Archive for the ‘technology’ Category
Come down and visit the ADA tonight for a virtual canoe tour! The live event uses the lake in Stanley Park setting for a virtual meeting place, enabling people from Liverpool and Shanghai to mingle, talk and play together amid the imagined landscapes of Second Life. The event follows a highly successful debut in the Bluecoat as part of the Shang-pool project, a unique collaboration between Shanghai and Liverpool conceived and co-ordinated by ADA Fine Art Lecturer, Peter Appleton. Collaborators Jiang Fei and Wang Zheng, from Shanghai University have been developing Wii like control pad in the form of canoe oars that are used to virtually paddle a life sized canoe. As well as controlling a virtual canoe in Second Life, the paddles will also drive a real, model canoe on the lake in Stanley Park. The co-operation of those paddling is essential as each paddle stroke on either side affects the motion and direction of the boat. These paddles also control the experimental Arcadian drone canoe. This model canoe will sail on the actual lake in Stanley Park relaying live video images of its location back to the Academy allowing us to add another layer of reality to the voyage.
You can come to the Academy from 4pm to 7 pm tonight or alternatively, visit the park from any internet linked computer if you download and log in to Second-Life.
“What is a cyborg?” “Maybe they are more common than we think” was the opening statement began an eye-opening talk in the ADA last night. Revolutionary designer, Revital Cohen fed the rapt audience a whistle stop tour of a range of health related design solutions, each with a unique perspective on biology, technology and our relationships to both. We do not have to look far for evidence of cyborgs in our midst, Revital explained; Far from the world of science fiction, there are millions of human beings living in the world today who only exist because of the fusion man and machine. The cyborg of modern times, she explained were patients of various diseases bound to heavy, noisy and ugly dialysis machines in order to stay alive.
Although essential for living for the patient, the machines which “have not been reinvented in over 40 years” are severely lacking in their design and completely ignore any sense of humanity in the patient.
Revital, a former furniture design student, embarked on the project in her final year at the Royal College of Art, embarking on a period of research into the feelings and needs of patients. Armed with a video camera, she visited patients in a nearby hospital, where she recorded their opinions on their symbiotic relationship with a dialysis machine. One patient described the relationship that of a slave to a master;
“there’s certain things you have to do in order not to upset them”. “It’s keeping you alive, but then again, it’s keeping you a prisoner as well. It more or less dominates your life really”
In order to challenge our unquestioning acceptance of this relationship, Revital’s response was one that provoked outrage, wonder and disbelief. What if, instead of a machine, we reverted to a biological solution and employed a small farmyard animal to act as a cleanser of patients blood? Without any cruelty to the animal, a small lamb could be employed to sleep by the patient at night, cleansing their blood and replacing the need for dialysis by machine. The lamb could then become a household pet during the day almost like a companion akin to a dogs used by the visually impaired. Revital’s photographic images and meticulous diagrams of this relationship almost make this idea seem feasible. Her proposal, she explained was only outrageous because of our cultural expectations.
“Some people have no problem eating meat or wearing leather” she argued, but felt that this was cruel despite “the relationship humans have had with animals for thousands of years”.
Revital does not propose that any of her designs become common practise and argues that she does not even think they should. Her purpose, she believes is to challenge and provoke thought; to show what could rather than what should. Her ideas, she hopes, will inspire others to go beyond the boundaries of what is accepted thought to improve on a product that cares little of its user. Her aim with this project, she remarked, was to design something that showed she considered the patient first and foremost, over that of scientific logic. Is that not the ideal of every designer? To use logic to advantage, yet accept nothing as a steadfast rule that cannot be broken? Inspiring, exciting and a breath of fresh air, Revital is certainly one to watch.
“The wheels on bikes haven’t been reinvented — though the chains are getting an update” reads the NY headline of an article released this week which fanfares the launch of The Stringbike. Developed in Hungary, the bike uses polyethylene cables instead of a traditional bike chain. No longer will cyclists have to deal with oily chains that get caught in trousers and skirts. Now companies are developing new designs and materials to replace these chains with grease-free alternatives like polymer cables or belts toughened with carbon fibers. The belts have teeth on one side that engage with metal pulleys to turn the belt as the pedals rotate. Belt-driven systems were first used primarily on single-speed mountain bikes but are now appearing on multigeared commuter and city bikes as well.
“They last much longer than chains, and are quiet and clean,” a New York bike vendor claims; “In a perfect world, everyone would probably use them because they require less maintenance.”
A local commuter claims;
“It doesn’t get grease on my clothes,” he said, “which makes it great for commuting.”
A few days ago, software giant Adobe launched its Museum of Digital Media.
The Adobe Museum of Digital Media (AMDM) is a unique virtual space designed to showcase and preserve groundbreaking digital work and to present expert commentary on how digital media influences culture and society.
The museum is an ever-changing repository of eclectic exhibits from diverse fields ranging from photography to product development to broadcast communications. To inspire fresh conversation on the constantly evolving digital landscape, exhibits are overseen by guest curators, each of whom is a recognized leader in the field of art, technology, or business.
The AMDM is a space unlike any created before. Because it is entirely digital, it is an ideal gallery for displaying and viewing digital media, as well as revealing the innovation and artistry within the work. It is open to the public 365 days a year and is accessible from anywhere in the world.
Open Labs hosted Fab Camp Liverpool at the Art and Design Academy on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th October 2010.
Fab Camp Liverpool is a two-day exploration of the tools and techniques that we can use to shape the objects in our world. Aimed at tinkerers, hackers, creatives, technologists, entrepreneurs and enthusiastic knowledge-seekers; Fab Camp Liverpool is for anyone who wants to make almost anything.
Participants spent the weekend sharing knowledge of the methods involved in personal fabrication and working in groups to design and produce new artefacts.