of working and an approach to creating and circulating culture that can go its own way, without worrying about working outside of what histories-of-disciplines say is “proper” work. In other words, it is “undisciplined”. In this culture of practice, they continue, one cannot be wrong, nor have practice elders tell you how to do what you want to do and this is a good thing because it means new knowledge is created all at once rather than incremental contributions made to a body of existing knowledge. These new ways of working make necessary new practices, new unexpected processes and projects come to be, almost by definition. This is important because we need more playful and habitable worlds that the old forms of knowledge production are ill-equipped to produce. For Marshall and Bleecker, it is an epistemological shift that offers new ways of fixing the problems the old disciplinary and extra-disciplinary practices created in the first place. The creative practitioners contained within the pages of this book clearly meet the “undisciplinary” criteria suggested by Marshall and Bleecker in that they certainly do not need to be told how or what to do; they do not adhere to conventional disciplinary boundaries nor do they pay heed to procedural steps and rules. However, they know what’s good, and what’s bad and they instinctively know what the boundaries are and where the limits of the disciplines lie.

ToasterBot

TST_003 Promotional Material

We have been working on TST_003 – our ToasterBot for the “Teahouse for Robots” exhibition (The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan. Friday, July 9 – Sunday, August 22, 2010). We have a working set of prototype electronics and we have a first draft chassis built as a proof of concept. The CAD models for the robot shell are about 80% done. Bosses, ribs, intake slots and mounting brackets are next. There also needs to be some branding on the side which is looking very blank at present. The front end of TST_003 is shamelessly ripped off from a Dualit toaster merged with an Airstream trailer on tank tracks.