Browsing articles in "Precedents + Inspiration"
Nov 23, 2011

Squishy Circuits and the D3 Curriculum

This summer I took a class with Louisa Campbell in which we worked with a 7th grade science teacher to develop a unit long curriculum around matter and energy through the creation of various electronic projects. It is NYS Standard aligned and offers ample resources to guide the teacher in implementation (there is also a step-by-step guide that I am in the process of unearthing). For our approach to the curriculum framework, our main reference was Understanding by Design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. As with the goal of my thesis, our aim was to make this curriculum modular, thereby allowing the teacher to rearrange, subtract, or even add based on their own discretion and classroom setting.

Here is the lesson plan I mentioned the other day on Squishy Circuits:
Squishy Circuits D3

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Nov 22, 2011

Summer Into Dust: The Arcade Fire + Chris Milk

(Start at 8:56)

Many small, discrete brains talking and dancing together as a collective force. This is my vision (at a grand scale) of the type of behavior I would like to see at the end of the curriculum. Aside from “harder” concepts in science, computer science, electricity, etc., I would also like this to foster conversations around themes related to history, philosophy, psychology, etc. Emergence, for example, has been a large conceptual force in my thesis since the summer. How can known behavior and rule sets reveal patterns of beauty and complexity? Can we really control the systems we design?

Oct 3, 2011

Modularity + Construction Kits: A few thoughts

Construction kits are great. Construction kits that have a life span of two or more uses are even better. LEGO is by far and away the most pervasive (of current generations at least), and it is so successful because it allows innumerable recombinations. Lately I have been trying to decide the form of my project as it aligns with my conceptual goals. From here, I would like to classify the possible recombinations of such construction kits into two manifestations: the mini-world and the reconstruction of a object, device, or setting at a real world scale.
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Sep 20, 2011

Toy Story

On my walk back from work, I happened upon a toy store and decided to stop in for some rapid prototyping. This was immensely inspiring and I recommend it to anyone of us who need a good brain cleanse. Other than playing with fun things for about 20 minutes, my main goal was to document different types of interactions that we use/associate with everyday devices. Continue reading »

Sep 19, 2011

Shape Changing Interfaces [Coehlo+Zigelbaum]

Recently I have been trying to tease out the distinction between tangible interfaces and the concept of computational composites. The latter is quite elusive to grasp as a whole, largely because its conceivers didn’t provide the best examples. They were overbearing, clunky, and a tad too conceptual for my tastes. That being said, the theoretical foundation propping these prototypes up is brilliant and I still find much to take from it.

Lately I have been very inspired by the work of Marcelo Coehlo, especially his work around SMAs and paper-based computing. This particular paper he wrote with Jamie Zigelbaum crystallized some of the ideas I had thrown around, in particular how to define a computational composite and whether I should rethink that term. Continue reading »