Saturday, February 18, 2006

Product design for relaxing

A need to be comforted?
I found this very interesting entry on Pasta and Vinegar:

The Flotarium concept is a spaceship-looking sensory deprivation capsule full of water and salts to create optimal buoyancy so that people can float and relax.

The napmosphere
via a modular system meant to be like a cocoon providing a place of shelter.

The napshell, the sleeping capsule, is also very interesting. It's powerful shape acts as eyecatcher that attracts attention to itself. A modular system allows different Areas of use: A simple variant of the object is designed for outdoor areas. The robust construction could be used within parks or in open places as public furniture. This would allow the object to reach a broad audience.

Power-Napping ...

By Cati in Research

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Whispering Landmark : a low cost mini skyscraper

For the MIT mini skyscraper 06 competition I have designed a Skyscraper as a Landmark and a building. I made this project with students and researchers from the MIT Media Lab L.Bonanni and J.Gouldstone.

Whispering Landmark is a miniature skyscraper for the MIT campus that provides an oasis for relaxation as well as a landmark visible from 77 Mass Ave and around the world. Set in a grassy field between the student center and the main campus entrance, the mini-skyscraper is an oversized tuft of green bamboo arranged to spell the institute’s name so that it can be captured by overhead GPS satellites and seen around the globe on the internet.

When you approach the landmark, you can hear the whispering of other voices coming from within the little grove. The voices have been recorded by people near and far interacting with this landmark and others around the world. If you climb between the thirty-foot blades of grass and lay on one of the three hammocks, you can contribute your own voice to the whispering landmark network. As you trade words with three microphones hidden inside the bamboo poles the whispers start sounding like answers to your questions. Or you can plug your iPod into the six surround speakers and broadcast your favorite music around the world.

For the competition we had a model and a working demonstration of the technology.

Our visual scenario of interaction

By Cati in Personal Architecture

Friday, February 10, 2006

Taptap and its next steps

The Seamless Fashion show has presented Taptap a project I team-developped for the Tangible Interface class at MIT Media Lab. Previously called Touching Memories, it is about the possibility to record memories of touch.
I cared about recording affectionate touch rather than touch used during physical therapy or learning. Trying to find a potential application for this concept, I remembered the urgency in the need of nurses during war; during such event orphans, especially young babies, need a certain amount of hugs to survive. The scarf was then an attempt to overcome this problem. It could be used as a platform for the nurse to hug many children at once and help them survive. After discussing with Leo about this application, he has found some research on baby monkeys in relationship to an artificial mother. Regarding the design and this application in mind, I wanted the sensory object to be a scarf to easily position the sensors where and when needed. The modularity also offers the potential for the scarf to be independent from the electronic as much as the electronic to differ from the scarf and have a life on its own.

We have written a work in progress paper for CHI'06 about Taptap that has just been accepted. We are now discussing with health care department about the next steps of our system.

In the meantime, Taptap has been exhibited at the Seamless Fashion Show in Boston.

The following in a slideshow presenting the pictures I took of the fashion show

Photos during rehersal and also more photos during the fashion show.

Models: Lauren and Joy

By Cati in computational product design