Category: News

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.

robot inspiration

CAD models of products

We are working on a project for the following exhibition:

“Trouble in Paradise / The Ethics of Survival”
Date: Friday, July 9 – Sunday, August 22, 2010

International Symposium: “Creative Engagement / The Ethics of Survival”
Date: Part I: Saturday, July 10, Part II: Saturday, July 31
Location: The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto

It is a speculative space in a ‘home of the future’ where domestic appliances (robots) can go to recharge, update their firmware and generally get away from it all. The starting point (see image above) for our robots are over-engineered, emotionally-durable, iconic products. You could say we are suckers for ‘Raygun Gothic’ – but we prefer the term ‘SodaPop Chic’.

Karl Daubmann is working on the tea-house structure.

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Shadow Pavilion is a temporary experimental installation by University of Michigan Taubman College professor Karl Daubmann in collaboration with John Marshall. The project is an extension from a graduate studio course. It utilizes computer-generated architectural forms inspired by organic models to design site-specific structures that maximize utility while minimizing material and waste. This botanical-inspired structure was designed for this overlook on the Sam Graham Trees Trail. It frames the vista for visitors while providing both shade and a visual destination that orients people to the view point.”

“Construction was assisted by graduate students Ngoc Thy Phan and Alex Timmer with construction volunteers Craig Borum, Peggy Chong, Jen Maigret, Jessica Mattson, Katie Santer, Dwight Song and Alex Watanabe. This project was made possible by a Research-through-Making grant from Taubman College at the University of Michigan and the U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum.”

http://www.lsa.umich.edu/mbg/happening/shadowpavilion.asp



The Shadow Pavilion explores the paradox of cutting holes in a structure because the removal of material makes a structure weaker but also lighter. The Shadow Pavilion, designed for a site at the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Garden, is both a structure and a space made entirely of holes. The pavilion surface is made with almost 100 aluminum cones that vary in size. Beyond testing the limits of sheet aluminum, the cones will act to funnel light and sound to the interior space, offering visitors a space to take in the views and sounds of the surrounding landscape.

By Karl Daubmann & John Marshall. Assisted by: Ngoc Thy Phan & Alex Timmer

This project was made possible by a Research-through-Making grant from Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan.

BioLogic: A Natural History of Digital Life

The artworks chosen for the SIGGRAPH 2009 juried art exhibition explore what can happen when nature and technology combine. Recent projects by 11 artists representing 10 countries offer both serious and playful scenarios in which biological forms and life processes are grafted together with digital code and devices. All of the projects are kinetic, most are interactive, and many are large installations that immerse the viewer in fantastic environments of shivering tendrils, singing strands of hair, and fuzzy, cloud-like surfaces that respond when stroked. The complex technologies and intriguing topics encountered in the exhibition offer viewers a compelling survey of ideas and issues that characterize contemporary life – a tangle of digital devices, natural processes, and us.

A Special Issue of Leonardo, The Journal of the International Society of the Arts, Sciences and Technology will feature the artists and projects included in BioLogic along with SIGGRAPH 2009 Art Papers.

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Artifacts from a Parallel Universe: Tentative Architecture of Other Earth_Coastline Inhabitants
Xárene Eskandar, UCLA Design | Media Arts, Architecture
Artifacts from a Parallel Universe is a garment that emulates the breathing of its wearer, and its form is inspired by marine coral. Using sensors and shape-memory alloys embedded in hand-knitted and felted wool, this garment blurs the boundaries between garment, technology, environment, and wearer. Eskandar is an artist and architect. This piece was produced by Grant Davis in collaboration with Joshua Hernandez (electronics) and Christopher O’Leary (photography).

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Biological Instrumentation
Nina Tommasi
Biological Instrumentation is a time-based spatial installation of mimosa plants, each connected by a series of tubes to an air compressor and wired with audio speakers and other electronic equipment. Algorithmically triggered compressed air forces the plants to contract. As the plants begin to open their leaves again, sound signals play from the audio speakers. This work explores the poetics involved in creating new relationships between machines and plant life. Nina Tommasi is an Austrian-born media artist and architect.

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Electric Eigen-Portraits
Face Shift
Arthur Elsenaar, Nottingham Trent University
Electric Eigen-Portraits and Face Shift are original performances of algorithmic facial choreography exhibited as two video works. These works turn a computer-controlled human face into a medium for kinetic art. Arthur Elsenaar is an artist and an electrical engineer, finishing his PhD work investigating the choreographic capabilities of the computer-controlled human face. He collaborated with Remko Scha, artist, programmer, and professor of computational linguistics at the University of Amsterdam.

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Fur-Fly
Kumiko Kushiyama, Tokyo Metropolitan University
Shinji Sasada and Soichiro Takeyama, Japan Electronics College
Fur-Fly is a tactile display composed of individual pieces of faux fur that uses sensor-driven computer technology to control the movement of the components in response to the user and to transform the visual effects projected onto the surface. The texture of the display surface encourages interaction. Kumiko Kushiyama is an artist, interaction designer, and professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University. Shinji Sasada is an artist and advanced computer graphics designer. Soichiro Takeyama is studying advanced technology and computer graphics at Japan Electronics College.

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Growth Rendering Device
David Bowen, University of Minnesota Duluth
Growth Rendering Device is a kinetic installation that records the growth of a pea plant over a 24-hour period. It displays a dialog among plant, environment, machine, and maker all working to thrive, to grow. David Bowen is an artist and assistant professor of sculpture and physical computing at the University of Minnesota Duluth. His work has been featured in exhibitions nationally and internationally.

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Hylozoic Soil
Philip Beesley, University of Waterloo
Hylozoic Soil is a visually striking and multifaceted installation. Made up of a network of micro-controllers, proximity sensors, and shape-memory alloy actuators, this interactive environment draws the viewer into its shimmering depths. Philip Beesley is an artist, architect, and professor of architecture at the University of Waterloo. Hylozoic Soil was recently awarded first-prize honors at VIDA 11.0.

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Mr. Lee Experiment
Sanghun Lee, Jayoung Kim, Hyomi Mun, Jungmi Kim, and Junghwan Sung, Soongsil University
Mr. Lee Experiment is an interactive installation that allows the viewer to move human experimental subjects between different environments that can then be observed. In this work, humans have been reduced to the same status as other species, that of experimental subjects. Sanghun Lee, Jayoung Kim, Hyomi Mun, Jungmi Kim, and Junghwan Sung, all from the Media Department at SoongSil University, have created this work drawing on expertise across interactive media art, sound art, filmmaking, hardware and software design, and electronics.

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MSOrgm (Motivational Sensitive Organism)
Scottie Chih-Chieh Huang and Shen-Guan Shih, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
MSOrgm (Motivational Sensitive Organism) is a robot designed to interact with the viewer in a more personal and subtle way. This robot plant presents the viewer with restrained and graceful gestures, and collaborates with viewers’ movements using cameras and facial recognition software. Scottie Huang is an artist and architect interested in tangible human-computer interfaces. Shen-Guan Shih is an associate professor in the Department of Architecture at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.

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One
Yoon Chung Han, UCLA Design | Media Arts
Gautam Rangan, UCLA Design | Media Arts
Erick Oh, UCLA Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media
Mubbasir Kapadia, UCLA Computer Science Department
One is an interactive piece consisting of a single drop of ink in a suspended Petri dish and a large projection of the same drop. Viewer interaction with the suspended dish is the means of evolution for the animated ink blot. Yoon Chung Han is an artist and designer specializing in interactive media design. Gautam Rangan is an artist and designer creating animations for the Discovery Science channel. Erick Oh is an award-winning animation artist based in Los Angeles.

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TRANSDUCERS
Verena Friedrich, University of Art and Design Offenbach
TRANSDUCERS is an installation composed of several glass tubes, each encasing a single human hair collected from different individuals. Triggered by the machinery, the human hair is stimulated to react, and the reaction is transduced into an audible output. Every audible result provides a technological interpretation of identity. Verena Friedrich is a German artist with a deep interest in science and technology. Shown internationally, her work has also been granted the \international\media\award\2005 for science and art from ZKM Karlsruhe.

Post Global Warming Survival Kit
Petko Dourmana
Post Global Warming Survival Kit is an installation that can only be experienced in infrared. In this post-apocalyptic world, viewers are invited to experience something that is at once bleak and beautiful, at a coastal outpost at land’s end. Petko Dourmana is a media artist based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Post Global Warming Survival Kit was one of eight works nominated for a Transmediale 2009 Award.

Generative Fabrication

The SIGGRAPH 2009 Design & Computation Gallery explores non-linear and biological processes in design and digital fabrication through selected works of art, architecture, and design. The work’s inherently generative nature encourages many lines of investigation along two main paths:

  • Generative design – algorithm and process, explorations of phase space and path-dependent emergent phenomena, form-making versus form-finding, and iterative design such as simulation, analysis, and optimization.
  • Digital fabrication – the interplay between digital representation and the crafting of physical objects; formation of structures by aggregation, weaving, and layered manufacturing; and exploitation of organic and composite material properties.

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Monumental Nets
Janet Echelman and Buro Happold Consulting Engineers
Sculpture that synthesizes traditional fabrication methods with digital form-finding to create monumental public sculptures.

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Schiara Lantern
Greg Lynn/FORM and Kreysler & Associates
A large, volumetric lantern made of translucent fiberglass composite panels formed on CNC-milled molds.

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Complex Form in Timber
Fabian Scheurer
designtoproduction
Constructing free-form architecture in timber using parametric design and computer-controlled fabrication tools.

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Assemblages
Chris Lasch & Benjamin Aranda
Architects pursuing design ideas based on Quasicrystals, forms that are rigorously modular yet grow wild.

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MyLight.MGX
Materialise.MGX
A family of lamp designs that are unique for each customer, made with rapid manufacturing techniques.

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Holy Ghost
Lionel Theodore Dean
A chair designed using genetic algorithms to determine modifications to the iconic Louis Ghost chair by Philippe Starck.

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Ground Substance
Sabin+Jones LabStudio
A hybrid architectural design and biological research unit that demonstrates new modes of thinking in design and material construction.

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Pluripotent Structures
Ferda Kolatan+Erich Schoenenberger
su11 architecture+design
An investigation into adaptive and variable formal and structural organizations that have more than one possible outcome yet maintain coherence.