Monday, 14 November 2011

Have a read.

8 13 11
Whenever I stand before an audience I always wonder What did all these people do today, before they came to the theater? I imagine several hundred lives, filled with their intricicies and challenges and it seems like a minor miracle that they all managed to get here, on time, and are sitting so neatly like teeth. Most of you I will not see tonight at the Arclight — but I will see a couple of you. Right now you are looking at this website, but what else will you do today before I see you? Please send me your to do list for today — noting if you will be at the 5:20 or 7:30 screening. (Because I may have some questions for you during the Q+A.)  
Miranda July  (

I feel this relates to our wearables, how people experience our designs, but also about how these people have very different lives and routines to play out, which also means that all of our designs would be experienced differently and uniquely by each person. Also observing people at our exhibition opening made me ask some questions like this -it's fun thinking that all of these different people who experienced different things during their day came together to explore our designs. 

P.s. Was really amazed looking at everyone's final designs during the presentations! 

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

U n s e e n   E n e r g i e s

A harness with crystal energy designed to protect, and planned to either physically or psychologically protect a lone walker. 

It gives confidence and a feeling of being 'strapped in'. If you're a sceptic, just try it and see if your walking experience is altered. Experience your walk.



A project by Katherine Mavridis and Sarah Vosper

Sunday, 30 October 2011

From National Geographic: eLEGS

Pink spot trails

Any ideas what these pink spots are for?

There are some beside the QVB and outside Chinatown. The problem with trails like this is you can't tell if you are walking to the beginning or the end. Explicit: This is a trail. Implicit: A trail that some arty folk have left to lead you to something.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Tiny Speakers

Gemma and Dan,
found that there are speakers that exist that are tiny and work in conjunction with sensor technology!

Here are some of the components to these sorts of interfaces.................................

Applied for: greeting card, electronic sound toy, Doll , sound gift and hobby etc..

Components: PCB, IC, speaker, microphone, LED indicator, batteries, plastic shell (more or less for different items)

Power : Button cell AG13 AG10, Dry battery AAA , AA.

Messages: voice, music, and sound, customized sounds are available (MP3 or WAV format file )

Function: pre-recorded or recordable, USB input, with LED flash (optional)

Recording duration: 5 seconds to 270 seconds, even more if required

Activated: by pull-tab (slide) switch. light sensor . Infrared sensor. push button. timer (play music automatically at a certain time).vibration sensor (vibrate the module to play music).temperature sensor. voice sensor.

Friday, 14 October 2011

P r o t e c t i o n  -Sense of Security

Katherine and I grouped together and chose the field of protection for our final design concept. 

Originally we thought to incorporate the energy of crystals into a form of vest/harness (wearable) as a conceptual way of 'protecting' the wearer while walking. Having realised that this is a bit too simple, we thought of exploring how lights could help protect someone when walking. By completing the mind map class exercise last Tuesday with George, we were able to sort out where exactly we could go with this initial idea.

We decided that night walking will be our context for our design, as it is problematic in terms of low-lit streets, local parks etc.We want to encourage people to go for a walk even though it is night time, and to give people a sense of security and energy balance while doing so.

Our Mind Map Transformed into Notes

In terms of which crystals/gemstones to use, I think moonstone and smoky quartz could really work. Below is some information I found out about their energies and think work exactly with our concept of protection (for night walking).

Spiritual and Healing Properties of Moonstone:
Moonstone carries lunar energy and helps to balance emotional upsets. Moonstone has a gentle energy that helps to ease stresses and feelings of anxiousness. It can be used to enhance intuition. 

(Katherine also had a really good idea about the crystals/gemstone reflecting light themselves too, and moonstone is supposed to be reflective properties, similar to how the moon reflects light from the sun.)

Smoky Quartz
Metaphysical and Healing Properties Lore
Keywords: Grounding, Remove Negativity
Smoky quartz is an excellent stone for removing negativity and negative energy of any kind and transforming them to positive energy. It is also a very protective and grounding stone. It brings physical, protection, psychic protection and protection from negative energy. It enhances survival instincts, and can help one reach personal and business goals, as well as assisting in making wishes come true. Smoky quartz is beneficial for groups, and engenders cooperation. It also helps with creativity, prioritizing needs and wants, and wisdom. In addition, smoky quartz is a stone that brings abundance, prosperity, and good luck.

Along with these crystals and gemstones, as Katherine mentioned in her blog post we should consider the textiles that we use in our vest design, which I think is a very good idea, she also had the idea to incorporate protective text etc. So we have found our context and aim and now have to consider our textiles, technology in terms of lights being controlled by the wearer's heartbeat (need to speak to bert about this part!!)

Also as an extra note, Katherine had a really good idea about the walk being a labyrinth of self discovery, but with not wanting to get too similar to the enchantment group, we decided that we wouldn't pursue that, but would definitely explore the idea of making each walkers' experience personal -this is where I believe the idea of lights controlled by the wearer's heart beat and the crystals will come into play. SO our design is planned to not only be about personal security and energy, it will be about allowing to experience walking on a personal level. (At night, low-lit times).

becoming sound tekkie's

Meeting with burt! - to discuss what type of speakers and sensors to implement in our design

mini sensors - can bend around the finger, very sensitive - with react with minimal force

mini computers - to connect sensors and speakers to

where to source equipment from!

Mini speakers - to implement in our design. Black speaker produces a louder sound

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Walking in the City: at night

Sarah and i are looking at walking in the city from the viewpoint of protection. We are interested in protecting the walker from certain dangers and also enhancing their sense of empowerment through natural bodily energies. These natural bodily energies will be enhanced and through use of natural energy sources that dwell within natural objects and substances.

Our brainstorming exercise was very useful with many interesting ideas being produced. We eventually grouped ideas and arranged them as seen below:

We then chose certain important ideas and moved them together creating the beginnings of a mind map:
Finally we neatened ideas from here up and moved them onto a final mind map to work from:

The design ideas we derived from this brainstorming activity were:

Light sourced being reflected off the body
Crystals placed on the garment serving as a protective source and also empowers walker- providing a sense of security and comfort
Reflected light could link to heart monitor- release an alert signal if heart rate rises to an alarming level- ie. if walker is afraid or in some kind of peril, lights emit this sense of anguish to others

I am interested in persuing these ideas in order to make a wearable for a walker at night. However I feel it needs to be a bit more conceptually grounded and perhaps challenge some pre concieved ideas about walking. I am interested in pursuing the idea of protective natural energies surrounding the walker and capturing them to enhance the walker's experience of the journey. Ie. to capture the few positive and natural energies pulsating through the city and block out the overwhelming negative energies of the industrial dark city scape.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Redefining City Sound Project

Research Design Process

Grouping brainstorming topics together

Grouping brainstorming topics under 4 Headings
1. Distorting and Manipulating Sound
2. Emotional Engagement
3. Felt Experience
4. Physical Engagement

Heading's where included under Why, How, What and Who - in relation to Why, How, What And Who these redefined sounds would impact. The diagram shows how all elements link together and are essential to one another, Elements can therefore be analysed and researched in depth.

From this we started to develop design concepts and ideas to build upon:

- interactive garment/wearable with sensors
- hand and feet - primary body parts that physically interact with the city daily
- playful
- collectable (add on features?)
- have to consider sizing on individuals
- do we want the wearable to be visible? - has to be aesthetically appealing / or blend in with existing technology?
- using speakers to product sound
- temporary city sounds produced

Gemma, Steph, Danielle

Monday, 10 October 2011


Saving YouTube Videos

Download mpegstreamclip mac. Make Sure its the BETA Version.

test upload

a joke!

Augmented Reality with Layar

Anyone interested in seeing if this actually works? Looks fun - but almost too good to be true!

; )

Social Walking: Lygia Pape "Divisor" 1968-2011

Performance en el Museo Reina SofĂ­a, Madrid

Brazillian artist Lygia Pape was a contemporary of Helio Oiticica and Lygia Clarke - part of the Tropicalismo movement that emerged in that county in the 60's and 70's - - a form of 'expanded' practice that developed from the neo-concrete aesthetics of the 50's (Grupo Neoconcreto). This looks like loads of fun - and a big presensce. Ryan's protest walk proposal made me think of this - I thought it was Oiticica but it was Pape! Here's another 're-performance' in Brazil…

Check out the Oiticicia clips on youtube as well - they are a hoot…
Wiki Tropicalismo listing here


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Walking in the city- A Running Perspective

Walking in the city- A Running Perspective
Design Idea 1:
Runtec is a technology that uses blutooth technology and sensors to inform the user of oncoming runners and to share information about the runner. The technology is a wireless wrist device that works together with headphones that also act as regular headphones for music. The music fades when the sensors detect oncoming runners and immediately scans for sharing capacity. If you choose not to share during a run you can turn of the sharing capacity and set up a status that advises fellow runners of your reason for not sharing. The share option allows for the communication of detailed information about your age, weight, speed and running distance. However, the motivation key is the primary function and as a runner approaches the first information shared is the reason for running and the goals of the runner. Therefore, once the runner has approached they have the chance to motivate verbally or with a facial or hand gesture, this sharing of information also allows for the other runner to assess the degree of running compatibility.
If a runner chooses to experience a social interaction with other runners on a particular run, the interaction mode is selected and stats are shared with the runner. If interaction is accepted, a verbal communication can take place b y holding the wrist device to the mouth without stopping. Therefore, a stopping point can be planned which will not disrupt the run and potentially result in a running partnership that would achieve better results. The device encourages social interaction and acts as a personal motivator and communicator when there is no time to stop. The Garmin technology which is a device used by runners to record running trips and personal information is similar to Runtec in that ‘…data is collected via the GPS device and sent to the mini computer via Bluetooth. The computer then transmits this data wirelessly over the 3G network to a server’ (Garmin) . Casual runners John Montoya and Steve Butress both use the Garmin technology whilst running. However they both still lack in motivation so would therefore benefit from the additional social interaction features that Runtec offers.
Design Idea 2:
PedomoTec is similar to Runtec in terms of it’s information sharing capacity and oncoming runner sensor feature. It is a shoes technology that records footsteps that can later be accessed on the internet and shared with other runners. Whilst running, the shoes link to other runners that pass, therefore the technology allows for a transfer of information between runners who train in the same vicinity. The technology also acts as a pedometer and records speed and distance. Runners are able to go online and view other runners tracks and times to be motivated and inspired to try new routes and set harder paces. Also, the shape of the shoe is based on the concept of reflexology, applying pressure to particular points on the foot to achieve better performance.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Grayson Perry- Map of an Englishman 2004

A satirical critique of english masculinity, Perry presents a physiological map with charts the complex and troubled terrain of the gendered and constructed Englishman.
I find this very interesting in terms of conveying the emotionality of walking, by replacing the labelling of a terrain with emotions. Good starting point for such a map.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Electronic Devices.

Finally located my images from the week that we had to take apart our electronic devices! I had an old straightener lying around the house and thought this would be a great item to take apart especially because it had heating elements which would be quite cool to explore. taking it apart proved more difficult than expected but the end findings were quite interesting and it was great to learn how it works by seeing the inside. The straightener was mainly electrical and though various layers of metal plastic and  a chemical substance it was able to heat the plate. It would be great in the future to learn more about how to put together simpler electronic devices.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Walking Rules

Whilst doing some research about how different environmental situations alter the walkers experience i have come across some "rules" of walking in New York City. I has brought up some interesting questions about how pedestrians have developed there own code for getting around highly populated areas and how different cities may have different sets of rules. If more official pedestrian rules where set out in public would this offer an easier and more enjoyable walking experience in the city ?

below is the link to the article called 'How to walk in NewYork by Andrew Womak'

Implicit and Explicit Meanings

My walk from UTS to Darling Harbour revealed a quite a few things with hidden meanings..

Pedestrian access :

- The image on the left shows the entrance to the tram line behind the Powerhouse museum. This is the first opening in the tree lining for at least 25m, and despite the no entry sign, there is evidence of foot tracks and graffiti on the wall. This suggests they should have provided an opening so people didn’t have to break the rules.

- The image on the right is near the back entrance to Darling Harbour, accessible via Ultimo. Despite being a major tourist attraction, the access for pedestrians is restricted to a footpath in the middle of a large roundabout with freeway entrances and high traffic areas. Doesn’t seem right..


- In our ergonomics classes we are taught that a handle affords pulling and a panel affords pushing. But both of these handled doors set back behind a metal strip which means they have to be pushed to get in. It looks as though the owner has become sick of people pulling and getting it wrong that they have had to put a PUSH sign up.

On the street:

- The left image shows a drain and the top of where a tap used to be along Harris St. Possible explanations could be that the tap was unsuitable for the busy thoroughfare so it was removed, but a plate with a hole in it just below waist height is something that affords ‘putting’. The hidden message – less taps, more bins.

- The right image is the walk button that clearly affords pressing/pushing. However the noise that is created by the beeping causes confusion for such a simple activity, and many people end up crossing when they hear the noise from the adjacent pedestrian crossing.


- The seagull on the left was found in Darling Harbour, a so called friendly, safe tourist zone. But maybe it’s not so safe after all with this bird and a few others I saw suffering injuries to their legs.

- I found this sign near the Chinese Gardens. Although the meaning isn’t really that hidden, it seems a bit for a tourist area. The whole of Darling Harbour is depicted as iconic and friendly, but there seemed to be a few things that were a bit off.