technology

Posts tagged
with technology



Animation Design

Product Breakdowns Expose the Wasteful Side of Industrial Design in Stop Motion Animation by Dina Amin

February 23, 2020

Andrew LaSane

Industrial designer Dina Amin takes discarded consumer products apart to see exactly what makes them tick. The hobby also exposes just how many resources and materials consumers throw away. A new stop-motion animation titled What’s Inside is a supercut of Amin’s breakdowns of familiar items, each splayed in perfect grids of plastic, metal, and rubber.

The exploding electronics featured in the animation are a blowdryer, a stereo cassette recorder, a point-and-shoot camera, and an old cellphone. Dropped by an invisible hand, each item becomes a schematic of itself as it hits the table. Screws, wires, and miscellaneous components are neatly and instantly sorted into piles on the empty surface. The pieces then reassemble to form the finished product.

“On Fridays I pick a random product, I disassemble it, examine it and make a stop motion story with its parts,” Amin shares on her website. Of the deeper theme of the work, the designer writes that “we consume too many things to the point that we forgot the amount of work that was put into bringing even the tiniest pieces of things! We rarely see what’s inside each product thus treat it as one whole part; not as a plastic cover, with buttons, vibrator motor, mic and so on. This makes it easier to throw things away, one thing goes to waste, and not many.”

To see more of Amin’s work, follow her on Instagram and check her out on Patreon, where this project was funded. (via Core77)

 

 



Design

An Anti-Smartphone With a Rotary Designed and Built by Space Engineer Justine Haupt

February 15, 2020

Andrew LaSane

All images © Justine Haupt

Justine Haupt, a developer of astronomy instrumentation at Brookhaven National Laboratory, spent the last three years developing a device that strips away all of the non-phone functions of modern smartphones. The Portable Wireless Electronic Digital Rotary Telephone (aka Rotary Cellphone) does not have a touchscreen, menus, or other superfluous features. It fits in Haupt’s pocket, and it makes calls.

The first version of Haupt’s anti-smartphone was made using a cellphone radio development board. As the project progressed, she worked out a way to make it compact, to view missed calls on a small display, and to ensure that the device could be taken apart and fixed if necessary. While the Rotary Cellphone may seem like a fun novelty, Haupt (until now a devoted flip phone user) says that is not the point. Everything from the removable antenna to dedicated speed dial keys for her husband and other contacts is utilitarian and a direct contrast to the devices many of you are reading this article on right now.

“This is a statement against a world of touchscreens, hyperconnectivity, and complacency with big brother watchdogs,” Haupt writes on her website. In a post sharing the open source design, she adds that “in a finicky, annoying, touchscreen world of hyperconnected people using phones they have no control over or understanding of, I wanted something that would be entirely mine, personal, and absolutely tactile, while also giving me an excuse for not texting.” (via Kottke)

 

 



Design Science

Returning to Roots: A New Book Highlights How Indigenous Practices Can Create More Sustainable Technology

December 3, 2019

Grace Ebert

A young fisherman walks under a living root bridge at Mawlynnong village, India. In the relentless damp of Meghalaya’s jungles the Khasi people have used the trainable roots of rubber trees to grow Jingkieng Dieng Jri living root bridges over rivers for centuries. Copyright: © Amos Chapple

Self-described designer, activist, academic, and author Julia Watson is trying to quash the boundary between native practices and technology in a new book that explores the ways indigenous wisdom can combat the high-tech approach to design and fighting climate change. In Lo—TEK Design by Radical Indigenism, Watson shares knowledge that transcends generations and cultures in an attempt to debunk the myth that indigenous approaches are primitive and far removed from current conceptions of technology. Throughout its more than 400 pages, the book explores ideas from 20 countries, including Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, Iran, Iraq, India, and Indonesia, about how to tackle more sustainable technology and design. It also contains a forward from anthropologist Wade Davis.

Watson founded Julia Watson Studio, an urban design studio, in addition to co-founding “A Future Studio,” described as a collective of conscious designers. She also teaches urban design at Harvard and Columbia University. Lo—TEK is scheduled to be released this month by Taschen. If you liked this, check out the recently published Primitive Technology: A Survivalist’s Guide to Building Tools, Shelters, and More in the Wild.

 

A view over the sacred Mahagiri rice terraces, a small portion of the one thousand year old agrarian system known as the subak, which is unique to the island of Bali, Indonesia. Copyright: © David Lazar

 

In the Southern Wetlands of Iraq, an entire Ma’dan house known as a mudhif, which is built entirely of qasab reed without using mortar or nails, can be taken down and re-erected in a day. Copyright: © Jassim Alasadi

 

Built by the Tofinu, the city of Ganvie meaning ‘we survived’ floats on Lake Nokoué surrounded by a radiating reef system of twelve thousand acadja fish pens. Copyright: © Iwan Baan

 

 

 

 



Illustration Photography

Phone Buddies Lurk and Ooze Out of Screens in Embellished Photos by Andrew Rae and Ruskin Kyle

November 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Dripping blobs of oily black, cosmic haze, and octopus tentacles emerge from the screens of smartphone users on the streets of London. Illustrator Andrew Rae teamed up with street photographer Ruskin Kyle to add some visual flair to people immersed in their electronic devices. Some of the protagonists are simply standing on the street using their phones, while other have paired their device usage with competing activities like dog-walking and ramen-eating.

“I always go for a walk on Hampstead Heath in the mornings for inspiration and I found myself nearly bumping into people on their phones,” Rae tells Colossal. Because many people in the area also are out with their dogs, “it started me thinking about the phones as if they are little pets or creatures that they are carrying in their hands.”

Rae shares that the idea percolated over time, and in conversation with his photographer friend, the pair realized the potential in the concept. Initially, Rae tried to completely replace the phones with illustrations, but he then decided to incorporate the physical technology as the source, or a part of, of the imagined creatures. In developing each character, Rae worked from some tried-and-true shapes and concepts from his larger illustration practice, and let each one develop organically.

To keep up with new embellishments of tech-absorbed passersby, follow Andrew Rae on Instagram and see more of Ruskin Kyle’s street photography on the platform as well. Just don’t bump into a stranger while you scroll through! (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Photography Science

'Sea-Thru' Allows Scientists to Accurately Recalibrate the True Colors of Sea Life

November 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Two researchers at the University of Haifa have developed Sea-Thru, an algorithmic method for color-correcting underwater images. The tool allows scientists—and laypeople—to understand and contextualize the “true” colors of aquatic phenomena like fish, coral, and anemones. Sea-Thru was developed by Derya Akkaynak and Tali Treibitz and is a more accurate re-reading of colors, rather than editing tones artificially in Photoshop.

In the paper’s abstract, the duo explain that the way colors come through underwater is not uniform (which is why the aforementioned Photoshop doctoring isn’t accurate). Rather, the distance from the lens and the reflectivity of the captured object determines how its colors appear. So, the way sand appears is differently modulated by the water than, say the scales on a fish passing above the sand. Sea-Thru uses an algorithm to accurately and efficiently adjust images taken underwater.

See the algorithm in action in the video below from Scientific American, and read Akkaynak and Treibitz’s full paper here. (via PetaPixel)

 

 

 

 



Art Design

Sculptural Metal Jewelry by Ewa Nowak Helps Wearers Avoid Being Tracked by Facial Recognition Technology

August 26, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Several methodologies have been tested to try and thwart growing facial recognition technologies, however perhaps none are as elegant as Polish designer Ewa Nowak’s metal jewelry. Her project, Incognito, was born out of her own uneasiness about the global state of privacy, and was tested using Facebook’s DeepFace algorithm to ensure its success.

The implement is worn like glasses, with arms reaching around the wearer’s ears. Two round pieces of metal cover each cheek, and an elongated piece extends upward between the eyes, creating a trifecta of polished objects that help deflect software used IRL in security systems and public cameras, and online through social media.

Incognito recently won the Mazda Design Award at the Łódź Design Festival. You can see more of her projects, including a reflective mask also used as a way to keep one’s anonymity, on her website and Instagram. (via Plain Magazine)

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Sailing Ship Kite