“Living Artefacts” is a project by Stefan Schwabe, a student of Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art. Stefan is exploring the subject of “natural” and “artificial” by using bacterial cellulose to harvest artefacts.
It is during these times that myth may become reality. The creation of composite beings no longer remains a chimerical matter of our ancient tales. As a result of modern scientific advances, the combining of different life forms has become routine. Where might this lead us? Are we indeed able to extend our minds, not only into material culture, but also into living artefacts?
“The Kernels of Chimaera” is an chamber constructed by Stefan which maintains the growth of a living material and performs an automated production of these hybrid living artefacts. Each day, the machine automatically harvests a layer of bacterial cellulose that has grown in one of the nine reactor jars. The cellulose is then picked up by a vacuum arm and placed within a small wooden clamp to be inflated by a syringe. Finally, once the inflated cellulose has dried, it is carried upwards by a flow of air flow of air and begins to levitate.
The disc with the nine reactor jars moves constantly, but very slowly and reaches one complete rotation every nine days. Inside the structure sits one Arduino Mega which is programmed to control the full cycle. The main chamber is driven by a stepper motor and speed is reduced by worm gears. The vacuum arm is driven by two DC motors (one for the rotation and one for vertical movement). Sensing is done with Hall sensors. Pic and place is solved with vacuum suction, solenoid valves and a pressure sensor. The syringe that inflates the form is driven by a DC motor. The inflation itself is done with an air pump. There is a constant air flow in the whole column which dries the cellulose once it is inflated to a Kernel. This also prevents flies etc to enter the chamber with the reactor jars.
Previously: Troblion [Objects]
“The Kernels of Chimaera” is currently on display at the RCA, Battersea campus. This year, the Royal College of Art’s annual summer show will include work by the greatest number of graduating students in the College’s 175-year history. Show RCA 2012 is to take place simultaneously in six buildings across the College’s two campuses in Battersea and Kensington. Design Interactions is located in Battersea. Click here for directions.
- The Superstitious Fund Project – Trading algorithm that operates Superstitiously – DI RCA 2012 The Superstitious Fund Project is a trading algorithm that operates Superstitiously designed by Shing Tat Chung, a student of Design Interactions at the RCA. It is is a live experiment in which an algorithm trades based on superstitious beliefs. Shing designed the autonomous algorithm to make decisions based on lunar cycles and numerology. It is also programmed to develop its own form of superstitious logic, creating lucky and unlucky values that influence its behaviour. 144 people from around the world have already invested a total of £4828.88 in the fund, which will return the resulting balance back to its investors in a year's time. The project deals with future scenarios, familiar RCA - Design Interactions teaching methodology. Shing tells CAN that inspiration for the project comes from the 2010 Flash Crash - an occurrence where a stock market can plunge only to recover those losses within minutes. The actual reasons why this happens are unclear - suggesting all kinds of possibilities where algorithms developing own behaviour / identity which is beyond our understanding. To address this notion, in this project Shing asks the question of what will result from an algorithm or robot that behaves superstitiously? The accompanying book documents the creation of the fund, which was developed with the assistance of finance professionals, fortune tellers, programmers and lawyers. The Algorithm was programmed by Jim L Hunt from Trading-Gurus.com, and will be made open source soon. Shing and Jim designed the algorithm over the past couple of months, where Shing has been supplying the 'rules' and Jim has been implementing them. Shing tells CAN that a lot of the focus was not only centred around the superstitions it incorporated but also on the money management and how it would trade. For example how much money it would risk and would there be different levels of risk it would associate with specific decisions. Whilst also creating stop losses, take profits and how many times would it operate in a day, if there were any delays between trades etc. These were vital in creating a more stable algorithm. The Algorithm operates on Meta Trader as a EA Advisor. The Program is MQL4 which is like a cut down version of C. Metatrader is an online platform that gives algorithmic access to a specific Broker. In this case - GKFX. There it remains trading Monday to Friday 8am - 9pm. Shing tells us that there are quite a few ways to use trading algorithms - however this route was the most accessible for the general public. Others that included using the API privileges of a Broker would mean having to put down a significantly larger deposit. The Algorithm reads the data though metarader in terms of charts, however it is also connected to a mySQL database where it can access moon phases and create lucky and unlucky values. The idea of an algorithm or Robot that behaved in a human way appealed to Shing. So a trading algorithm that behaves superstitiously, selling and buying as part of an experiment, live on the stock market was a great idea to push the algorithm through. Here through a live experiment as well as a social interactive project was the perfect platform to engage with the general audience about Irrationalities and Technology operating in a human way in a financial sector The Live Performance Board shown above streams the Live Data, refreshing the Values every eight seconds. The MySQL Database uploaded the values onto a Web Url, in which an Arduino collected and accessed this Data. So in the Board where in total Six Arduinos. Three of them, via ethernet, collected the data of the Url, and passed on the data to the Dot Matrix Boards that were donated by 'Embedded Adventures' So the unlucky lucky values, current balance, % increase decrease and the time left until the end of the experiment are all streamed live. asuperstitiousfund.com | shingtatchung.com The project was sponsored by Microsoft Research, GDP Capital and Embedded Adventures Supported by Trading-Gurus.com -- See also "How to Value a Ghost" by Shing Tat Chung, part of the Superstitious project series but this time dealing with reports of ghost sightings and how these affect the housing market. Royal College of Art - Design Interactions 2012 - Exhibition opens today in Battersea. This year, the Royal College of Art’s annual summer show will include work by the greatest number of graduating students in the College’s 175-year history. Show RCA 2012 is to take place simultaneously in six buildings across the College’s two campuses in Battersea and Kensington. Design Interactions is located in Battersea. Click here for […]
- The One-Way Ticket – Voyage into deep space with no return – DI RCA 2012 First in the series of projects to be featured on CAN from the current Royal College of Art exhibition is "The One-Way Ticket" by Joseph Popper. The project examines notions and consequences of sending one person on a voyage into deep space from where they will not return. The idea of not coming back opens up an exceptional scenario, so far unprecedented in the history of human space travel. Focusing on the experience of the lone astronaut, the exhibited works are a response to research into a range of human factors particular to the mission that also underline its extraordinary nature. Running parallel with this research was a production of film-making props, contraptions and sets, with the aim of presenting the scenario as a cinematic spectacle. The final short film comprises a collection of episodes transmitted from the spacecraft constructed out of plywood, polystyrene, card and cup lids by Joseph. Based along the path of the mission trajectory, the images simulate the experience of being in space and also infer some of the unique psychological phenomena that could occur on a one-way trip. josephpopper.com Royal College of Art - Design Interactions 2012 - Exhibition opens tomorrow in Battersea. This year, the Royal College of Art’s annual summer show will include work by the greatest number of graduating students in the College’s 175-year history. Show RCA 2012 is to take place simultaneously in six buildings across the College’s two campuses in Battersea and Kensington. Design Interactions is located in Battersea. Click here for […]
- Lingxizhu Meng – Secret history of Human-animal Baby-pet RCA DI project that looks at possible implication if the act of genetically combining human with animal DNA was not illegal, nor did it violate moral or ethical codes of […]
- Growing Objects – Programming Biological Systems [Theory] Whilst we are pretty much all aware of the implications of 3-D printing as a process of making any arbitrary object at the push of a button, it is exactly what living organisms have been up to since the invention of multicellular life. Designers at IDEO have teamed up with scientists at the Lim Lab at the University of California, San Francisco to envision a "provocation" (that's designer-ese for thought experiment) in which they explore the possibilities of exploiting known properties of microorganisms to literally "grow" the products we use every day. What is particularly interesting about these future scenarios is where we once thought about computer systems that evolve through immense network of both physical and conceptual parameters, where one influence the other as in the case of Nervous System's process of "growing objects", the process of printing may eventually evolve into processes of actual physical growing. These two systems, of digital creation and of the biological one may eventually merge, creating an ecology of both digital and physical networks that communicate and feed of one another. "One day if we understand how to program [living organisms,] we can encode things beyond software--we could encode materiality" says Carey. "That's already happening in nature, but we have no idea how to do that ourselves." Time to move away from mimicry? Read more on Fast Company >Training Bacteria To Grow Consumer Goods More on this topic at […]
- Solar Sinter [Objects, Arduino] Amongst the wonderful collection of work currently on show at the Royal College of Art, in the corner on the first floor sits an installation/object by Markus Kayser called Solar Sinter. An MA Design Products student project, Solar Sinter is probably one of the most inspiring projects this year, aiming to raise questions about the future of manufacturing and triggers dreams of the full utilisation of the production potential of the world's most efficient energy resource - the sun. In a world increasingly concerned with questions of energy production and raw material shortages, this project explores the potential of desert manufacturing, where energy and material occur in abundance. In this experiment sunlight and sand are used as raw energy and material to produce glass objects using a 3D printing process, that combines natural energy and material with high-tech production technology. In August 2010 Markus Kayser took his first solar machine - the Sun-Cutter (see video below) - to the Egyptian desert in a suitcase. This was a solar-powered, semi-automated low-tech laser cutter, that used the power of the sun to drive it and directly harnessed its rays through a glass ball lens to ‘laser’ cut 2D components using a cam-guided system. In the deserts of the world two elements dominate - sun and sand. The sun offers the energy and sand an unlimited supply of silica in the form of quartz. When silicia sand is heated to melting point, once cooled solidifies as glass. This process of converting a powdery substance via a heating process into a solid form is known as sintering and has in recent years become a central process in design prototyping known as 3D printing or SLS (selective laser sintering). By using the sun’s rays instead of a laser and sand instead of resins used in modern 3D printers, Markus had the basis of an entirely new solar-powered machine and production process for making glass objects that taps into the abundant supplies of sun and sand to be found in the deserts of the world. The Solar-Sinter was completed in mid-May and later that month Markus took this experimental machine to the Sahara desert near Siwa, Egypt, for a two week testing period. The machine and the results shown here represent the initial significant steps towards what Markus envisages as a new solar-powered production tool of great potential. The Solar-Sinster uses ReplicatorG software, an open source 3D printing program. For more information, see replicat.org. The project is currently on show at the Royal College of Art graduate exhibition and I agree "a 'must-see' event for anyone interested in twenty-first century art and design". 24 June to 3 July 2011. Royal College of Art Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU Project Page (Thanks to Steffen for pointing it out) Related: Known Unknowns [Processing, Objects] by @comkee + @ranzen at ... Dromolux [Processing, Objects] - Increasing cognitive […]
- Speculative Everything – Anthony Dunne at Resonate 2013 and UmK Continuing our documentation of Resonate 2013, it's a pleasure to present the talk of Anthony Dunne, professor and head of the Design Interactions programme at the Royal College of Art in […]
- Pro-Folio – Online portfolios from fictional artists and designers Pro-Folio is a portfolio website that can generate up to 690,903,803 trillion portfolios of fictional artists and designers with unique name and work […]
- Devices For Mindless Communication [Objects] Devices For Mindless Communication is a collection of projects by Gerard Rallo, a researcher, technologist, designer and a recent graduate of MA in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art. His work explores speculative roles of technology to interrogate social implications of progress. With new technologies as an important driver, certain real life interactions are falling into disuse for large segments of society. As a result, we see a mix of social groups with radically different values, social skills, perceptions, and ways of engaging the real world and its inhabitants. With this set up, these projects explore how we interact with each other, and speculate about alternative roles of technology, those mediating the most mundane communication practices in shared physical spaces. Practice, based on near future projections of current behavioral and technological trends, as an exercise of reflection on how bizarre our fundamental communication practices and basic assumptions might be seen when looked at from another perspective. Gerard Rallo, together with Andrew Frien, Sitraka Rakotoniaina also graduates from Royal College of Art, constitute Studio Good One collective, a practice that embraces conceptual design, graphic design, interactive design, exhibition and space design, and the points at which they may converge. studiogoodone.com photo above by ha++ Conversation Challenger The possible success of conversational technologies with access to all-knowledgeable semantic networks might lead to a massive disinterest in regular human beings. This device listens to one half of a conversation, and competes for your attention with related content streamed from the net. It allows you to choose where to direct your attention; towards the speaker, or the device. In this situation, the individual speaking does his or her best to pull attention away from the device and back to themselves, but is it really possible for someone be more interesting than everything else? Project Page -- Personal Adviser For Reintegration Sporadic, banal conversations with no aim behind them are at risk of disappearing, no longer a learned or common behavior of future generations. This device tracks conversations, giving hints about open questions, accepted comments, answers, and expressions. It brings the awkward pleasure of small talk back to those who no longer interact with others for no reason. Project Page photo above by ha++ -- Reiterative Communication Aid Most of the conversations we have through our life are redundant. This fact clashes with modern praise of time efficiency and real time data consumption. This device tracks conversations you have throughout your entire life, analysing your patterns of communication. Eventually, when a repeated pattern is detected, the device is able to replace you in that conversation, allowing you a freedom to explore anything and everything else. Project Page photo above by ha++ -- Expressions Dispatcher Many decisions made in our everyday lives are influenced by expert advice, from hairstyles to insurance policies. Yet, millions of decisions are made on a daily basis and instantly expressed through our own facial expressions without any preconceived external reassurance. We continuously strive to project a desired physical self image of ourselves, sometimes requiring most of our cognitive resources, and paradoxically, this daily challenge has a big impact on our lives. Expressions Dispatcher is designed to help people in their quest for expressiveness. Project Page photos above by ha++ […]
Posted on: 27/06/2012
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