Wednesday, April 21, 2010
It is impressive how easy is to connect with people through online platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Nowadays we broadcast our lives to the world through microblogging or status messages. Of course the global village presents endless beautiful consequences, but at the same time, the more interconnected we are while using these platforms, the less connected we are to the people that surrounds us in our everyday life.
Some decades ago, people lives were interrelated with their neighbours, while now our cell phones, as well as our online platforms create the paradox or being more strongly connected with more distant people than with our neighbours. This easy to make DIY project pretends to blend the beautiful things of both worlds: connectivity with the people that surrounds us.
We live in neighborhoods that are composed not only by houses, but also by people. Nevertheless our relation to them is often nearly non-existent. The paradox of being easier to broadcast a status message about us to the whole world through tweeter as opposed to the difficulty of expressing our ideas to the people that literally surrounds us is at stake.
Tweet at your place is a DIY kit to allows you to microbolg (like we do on Twitter) in the facades of our homes in a completely “analog” way.
Photos of components + usage
Tweet at your place! (the analog way) - More DIY How To Projects
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Out of concern that it may over-construct the experience or over shape it, I have opted to avoid the original plan for the web site/blog. I will only utilize the instructables site because I feel that is the best way to not become the architect of the experience, and instead just lay the foundation for users to create their own experience with the project.
Better than a barrel full of sea monkeys! The project relies on projection but modern signifier of quality do not apply. Resolution, size, etc are all construct of consumerism in media and this project aims to put back storytelling into the picture and often takes the shape of the fire on the wall or the storyteller in the village standing by the fire weaving a good one as you sit there in a late evening haze.
Update: it looks like the project has been featured:
FINAL POSITION STATEMENT
As my first DIY project intended for the public, I have struggled quite a bit with what it was I wanted to put forward—both in terms of the physical project itself and how I would contextualize my work in the form of a $25 DIY kit meant to create social space. My background is primarily in making work that is screen-based and computational, so I spent a great deal of time in the ideation phase for this project. Since it is theme-specific, and as the final kits were required to be under $25 to build, I initially felt severely limited in any project I wanted to create.
In the end, I decided to perfect a simple momentary switch I had built for a few projects in the past. It is an extremely simple DIY electronics project, but I feel that it is one that beginning makers might wish to try. It is easy to integrate into a variety of projects, and has myriad uses. Parallel to this process, I had been experimenting with trapezoidal pleating, particularly for folded paper forms. After a few weeks of research and trial-and-error, I came up with a pattern and methodology to fold diamond pleated paper forms that were suitable for my piece. I created a template in Adobe Illustrator that anyone can download to create a similar paper form—with additions or subtractions to the fold intersections, the template can be modified to make many different shapes. In an effort to show how flexible this basic switch was to make and implement, I incorporated the switch into floor tile and a simple circuit (which was housed within the paper form).
I consider this my first effort at contributing to the DIY community. I found the entire process of framing the work for an anonymous person to recreate to be very interesting, and plan to continue to publish aspects of my future projects in this manner. The DIY art/makers movement is very similar to the Open Source software movement, in that it lays bare all processes and material used to make a certain thing—by doing so, one not only exhibits his or her work, but gives others insight into their process and enables them to recreate or modify this work as they will.
link to PDF of final instructions
link to instructables.com project
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Final Position Statement:
pHloat is a DIY kit that is made for use in conjunction with a pre-owned / pre-existing arduino microcontroller. Its purpose is to test the pH levels in local rivers, lakes, and streams due to the influx of air and water pollution often caused by acid rain. It is specifically designed to be used in areas that are home to refineries, chemical plants, and manufacturing industries that cause environmental damage. However, it can be used in any body of water to test acidity levels.
pHloat functions through the modification of a simple garden moisture and pH sensor that can be purchased at any home improvement store. It acts as both an environmental measurement tool and a floating sculpture, borrowing inspiration from Japanese floating paper lanterns. As the pHloat is placed in a body of water or stream it is taking a constant pH reading that is being translated by the arduino to produce a variation of colored light. The different colors of light indicate the level of acidity in the body of water. For example, a normal pH reading would result in the emission of green light while a high pH reading would result in the emission of blue light. The light is housed on the top of the pHloat and is illuminated under a paper origami shade. As to not further contribute to environmental pollution, a rope should be attached to each pHloat so it can easily be retrieved from the water.
pHloat is designed to create a social awareness of pollution in local rivers, streams, and lakes. It also functions as visual expression of concern for the emission of dangerous chemicals into our atmosphere. pHloats are designed to be released together to ultimately create floating mobile sculptures. Thus initiating a social space that engages locals living in the midst of these manufacturing industries to begin a dialogue about their environmental conditions.
The pHloat has undergone a couple major design changes. It was first made from several recyclable materials including a large array of plastic bottles to allow it to float on water, which made it much larger in size. In the redesign, several form changes were made. pHloat2 is about half the size of the original design but still functions the same. pHloat2 can still be made from several recycled materials including but not limited to Styrofoam, plastic food containers, rope, and paper. If these materials cannot be found they can be purchased along with the necessary electrical components for approximately $25. The kit has also been scaled down down to save on material cost and waste. Instructions can be found in the kit, on instructables.com and at the blog phloatkits.tumblr.com
The kit is best suited for anyone interested in pursuing an entry level arduino based project or lower level science class interested in pollution effects on water quality. The kit is easy to assemble and a fun way to investigate building fro recyclable materials, use of microcontrollers, and practicing sustainable paper structures.