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Design

Hold a building in your hand: augmented reality on a postage stamp

May 12, 2011

Christopher Jobson

For the past several years Chicagoans have been following the debacle of the Chicago Spire, a 150-floor spiraling skyscraper designed by Santiago Calatrava that would have towered above every other building in the Western Hemisphere. Though due to mismanaged finances, an awful housing market, and the overall impact of the 2008 financial crisis the spire was never meant to be and all we got was a glorious 76-foot-deep hole (previously).

Recognizing this global trend of failed/experimental/never-to-be-built architecture, the Netherlands Institute of Architecture has teamed up with the Dutch postal service (TNT Post) to honor these architects and their unrealized designs in an incredible sheet of stamps. But these aren’t your normal postage stamps. Each is printed with a unique QR-code that when placed in front of a webcam erect 3D buildings in the palm of your hand. Via Aaron Betsky:

The postage-stamp-size exhibit consists of five buildings. As a bonus, if you hold up a whole sheet to the camera, you see an image of the NAI itself. Moreover, the stamps are paired with an Augmented Reality App called UAR (Urban Augmented Reality) that lets you place this and other unbuilt structures in meatspace by holding your iPhone up to the site.

I’m not a huge fan of QR codes and in fact I don’t think I’ve ever used one, however this strikes me as a pretty amazing idea. (via notcot)

 

 



Photography Science

A video of 1,871 slices of the human body

April 2, 2011

Christopher Jobson

Sooooooo that’s what that looks like. The Visible Human Project was an effort to create a detailed data set of cross-sectional photographs of the human body. The cadaver used for the project was from convicted murder Joseph Paul Jernigan who donated his body for scientific research prior to his execution without exact knowledge of his body’s fate. Recently, artists Croix Gagnon and Frank Schott took images from the video above and reconstructed them in three-dimensional form as part of the 12:31 Project. The ghostly prints from that series are available here, and all proceeds benefit Amnesty International.

(via triangulation)

 

 



Design

Junkyard Jumbotron

March 13, 2011

Christopher Jobson

The Junkyard Jumbotron is a system that allows laptops or phones in close proximity to be ganged together to form a large display. The idea is actually pretty simple: enter a unique URL on all the devices which displays a QR code on each device, then photograph the resulting array of screens and email it to a special address and that’s all the system needs to slice and orient images on your new jumbo display. The whole projected was designed by Rick Borovoy at MIT and there’s a beta version for you to start tinkering with.

 

 



Design Food

Winner Winner 3D Dinner

March 8, 2011

Christopher Jobson

The space shuttle pictured above made from ground scallops and cheese is part of a unique collaboration between NYC-based French Culinary Institute and [email protected] at Cornell University. [email protected] is an open-source project that aims to produce a consumer-friendly 3D printer that would give anyone the ability to quickly create small object with the click of the mouse. Taking the idea one step further the culinary institute is adapting the printers to print food. Edible pastes are squirted through nozzles, layering texture upon texture to create snack-sized objects. See a larger gallery here.

 

 



Art Design

Michael Hansmeyer: A cardboard column with 16 million facets

February 28, 2011

Christopher Jobson

Zurich-based Michael Hansmeyer is a computational architect who examines the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural forms. His latest project, Subdivided Columns – A New Order is a 9-foot column that weighs nearly 2,000 pounds generated by iterating a subdivision algorithm and then utilizing a laser to delicately slice each segment of cardboard. Via his web site:

A full-scale, 2.7-meter high variant of the columns is fabricated as a layered model using 1mm sheet. Each sheet is individually cut using a mill or laser. Sheets are stacked and held together by poles that run through a common core.

The calculation of the cutting path for each sheet takes place in several steps. First, the six million faces of the 3D model are intersected with a plane representing the sheet. This step generates a series of individual line segments that are tested for self-intersection and subsequently combined to form polygons. Next, a polygon-in-polygon test deletes interior polygons. A series of filters then ensures that convex polygons with peninsulas maintain a mininimum isthmus width. In a final step, an interior offset is calculated with the aim of hollowing out the slice to reduce weight.

To see more check out the article on Fastco. (thnx, chase!)

 

 



Photography

Visualizing Wifi

February 27, 2011

Christopher Jobson

This is one of those things I’ve always wondered in the back of my mind. How far does a WiFi network actually reach and what would it look like? How come I have reception in one spot and not in another? Well a team from Oslo including Timo Arnall, Jørn Knutsen, and Einar Sneve Martinussen set out to answer just such a question by creating visual representations of actual Wifi networks to spectacular effect. Utilizing long-exposure photography and a four-metre long measuring rod with 80 LED light points they were able to “reveal” cross-sections in wireless networks.

We built the WiFi measuring rod, a 4-metre tall probe containing 80 lights that respond to the Received Signal Strength (RSSI) of a particular WiFi network. When we walk through architectural, urban spaces with this probe, while taking long-exposure photographs, we visualise the cross-sections, or strata, of WiFi signal strength, situated within photographic urban scenes. The cross-sections are an abstraction of WiFi signal strength, a line graph of RSSI across physical space. Although it can be used to determine actual signal strength at a given point, it is much more interesting as a way of seeing the overall pattern, the relative peaks and the troughs situated in the surrounding physical space.

See the full photo set and read much more about the project here.

 

 



Design Music

Live NYC Public Transit Data Converted to Music

January 31, 2011

Christopher Jobson

Google engineer Alexander Chen has converted live data from the NYC subway schedule into an online “stringed instrument” called Conductor (above is just a video example).

Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram.

Learn more about how it all works on his blog, and definitely check out the live site. Brain Eno would approve.