Sep 14, 2011

From Use to Presence [Hallnas+Redstrom]

Hallnäs, L., & Redström, J. (2002a). From Use to Presence: On the Expressions and Aesthetics of Everyday Computational Things. Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 9(2), 106-124.

(This began as a response to the article and ended up becoming more of an initial exposition of my thesis context and concept.)

Inspired Mental Tidbit: Presence and acts of acceptance as we integrate objects, actions/habits, and environments into our daily lives.

I really like this distinction between use and presence. It makes for one of the more specific and vivid critiques of ubiquitous computing as unheard computational white noise. Continue reading »

Sep 12, 2011

Why I Love White Walls

The lack of clarity in my presentation on Friday (both in content and delivery) was at once extremely frustrating and yet also enlightening in pinpointing the vast conceptual gaps and problems of application. On Saturday I discovered a few resources that led to a revolutionary turn in my thesis: the field of computational composites and the idea of becoming materials. While I had begun research under the broad umbrella of materiality in technology, this new approach narrowed the word technology and exchanged it for materiality in computation.

A more detailed post is on the way, but I wanted to document how I began unknotting the thesis pretzel and wrapping my head around what is in many ways, very new to me and yet still I feel as if I am finding a framework and vocabulary for ideas I have tried to express for years. Very exciting.

Sep 9, 2011


I am starting to compile a list of words to define. Some of them are obvious, some are vague, but all contribute to the problematic language. So far I have three categories to fill out for each word: Definitions, Associated Words/Meanings, and Configuration. One major ah-ha moment came this morning when I began to look at the terminology as compound words; following from here, I am using the Configuration category to break their usage down into prefixes and suffixes. Here is the Google doc/word database.

Continue reading »

Sep 8, 2011

Module Breakdown


I am trying to be as strategic as possible to configure my modules in a way that accounts for the flow of my thesis, and I am treating each module as though it will inform and potentially drastically impact the next.

I am beginning with methodology for two reasons: (1) my research approach with be largely based in ethnography and other methodologies that will pull from a range of disclipines to gather both qualitative and quantitative data. I want to sketch this out now to avoid any black holes later. (2) I feel that it is imperative to sketch out the broad plan of my research approach as I begin probing and familiarizing myself with these communities, their language, techniques, motivations, and approaches. Also, since ethnography is still vastly underused in design research, I also want to take this opportunity to establish a dynamic, rigorous approach as contribution to the current base of design ethnographic research, highlighting its strength in application.

Intuitively, the social comes next. Since so much of my research is based in the community element, my framework will contextualize the stakeholders of my thesis, and guide my research.

It is at this point I want to return to focus on the conceptual. This mid-point in the semester and following a deeper analysis of my stakeholders will have important implications to reflect on and evaluate as I form the concept for my thesis project.

Next comes the technical. While I initially thought I might begin with the technical when my thesis focused more on the materials in themselves, after reflecting on the aim of my thesis and my interest in bridging these communities, the technical is better placed here. It also gives me more of an opportunity to apply content from my electives, both of which I think will be central to this project: Soft Circuits 2 and Simple Intefaces.

And finally evaluative will be my last module, for obvious reasons in the flow I described above and as a handle to open the spring semester with a hard plan.

A full plan of attack to come soon.

Sep 8, 2011

New Idea(s)

What term best defines the images below?
a) soft circuits
b) wearable technology
c) computational crafts
d) e-textiles
e) smart textiles

Continue reading »

Sep 7, 2011

New Questions


Craftsmanship is an essential part of culture, especially in the material culture that largely defines our sense of identity, both in the objects we make and the process by which we make them. With new materials comes new cultural contexts and new relationships with existing and emerging technologies through the interaction and use of these materials. We are engaging in a new form of computational, electro-embedded material culture that blurs the traditional boundaries of interface and the possibilities of interaction with objects.
Continue reading »

Sep 1, 2011

Initial Presentation

Below is a link to my first presentation: