Friday, 30 September 2011

Feldenkrais From Week One (from slow bloggers r us)

Feldenkrais From Week One
I had practiced a bit of self awareness before as part of a relaxation program but not awareness of my body in-motion as we did during the Feldenkrais lesson. The experience was a good change of perspective helping me to tune into the little adjustments I make with my body in order to move through the world.
I think none of us had any idea what was to come when george asked us to draw a human skeleton, which was a challenge in itself. Mine had extra arm bones and two left feet but it did get me thinking about how well I really understood the collection of bones which is my body.
Lying on the floor was surprisingly uncomfortable even with the funky foam. I have clicky hips that I get from my mother so rocking my pelvis from side to side felt like I was unhinging somewhere around the middle. The parts of my body that I noticed the most were my non-fleashy areas that were touching the ground. Oh that tailbone ached! As well as the

back of my head and heels. Ouch! But also sensed the parts in motion. A bit of reflection went on while on the floor: "If I move this way it feels like this but if move slightly differently it feels like this." and I got into a motion that suited me the most. Interesting and a bit tricky.
When it came to drawing my feelings I used my understanding of the skeleton as a template with colour and line direction to show my level of consciousness. My head in yellow was largely in the air and not the subject of my attention whereas my tailbone in red and orange hurt like the dickens. The swirling dark blue in the pelvis reflected the kind of movement we were doing as like the wavy and choppy lines across the leg bones.
When I had my outline drawn onto the image I realised I had drawn myself with a massively disproportionate head. My initial skeleton was similarly afflicted. Perhaps it's because so much goes on in the head that I have afforded importance put upon it. An odd/interesting lesson all around.

Hakone Open-Air Museum: A Walking Wonder




While I was in Japan last year I was lucky enough to be taken to the Hakone Open Air Museum nestled in the mountains of Hakone. A meandering track takes guests around and up close to hundreds of amazing, large scale sculptures which loom out of the grass and greenery like curious, monolithic inhabitants. The layout of the park is fantastically convoluted encouraging you to walk every track to see what you can find. Some of the art pieces are interactive and touchable whereas some move on their own being motorized or capitalizing on the windy highland area.


The Japanese are master walkers and they have the comfortable shoes to prove it! Paths and gardens go together hand in hand as the path is the means to viewing the garden. During the time I was in Japan I rarely saw anyone consciously leave a path to go and walk on the grass whereas in Australia it can be hard to navigate Hyde Park because there are people sitting everywhere. I have often felt a compulsion to take off my shoes and feel the soft grass between my toes but this action seems to be a cultural one. In Australia we seem to view paths as suggestions but in Japan I would say the path is a ruled guideline encouraging walking but not digression.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Pedestrian Guidance System For Crowded Places #DigInfo

Pedestrian Collision Prevention System #DigInfo


thought this was an interesting way in preventing people from colliding when they come to corners and you can't see them. Especially considering many people these days are so preoccupied with mobiles etc when there walking to actually pay to much attention in the first place.

Robotic Tiles - The Future of Walking Surfaces?








At the Univeristy of Tsukuba, Professor Hiroo Iwata has developed a technology he calls 'Robot Tiles'. This design enables an "infinite walking surface" as each tile acts as a stepping stone for the walker, and the tiles work as a set to realign themselves to respond to the user's walking pattern and continue the path.


The robotic tiles are constructed with a specicially formulated textile which is touch-sensitive, and as such, able to determine the position of the walker's next step according to their foot pressure and position.


At the time of development, this technology had no applications, but the creator did suggest it could be used for creating walking platforms for virtual reality programs and applications. In the context of 'Walking in the City', new considerations for this design could emerge. One of these may include the robot tiles being developed to work faster so that unique paths could be created for a walker as they move within the city.


Video and information obtained from: http://www.infoniac.com/hi-tech/latest-invention-robot-tiles-that-create-infinite-walking-surface.html

Piano Stairs - The Fun Theory





I recieved this video in an email a couple of years ago, and was instantly reminded of it when UTS lecturer Frank Feldham came and spoke about his exhibition, The Aesthetics of Slow, and went on to explain how he took this original idea of a 'real-life piano', I guess you could say, and developed it into an indoor installation.



As the video suggests, the original intention behind this project was to find a creative way to influence more people to use the stairs instead of the escalators. Interesting to see how a little playfulness injected into an otherwise dull and quotidian environment can change people's walking decisions!

RUNNING IN THE CITY

From the very first workshop I have been more interested in 'running' than 'walking' in the city. As a runner myself, I have found it interesting to delve into the mind of other runners, to find out their motivation for running. My idea is based around MOTIVATION. Why do people run? What motivates them? Would other runners motivation inspire them?? Perhaps they are training for a marathon or they are set to loose 5kgs. I run to strengthen my bones and I am training for a marathon in December. My research reveals that runners would benefit from socialising with those exercising around them

Research shows that the most common motivation for runners to run with a partner is: to socialise, to run faster, to have more fun and to be encouraged to show up. So it's safe to say that for runners who do not have a running partner they may feel as if they are lacking a social element, as well as a fun and motivation factor.

Below is a link to a website about a jogging device that makes a solo run like a accompanied run:

http://exertioninterfaces.com/jogging_over_a_distance/

Through my research I have also personalised the running experience to allow for a social interaction...

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Honda Walking Assist Device Prototype #DigInfo

Walking observation.


A research activity conducted within central tunnel during afternoon peak hour provided interesting findings. Approximately ninety percent of pedestrians were walking in the same direction as I was, towards the trains and away from the city. As commuters, at the end of a working day, many of the people appeared to walk almost mindlessly down the tunnel following the brisk flow of traffic. This reduced their engagement and made me question how it would be possible to engage walkers with the urban landscape. Walking in the tunnel myself, inhaling the hot unventilated air, feeling the slippery tiles underfoot, I understood with a sense of anxiety, the need to make it out of the tunnel as quickly as possible.

I considered if the small trickle of traffic going the other way would be equally disengaged, so I walked against the direction they travelled to observe their reactions. It wasn’t as off-putting for them as I expected. I had to avoid collision with at least three women who didn’t look up once from their mobile phones or newspapers. The walking commuters were offered a small amount of space, and could safely assume that if they walked within that space, disengaged from their surroundings, they would still make it from a to b. What would happen though if an obstacle were to disrupt the path of one of these walkers? Would the affect be the same for a parkour athlete?

Explicit & Implicit Signs

For the class activity of finding implicit and explicit signs along walking areas, a small group of us chose to look at the walkways within the Ultimo TAFE Institute. One of the first examples of an area where both implicit and explicit signs could be seen is shown above. The sign signalling students to keep noise to a minimum is explicit, however the way the sign has been defaced (possibly through burning of some kind?) and partly covered with a sticker, implicitly suggests some students/walkers may not have respect for authority or take the institution's rules or requests seriously. The fact that the defaced sign itself has not been replaced by the insitution perhaps also alludes to the maintenance practices of the institution, thus implying that impeccable presentation may not be a priority that is very high on the agenda.
The second area that was observed within the TAFE was just further up ahead. It featured the "No smoking" sign as an explicit form of communication, however the numerous cigarette butts littering the ground next to it was a clear implicit sign that people are continuing to ignore the rules, whether it be intentional or not.

The Tread-Walk




The above video shows a walking invention displayed at the Good Design Expo 2010 in Japan. It works very much like a variation of a motorised scooter, in that it transports people around, however, still allows the user to walk on it as if it were a treadmill. Originally designed for groups such as the elderly and the disabled, the beauty of this design is that it would allow the user to integrate efficiently within a walking crowd (in terms of walking pace and rhythm) while still allowing them to have the physical experience of walking.


Another great feature of the design is that although the tread-walk has the ability to continually move forward, its speed can be adjusted according to the speed at which its user is walking, and also responds to certain handle manoeuvres.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Observation Findings!

As an observation location, I chose to observe the walkway just behind the DAB faculty and ABC building, which apparently is officially called the 'Ultimo Pedestrian Network'. As this pathway always seems to be quite full and links up to the railway tunnel, it seemed the perfect place to observe some urban city walking.



One of the first observations that I made was that, ironically, people carrying more bags were the people walking the fastes. There were also a large amount of people caryying multiple bags, with either a backpack or handbag thrown over their shoulders, and often carrying another bag in each hand on top of that! Being a uni student (and one studying design at that), carrying a million bags is now a familiar practice as we walk to uni lugging around all our essentials for classes that day, however, I was surprised to see that this was not uncommon amongst a variety of groups, including business people.

Another observation was the high amount of multi-tasking going on. Many people were fumbling through bags as they were walking, eating on the go and carrying a cup of coffee, or immersed in their phones. Because the pathway is essentially a long strip of empty space, it was interesting to see how some people took the need to 'see we're you're going' for granted as they assumed nothing was ahead of them, with some looking down at phones for as long as 20 seconds.


From looking at this, I thought of how environments could influence pedestrian behaviour, and how possibly this may be a good direction for further research.


(Images obtained from: http://penultimo.tumblr.com/post/1522531711/ultimo-pedestrian-network-sexier-than-it-sounds)
A Student Pedal-Powered School Bus

They are not exactly walking, but the concept of working together to use their own energy to get themselves to school is a great idea! (Weather permitting of course). It helps with fitness levels in kids, since obesity is becoming a global phenomenon these days, better for the environment as opposed to fuel-powered vehicles etc.



The vehicle is made by De Cafe Racer in the Netherlands, but is unfortunately only available for a day hire at the moment, for fun, rather than for commuting purposes.

First image: http://www.thekindlife.com/post/pedal-power-back-to-school
Second image: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/06/pedal-powered-school-bus-cuts-kids-calories/

Sunday, 25 September 2011

differences between men and women when walking

http://www.jbjs.org/article.aspx?Volume=46&page=335

Article Context - A focus on the art of walking

I found this article that outlines differences in male walking patterns

A pretty interesting read when comparing genders on the basis of walking styles.

Also draws back to Feldenkrais and the awareness of our bodies

Habitat 67 (Housing)




















Habitat 67 is a housing complex, designed and created by architect Moshe Safdie located in Quebec, Canada, based on his master's thesis and built as part of Expo 67


Safdie’s thesis project explored new solutions to urban design challenges and high-density living and so the modular interlocking square shape blocks were designed to integrate the variety and diversity of scattered private homes with linking pedestrian streets and suspended terraces and aerial spaces.


The building was believed to convey the new style of city people would be living in as cities become increasingly crowded





Saturday, 24 September 2011

Week 4: Perception Googles


The device I designed was acting as a way to hinder our experience of walking, but also create a new experience in which we walking.

These "perception googles" create a completely new vision of what we see when we walk. Only allowing our line of sight to be the peripheral vision and filtered through an incredibly small area at any given time.

My experience from wearing these was completely altered to that of my regular vision, as I could only really focus out through one side and I had to completely scan the entire area as I had no indication of what was in front of me. I would be intrigued to actually take these out for an extended walk within the city to see what the experience would be like, as I think that we take for granted the use of sight. I think we these on it would require a more heavier use of other sensory elements like sound, to be able to safely manoeuvre around.

Week 2: Vengeance


Vengeance: The need to strike back, to harm

": punishment inflicted in retaliation for an injury or offense :"

The device that I designed in regards to this statement is essentially a weapon that is an extension of the body. The framework of the device is comfortable handheld structure which acts also as sharp surface for inflicting injury, as the for the cones they extend out and act as a way in which to stab.

Making this device an extension of the arm allows for easy manoeuvrability, as opposed to placing it on another part of the body. The magic of this is it makes the user feel safe and powerful.

Week 1: Feldenkrais

Kinda forget about the blog so time for some mass spamming

"The aim is a body that is organised to move with minimum effort and maximum efficiency, not through muscular strength but increased consciousness of how it works."

-- Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc.


This exercise was interesting in gaining a more deeper understanding of my body and the ways in which I can experience it. Taking the time to relax and "feel" my body gave me more insight into areas in which were quiet uncomfortable initially, however going through the exercise allowed for me to take that uncomfortable pain
and have it be something more bearable.

Before the Feldenkrais experience,showing the depiction of the human skeleton (or at least how I remember from high school biology)

Depiction of the human skeleton/body after the Feldenkrais experience, showing what was felt.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

David Belle - Rush Hour Le Parkour(BBC)

This short clip is a good example of the art of Parkour, finding the best and fastest way from a to b as opposed to following carved out paths around the city.

Parkour


Parkour traceurs move against the backdrop of capital city, putting into
relief what is there. Glimpsed against the rectangles of the buildings of the
business sector, parkour is art set in its frame. This contemplation is as
much about the city as about parkour and unruly wandering.

Free running is a mode of bringing forth or revealing dimensions of the
physical and spiritual self through a particular type of urban gymnastics. It destabilizes
and disrupts technocapitalist meanings of a city’s physical and social landscape
goal of exploring how one’s body is shaped by the political geography of a late
for its practitioners. Parkour is ultimately a communion with one’s habitat, in the 
modern city.

Ideas about Rhythm

For anyone else interested in rhythm, here are some quotes and ideas from Henri Lefebvre.


"The analysis of rhythms provides a privileged insight into the question of everyday life"
Elden S, 2004, "Rhythmanalysis: Space, time and everyday life", Continuum, London, p viii


Can we rethink walking through the notion of rhythm?


Rhythm coexists between social and biological dimensions. Lefebvre notes "at no moment has the analysis of rhythms and rhythmanalytical project lost sight of the body"
Lefebvre H, 1992, "Elements de rhythmamalyse", p 91


The body is a tool for subsequent investigations on rhythm; it is the first point of analysis.


"Everywhere where there is interaction between a place, a time and an expenditure of energy, there is rhythm"
Lefebvre H, 1992, "Elements de rhythmamalyse", p 26


"We are only conscious of most of our rhythms when we begin to suffer from some irregularity"
Lefebvre H & Regulier C, 1985, "The Rhythmanalytical Project" in "Rhythmanalysis: Space, time and everyday life", Continuum, London, p 77

Identifying the obvious and the unobvious

Explicit: Hand rail is there to facilitate walking or leaning against.
Implicit: People have started using it to attach their bikes to, so it has now become a bike rack.

Explicit: Fire safety door SIGNAGE
Implicit: The remains of the same message which appears to be rubbed off. Implies that the message has been replaced with something newer.

Explicit: Lock on a door indicates the door can be unlocked with a key.
Implicit: The tiny padlock key stuck in the keyhole implies the door is probably locked most of the time.

Explicit: Fire safety door SIGNAGE
Implicit: Wooden square in roof suggests there is an opening to get into the roof which has been filled temporarily

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Tranquility; the need to be safe



Extensive Tranquility headpiece (complete with adjustable straps) by Jamie Jackson

The funnel ear pieces mute the sounds coming in, not canceling the sounds out completely but rather absorbing the sound and translating it to the ear as a soft hum.

It is quite a flamboyant piece of equipment unlike the out of sight plug style ear phones but that can be seen as another way in achieving tranquility as it may deter people from approaching you.

After this exercise I went on to read an article by Andreas Heye, a phD student in the School of Psycology at the Keel University concerning the technological innovation of MP3 format and small portable music players and how as a society we have grown increasingly depedant on music, in our everyday lives in order to create an “auditory bubble” and avoid interactions with others

Heye also observed that through the use of music listeners were able to ‘actively control their environment and their feelings’. (Heye, A. Mobile Listening, The Royal Philharmonic Society. Media span online. 2011. Viewed 12/ 08/ 2011


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Modular shoes - "MyShell256" by Sharon Golan



More from DEZEEN - I cant resist! This time found in the DEZEEN *FASHION* section :)

"For those who can’t ever have too many shoes, these 16 modular components combine to make 256 different pairs".

Wear this! Sugru silicon clay competition



"Cures at room temperature: Sugru is like modelling clay when you take it from its pack. Once it’s exposed to air, it cures to a tough flexible silicone overnight using the moisture in the air. Working time = 30 mins. Cure time = 24hrs (3-5 mm deep).

Sugru is designed to stick to as many other materials as possible. It forms a strong bond to aluminium, steel, ceramics, glass and other materials including plastics like perspex. Sugru is resistant from -60 °C to + 180 °C. It gets hot and cold but it won’t get softer or harder or melt.

Sugru is silicone, so it’s completely waterproof and durable outdoors. It’s easy to clean with soap and water, oh and it’s fine with sea water too. When Sugru cures, it’s flexible rather than rigid. Which means that you can repair things that need to be able to move like textiles, cables, or shoes. Once it’s cured, Sugru is pretty much like other silicones – durable in the harsh soapy conditions of your washing machine and dishwasher."


This could be an interesting material to work with for our wearables project. Dezeen and Sugru are giving away packets of Sugru as competition prizes - the competition closes on 27th September - more info at DEZEEN…



Via the very slick DEZEEN website

Monday, 12 September 2011

The car gave birth to pedestrian-hostile roads and intersections, high rises, and parking lots. Amato, Joseph Anthony 2004, 'On Foot: A History of Walking'


Todd had asked us if we have a particular path we choose to walk, I have two. One is a back alley that runs parallel to Regent street, when I ride my bike or walk to uni, seeing the street that turns into that alley is bliss -I can turn off from the busy flow of traffic (and usually from pedaling as fast as my heart can handle, to keep up with the cars from the Cleveland street traffic lights). When enetering this street it feels as though I've been transported to another part of town, it's in the city but it's calm, it is a mini haven until George street closes in on my steps (or pedals).


The other is a lovely dog park a block away from my home, on the same street but the opposite side to the side that my home is on. If I have somehow ended up on my home side of the street before I reach the park, I always cross over and make sure I walk next to the grass and the trees; even though that means crossing back again after I have come to the end of the street -walking next to the park, rather than next to it but across a road from it, makes me feel like I am temporarily a part of the setting and nature itself, and actually lifts my spirits (ESPECIALLY after a long day at uni!) 


I plan to do an observational task there later this week.
S i m p l e   I d e a   Multitude of Possibilities.


This simple design, that I came up with in class has been lingering in my head 

Alex came up with the design direction of styles of walking, in class the other week. She questioned people having their hands in their pockets. This hit a little bell in my head and reminded me that I have frequently been imitated by others, for having my hands constantly in my pockets -it's not just when I stand though, I find I tend to walk with them in my pockets too (unless I'm in a big hurry); somehow it’s more comfortable than having them swing by my side. And when I’m shy I adopt this habit of hiding them, to make them feel like they are doing something.
With this in mind, I designed an accessory piece -it draws on this concept of having hands in pockets, and solves the problem of restriction of movement, in which it causes when someone is walking, or running. It is more like an accessory joined to a garment, so typically it would be buttoned (or press stud) onto the sleeve hem of a garment -and when the wearer would feel the need to make their hands busy they would unbutton the accessory and hold onto it, instead of hiding their hands in their pockets. 




Do any of you find you have the hands-in-pocket habit? Would you think an accessory like this could be useful?

I'm more interested in kinetics and/or well-being for my area of design research, but somehow these wearable items also seem like they could have a market in the walking field.

The Great London Circle Walk


On the weekend while looking for Richard Long artworks on the net, I cam across this walking project in London, by Michael Brunström: The Great London Circle Walk.

Here's an excerpt - the full post is worth a read - very inspiring!

It is fascinating to observe what happens when an abstract geometrical shape is superimposed on an urban landscape, which is organized along lines that are partly rational, partly organic and partly chaotic. Different definitions of the word 'natural' come into conflict. Obviously, you are forced to think about cities in a different way, following a route that no one would normally take. As a walker, you are both bound by the constraints of the route (no deviation from the circle is permitted!) and liberated from those all-too-beaten paths that others have made. The route almost takes on a ritual quality. You cannot help but become aware of time and space, observing the linear passage of the sun across the sky as you yourself perform a symbolic tour of a cyclical universe encoded in microcosm.

In addition to this pretentious arty bollocks, the walk offers plenty of general inspiration. It offers a stark illustration of different social conditions along the way, passing both the Aylesbury Estate in Walworth and Cheyne Walk in Chelsea, for example. It includes a bus garage, a museum, a university, a giraffe enclosure, a hospital, a high-security police station and a theatre – a rich resource of material for any narrative or fiction that might aim to encompass a cross-section of London life. It is made up of concrete, water, grass, brick, glass, trees, steel and earth. It passes at least fifty pubs. And below street level lie generations of souls amid fields, streets and houses that have long vanished from view, not to mention an even more ancient geology and hydrology.


Another UK project - this one very big - is walkit.com
The webiste provides Londoners with ideas for walks, and a place to share experiences and advice etc. - and they also have an app!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Miranda July

Miranda July is an American artist who makes films and installations. Some of you may have seen her film ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW on SBS.
She makes very quirky work, that usually has a way of connecting with people at a very personal level.
Do visit her website - its great!

I've included this video here - as I think its an interesting way to think about interactivity - as a way of having a 'conversation' with people via an inner dialogue, that the artist has written for you: its open ended enough for you to insert your self into…

This has similarities to the way the Feldenkrais lessons are presented too - the questions are open enough, but also very personal - and they elicit powerful questions and value-laden processes, but in a very simple way.

Its also very lo-tech - which is all the rage these days - and it could be interesting to explore how you could incorporate these approaches into your wearable concepts, combing lo and hi tech etc, personal/impersonal etc.

The Hallway from The Hallway on Vimeo.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

FINDINGS


EXPLICIT: Big pile of birds poop
IMPLICIT: Birds spend time on this ledge or visit the ledge to poop


TRACES:
Everybody meet my puppy Wolfgang a.k.a Wolfie.
I was chilling out with him the other day and noticed he'd created himself a pathway around and through my backyard, clever little dog. Because he made these defined pathways I now follow his path.


Interesting blog: walkinginplace.org



"...sense of place can be seen as a commonplace occurrence, as an ordinary way of engaging one's surroundings and finding them significant. Albert Camus may have said it best. "Sense of place," he wrote, "is not just something that people know and feel, it is something people do". And that realization brings the whole idea rather firmly down to earth, which is plainly, I think, where a sense of place belongs." – Keith Basso
Visit the blog here

The Art of Walking: Richard Long

British artist Richard Long graduated from St. Martin's Academy in the late 60's and was a pioneer in the new wave of British Sculpture in the late 70's and early 80's - that included Tony Cragg, Antony Gormley, David Mach, Anish Kapoor, and Andy Goldsworthy to name a few (not many well-known women artists from this period!).

His practice centres on walking: he uses text, photography, and paintings and sculptural assemblages made from found materials - to produce works that evoke questions and experiences of place, situation and attention, often involving 'durational' processes (i.e. walks) that can take several days or even weeks to complete. Like the ephemeral, pain-stakingly contructed works of Andy Goldsworthy - his works remind (and perhaps even inspire) people of a different way of being in the world - a way of intense and sustained attention to, and quiet engagement with the world around us. That fact that he has undertaken these works in nearly every continent on Earth - also brings to mind a concept of Earth as a place - and what it means to be a witness to these diverse places and quiet, otherwise unobserved processes: water evaporating on stones in the Andes, a line walked in grassland, stones piled allong a pathway, lines made by walking…

Part of what makes these works so compelling (like other types of performance) is the sheer discipline and physical presecne and commitment, implied by the processes required to produce the work: the time, concetration, and quality of attention - they show us what is possible for a human to do, and to hold in mind.

Here is a selection of images collected from the net:

















Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Week 6


In our lesson in week 6 we discussed the way in which our perceptions work and play a huge part in our interaction with objects and devices. There is a continual instantaneous process as we initiate our object to function which is followed by the objects reaction, prompting us to react to this and initiate the next function in this continual process.
We later took apart a device we brought to class to explore the functions within these electrical objects to gain a higher understanding in the way in which their process works and some of the devices inside. My old phone is shown above.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Electronic device destruction



It was very interesting to discover what is found inside the humble digital camera. I found the source of the problem, the screen had been shattered. However this revealed layers of reflective screens that projected the light for the display screen. I found these to be fascinating, as you could see through them, but at the same time they reflected, creating distorted images.

Traces


I found traces to be an interesting way of observing habits, and I found myself walking around imagining the behaviours of humans and animals from the little signs I found. While i was in the city, i noticed traces of chewing gum along a busy walkway, although not from walking wear and tear it was interesting to ponder on how many people walk along one small area. I also noticed traces on a pole of paper and tape from posters being frequently put up and torn down.


Walking into my front yard, i noticed the ground right next to the gate post was worn and had sunk from frequent traffic. I also noticed that the grass had been destroyed in a semi circle shape next to the drive way, as it is not quite wide enough to turn a car. Walking out into a paddock (I live about 2 hrs out of Sydney) I noticed trails all through the grass, from kangaroos and wallabies making their way from the opening into the bush.


Monday, 5 September 2011

week 4.

This week Ryan and I created a mutual walking artefact which bind the individual walking together at the ankle to the knee. We filmed the walking experience. It was quite restrictive when i tried to walk and having to think and cater for another person as well. However it was quite fun and humourous as well. This really got me realising how individual and personal a person 'walk'
is.

Saving


This week I picked out the word Saving as it was most relevant to me in my life at the moment. I wanted to see if i could develop a simple product that could assist me in my saving en devours whilst walking through the city. The embarrassing video above explains what i came up with in the short period of time we had to create this object.

Week 1, Introductory Exercise.

 I have finally gathered my pictures from week ones class where we a special guest who ran us through the Feldenkrais exercise.
We originally had to draw out our own interpretation of a skeleton without any reference which got us thinking about how little or what aspects of our body structure we know least about. 
below is my version of a skeleton which is obviously missing many vital components.

Next we all then particiated in the Feldenkrais excercise which consisted of various positions of the body which aimed to create focus on different parts of the body and make you more aware of the pressure points and areas of the body we sometimes neglect and deem less vital thanothers. After we were instructed to draw a life size version of our skeleton but this time focusing on how we felt throught the duration of the excercise. Below is my reult


 
The results varied greatly and many of them created different patterns and shapes. when walking around the room you were able to gather different messages from each drawing about the feeling and experience that person had just undertaken.









On The Aesthetics of Urban Walking and Writing

A beautiful essay on walking and the city by Phillip Lopate, via the NYC non-fiction blog/webiste "Tell Mr. Beller a Story", featuring some interesting observations on writting and walking amongst other points…

Around this time I began to appreciate the performance art of pedestrianism. Each New Yorker can seem like a minor character who has honed his or her persona into a sharp, three-second cameo. You have only an instant to catch the passerby's unique gesture or telltale accessory: a cough, hair primping, insouciant drawing on a cigarette, nubby red scarf, words muttered under the breath, eyebrow squinched in doubt. Diane Arbus used to say that in that split-second of passing someone, she looked for the flaw. I would say I look for the self-dramatizing element. How often you see perfectly sane people walking along grimacing to themselves, giggling, or wincing at some memory. Once, I passed a man in a three-piece suit who let out a sigh as intimate as if he had been sitting on the toilet. The expression worn on the street is perhaps more unconscious, therefore truer, than at work or at love. The crowded streets bring out, on the one hand, a pure self-absorption unembarrassed by witnesses; on the other hand, a secret conviction that one is being watched by Higher Powers, the anxious eyes of pedestrians all seeming to ask: Oh Lord, why hast Thou forsaken me?

Phillip Lopate, 2004

Matt Roberts "Every Step" (2008)

Every Step from Matt Roberts on Vimeo.



Here's an interesting walking-related project that combines a pedometer (step-sensor) with a camera, to create visual documents of walks, from an unusual point of view (POV). It could provide a way to appreciate and reflect on our surrounds in greater detail and depth. This makes me think you could also explore different narratives and commentaries applied to these images as a slide show, or interactive map, play back afterwards.

Every Step allows a participant to create a short experimental animation while they walk. Each participant is given an armband with a mounted camera and pedometer. The pedometer is mounted inside the armband and is connected to the camera. The camera is mounted on the armband and points towards the sky. The pedometer acts as a trigger for the camera and an image of whatever is above the participant is taken every time a step is made.




Also reviewed on the awesome and very connected we-make-money-not-art

Techy Textiles from Plusea

Was just searching around for interactive textile and wearables links and came across these excellent how-to tutorials from Plusea via the Instructables site

Here's a demonstration of a stretchsensing tubular knit - you could substitute the little LED for all sorts of things - sounds, vibrations, kinetic/robotic gestures etc.


And a demonstration of other responsive textiles she/he has created (I just wish they had more interesting thing to do that make LED's blink - there's so much more you can make these do when you add in some computing power). That said, they are a great demonstration of the basic principals…

Saturday, 3 September 2011

walking signs


In class we were discussing the way in which signs and objects around the city can be interpreted through implicit and explicit understandings. When Alex and I went for a walk around uni we noticed a small arrow on the ground pointing in one direction. The sidewalk as a walkway is explicitly understood as a 2 way walkway as people are allowed to walk in either directions. However with the placement of this arrow on the ground there is an implicit idea implied that the sidewalk is a one way walkway and that people must walk in the direction of the arrow shown. The image above quite interestingly highlights this idea as people do not notice the arrow and therefore go against this implicit intention.

get out of my space

Im interested in the way in which personal space can be ivnvaded when you are out walking in the street. I am also interested in the way ones idea of personal space is very person and varies from person to person. This led me to coming up with my little invention in week 4. (Imagine the foam is actually hard spikes sticking out around me) This (ajustable) device can be used to keep people at a certain distance away from you, making you free to walk around the city without your personal space being avoided at all.