itp Archives

August 30, 2005

ITP at NYU --- Creative Space

Check out the ITP's (Interactive Telecommunication Program) Creative Space. I especially like the Shop Room.

Haptic Research - Physical Computing

Here are some projects produced by some of the grad students in ITP. Pretty impressive?!

March 14, 2006

Danny Rozin's Violin

Danny Rozin teaches Toy Design at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. He's well-known for the "Wooden Mirror," which use approximately 900 Servo Motors. I was impressed with this violin he produced in only a week. It hooks up to a MIDI controller.

April 15, 2006

Soft Circuitry

I'm taking up knitting to learn about this process. I plan on making a "Security Blanket," using technology. More to come later. Here's a patch I'm knitting.

October 29, 2006

Nick is wearing my proxy...

He had to wear that for one day. It kind of reminded me of one of those old Toyota car dealer commercials except it bounced over words so you can sing along. Btw, Nick is a genius.


This is a game...

This is a social game created by Summer Bedhard at ITP at NYU and her group for game design. I couldn't resist taking a photo. It looks fun and funny. Btw, Steve Jackson smells fresh, like pecans, denoted by his name "Pecan Jackson."


November 13, 2006

Chris Anderson and Lawrence Lessig

Last month, I signed up to see Lawrence Lessig and Chris Anderson talk about his new book The Long Tail. I haven't read the book yet, but "the long tail" represents the "power law distribution," a different way of reading statistical data. In Chris Anderson's book, it is used to analyze content on the web. In a class taught by Clay Shirky, he frequently uses this law to analyze social interactions and groups.
"RO" is defined as "Read Only" and "RW" is defined as "Read-Write." They also briefly covered their views about Net Neutrality.

November 14, 2006

Pollie Barden Networked Journal Project

When Pollie first pitched her idea, I remembered thinking "Wow! That's pretty ambitious." Anyway, two weeks later, she's already making her prototype and hooking her sensor to the book (which I believe is an fsr). So imagine that black electrical tape around the book's border is a force field. As you write in the book, it triggers the LED light. Then replace that LED light signal with a cell phone message, email, audio, or any kind of response. Keeping this in mind for when my group designs an antenna for our bookshelf. Kudos, Pollie!

I was wrong about the sensor. It is an analog QPROX (proximity sensor) that is constantly on using PWM (pulse width modulator: technique for controlling analog circuits with a processor's digital outputs). I think she's going to ground the cover of her book with some conductive fabric. I really can't wait to see this at ITP show.

For more information about Pollie's work, click here. She also designed and produced this cool laptop tray for one of the kids in her assistive tech class. I think he was very happy with it.


November 20, 2006

For the People who are taking Physical Computing Without Computers

These two images are for the people who are taking Physical Computing Without Computers, a course that explores mechanical engineering and other solutions that do not use microcontrollers. Most of them are doing projects with gears. These photos were taken in Ron Sear's studio. It utilizes power, but no "brain." Anyway, its functionality is cleaning metal using sand as an abrasive.


November 29, 2006

Preview Winter ITP 2006, Part I

David Bamford's Remote Emote is pretty cool. He is in my Networked Objects class. The concept of this piece is kind of a physical mirror installation. There are two of these in two different locations. When one square rod is pushed in one location, the corresponding rod in a different location protrudes. It kind of reminds me of Andrew Shoben's work. Immaculate detailed construction and engineering.
To learn more about his process, check out his link.

Preview Winter ITP 2006, Part II

Another amazing project created by Rocio Barcia and Karl Channell. They produced these controllers that allow you to change the space and scale of the scene that is projected on the screen. I believe this project has a lot of potential in providing an immersive experience in a non-linear narrative. I can picture the user toggling between two or three scenes from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, or even a moving sequence that would allow a user to experience time travel.

December 1, 2006

Preview Winter ITP 2006, Part III

Ilteris Kaplan's Mood Box

These boxes collect people's emotional state, which is connected to a data visualization interface, called "Moodbox Stats." Collective and random emotions in a specific location are mapped on a color wheel by time. The stats measure the overall emotion of a room or location. Currently, the working prototype communicates emotions to each other. Input: press a button to record emotion. Output: the box changes colors to express the emotion-input.

"Hey Ilteris, how about a Mood Wall?"


Jane Oh rewards the "Walking Potato"

I think it's a device that rewards you for getting off your couch. The user is suppose to walk, which is measured by a pedometer, and logs in the distance. The more you walk, the more television you get to watch. The pedometer is wirelessly connected to a television.


Angela Pablo and Megan MacMurray, Electric Plant

Using an inflatable to represent power consumption. When an energy saving light bulb is plugged into this device, it pumps air into recycled bags that forms a plant sculpture. When a regular bulb is switched on, the plastic plant deflates.


Chris Paretti and Chris Karailla

Voice replaces the remote controller for these cars. If you call a number, you can control the speed of these toy cars with your vocal "Vrooms!" I think the dial plan (Asterisk) parses the frequency and the pitch of your voice to control the speed of the car, and the the telephone extension determines which car you control.

Anyone with a cell phone can participate in this race. Here is a video of how it works...


December 2, 2006

Preview Winter ITP 2006, Part IV

Pollie Barden Networked Journal, in progress...

About two weeks ago, I documented Pollie's project. It was great seeing her process from cardboard journal, pcomp journal/book design.

That's Tom Igoe in action, Professor at ITP, and author of Physical Computing books: no_pollie01.jpg

Book Design, this image shows the container for the pages of the journal. Note that gray material is conductive fabric: no_pollie03.jpg

That the back of the book, which contains all the electrical components: no_pollie04.jpg
(1) Breadboard that is designed in the journal. It has a wireless piece.
(2) Another breadboard that will be designed in another journal, which is suppose to be situated in another location. This will be hooked to a low-tech printer (that roll of paper), so it would print any activities of the journal (1).
(3) Copper fabric, which grounds the sensor, and helps its sensitivity.

For more information about Pollie, click here.

Andew Schneider's Sustainable Practices, 1/4 Projects

In an effort to recycle plastic water cups, frequently used at ITP, he decided to build this Wheat and Rye Grass Ecosystem. See, not everything at ITP is about microcontrollers, this is pretty low tech and beautiful. I wouldn't mind having one of these hanging in my balcony or even an office somewhere.


By the way, he also designed the ITP Winter Show 2006 postcards. It conveys human, enchantment, and possibilities.


Thanksgiving 2006

This is what we did for Thanksgiving. Rather than bake a turkey, we fried pcb boards. There's one chip there that doesn't have legs, so we experiemented with frying. People must be asking why we didn't bake this is a toaster oven using flux, I think it's because we didn't want that chip fried. Instead, cover your pan with some aluminum foil, place board on the pan, put the chip on the board, turn the fire up, at approximately 300 degrees, turn off the fire down, and add some water, so your board sizzles. We're such nerds. I would only recommend doing this if you have a couple of spare chips.

December 4, 2006

The Irony of BusinessWeek's Award

So in October 2006, BusinessWeek published a story about "Top Design Programs," and NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program was listed as one of the top D-Schools. They gave us this plaque, need I say more? Maybe the design objective is to redesign the award? Actually, we're happy that we were in the mag, and the award is up on the wall between the computer labs.

December 5, 2006

New York Times Illustrations from Processing Application

This is truly a beautiful information visualization illustrated by James N. Sears. It was published in the New York Times Magazine (December 3, 2006), as the cover.

Although the printed illustrations are beautiful, the actual screen interface is more engaging.

Also mentioned in this story is Matthew Burton, also a member of the ITP community.


Processing was developed by M.I.T. grads Casey Reas and Ben Fry, and it's free to try. It is part of ITP foundation courses because the language is similar to Java, except the interface is easier to understand than Eclipse. Also, it's a good introduction for Arduino, which is also another free software that similarly functions as Pic Basic Pro.

December 8, 2006

ITP Winter Show 2006

Orbital, James Nick Sears, Ron Sears, Leif Mangelsen

Imagine this with tri-colored LED lights. Pretty crazy, huh? I think this project maybe a show-stealer.

The motor is off... orbital00.jpg
The motor is on... orbital01.jpg

For the final iteration for the ITP Winter Show 2006, click here.

Another photo taken in class... globe_jnsears.jpg

Off, of course.

December 12, 2006

ITP Winter Show 2006 Preview

"Now, finally, a lot of people are beginning to see how machines might in fact learn to fit into their lives as well as humans do. People are increasingly choosing their books and music by the algorithmic recommendations of Amazon instead of those of their friends, planning dates with mates they find in textfields instead of local bars or social clubs."

—Christian Croft


This machine will fill out scantron bubbles for you if you drop a coin in any of its slots. Christian Croft designed the gears and kinetic system from scratch (i.e. using the laser cutter to cut Plexiglas). I know he's going to be insulted, but I have to say that the design of this machine is beautiful.

His commentary of moving forward to a world of automation is humorous. I always appreciate Christian Croft's and Andrew Schneider's conceptual art projects. I'm not sure if it's because they have a background in theater, but their work is never too abstract for me to understand.

This machine is going to be attached to a desk.


This code means something, translated from binary to English.

For more information about this project, click here to visit his site.

December 18, 2006

ITP Winter Show 2006, Sunday, December 17, 2006

Some photos from the show. More to come later.

ITP Winter Show 2006, NYU, Tisch School

The Orbital By James N. Sears, Ron Sears and Leif Mangelsen

3D display using persistence of vision.


December 20, 2006

ITP Winter Show 2006, Monday, December 18, 2006

PART o1:

Solar Cell Bikini by Andrew Schneider

Power your iPod mini with your bikini that collects power from the sun.

The "Is Our Machine Learning" Machine by Christian Croft

Commentary on the smartness of machines.
itpwinter01.jpg width="200" height="150" />

Ubi-atch Toys by Min, Gilad and Chung-xi

These toys read your email as if you were having a conversation with the writer of the email. They are also designing a version for iChat.

Couch Potato by Jane Oh

This device rewards you after you have taken a walk around the block. The more you walk, the more you get to watch television.

The Networked Journal by Pollie Barden

I've written about this project before. Please see earlier entry for more information.

Ambient Lighting Design itpwinter05.jpg

Interactive Puppet Theater

You interact with a sensor that looks like a microphone to manipulate puppets in action.

A mirror that allows you to see yourself in different hairstyles.


Are we in a time warp? Typewriter outputs digital? Typewriter crosses computer. itpwinter08.jpg
Twister Game networked? There are hundreds of solutions to win this game. A new approach to Twister, but you need to find the right combination. To do so, it requires you to touch other players. itpwinter09.jpg
Gilad Lotan

Each copper piece represents a continent. When they are spun, you see video of news from that continent that was mined from the Internet.


These fingerless gloves warm your hands ups when you hold your partner's hand. itpwinter11.jpg

MoPress by Alex and Jane

You wear this jacket that logs in data and provides this visualization.

Powder and Ferrofluid Interesting texture when it pulses. Pretty mesmerizing. itpwinter14.jpg
Hat Mutterer itpwinter15.jpg

This project is called "Hair" by Carolina Pino

Kyungmi's "Kenny" digital paint brush itpwinter17.jpg
Networked Shoes as a performance tool. This was indeed a treat to watch. itpwinter18.jpg itpwinter19.jpg
Lara and Myra worked on a chair that functions as a musical interest for assistive tech.itpwinter20.jpg

December 21, 2006

More ITP Winter Show 2006, Monday, December 18, 2006


Chris and Juri's Mega Phone Game. This is fun and immersive. I can see it at a movie theater. You call a number and play these short games that are projected on a screen. The games are short and satisfying. One example is blowing into your cellphone to digitally blow a balloon fastest. Maybe the theater can give you a free tub of popcorn if you win. "Don't forget to turn off your cellphones for the movie!" itpwinter21.jpg
Andy, Kate and Che worked on this demo. You can turn off appliances and make your home smart using your cellphone. So if you forgot to turn off your light or forgot to turn on your air conditioner for your cat, this would be a great tool. itpwinter22.jpg
Christin Roman's Telebunny calls your child and comforts it when you're away. itpwinter23.jpg
Chris Parretti's car race allow you to control the speed of the car by yelling into your mobile phone. New game consoles a mobile device? Watch out Sony and Nintendo! itpwinter24.jpg
Preston Noon's Puzzle Poetryitpwinter25.jpg

Mike Bukhin and Michael DelGaudio's mobile phone is video tracking every second and minute of the wearer's day and meta tagging activities.

Ilteris Kaplan's Mood Box allows you to anonymously input your emotions in one space, which is processed and displayed in a different space. I see a lot of potential. It is beautiful as well. itpwinter28.jpgitpwinter29.jpgitpwinter30.jpg
Fun cell phone game with archaic cell/cordless phone controller>itpwinter31.jpg
Judson's video tracking flea simulation. What a hoot!itpwinter32.jpg
Jeff LeBlanc's art works. itpwinter34.jpg
Che's tree personality test translated to music using Max/MSP and Jitter. itpwinter35.jpg
Jenny Chowdhury's email art. itpwinter36.jpg
Animalia Chordata. Gabe's humorous exploration of personal space. He puts people in bottles. Okay, this project was in one of those blogs I listed above. itpwinter37.jpgitpwinter37a.jpg
Tales of Grim. While you read this book, the rooms in the play house interact. itpwinter38.jpg
Low tech art by Heather, Charles and Tristan. It's pretty satisfying swaying these blocks itpwinter39.jpg
I didn't get to interact with this project, but it looks engaging. itpwinter40.jpg
Tikva's Sonic Body Pong. This was on the Make blog too. itpwinter41.jpg
Steve Jackson's project allows you to channel surf YouTube according to subject matter. If you type in "basketball," it mine all videos related to this sport for the day and play it for you. I'm not even a big YouTube fan, but I found this project pretty cool. itpwinter42.jpg
Fantastic Piano


February 6, 2007

Class Ring for ITP

Originally, I designed these rings with voice recognition chips (concept) for Amit Pitaru's class Designing For Constraints, but I think they may work better as the design for ITP class rings.

Concept for Pimp'd-Out-Braille Ring:


February 10, 2007

Keyboard Emulator

Here are my "scales" (la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la) for Designing For Constraints, specifically week 04. Keyboard emulators are usuall used to tweak videogame interfaces. Here we are using it to tweak physical interfaces. If I press this switch, it activates the screen interface to scan.

Next, I will be connecting one of these trackballs (from SparkFun) to the screen interface.

February 18, 2007

Skull and Bones

Is this in style? In the past week, I've seen this "skull and bone" graphic in the form of jewelry and printed on clothes (Preston Noon's cuff links and pants and Avani's earrings). Avani told me that the Joyce Leslie store had featured skull and bones. Flashback to 80's punk.

March 3, 2007

Is Oprah the most connected person?

I just found this site, Knover. A site that practices the "Six Degrees" theory. It basically maps and keeps a database of famous people and their affiliations. I believe this site scapes the Internet for articles with the specific names, and compiles it in a database, so you can cross-reference people with people, affiliation with affiliation, or people with affiliation. I just searched for Oprah, and her profile alone, came up with 15 pages of people, and has 973 web associations. Warren Buffet has 63 web associations, Bill Gates has 462 web associations, George Soros has just 213. Wait! I found someone who beat Oprah with 1,798 web associations, Bill Clinton. I'm not counting George Bush (2,149 web associations) because it seems like most of it is related to what he's doing with the war, i.e. his connection with Adolf Hitler? I also like how they have separate categories like business, music, fashion, news and politics.

The pitfalls, don't type someone not famous, or it will crash, and it tracks just the mainstream/popular "notables." Although, a profile came up for John Zorn. A search for Clay Shirky came up with a profile as well, but I couldn't find Red Burns.

March 5, 2007

CNC Fabrication, Part 01

Mark and Toru, our profs, arranged this field trip to visit 4-pli (a studio) that has a 3-axis CNC milling machine. Basically it can mill just about anything.



The smallest drill-bit used on this machine.milling_03.jpg

Serious vaccuums to suck excess dust and debris from this machine.

This is Mastercam, an application, that simulates the machine milling your 3-D design before it mills. I wish this was a screensaver.

The blue material on the bed is styrofoam. When the milling machine is turned on, the bed sucks the air out so that the styrofoam can not move during the process.


Drill bits that are primarily used for undercutting.

This is the interface for this machine. You can see the X, Y, and Z values on this screen.

It goes through two passes. The first pass is rough because it uses a larger drill bit. The second pass is smoother because if uses a smaller drill bit. This is the finished design. If you look at the Mastercam photo, you will see this design on the screen.


Our assignment is to create a surface that can be milled in Maya using dynamics and applying different force fields to manipulate the plane.

CNC Fabrication, Part 02

72 North 15th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Here are some surfaces that were milled. It mills masonite, wood, Plexiglas, and lighter metals, like aluminum (it takes longer).


March 10, 2007

TED Conference

Last year, my friend Jay Moorthy told me about TED, and I've heard about it here and there. Lisa Strausfeld also mentioned TED when she lectured about Richard Saul Wurman (known for his book Understanding USA, where famous designers created information graphics about statistical data in the U.S.). For those of you who don't know about it, TED is the acronym for Technology, Entertainment, Design. Some notable speakers and performers have been Al Gore, Malcolm Gladwell, Cameron Sinclair, Nicholas Negroponte, Jeff Han, Tracy Chapman, Sirena Huang, an 11-year-old concert violinist, and even our own ZeFrank (who taught Creative Acts at ITP). It costs about 5g's to go, and you have to be invited, but all of the money goes to charitable organizations. Anyway, they have free podcasts of past speakers, under TED TALKS, which I try to listen to.

This year, I was really interested in Theo Jansen's works (I first heard about him in Living Art). He does these amazing kinetic sculptures, and he's one of the speakers at TED this year. Also, Hod Lipson, who is doing some work in robotics. His robot like of looks like a starfish, which can be seen in the BusinessWeek slide show about TED. I think he's also created a DIY Desktop fabricator for less than 2g's. And also, Nick Sears, from ITP, will be talking about his thesis, the newer 3D orb, and presenting the initial iteration (shown at the 2006 ITP Winter Show).

Bill Clinton, Lawrence Lessig, Paola Antonelli, Zaha Hadid, Richard Branson, and They Might Be Giants will also speak and perform this year.

Here are some recommended links, some are repeated from above:

Podcasts of TEDTalks


BusinessWeek's Slide Show on some speakers [which include Theo Jansen, Hod Lipson, and Nick Sears]

BusinessWeek's story about TED

March 15, 2007

Translating Video into a 3D Structure

For Fabricating Information, we used an open source software applications, Isosurf and Blender, to convert RAW grayscale images to x, y, z coordinates. I took an experimental video, and played with dropping frames, blurring, and cutting segments. To learn more about the process, click here.

Here's the video:

Here are the 3D structures that I came up with:


March 27, 2007

Rapid Prototyping Fabrication - Fabricating Information


Rapid Prototyping Fabrication is a process that prints resin on x, y, and z axes. So from this video (screenshots below), each shot is a cross section of the artifact.

Here is the process:




Here are some colleagues pieces:

James N. Sears [derived from Mathematica]



Che Mangat


Stefan Hechenberger [derived using motion capture]


April 10, 2007

Danny Rozin

Production process and first peek of his new Pixel Mirror.


April 20, 2007

Social Facts

Notes on Group Analysis) by Clay Shirky

1. How many people?
XS ~ 6
S ~ 12
M ~ 50
L ~ 100
XL ~ 1000

2. How was it founded?
happened --- external/internal ---planned

3. What constitutes membership?

4. How tightly bound are the tools?

5. What is the boundary condition?
center --- edge --- horizon

6. What keeps people coming back?

7. Do People in the group transact?

8. Does the group act?

9. How much "real world" is there?

10. How synchronized are the interactions?

April 21, 2007

Social Facts: Trust, Final Paper

I decided to type this in verbatim on my blog just in case I lose this assignment.

Final Paper

For next week, pick a topic to write your final paper about. This will be due on the last day of class.

Your topic should have the following three characteristics:

1. It should involve some aspect of a group that communicates with one another partly or wholly using social media.

2. The group should have some shared goal other than the pleasure of one another's company (Linux Kernel developers and My.Barak.Obama yes, ITP mailing list and Stickam no.)

3. The group should be observable by you.

The paper can be analytic -- how does or did this group come together, and how does it work today? -- or it can be projective -- how could this group be changed for the better? (Including the possibility of designing a way for latent groups to come together around some external activity.)

There is no fixed set of analytic models (users/goals/tools, logic of collective action, etc) and no standard set of questions (as with the 'proposed change' question from the midterm.) Instead, the design of the questions you want to ask yourself is part of choosing the subject.

April 29, 2007

Designing For Constraints, some projects

PopTop Portfolio

Designey by Tim McNerney. "PopTop Portfolio (PTP) is a digital showcase of an artist's work." It's like a real photographer's book because there's no keyboard or mouse.



Camera for K

"‘Camera for K’ is a photographic interface that maximizes independency of a physically handicapped person who uses a wheelchair and cannot operate the interface of a camera." This is one of the most moving projects, as well as Pollie Barden's iN-BaGs. There's a better photo demonstrating this project in the link I provided. I really like how this project gives such creative freedom to this individual who is physically constrained. Younghyun Chung's presentation is really good because you get a sense how successful this project is by just looking at the results of his user testing.


Happy Feedback Machine

This device was designed by Anh Nguyen. It really, really works. My favorite of the switches is the set of bumper ones. It kind of feels like a cross between sending a morse-code message (speed) and pushing an elevator button several times. I came out of one of my classes feeling like a zombie, and this machine was a tactile paradise.


Catch a glimpse of the bumper switches in the right hand corner of this image:


Other super cool projects:

Social Bomb, a game that teaches you how to gain social capital.

Pollie Barden's iN-BaGs, "an exploration of personal expression through assistive technology."

May 6, 2007


Not sure if this is going to be in the show or not, but it was at ITP for Thesis Week. Leif Mangelsen's thesis project looked pretty trippy. It's kind of like a Merry-go-round, but instead of horses, there are scooters attached. I'm not sure how he assembled it either, but I heard it was portable in his car.



Clay Shirky (Professor) and Greg Beliczynski are riders here.


Greg has an interesting thesis project as well, which allows commuters to leave voicemail messages according to the license plate number of the car. I'm not sure if iPLATEu can relieve road ragers or make love connections, it's a hoot. I think Greg should go to Los Angeles with this because of the famed LA traffic (now they won't be bored).

Seriously, save this number on your mobile phones, and try it:
888- iPLATEu
1-888-475-2838 (for Blackberry Pearl owners)
I'm not sure if it's in Beta testing, but I'm going to try it in Los Angeles.

[IMAGE CREDIT: Gregory Beliczynski/ITP/TISCH]


Here's a preview of the ultraORB by James N. Sears and his father Ron Sears. It's a dual-axis rotating display creates color visualizations of models in 3D space, using persistence of vision.


A rotating 320 tri-color LEDs about two axes simultaneously under the control of sixteen microcontrollers, creates a fully volumetric display that can display arbitrary models within the three dimensional volume of an 11" sphere.

It will be at the ITP Spring Show, this Tuesday and Wednesday night at 721 Broadway.


May 20, 2007

New York University Graduation

Here are some memorable photos of Rocio, Gilad and Karl in the fountain.

At the Tisch Salute, Laurie Anderson and Clive Davis were speakers. At the main ceremony, Wynton Marsalis (received and Honorary Doctorates in Fine Arts) played a tune (Listen Here), and I was impressed with another recipient's amazing bio, Cathleen Synge Morawetz (Doctor of Science).

The BlinkCam

at the MakerFaire sponsored by Makezine.

Andrew Schneider (creator of Solar Bikini) created the The BlinkCam as an experimental device for performance, which was the topic of his thesis at ITP. The idea is that you blink (consider it a switch), and this device takes the shot.

The eyelashes are conductive, which...

snap into this helmet, which...

is connected to Polaroid camera...

Also at MakerFaire are The Orb, The UltraOrb, and Botanicalls, which were at the ITP shows.

May 30, 2007

Wearables and Soft Materials, Process and Materials

Many of you asked for my research in wearables and soft materials...


Some Links:

Material Connexion,
Material Research Society,
NY Times on Chalayan,
Swift Textile Metalizing LLC, tel. 860 243 1122
Sauquoit Industries, tel. 800 858 5552,
Shieldex, tel. 315 597 6687,
Lumitex, fiber optic textiles that are woven,
Electric Plaid,
Emfit, Plastic film that converts motion into electricity,
Flexinol, with shape memory material,
Integrated Circuit, metal yarns and woven circuits, Sensitive Carpet, multilayer conductive fabric,
Softswitch, flexible fabrics,
Blowprint, relief printing,

Other materials to explore: Tyvek (the stuff the FEDEX envelopes are made of), conductive velcro, metal snaps, magnets, reed switches, conductive fabric, conductive ink (looks like nail polish), different folds, conductive film



Blushing Dress – Phillips

Ames laboratory research on metamaterial and magnesium-diboride wire segments

Electronic paper or E-paper, I saw this at Wired Nextfest. On the sleeve of a military uniform is a screen made out of this paper. To navigate between interfaces, you press soft switches, which are located in the sleeve of the uniform. Conductive ink is printed on paper.

Conductive Film, produced by General Electric

Suzanne Tick, Inc.

Kennedy & Violich Architecture
Sheila Kennedy and Frano Violich

DDCLAB (acronym for design, development and concepts)
Robert Crivello and Savania Davies-Keiller


NYU PROJECTS on Wearables [All of these prototypes work]:

1) Andrew Schneider – Solar Cell Bikini

2) Terence Arjo -
YoTaxi! Video -
[By waving your arm vigorously via persistence of vision, you can hail a taxi visually]

Personal Space Suit - [coat that has porcupine-like quills embedded]

3) Carolina Pino – This is a wearable for kids, a kind of musical instrument jacket. When a child presses buttons on the jacket, it plays the sound of an animal or music]

4) Doria Fan - [I really liked the RFID medical alert bracelets and the inflatables breasts dress [low-tech]

5) Jenny Chowdhury – intimate controllers
[] –The user plays pong with intimate wearables.

6) Grace Kim's The Soft Electric --

7) Joshua Dickens – - Glowscarf – a scarf that lets you know when your cellphone rings

8) Britta Riley - Rapid prototyping fabric sculpture usin MAYA

9) Fiona Carswell, Nanna Halinen, Kate Hartman, Kati London, Megan MacMurray, and Alice Tseng-Planas

10) Joo Youn Paek, Zoonori, origami musical instruments using Tyvek

11) My own experimentations with soft circuits using conductive thread and conductive fabric (bluetooth bracelet with phototransmitter), [1], [2]


Other Links:

Signal Propagation and Multiplexing Challenges in Electronic Textiles


Material World 2
Folding Architecture: Spatial, Structural And Organization Diagrams
Design Life Now: National Design Triennial 2006 (catalog), Suzanne Tick
Spoon, Issey Miyake, A-POC, process of fabrication
Paper Fashions (from More Paperwork) – paper as textiles
Rei Kawakubo, Kyote Costume Institute (exhibition), Japanese stencil paper
Rachel Sleight, The Sun, News Group Newspapers, beautiful dress made out of recycled paper, and skirt for Fabriano Spa, Hussein Chalayan – dress made of Tyvek, look like air mail stationary, Kei Ito – vest made of handmade linen paper, and dress made of Tyvek, performance costume

Hella Jongerius

May 31, 2007

New Facebook Apps

I've never got into Facebook, until Lisa Cho just introduced these new apps. Here's an article about them...

Has the intent of Alex Bisceglie's thesis project, but difficult to produce when you are the only one who's working on it.

There's a wierd one that allows you to borrow money from your Facebook friends instead of a bank. I don't know how that one is going to work.

Lending Club By Lending Club Thinking of charging $1,000 to your credit card? Think again: the Facebook Lending Club is a smart, fun and responsible way to get a $1,000 loan directly from a group of other Facebook users, fully online, at the lowest possible rate. 2,284 users - 39 reviews

Was surprised to see that iLike has "899,303 users" since yesterday, it seems kind of sophomoric, or maybe I'm just way too old.

June 6, 2007

Facebook and NYU APP

This is probably the more amazing apps (I like Graffiti Wall and Fluff Friends). You can upload your paper onto to your Facebook page, and read through or have a text-reader read your paper to you. You can pick whatever voice (a British voice) to read your paper. You can also set permissions who can view your paper (only to only to your friends/NYU students/to the world. The reader can download your paper in PDF or Word or as an MP3 file. This app feels pretty academic and useful already. We'll see. Here's a screenshot of it. I forgot to mention that it is superfast. It took 5 minutes to upload my thesis, and the resolution is high. Nice that they thought of people with low vision impairment.


June 25, 2007

Setting Up Andrew Schneider's Solar Bikini at Material Connexion

Michael thought it would be more proper if a girl dressed another girl.

Material ConneXion
127 West 25th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, New York 10001
Phone: 212-842-2050
Fax: 212-842-1090
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday

July 7, 2007

Engaging Interactive Game for Kids, Los Angeles

Of course I couldn't resist a nerdy observation. These kids seem pretty engaged in this interactive, video-sensing game. There are a couple of lines of instruction, but they seem to get how to earn points. I think this game in particular was sponsored by Outback restaurants, but I could be wrong. I think there is some marketing going on.




July 8, 2007

Fix your Apple / Mac Power Adapter [D.I.Y.]

I've tried the MacNally power adapter for $25-$30, and it worked for 6 months. If you have a Mac power adapter (not the new one with the magnet) and it's breaking apart, just use liquid electrical tape. You can get it from Home Depot or probably any hardware store. I'm using red, because that's what was left in stock (but they sell it in black and white as well). It can get a little messy, so put a napkin under it. I would also recommend doing this several times (wait until it dries, and then reapply). The texture is like rubber cement. I will probably wrap it up with white electrical tape after.



If it's really bad like mine, use some wire or a paper clip as a support, but do not solder, you may burn off the insulation of the other wire, and it will create a short. Then use a wooden golf tee as support.


Also, I learned how to drill a hole in glass from Martha Sterwart's Living magazine. She saids to use a plastic container and fill with water, but don't submerge all of the glass piece in to the water. Then use a drill, but the photo looks like a dremel bit. Make sure it's a "diamond" one (usually used to drill into metal pieces).

July 11, 2007

Solar Bikini Strikes in L.A.

The solar bikini, which was featured at the Winter 2007 ITP Show, was on KTLA [Channel 5] in Los Angeles. My sister who recognized Preston, did a double-take. She called me right away, and sent me this link. Preston, you're such a ladykiller.

Personally, I think Donald Trump should pay Andrew Schneider to make one for all the contestants of the Miss America and Miss Universe pageants. That would prevent the models from wearing their suits in the water. The theme of both pageants could be "sustainable energy."


July 13, 2007

Target ads in NY subways have sound interactivity


So on 49th St. station going downtownI saw this ad for a rap CD (Ludacris, Jay-Z, et. al.) and there is a headphone jack where you can plug in to listen. It's strategically placed on the photo of the CD player. I didn't plug in yet.

July 14, 2007

What to do this weekend? City Sol Festival in New York

Check out Citysol festival, a festival about green energy, art, music, and education. My friends Angela Pablo (seen below in the photo, demonstrating the Electric Garden) and Megan MacMurray, former ITPers, have a project called Garden Electric that they created in a Tom Igoe's Sustainable Practices class.



You can learn more about solar and biodiesel power. If you bring your electric bill and switch to a green energy package with ConEdison Solutions, you can "receive free Brooklyn Brewery beer! ++ Bring your own reusable mug/glass and receive $1 off Brooklyn Brewery beer!"

Located along the FDR between 18 & 23rd streets - stuyvesant cove park (sat + sun will be better, as there's more programming on those days like music and workshops)

July 21, 2007

Google Phone in the works...

Here are all the patterns...

1. Google just bought Grand Central

2. Google just bid $4.6 billion for wireless airwaves

3. Google lobbying to change the business model of wireless phones by promoting an "'open network' that could be used by any mobile device or service"

Of course, AT&T is fighting this. Hope Google wins. WOO-HOO!

4. Just found this article today (August 2, 2007), "FCC hands Google a partial victory"

5. And an article I have yet to read in BusinessWeek {August 9th issue) this week titled "Can you hear us now?"

Safari 3 Beta has a pretty cool search interface...

So when you do a search within a page, the browser will mask out what's irrelevant to your search to enhance the readability of your search terms.


Nice! Although, it kind of reminds me of Nick's project in the Mainstreaming Information class, but his was news-related.

July 26, 2007

SIGGRAPH 2007 and NYU ITP Exhibitors

ITP Students and recent graduates will be showing some of their work at Siggraph 2007 Conference.

Siggraph 2007
August 5-9, 2007
San Diego, CA


ITP Students and alumni include:

Siggraph Art Gallery

James Nick Sears ('07)/ORB
Ed Purver ('07), Ariel Efron ('07), and Christian Croft/Future Perfect
Minsoo Lee and Young Sang Cho/Moving Wall
Gabe Barcia-Colombo ('07)/Animalia Chordata
Santiago Echeverry ('97)/WORLD [interactive display of video and audio memories]


Participators of Siggraph Unraveled Fashion Show

Giana Gonzalez ('06)/Hacking Couture???
JooYoun Paek ('07)/either Zipper Orchestra or Self Sustainable Chair
Andrew Schneider ('07)/Solar Bikini
Fiona Carswell ('07)/Anti-Smoking Jacket
Jenny Chowdhury ('07)/Intimate Controllers???
Kate Hartman ('07)/Muttering Hats
Alyssa Wright ('06)/Cherry Blossoms

August 10, 2007

ITP on Good Morning America

Botanicalls aired on Good Morning America (Channel 7) Thursday, August 9.


Link to video, here. Diane Sawyer rocks! Her laugh is so contagious.

Congrats to Kati London, Rob Faludi, Kate Harman and Rebecca Bray for Botanicalls. Plants that call you when they need water or need to be moved to a sunnier location. Now that's news that really matters.

ITP on the cover of Craft Magazine

Knitted crime scene tape on the cover of Craft Magazine. Very funny. Text is so straight.


August 25, 2007

Unlocking iPhones

This may be a perfect project for an ITPer. A 17-year-old discovers how to unlock the iphone, but takes soldering and programming in 10 steps [links below]. Reading the comments, most people seem to have gotten lost around step 5, but who knows, you might even discover a new and easier way to unlock it. Or you could buy a Turbo SIM for $80 [to read more...].

Two weeks ago, a company called Bladox, based in the Czech Republic, began selling an $80 device called a Turbo SIM. The thumbnail-size card, attached to another carrier’s SIM card and inserted into an iPhone, tricks the iPhone into thinking it is running on the AT&T network even when it is not.

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
Step 7
Step 8
Step 9
Step 10

Or, you could just buy the iphone that he hacked from him, as he's having problems selling it on eBay, but that's a whole new other issue (eBay, I mean). I think he should sell it on Amazon Marketplace, and not worry about the hassles of fraud.

September 9, 2007

"Quechup is rotten"

I first started seeing a debate about Quechup two weeks ago on the IxDA mailing list, and then it started appearing on the ITP list. The IxDA community was really upset with the poor person who probably had no idea when accepting the invitation. Anyway, avoid this site like the plague. Judging by both reactions in both lists I wouldn't accept any invitations because it'll make you look like an ass.

Suzan just posted this info via "Howard Rhinegold at Twitter via Boing-Boing:"

Quechup attorney, I am told: Loeb & Loeb LLP 345 Park Avenue New York, NY 10154-0037 Tel: (212) 407-4000Tel: (212) 407-4000 USA

Quechup parent corp, I'm told: iDate Corporation 6767 West Tropicana Ave. Suite 207, Las Vegas, NV 89103 Las Vegas, NV 89103

Bloom Energy and

Found these interesting companies from the New York Times. One deals with energy, and the other deals with manufacturing.

Bloom Energy. The company is developing a solid-oxide fuel cell that it believes “could generate more than enough electricity to power a house.” This is basically the eBay of manufacturing. “In the past 12 months, $2 billion worth of gears, molds and machined parts were sourced and traded on the site.”

September 15, 2007


Only in New York will sell every seat to the movie Helvetica. There was an ITP "designers" reunion at 8:20 pm last night. The movie was great in exhibiting pro-Helvetica and anti-Helvetica sentiments. Liked how the movie presented the historical and cultural contexts of helvetica and graphic design in general. Super designers from the older and current generations gave their two cents. In the end, the director, Gary Hustwit and type designer Tobias Frere-Jones made a special appearance. The director was down-to-earth and honest. He admitted that he was approached to direct a movie on the font Times New Roman. I really liked the movie, and would probably watch it again to see David Carson, who will make a special appearance today. I was a big fan of his work in Ray Gun magazine.

If you go, do pick up an "I hate Helvetica" or "I love Helvetica" pin.

Gary Hustwit and type designer Tobias Frere-Jones
Photo Credit: Lia Bulaong

Jane and Tim in this photo, among other ITPers that went, Pollie, Dmitri, Dan, Ahn (Mang), and Lia. It was really great to see them.

Very USEFUL signage!!!

Well, it's about time. I was looking for the 2 train at the 14th street station and came across these signs via the L. A copy of D.C.'s wonderful subway system, these signs tell you when the train will arrive and in what direction. This is really useful because when you're standing around waiting for a device, be it an elevator or train, 3 seconds can sometimes feel like 3 minutes. I really hate elevators that don't indicate what floor they're on, which is useful information of whether I should stand and wait or just use the stairs. I remember Tom's first pComp assignment (2005), and our group (Matthew Burton and Cory Forsyth, both very cerebral) proposed to improve the subway system. Ahhh, brings back memories of passing surveys around to subway riders at the Union Square station.

Only saw these on the "L" train.




Jimmy Wales will be ITP next Saturday, 9/22

As part of OneWebDay, Matthew Burton is coordinating a Q&A session with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Dan Phiffer will be presenting ShiftSpace and Fred Benenson will be presenting Free Culture NYU on Creative Commons.

721 Broadway, New York


On the subject of wikis, under Tom Igoe's recommendation, I tried wikidot, kind of like the wiki version of Blogger. You can customize and make your own wiki without learning how to code.

October 8, 2007

Idea 2007 Conference in New York

Even though the Idea 2007 conference was sponsored by The Information Architecture Institute, the speakers were really diverse, ranging from artists/designers to developers/engineers, and public agencies, such as hospitals and New York City's non-emergency number, 311. A lot of the speakers were ITP alums or teaching at ITP. I'm working on a wiki with my extensive notes, and will publish the link here (TK TK TK). Missed some really good presentations, but for the entire list, please visit

Here were some of the speakers:

Rachel Abrams (who currently teaches a mapping class at ITP) - I just caught the end of her presentation on taxis.

Frank Lantz, area/code (also teaches at ITP)

Brad Paley, Information Esthetics

Hasan Elahi, artist (he was a guest speaker at one of ITP's Friday seminars)
He's working on a pretty cool project titled Tracking Transcience (will have more of the backstory in my notes.

Chenda Frutcher, The City of New York's 311 line, (alum of ITP)
Couldn't take photos of her presentation, sorry (will have a section of her presentation in my notes). I enjoyed her presentation because she works and designs around real-world problems.

Fernanda Viegas & Martin Wattenberg, Many Eyes, open source data visualization site

David Rose, Ambient Devices, founder of the Ambient Orb

Mike Kuniavsky, Founder of ThingM and Co-founder of Adaptive Path
RFID Wine Rack

Jake Barton, Local Projects (teaches thesis at ITP)

October 21, 2007

Ingo Maurer

Attention, all ITPers, you must see this exhibit if you like electronics, lighting, and/or physical computing. Ingo Maurer uses some new materials that have been exhibited at the Material Connexion. Two of my favorite pieces are his uses of conductive film to create an LED light table/bench and flexible circuit board to create light patterns on wall paper.


If you like designing or using solderless breadboards, go to this exhibit, it'll give you many ideas on how to layout your electronic components. If you like industrial design, go to this exhibit to be inspired by his use of materials and play with physics (specifically the tornado piece that has a magnet) and optical illusions (love the hologram light bulbs).

The printed and digital materials about this exhibit doesn't even convey the fraction of this experience. If you like magic, go to this exhibit.



October 28, 2007

Close To Midnight

I went to the screening of Close to Midnight, a movie that Rob Ryan from ITP produced. There were a lot of good shots, the story was based on actual events, and the music was pretty cool. The theater was pretty packed. Congrats Rob!

For more info, click here.



In the spirit of Halloween...


Visit Economy Candy in Lower East Side. One of the oldest candy store, they carry a variety of candies, including salted licorice (located behind the counter). I got hooked on salted licorice when Tom Igoe introduced them to us at the "ITP Arduino Surface Mount Soldering Party." They also sell giant PEZ candies for $18.00 and really cute sophisticated designs of Hello Kitty and My Melody Pez holders (they have clear heads). I was surprised to see old cigarette packaged bubble gum and Lemonheads.

108 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002

February 12, 2008

Kshitij, IIT Kharagpur, India, Part I

I recently went to Kshitij, a 3-day conference that is organized by students. Program is similar to ITP, but heavier on the engineering side. Here are some student projects:

Braille Keyboard

Networked Vending Machine

Agriculture Device

Wireless Military Bot

March 2, 2008

Design and the Elastic Mind, MoMA



This was a phenomenal exhibition. I'm going to it a third time, and even bought the catalog, which is beautifully designed by Irma Boom (if you like typography, check out the cover and title page).

Lots of ITP alumni and adjunct faculty, and a lot of current information visualization designers like Brad Paley, Sep Kamvar, Jonathan Harris and Jason Wishnow.

Lisa Strausfeld and James N. Sears, NY Times cover
Dimitri Tyler, Hypothetical Drawings
Dan Phiffer and Mushon Zer-Aviv's pcomp project: Atlas Gloves
Christian Schmidt (ITP adjunct faculty) and Lisa Strausfeld's OLPC's operating system, "Sugar"

Probably more ITPers' works that are not mentioned here.

Artists/Designers (left to right): Sep Kamvar, Jonathan Harris and James N. Sears

Clay Shirky's book

If you are interested in social computing, collective action by groups, sociology of groups, and group dynamic, then this is the book for you. Download his podcast from


This book is clearly written, succinct, and relevant and current of the technologies we use today. Each chapter is composed of a story to demonstrate the psychological theories, but the difference, these aren't controlled experiments from the 60's (residue from my undergrad studies in psychology). Reading the first chapter reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point, basically comprehendable to lay people like me.

Anyway, I'm a little biased because I had Clay Shirky as a professor twice.

April 8, 2008

Interactive Musical Installation in 34th Street

At 34th Street where the N train runs, there is an interactive musical installation (green). If you wave your hands over certain parts, it plays music.


April 20, 2008

Comicon, Javitz Center, Part 5

Interesting exhibitors at Comicon...

Record/audition your scream at the Spiderman booth.


Get an autograph by your favorite comic illustrator at DC Comics (though I saw a guy bring in a case of comic books to sign, so the line may take awhile).

Try out My Beating Heart at Android8, which is designed by ITP alum Yury Gitman. It is strangely meditative. I ended up buying one to test. Reminds me of MIT robotic seals. Android8 has other cool toys and characters that are new.


So many people visiting this booth selling LED-lit samurai swords and ninja stars.

Play video games.

Win prizes (there was a really long line for this).

Find a job at TokyoPop. They were interviewing and reviewing portfolios of illustrators and writers.

Watch this guy finish this illustration.

August 5, 2008

New Tagging Feature on Amazon...

A couple of ITPers showed me this new tagging feature on Amazon (I'm not sure if it's new or if I'm just late), but I will probably investigate a little further for Hypershelf and Smart Shelf (thesis and collaborative projects), which use tagging. I just bought this book about Processing (Casey Reas and Ben Fry) authored by Dan Shiffman, a professor at ITP.


This book is suppose to be for beginners. Link to Amazon.

November 22, 2008

Getting back into the groove of pcomp

My friend Tim McNerney is working on a cool Bike-Sharing Program and NYU that he had proposed. So far, we've gotten three pcomp things (1. magnetic card stripe reader; 2. solenoid-electric lock, and 3. Xport, which is an ethernet connection) to work separately with the Arduino, but now we are trying to merge everything together. The pcomp experience is slowly coming back to me, which is much like being an auto mechanic when troubleshooting.

Now we have to hack the Arduino code to get the solenoid to release when it reads the N number of an NYU ID card. Fun stuff. Figured out on Tom's site that you can use this breakout board (RJ-45) for the Xport instead of this sold out breakout board, which is $2.00 more expensive. Or, you can get this shield for $15.00.




December 5, 2008

Nick Sears Orb Video on TED just released Nick Sear's 2007 presentation on the Orb. Since it's premiere, he has been working on version 2, which is probably 200% more complex than the first one. There are more LED lights, 80-pin chips, and SD cards. Every component is surface-mounted, and takes place on both sides of the circuit board.

This is the Eagle/CAD drawing of the circuit board:

This is the printed circuit board with the electronics soldered on:

This is when it's illuminated:

It is heading to Singapore for Siggraph 2008. For more information on Nick Sears, visit Art Magnitude site.

December 9, 2008

Dot Dot Dot, The MFA Interaction Design Lecture Series (School of Visual Art)


Just went to this talk about "interviews" related to research process, which I thought was pretty valuable, and was glad I didn't miss. There were 4 speakers:

Elisabeth M. De Morentin, Illinois Institute of Technology, Institute of Design
She presented some research on the Apple Store Experience, particularly about iPod nano.

Clive Thompson, Contributing Writer for New York Times Magazine and columnist for Wired magazine
He spoke about interviewing the Netflix competition to improve the accuracy of movie recommendation, and the discovery through interview (that six indie movies were causing the algorithmic problem, particularly Napoleon Dynamite).

Jason Severs, Principal Designer, frog design
He presented ethnographic research for a couple of products (e.g. remote control, and Neutrogena Exfoliator device).

Gary Hustwit, Director of Helvetica and currently Objectified (coming out this Spring)
He spoke about replacing the word "interview" with "conversation," which helped people to be more natural (versus over-rehearsed), and the importance of facial cues.

I believe Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware, Design Director of Nokia, Former Faculty at ITP and Steven Heller (Author and Art Director) will be speaking at the next Dot Dot Dot event.

I saw a lot of ITP Alumni, including a couple of ITP Faculty (Kate Hartman, Rob Faludi, and Robert Fabricant, also Creative Director at frog)

I wasn't able to attend the first one, but here were the speakers:
Tom Bodkin, design director, New York Times

Jake Barton, founder and principal, Local Projects

Andrew Sloat, graphic designer and videomaker

Christopher Fahey, founding partner, Behavior; forthcoming faculty, MFA Interaction Design


Check out StartHere, one of the sponsors... They raffled out StartHere notebooks--if you had 3 dots (Dot Dot Dot) on the back of your raffle ticket, you would have won one of these prizes.

Upcoming ITP Events

Big Screens
Friday, December 12, 2008
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
IAC Building
555 W. 18th St.

NIME (New Interfaces For Musical Instruments)
Monday, December 15, 2008
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Exit Art
475 Tenth Avenue
This event is FREE

ITP Winter Show
December 17-18
Tisch School of the Arts
New York University
721 Broadway, 4th Floor
New York NY 10003
Time: tk

December 12, 2008


Here is another image of the Orb projecting Jonathan Cousins' thesis project, data visualization. Orb v2.2 has more resolution. Jonathan Cousin is an alumni of ITP, and has great info visualization projects. I especially loved his CIA World Factbook visualization of the Middle East that he did for Lisa Strausfeld's course, who is partner at Pentagram, and designed the OS system for Sugar for Nicholas Negroponte's OLPC program (One Laptop Per Child).


January 10, 2009

Disney Venturing into Gaming...

So that's two articles that I've read where Disney is venturing into gaming. The first was an article from the Wall Street Journal [Disney Could Raise Its Game With EA] about Disney and EA. Second, at CES, Disney launched "Disney Star Guitarist" that competes with Sony's Guitar Hero published by Gizmodo [Disney Star Guitarist: Guitar Hero, But With Real Guitars]. Often I wondered, why I would play Guitar Hero because I wouldn't gain musical skills if I spent all those hours, but with Disney Star Guitarist, gamers can learn how to play real music.

This idea reminds me of a prototype that Cory Forsyth worked on 2 years ago. He designed a tangible guitar interface using infrared in our Introduction to Physical Computing at ITP taught by Tom Igoe. It was pretty cool, and even cooler that it worked.

Last, I recently saw a job post for a major company hiring 60 UX/UI designers in Los Angeles. I'm wondering if that's Disney.

January 11, 2009

Random Generator of Bush Quotes...

Wow, as we inch closer to the presidential inauguration on January 20th, I'm seeing more and more comical "Bushisms," from art exhibitions and Facebook pages to random generators on a major publication site. This is probably one of the funniest links, published in the Guardian. I found it in the ITP mailing list posted by a politically savvy alum.

I think it's brilliant because I've already clicked it like 7x (i.e. It's probably more lucrative than a slide show/photo gallery or video, and cheaper to produce), and they're business side is probably counting how many clicks for future ad sales. I can visualize the editor asking writers to come up with 3-5 Bushism quotes at the editorial meeting, the producers entering quotes into an automated database, and the photo/video departments completely uninvolved. What's even funnier is the Google ads below in the lower right module, however, I'm not sure if it's real, since it stayed static through 2 clicks. But maybe it's real?


We'll see how long his legacy will last when his brother, Jeb Bush, runs for President in year 2016. Fox News is already starting his PR. Hopefully people will remember then, the ailing economy and corrupt-corporate-mess this Bush is leaving behind, but I doubt that.

January 22, 2009

Obama Photos at the Inaugural Parade


So my girlfriend, Min Batstone and her husband, Ian, fought their way through the crowds to take these photos. She said she was close to Ann Curry as well, one of my favorite journalists.

All photos were taken by Min Batstone, and can be viewed on Flickr profile. Please contact her if you would like to use them.

He waves to her directly in this photo.




I <3 Ann Curry. This photo is also taken by Min.

January 24, 2009

Beautiful LED light installation in at the National Gallery of Arts in DC

I didn't get to visit this, but plan to on my next trip to DC. This LED installation was designed by Leo Villareal, an ITP Alumni, and is located at the National Gallery of Arts. I'm not sure if it's interactive, but anyway, it's a sight.



Please credit Min Batstone.

Dot Dot Dot, The Urbanist, Part I


I went in with the mind set of not taking notes for all four speakers, which is why I just brought my iPhone and no tablet.

But at the end of Rachel Abram's talk, and in the middle of Soo-in Yang's talk, I decided to not be lazy, and start taking notes. I've seen Rachel speak at an IDEA event in 2007 and an AIGA/Apple event last year [a link to my notes last year]. She spoke about how her many diciplines have added to her interaction design, and showed some of her research of the taxi system. Soo-in Yang is an architect who created this physical interactive sculpture that reacts to information about air quality via mobile phones. It was a public art piece in South Korea (look at photos below). He also collaborated with Rob Faludi and Terence Arjo on another project.


Last, was this music composer, Phil Kline, who started Unsilent Night, an event that happens on Christmas Eve, and started with a couple of people in NYC, but has grown to thousands in many other cities. You can see his video on YouTube.

Dot Dot Dot, The Urbanist, Part II

A slide from Adam Greenfield's Presentation

Adam Greenfield, who taught at ITP, and wrote the book titled Everyware also spoke at Dot Dot Dot, and now head of design direction at Nokia. He researches many ubiquitous computing systems. I can't cover everything he spoke about, but if you want to see some of his presentation slides, visit my Flickr set. Here are some of the highlights that you can look up or read about in his new book The City Is Here For You To Use:

UNStudio with Arup Engineering: Galleria West, Apgujeongdong in S. Korea

u-Cheonggyecheong: Instead of cleaning the stream, they wrapped it in media.

Tom Armitage, Making Bridges Talk: What if the London Bridge could Twitter?

u-City New Songdo: totally networked, and can track everything down to tagging soda bottles with RFID tags that can automatically credit your account even if you throw it in trash. Every action is recorded and mediated. This project is still a work-in-progress.

Massive simultaneity: The 1K Project

MITsenseable city lab/New York Talk Exchange (NYTE)

Mosaic of Singapore mall: A photo that shows a lady moving through a mall physically, but this mosaic also shows a layer of secondary information--who is on the other end of her mobile phone. We should think about cyberspace (Being on phone is like being in cyberspace) when we think about designing the physical space.

Stamen Design: Oakland Crimespotting
Think about constraints in analysis (e.g. Taxonomy of police department is already a constraint (e.g. categorizing rape).

iPhone/Flickr: Geotagging/Search urbanism, browse urbanism, make urban API. If we check the weather before we go out, we are conditioned to that networked information, hence Adam calls this a "network overlay." Contemplate how this "overlay" reflects every decision we make (i.e. real-time info).

I've also added Adam Greenfield's blog to my RSS Feeds and Google Reader.

Lightwave '09, Part I

I'm in Dublin, Ireland to document some work at the Lightwave Exhibition in the Science Gallery at Trinity College. This exhibition is trying to bridge science and art. Already, there a couple of ITPers showing their works: James N. Sears, Nurit Bar-Shai, and Lori Napolean.

Nick is showing his second design of The Orb, which now plays videos and Processing apps, and still images. Right now, Jonathan Cousin's data visualization is currently on The Orb.

Nurit Bar-Shai collaborated with other artists and MIT to show live video feeds of cellular interactions and the Northern Lights, of course separately.

Lori Napoleon created an interactive sculpture called "Scintillator." The sculpture is composed of tetrahedral shapes, and changes color when you touch it.

Later, I will try to post photos on Flickr. Feel free to ping me if I forget.

February 18, 2009

Lawrence Lessig, Shepard Fairey and Steven Johnson at NYPL next Thursday...

I am so lucky that I got tickets for this event. I have probably seen Lawrence Lessig (founder of Creative Commons) talk twice before. Steven Johnson spoke in Red Burn's class at ITP in 2005, and co-founded the community site []. Also, he is coming out with a new book titled The Invention of Air. Just from the title, I can see how it's relevant to Lessig and Fairey. Here is the video of him talking about his new book. I've also been a big fan of Shepard Fairey's works since Obey. All three will be at this event, hosted by NYPL, and co-sponsored by Wired magazine.

There's been a lot of controversy surrounding Shepard Fairey (known for the popular Hope posters depicting Barack Obama and Obey). Apparently Fairey is being sued by AP Reuters for referencing a photo he used for the Hope poster. Read the article from Wired magazine.

Photo Credit: Boing Boing

Milton Glaser writes his point of view on this matter in Boing Boing. Milton Glaser designed the Bob Dylan album cover, and was popular for his "I ♥ NY" identity.

What I think is interesting is all these remixes of Fairey's works. You can see people using Fairey's style and aesthetic for the Hope poster on their Facebook profile, but instead of Obama, it's them. Here is an article from Wired magazine of fans of the movie Dark Knight using Fairey's style on a photo Heath Ledger's Joker.


If you like Shepard Fairey's works from Obey. You may like Robbie Canal as well. He did a lot of posters of political figures.

March 5, 2009

Brilliant video of Clay Shirky's suggestions on New Business Models

Having worked in the publishing industry for a couple of years, I can't say enough how "On Point" Clay is about businesses having to think through new business models to survive. He mentions useful suggestions/examples and provides solutions to problems that I saw first-hand in these environments (e.g. The Guardian does it right, Fail-Forward-Fast model). Adaptation/Iteration/Group Action seem to be some relevant points. It's great that they covered filtering as well because I'm starting to get more of my news and more relevant links through Twitter.

The original link here []

Another good article on Micropayments/Journalism/Freakonomics here []

April 2, 2009

First Korean Astronaut, So-yeon Yi, at event this Saturday

Open event and I think it is free. The Korean-American Scientists Association is sponsoring. Found this on the ITP list.

Date: April 4, 2009
Time: 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Davis Auditorium
4th Flr. Schapiro Center (CEPSR), Columbia University

April 19, 2009

Arduino now has 3.3V

My friend and colleague Tim McNerney pointed this out to me the other day. I just bought the Arduino Duemilanove, and now you don't have to worry about toggling the jumper, and it has 3.3 and 5 Volts. With the other Arduino, I always had to scour around for a 3.3 voltage regulator, but now I won't have to with Arduino Duemilanove.

There's also a cool print of Italy on the back of it. I think it is approximately $30-$35 still.

The image cuts off, so click here to see it on my Flickr. Or feel free to drag this image to your desktop:

April 26, 2009


My friends Nick and Robert convinced me to download this iPhone game last week. I wasn't going to until I saw the "Gossip Girl" badge. Anyway, this game is amazing, or maybe it's the weather, or both. For the past week, I've been out and about checking in and leaving tips here and there (trying to earn points and badges), and definitely stimulating the economy. You can also be a mayor of a venue. Nick told me I was mayor of Battery Park. I describe it as a Yelp+Twitter+Dodgeball game. I've already recruited 2 people to play the game with me too. One was even helping me to figure out the Gossip Girl badge (I have a feeling I'm going to have to go to UES). Visit if you are interested.


Btw @BlairWaldorf: Dennis Crowley who went to NYU, designed this mobile game. Non-ivy's rock!!! :P

If you have the Gossip Girl badge, ping me.

June 19, 2009

Catching up on all videos... Clay Shirky on TED

Clay teaches at ITP and talks about social media, specifically about Twitter:

June 21, 2009

Ignite Videos are up, here are some of them...

till parsing through all these videos, but if you want to watch more videos, visit IgniteNYC on YouTube, click here:

Matthew Burton's Presentation "Hacking with Spooks: How to Code For the CIA From Your Basement"

Perry Chen's site Kickstarter (pretty awesome site)

Luke Dubois' "A More Perfect Union"

Baratunde Thurston's "...I Learned From Being @the_swine_flu"

Andy Maskin's "Bring On The Dancing Horses"

Rachel Sklar's "How I Learned to Love Giving Away My Money Online"

Kevin Slavin's "Dollhouse Earth"

October 6, 2009

Flash and Cocoa

Even though I use CS4 with my clients, I still have CS3 on my own laptop because Adobe took away my favorite feature from Photoshop, and put it in Bridge, which makes my computer run very, very slow.


Yesterday, I had the most frustrating experience with Flash, and then I found this link:

In a nutshell, Eric Socolofsky summarizes what is supported and not supported (found on ITP list)


Screen Orientation
Saving images to Photo Library
Cut / Copy / Paste

Not Supported:
Embedded HTML content (via webkit in Adobe AIR).
Dynamically loading SWFs that contain ActionScript
PixelBender Filters
Microphone Access
Video Camera Access

Laverne and Shirley Nostalgia

After seeing my friend and colleague Matt Chmiel at the ITP 30th Anniversary, I couldn't get this song out of my head. Then I found the lyrics on this site Lyrics on Demand. Who knows? I might just by the ringtone there ;)

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Sclemeel (Chmiel), schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated. We're gonna do it!

Give us any chance, we'll take it.
Give us any rule, we'll break it.
We're gonna make our dreams come true.
Doin' it our way.

Nothin's gonna turn us back now,
Straight ahead and on the track now.
We're gonna make our dreams come true,
Doin' it our way.

There is nothing we won't try,
Never heard the word impossible.
This time there's no stopping us.
We're gonna do it.

On your mark, get set, and go now,
Got a dream and we just know now,
We're gonna make our dream come true.
And we'll do it our way, yes our way.
Make all our dreams come true,
And do it our way, yes our way,
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you.

December 26, 2009

PixelQi screen versus Kindle and Toshiba

Michael Ang referred this screen to me. It's pretty amazing. It is low-power, has without-backlit option (reading screen in sunlight is easy), and color option. Pretty amazing technology. If you do a search on the Engadget site, you will see some posts about a demo in Google Android tablets at CES. A netbook using this screen is going to cost ~$100, amazing!

February 1, 2010

Hallmark and technology...

Just saw two projects that I thought were really interesting with Hallmark. The first is a printed book with a recorder (google: Hallmark recordable book), so the small device captures you reading a story to your kids. Below, if you click on the link, you can watch a video of how this works. I find this a very engaging experience.


The second is a voice-recognition stuffed animal. I remembered while I was attending ITP, several students experimented with this type of interaction. There are several types of interactions that are described here:

December 6, 2010

New York City at Night Book

Nice work by photographer Evan Joseph Uhlfelder, an ITP alum.


Book signing event:
December 8th, at the rooftop lounge of 75 Wall Street, at 6:30pm

If you're not around, check out his site here:

September 8, 2011

Most Innovative and Beautiful Websites by ITP (2011)

These sites are not in any particular order, and fresh off of the Interactive Telecommunications Program Alumni list. (examples of html5 sites) (more demos)
-- (like the pagination on the side) (job site) (no ad banners, only in-house promotions) (flash site) (View in Firefox) (View in Firefox) (View in Firefox) (nice flexible layout)
Funniest site that break rules:

September 16, 2011

Maker Faire 2011 is happening this weekend

Maker Faire 2011 is happening this weekend at the New York Hall of Science:

Here are all the ITP projects:
Minu Bae '11 Smartymote
Marco Cosio '10 Bus Roots
Alvin Chang '12 Swim Rehab

Michael Martinez-Campos '11 Swim Rehab

Christine Doempke '12 Swim Rehab
Nelson Ramon '12 In the wind

Michell Cardona '12 In the wind
Matt Parker ‘09 Lumarca
Tom Igoe ’97 Making Things Talk (and Listen)
Gabriela Gutierrez ’12 Miniature Motorized Mechanical Circus
Sofy Yuditskaya ’11 Projected Realities

Tamar Ziv ’11 Projected Realities
Gabriella Levine ’11 Protei
Gabriella Levine ’11 ByteLight
John Schimmel ‘06 RAMPS - Wheelchair DJ

Wlodek Koss ’06 RAMPS - Wheelchair DJ
Benedetta Piantella ‘08 Open Source Development Platforms

Justin Downs ‘08 Open Source Development Platforms
Matt Richardson ’13 Enough Already: Silencing Celebs with Arduino
Jennifer Shannon ’12 MIRD: Meditative Ionizing-Radiation Detector
Mustafa Bagdatli ‘10 Tangible Lights
Emily Webster ‘12 Tangible Lights

Genevieve Hoffman ‘12 Tangible Lights

Joshua Goldberg ’01 Gon KiRin

Cassandra Marshall ‘05 Gon KiRin
Catarina Mota ‘00 FabriCulture

John Dimatos ‘09 MakerBot Industries, Community Business Development
Paul Rothman ’10 littleBits
Jaymes Dec ‘08 Choreograph a Well-Armed Militia!
Yury Gitman ‘02 Pulse Sensor: Heart-Rate Beats Per Minute for Arduino
Sean McIntyre ‘13 Choscillator
Jonah Brucker-Cohen ‘00 Scrapyard Challenge Workshops

Katherine Moriwaki ‘01 Scrapyard Challenge Workshops

ITP Cafe Schedule

10:30 AM Cardboard Construction Chi Ka ‘11
12:00 PM Sensing with Arduino Tom Igoe ’97 & Julio Terra ‘11
1:30 PM Intro to Processing Jer Thorp (Adjunct)
3:00 PM Soft Circuits Catarina Mota ‘00
4:30 PM Intro to Kinect Hacking Greg Borenstein ‘11

10:30 AM Screen Printing Emily Webster ‘12
12:00 PM Biofeedback Julio Terra ’11 & Mustafa Bagdatli ‘10
1:30 PM Posters in Processing Rune Madsen ‘11
3:00 PM Organic Circuits Patricia Adler ‘11
4:30 PM Wind Power Michaela Cardona ‘12 & Nelson Ramon ‘12

September 22, 2012

Raspberry Pi

I saw several FB posts re Raspberry Pi, which is a small Linux processor ($25 or $35) that has a 700 MHz processor, 256 MB of RAM ethernet port, usb ports (depending on which model you get), an audio/analog video outputs, and SD card slot. The goal of the project to get people engaged in programming. You can write programs in Scratch or Python. For more information, please visit their FAQ page.

I found this video on how to set up the pi:

Ponnuki shows how to use your Kindle (e-ink) as a display here.

October 17, 2012

Shark-tracking site

Found this site on the ITP list. The purpose of this site is to raise awareness of the dwindling population of sharks, which you can track. There are separate tabs that open up that show the most recent sharks, and you can see where they have been as well. Below are screenshots, or you can visit the site here:




I can almost see this site as an iPad app. Enjoy :D

October 27, 2012

Surface tablet

I was lucky to attend the Surface event at Pier 57 via ITP. Update posted below.

Despite the reviews, I wanted to see and interact with this product and software. The one thing I really think is notable is how the software responds to the hardware. There is an accelerometer in the keyboard cover and one in the tablet, so based on the interaction of the keyboard cover, the software in the interface responds. For instance, if the keyboard is connected to the tablet, and you are trying to type in the address bar; as soon as I click on a key, the web browser form and "pinned" items (global bookmarks) are automatically prompted. In contrast, if the keyboard is folded under to support the tablet as a stand, then as a soon as the user taps on the screen, the digital keyboard slides up (see photos). These are subtle details that mesh hardware and software and keep the user flows continuous.




Strangely enough, I really liked the UI, and even better than some of the other operating systems out there. There are similar components and patterns, but the interface is so different. I could tell Microsoft invested a lot of their budget to UI design because the feel of it is so different from some of their desktop applications (compared to using Office software on a mac or IE browsers on a PC). The flow and feedback were strangely meditative (more explained below). There are a lot of little details that were carefully crafted to add up to this experience I am talking about.

Here are my notes not in any particular order (please refer to this set of photos):

• Seamless integration between hardware and software making ixd's intuitive

• Thoughtful design considerations to keys in keyboard (i.e. if the user's finger is perpendicular to the key, the device recognizes that the user wants to click on a button versus if the user's fingers are angled on a particular key, the device interprets that as a separate interaction)

• Careful considerations regarding implementing a touchpad and the placement of the touchpad is closer to the space bar (reminding me of those eraser nubs in IBM laptops). A colleague of mine asked whether the touchpad in the cover was gratuitous to the ixd of the touchscreen. I thought it was a fair question, and this colleague of mine worked at IDEO. The response given is that the touchpad offers "precision." The designer/developer explained the experience of writing and editing an email on a mobile screen was a disjointed experience and flow: user types, user makes a mistake, user interrupts her train of thought to touch the screen and place the cursor, user edits email, user continues to write email. With a touchpad, the user can quickly navigate to the cursor area, and edit the email without fussing with where the cursor is before or after the edit, saving valuable seconds and less grief. The surface team member framed it in the context of testing the product quickly at the airport. I wanted to know what his participant's occupation was... I only assumed that their target users are male business executives, which brings me to my next point.

• Careful consideration to gender dynamics. I decided to try to type some terms or addresses, but had trouble typing. I felt that the individual keys were wide and made for fingers that were wider than my own (probably male hands). And the keys were raised a little higher than expected. When I typed, I was mistyping, or some of the keys were sticky or weren't sticky enough. A staff member noticed that I was having trouble, and swapped the cover. There are two versions (e.g. one designed for people used to typing on flat surfaces, and one for people interested in receiving tactile feedback). I guess the beauty is the modularity of these keypads, though with the second keypad, keys were sticking or not registering with the tablet. I was told to re-seat the keyboard. I think this could probably be fixed digitally.

• Global navigation appears on the right and over a scrolling content interface, which was kind of peculiar to me at first. I was having trouble trying to swipe in the global navigation. To me it seemed buggy because at times it appeared, and at times it disappeared. Then a staff member alerted me that I had to swipe from the beveled area, so basically the black frame around the screen is touch-sensitive. All four sides can prompt up a chrome emerging from the side you are swiping. This was not intuitive or apparent at first because I had to unlearn some of these metaphors learned from ipad behavior. One thing that kind of bothered me that an app developer can incorporate 1 or all sides of the chrome. So if you are in an app, would you have to swipe all four sides to see if a chrome appears? This may not be a problem if the user frequents this app.

• Search panel slides from right. The one thing I think looks odd is the back button placed on the left side, even though the modules is sliding from the right. I see why they did that (global behavior in all the other apps), but I think this ok for users of android interfaces. There is back button on many android devices. Having used iOS interfaces, I can see where my opinion is probably an edge-case.

• Search panel, is so easy. There are filters at the top: apps, settings, files, store, etc. Then everything below the rule are results. There is no advanced search. Within apps, there is a contextual search (at least I can say that for 1 of the apps, though I can't confirm b/c I thought I took a photo of it). Let's say you search for "cookie," the search results might display "settings" and "Martha Stewart," and if you tap on "Martha Stewart," the result will lead you to a cookie recipe in an issue of "Martha Stewart." I think it is almost similar to ios global search, but I don't think there are filters above the results.

• Because the search panel features Bing search, will google users be annoyed if they have to take an extra step to open up chrome or link to google search? I did not check to see if there were google apps on this device. I did see amazon and kindle apps.

• Careful consideration to ad placement. I opened up Bing Finance, and I really couldn't believe my eyes. As I was scrolling through the different sections of articles, an ad appeared at the very end. No ads littered through the content, just at the very end. And every 5 seconds or so, it is animated with a different ad. I think this works because, the user can't really ignore the ad, since the global nav and search panels are in the right chrome. What a nice solution to an annoying problem of scattered ads littering content in web sites. I am not sure if the ad used is of IAB standards. When I clicked on the ad, it opened a full screen ad in modal view, then it stops there. No you can't click on it, and it will not displace you to the "Citibank" website. You just close it.

• Love, love, love the progress dots that animate in different patterns over search form box (catch a glimpse of it in IMG_6874). Maybe it's because it doesn't look like a spinning hour glass, spinning beach ball, or just a solid bar. It almost looks like an animation of a river current, which is why waiting doesn't seem urgent.

• Messaging is more subtle. Usually error messages are flashy... Just the text "No internet connection detected." I emphasize the use of period because it looks like a statement. Some of the typical error messages feel like they are yelling at you (see this brief video).

• Love, love, love that the cursor is more visible. There is a circle attached to the bottom of the cursor (see IMG_6913).

• Like the idea of pinned, though I think it will take some time to learn the color schemes of brands, apps, and icons.

• Multiple ways to prop the tablet, via cover, without cover, cover folded under the tablet, tablet with kickstand AND no cover, etc. Many options were considered. Power usage was a consideration, so if you had 20% power left, you could remove the cover so it doesn't drain your battery.

• I think it might be too late for this, but the power port and keyboard-cover port are so similar in shape and size, and differ by just one lead. I almost short-circuited it by plugging in the power adapter into the keyboard-port of the tablet. Maybe the magnet functionality of the keyboard port acts like an additional switch and safety precaution (similar to a reed switch).

• There is balance of browse and search. Obviously browsing through content is easy and continuous horizontal scrolling (in comparison to ios paginated menus). Everything is so visual, even the filters are visual (they appear in a carousel). See "Pinned" example.

• One thing that I didn't play around with but the staff member mentioned is a global share tool. You can share within an app to a different app. For example, I am in the Martha Stewart app, and I want to share this cookie recipe, I would click on the global nav, click share, and I think post it to, let's say a recipes app(?) Not sure, but if this is possible, I think it's cool.

• In the global nav, there is a way to link to other devices (Kinect? XBox?)

• For publishers, they won't take a cut if you have your own purchasing system. If you use their store, it's the typical 70/30.

• Forgot to check if there was a camera for video conferencing, but specs say there is/are.

• This was probably my favorite app. You can choose a type of liquor or a branded liquor, and find special recipes. I believe there are 350 drink recipes in this app. Just imagine propping this tablet on your bar table, and making this drink.

Here is a demo of it:

Was it worth the wait? I think so. Before I attended the demo, I was really skeptical of the product because of my past experiences with other Microsoft software, albeit web app, Xbox, etc. I think if the interface design was a half measure, people would discount the product. In this day and age, users just don't have the patience to test a product out, especially if the cost is competitive with current existing products (i.e. ios, android).

Would I use the this tablet? Currently, I am married to ios because I've bought a lot of apps that wouldn't be transferable. However, I can see my sister, who is a small business owner and PC user migrate to this product. Currently, she has an ipad1, but does not own any apps, but a lot of music. Music is find to leave to your iphone, however, and since she uses only free apps, I could see her experiment with a Surface tablet. As for my mom, she had such terrible experiences with the Windows desktop interfaces and internet explorer, that I got her the iPad3, and now she can't part without it. And my mom can't even understand the chrome interface at all (too complex!) I think if Microsoft can offer as many apps as ios, then I think there will be hope. Also, if Microsoft can offer a lot of partnerships with third party designer/developers, I think users from other operating systems could migrate. For instance, current styluses for iOS are awkward to use because users can't rest their hands comfortably on the tablet. But, I recently saw this "Active Stylus" by Perceptive Pixel that allows users to rest their hands comfortably on the surface tablet. Not that I am knocking Google Goggles, but for me, I would like more conventional products. Maybe the surface keyboard connection could be used to design and develop really nice speakers. Last, XBox and Kinect really has a huge cut in gaming. Will they incorporate games into Surface? Will that drive their business?

FWIW, my rankings for holidays gifts are: (1) mobile ios, (2) surface products, (3) android (tablet). Though I wouldn't mind an android for myself to hack things.


Update (November 4, 2012):

I just found out from a colleague, Thomas Feliciano, who went to see the Surface tablets in the Times Square pop-up shop. He said that the current tablets, Surface RT will not run legacy apps, however Microsoft will release the Surface Pro in Q1 of 2013, which will be able to run legacy applications as well as new apps from store. I believe he said you would be able to side load Windows 7/8 (potential for a USB). It will be for users who want the power of a laptop. It will also come with a stylus (that hopefully allows people to rest their hands on the screen).

October 31, 2012

Seth Godin and Fred Wilson on education

Some of his philosophies parallel ITP's curriculum. We also learned the Arduino there. I am learning Python so I can try to hack a raspberry pi... Wish me luck.


Fred Wilson on MOOCs (just a warning that this video is ~1 hr):

Nice article about MOOCs from the Nytimes:

Found this article about George Lucas donating $4 billion (sale of Lucasfilms to Disney) to education (Edutopia):

Harvard on "Active Learning" methodologies:

November 2, 2012

The future in texture...

I just read this article in the Nytimes. Steve Jobs promoted "skeuomorphic designs," use of textures on mobile devices, but the company may be removing these textures from their designs — “Clean edges, flat surfaces will likely replace the textures." While I am in favor of flat surfaces and a good use of typography, I wonder if this aesthetic appeals to mainstream users or just designers?

"He [Steve Jobs] did the same with many other virtual doodads that mimic the appearance and behavior of real-world things, like wooden shelves for organizing newspapers and the page-flipping motion of a book, according to people who worked with him but declined to be named to avoid Apple’s ire."

Anyone in the 3D field will know how important texture is. Watch "Cloud Atlas" (by Lana and Andy Wachowski, directors of "The Matrix" series). The film creates a scene based in the science fiction city of Neo-Seoul, where the character Hae-Joo Chang saves Sonmi-451 and takes her to his drab gray safe haven. He uses a remote to transform the room into a luxury apartment with a view (e.g. flipping the tiles of the gray floor to red carpet, and transforming the walls into a beautiful skyline window view or cherry blossom wall paper).

Image Credit: Animation World Network

Here is a clip of the effects produced (but they don't show that room):

I really hope that Apple can keep Steve Jobs' vision. The company already changed the screen size of the iphone5 despite Steve Jobs' wish, which changes the aspect ratio, and will make it harder to develop apps. I went to a presentation late last year with product managers from Gilt, Hearst, and Buzz Feed Media. They repeated that because there was one aspect ratio, it was easy to develop and test apps on iOS versus Android (frameworks and multiple devices fragment screen size resolutions).

Now the news is that iPad is getting an early update. Interesting changes afoot...

November 11, 2012

New type of browsing...

Found about this via Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing. Check out this browser from Ishac and Marco and Jay Melican at CIID (formerly from IVREA, found out from Tom Igoe):

Flaps from Ishac Bertran on Vimeo.

More information here:

November 15, 2012

Strolling down memory lane... Sasu bracelets and ITP

I was strolling down memory lane looking for a particular document in my email, and I was happy to find a project that I worked on for my Toy Design class at ITP. I wrote this article for BusinessWeek on my design process for these toy bracelets. Here is the BusinessWeek slideshow that accompanied the article. In a summary, these bracelets allow kids to covertly communicate with one another using light patterns (more info).


They were also featured in this book by CFDA: American Fashion Accessories by Candy Pratts Price, Jessica Glasscock and Art Tavee, and in Material Connexion's Interactive Youths Exhibition curated by Benjamin Rosenthal in 2007.

Good times, good times, indeed.

December 15, 2012

Great post by Arik Hesseldahl on Andy Rooney's bookshelf

I’m certain Rooney never read that email, and though I can’t prove it, I’m betting his producer did. Because two months later, Rooney closed the April 22, 2007 edition of 60 Minutes with a segment that included a few of his favorite books (Link goes to the video, which is not embeddable). They were: three dictionaries; a heavily used edition of Modern English Usage by Henry Watson Fowler. Walter Lippman’s A Preface To Morals; four leather-bound volumes by Charles Darwin; and the fifth edition of The Modern Researcher by Jacques Barzum and Henry Graff, also heavily used.

Here is Andy Rooney's segment on books (can't open the video, but maybe that is because of my browser):


I, too, have been fascinated with what is on people's shelves. I was so interested that I tried to translate this fascination into a physical object, a shelf connected to an RFID reader:

This initial prototype did function the basics (with the help of ITPers: Kazuhiro Nozaki, Josh Cheng, Max Weng, James Sears). However, there were some issues to be resolved like finding an RFID reader that had anti-collision properties (and was small enough and affordable). This investigation led to my thesis project, Hypershelf.

December 16, 2012

Pcomp Platforms

So there is a discussion on the ITP list regarding pcomp platforms (i.e. pcomp aka physical computing). Here are the platforms, which are pretty cool:

• Arduino (; also there are wearable versions)
• Raspberry Pi (; If you know Python, this might be a fun toy to hack around with)
• Leap Motion (
• Kinect (hacking Kinect with a mac:
• LittleBits (, This is the pcomp version of Legos)
• Twine (

Some videos below:


Leap Motion:

Raspberry Pi:


Kinect (puppet hack):

Little Bits (2 videos):

2012 ITP Winter Show, Day 1

ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program) at NYU has a show twice a year. It always amazes me how creative and ambitious students are... They complete digital and physical prototypes using sensors, screen/optic/camera -- technology within a span of a semester, often working in groups, and some work individually. Nevertheless, they finish their projects on time. I was only able to attend one of the days, and could not cover all the projects. I highly recommend going. Below is the address and some of the projects I was able to engage with.

721 Broadway, 4th Floor
Tisch Building (Take the N/R to 8th street)
Sunday, December 16th, 2-6pm
Monday, December 17th, 4-8pm

List of projects:


These aren't in any particular order...

Sonified Data (Text is analyzed and assigned notes, which is played by the app that Hannah Davis created -- music is pretty soothing, sounds like Radiohead)

American Rubs []
This project analyzes the ethnic-neighborhood data taken from the U.S. Census Bureau, which is then used to create flavors of dry rubs for meats. I really got a kick out of this, and even tasted a couple of these spices... I particularly liked NYC, which is spicy, and Manhattan. Brooklyn kind of had a patchouli essence, which reminded me of uber hipsters.

Puppet and Performing Objects
Apparently, this was an entire class that explored interactive puppetry. Some puppets were high tech, like robotic, and some were low tech, like shadow puppetry. All in all, very cool.

Voodoo Bear []
This project was really funny. You enter your Twitter information and interact with the voodoo bear by pinching or poking it. The bear reacts with audio output and a tweet.

Bashtray []
It is an ashtray, but you put out your cigarette on the candidate you don't like.

So You Say []
This is a low-tech visualization that displays feedback for projects in the ITP show mapped geographically and demographically (age is represented in color of string).

The Buddhist arcade game []
I came by twice, but both times there were a ton of people playing this game (sigh). Hopefully, it makes it to an arcade so I can test my meditative abilities (been practicing lately with Deepak's 21-day meditation challenge).

The Collective DJ []
Ok, I am going to try to explain this, but it may be better to see it in person or watch the above video url. Your friend places her hand on one of those hand-cutouts. You place your hand on one of those hand-cutouts. Then you and your friend touch each other, and it plays a beat. If you touch your friends hand again, the beat switches off. Basically, humans are conductive switches. I can totally see this in a children's museum or a club/party. Very fun.

Random Story Generator
I came by a couple of times, and once again this spot was crowded so I couldn't get information about it. It intrigued me because it looked like a ouija board. Here are a couple of photos, which look like they play with a narrative story line. If you find out, please contact me with the details. I will give you credit.

Fly Guardian []
This is funny. Every time your fly is down, this device sends you a message-warning to your mobile device.

Water Cooler TV []
You can embed messages within a moment of the television show, so when others watch the same show, those messages will be displayed.

Octojam []
This is an instrument in the form of an octopus. As you pull the limbs of the octopus, a sound or beat is played.

Lego Builder []
Using gestures, you can construct buildings out of legos -- augmented reality.

Hamlet Simulator []
This is a pretty cool project. You select from several filter-ranges, which abridge a version of Hamlet according to the filters the user selects.

FreezeFrames []
This app captures your reaction after you watch a youtube video. I caught the tail end of the video where some kids knock down a shelf... I look surprised.

Bouncy Irises []
Bouncy Irises is sort of an innovative digital version of plinko. When the digital particles triggers a physical gear below (by pressing a button), the gears open up.



Cat Car []
This project makes me want to own a cat and this harness. You put this harness on a cat, and this harness has a wireless sensor talking to the the steering wheel, and lasers. Depending on where you want to drive your cat, it points lasers, so that your cat follows the lasers. The video is so funny because Sam Brenner tested this device on a couple of cats. He is going to document this online, and I will post his url here when he does. If he sold this on Kickstarter, I would consider getting this for my sister and her cat.

Laser Cat []
A robotic arduino car that follows laser beams, similar to that of a cat.

ITP Pcomp Mid-term FINAL from Max Ma on Vimeo.

January 6, 2013

Great video about the possibilities of creative code [using open source software]

One of the professors that teaches in my program, Dan Shiffman and others, talk about the endless possibilities of using creative code, such as Processing (Java), Cinder (C++) and OpenFrameworks that interact with devices such as Kinect.

If interested in Dan Shiffman's new book, click on the links below. His book was a Kickstarter project, documentation here.

January 8, 2013

Kickstarter stats and best projects of 2012


Ever thought of being a VC or Angel Investor, but couldn't afford to invest or commit? Well, Kickstarter is the platform for you to become an investor on some very cool projects. A group of friends that periodically invest in some interesting projects end up in my feed, which end up becoming a social way to invest. It is empowering and fun!


This comes out to $606.76 per minute.

Just like an annual report (but more interactive and engaging), Kickstarter publishes some stats and some projects for the public, [Just click here to visit]. But I will summarize some of the numbers below. All art belongs to Kickstarter, but I had to modify the screens so they fit in my blog.

Interesting list of categories and how much they made as a group. I believe games win at ~$83 million:

Here is a stat for those in music:

Here are a couple of music projects look pretty interesting (a movement to bring classical or new classical music back):

Now for funny projects that I have to revisit:



Other projects for me to revisit:


Design/Environmental Design/Architecture/Urban Planning

Design/Graphic Design/Urban Planning/Legal (offering "public domain" fonts)

A former colleague of mine, Britta Riley at NYU/ITP grad program founded this project:
Design/Environment/Interior Design/Nutrition/Education


Even Stanford University is teaching Kickstarter for college credit:

And Kickstarter is parodied by major publications like The New Yorker:
The caption reads: "Thanks to Kickstarter, we're buidling a tunnel." Click here to view original.

More funny links: [The Daily Show]

The Onion:,28655/

IFC (Portlandia):


Funny or Die [Rated PG-13]:

January 21, 2013

Very cool startup in charity

Just found this url on the ITP list. This is a great idea. In short, donate your items, sell, and receive a tax receipt.

Also, check out Housingworks and Angel Thrift Shop if in NYC, or Housingworks digital space.


Having trouble holding onto stuff you don't need?

"Do you have a closet full of clothes just taking up valuable real estate that are so old you can't even remember where you got them?"

Maybe this post can help you from one of my favorite blogs, Apartment Therapy. I love this competition on designing "Small," "Little," "Tiny," and the most challenging "Teeny-tiny" spaces:

Referencing Doria Fan and Hilary Spencer for introduction to "Apartment Therapy."

January 26, 2013

Laptop Case Prototype

This past Tuesday and Wednesday, I went to ITP's Women Entrepreneurs Festival, and met amazing and inspirational people. This week, I decided to "make" again. That's what we do at ITP.

For the past couple of weeks, I have not found a decent laptop case that I liked. I tried Ted Baker (which resulted in a store credit), Amazon, B&H, Apple, Etsy, etc. They were either to bulky, not protective enough, not constructed well, etc. I am very picky when it comes to these details. So, I decided to create my own prototype with some leftover material I purchased at ITP for this project . In fact, I don't even know where that fabric went. Not having a sewing machine was a big damper, but I am doing this project the Agile way. I basically cut material, and marked it with green thread (because I don't have chalk), and since I can't find my spool of black thread, I decided to pass the project onto a "developer" so to say, lol. That developer being Jeanne Dry Cleaners. I have been going to the tailor there for a couple of years, and she does an awesome job with construction. This developer doesn't speak any English, all Korean (and she kind of reminds me of my mom).

In any case, I showed the owner what I wanted, and he actually had a couple of ideas of his own. The tailor was starting to get nervous that she kept saying in Korean, that she won't work on this project... Typical Korean culture (if they can't do it perfectly, then they won't take the project on). But in Agile methodology, you're suppose to produce and throw a prototype, and it's okay to make mistakes (at least I told her).

I just told the owner that I just want the thread to act like glue so she doesn't have to sew the edges. He offered, but asking the cost, he said it was the same price, so I agreed. In fact, the folds were messed up, that he suggested to fold the batting into thirds. I just agreed, and told him that I wanted it in exact measurements, to which the tailor came over with her ruler. I will see the results of this Agile-physical-project on Tuesday evening.

When the owner asked the cost, I was able to barter the cost from $28 to $23 because it "didn't have to be perfect." So I guess Agile saved me $5.



If this comes out, I might make some cases for my other devices:


This diagram illustrates Agile Methodology:
Credit: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

Last, if you are interested in taking Agile/UX classes, I found one $20 (original price is $100 on Skillshare), but it starts tomorrow. Even $100 is a good deal because I have seen costs anywhere between $150-$1300 (for full certification).

Here is a glimpse of the class (~ 1882 students):

January 27, 2013

Great recommendation for InfoVis book by ITP List

I <3 the ITP Alumni list. There was a thread of reading material for information visualization. Of course, various people recommended the Tufte books. But there were 2 books that I purchased. Here is the title of the first one: Now You See It. I tried looking for information but only found the Table of Contents (TOC). Based on the TOC, I purchased it, and was pleasantly surprised.

pg 41 lists attributes of data
• length
• width
• orientation
• size
• shape
• curvature
• enclosure
• spatial grouping
• blur
• hue
• color intensity
• 2-D position
• direction of motion
Here are some photos:

Part-to-Whole and Ranking Patterns

This surprised me because the Part-to-Whole ratio has a visual definition.

Anyway, buy the book if you are interested.

January 29, 2013

Wikipedia is AWESOME...

Awhile back, I was fortunate enough to travel to Calcutta, India. I was a photographer at Kshitij in IIT Kharagpur, India. IIT is the acronym for Indian Institute of Technology. They are the Asian version of MIT. In fact, I remembered watching a video about a graduate saying that this school was harder to get into than even some of the ivy leagues [source: 60 Minutes].

When I visited, there were robotics competitions and many innovative projects there. I was fortunate to see Jimmy Wales speak. I have always been an advocate of Wikipedia, since I wanted a set of Britannica Encyclopedia, but couldn't really afford it.

In any case, I found these two videos.

Did you ever wonder what happened to OLPC (One Laptop Per Child)? OLPC was founded by Nicholas Negroponte, who is also the founder of MIT Media Lab. Lisa Strausfeld, one of my professors for Information Visualization at ITP, worked on the o/s Sugar. This video documents children in Peru using Wikipedia on OLPC.

Children in Peru write their own history on Wikipedia

International contributors from Wikipedia talk about their experiences and contributions.

Meet some of the awesome people who make Wikipedia

If you are an expert, volunteer!

August 25, 2013

Farewell Red Burns

I found out that Red Burns, Founder of ITP, passed away. Her bio written by The New York Times. I was fortunate to take her "Applications" class. Every week, a guest speaker (artist, architect, author, innovator) would give their insight and process of their work. Every week, a group of students would have to present their perspective of the lecture. Through this class and through the program, we learned to take risks and push curiosity. She had the gift of making you believe in yourself. She created an open community, where people weren't afraid to share their experience, problem or invention. More importantly, there was always a place for students to fit (whether you were a non-technologist, a technologist, an artist, or entrepreneur. She always emphasized technology as a tool to serve humanity. Maybe that's why I didn't subconsciously tag this post "technology."

Here is an article written by Margaret Stewart, Director of Product Design at Facebook:
Let’s Stop Focusing on Shiny Gadgets and Start Using Tech to Empower People

This is a video from ITP 30:

Found this on the ITP list from the class of 2012's first Applications class. (transcribed by Chris Selleck)

What I want you to know:

That there is a difference between the mundane and the inspired.

That the biggest danger is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge

That any human organization must inevitably juggle internal contradictions – the imperatives of efficiency and the countervailing human trade-offs

That the inherent preferences in organizations are efficiency, clarity, certainty, and perfection.

That human beings are ambiguous, uncertain, and imperfect.

That how you balance and integrate these contradictory characteristics is difficult

That imagination, not calculation, is the “difference” that makes the difference

That there is constant juggling between the inherent contradictions of a management imperative of efficiency and the human reality of ambiguity and uncertainty

That you are a new kind of professional - comfortable with analytical and creative modes of learning

That there is a knowledge shift from static knowledge to a dynamic searching paradigm

That creativity is not the game preserve of artists, but an intrinsic feature of all human activity

That in any creative endeavor you bill be discomfited and that is part of learning

That there is a difference between long term success and short term flash

That there is a complex connection between social and technological trends. It is virtually impossible to unravel except by hindsight.

That you ask yourself what you want and then you work backwards.

In order to problem solve and observe, you ought to know how to: analyze, probe, question, hypothesize, synthesize, select, measure, communicate, imagine, initiate, reason, create

That organizations are really systems of cooperative activities and their coordination requires something intangible and personal that is largely a matter of relationships

What I hope for you:

That you combine that edgy mixture of self-confidence and doubt

That you have enough self-confidence to try new things

That you have enough self doubt to question

That you think of technology as a verb- not a noun

It is subtle but important difference

That you remember the issues are usually not technical

That you create opportunities to improvise.

That you provoke it. That you expect it.

That you make visible what, without you, might never have been seen

That you communicate emotion

That you create images that might take a writer ten pages to write

That you observe, imagine and create

That you look for the question, not the solution

That you are not seduced by speed and power

That you don’t see the world as a market, but rather a place that people live in – you are designing for people – not machines

That you have a stake in magic and mystery and art

That sometimes we fall back on Rousseau and separate mind from body

That you understand the value of pictures, words, and critical thinking

That poetry drives you, not hardware

That you are willing to risk, make mistakes, and learn from failure

That you develop a practice founded in critical reflection

That you build a bridge between theory and practice

That you embrace the unexpected

That you value serendipity

That you reinvent and re-imagine

That you listen. That you ask questions.That you speculate and experiment

That you play. That you are spontaneous.That you collaborate.

That you welcome students form other parts of the world and understand we don’t live in a monolithic world

That each day is magic for you

That you turn your thinking upside down

That you make whole pieces out of disparate parts

That you find what makes the difference

That your curiosity knows no bounds

That you understand what looks easy is hard

That you imagine and re-imagine

That you develop a moral compass

That you welcome loners, cellists, and poets

That you are flexible. That you are open.

That you can laugh at yourself. That you are kind.

That you consider why natural phenomena seduce us

That you engage and have a wonderful time

That this will be 2 years for you to expand- take advantage of it

Appolinaire said: - Come to the edge, -It’s too high, - Come to the edge, - We might fall, - Come to the Edge, - And he pushed them and they flew

October 29, 2013

User Testing Resources from the ITP list

I have not been involved in User Testing and the User Testing Process for about a year. I did find this interesting discussions on my alumni mailing list:

This may be of use: Erika Hall's Just Enough Research.

An excerpt is available here:

• Measuring Usability (
• FiveSecondTest (
• Chalkmark (
• Feedback Army (
• Loop11 (
• UserTesting (
• UserZoom (
• WhatUserDo (
• TryMyUI (
• Morae (

Ways to quantify your research:
1. Time on task
2. Success rates
3. Error rates

November 5, 2013

Clay Shirky: Institutions vs. Collaboration

Talks about coordination problem. Solve by using "Institutional Response."

November 6, 2013


I just found this website, where ITP just announced for calls of wearable tech demos on November 20, 2013 at Huge [45 Main St. Brooklyn, NY]. They are also going to stream the event here:


What is really cool about this site is that you can view other videos related to design. Huge is a successful design agency, and you can get an idea about its culture.

May 17, 2016

STEAM Event in NYC

I was lucky to get tickets from NYU to a STEAM event at a public school in Brooklyn.

I gravitated away from the new technologies like Arduino and LittleBits, and found this booth. I was able to experience some of these tools that people used in early 19th and 20th Century. It was a like a tangible museum.

This device reminds me of Google Cardboard:

This is what I see in the viewer:

Here's a microscope:

Here's what someone joked as a Ouija board.

But it looks like a mini-printing press or type-plate. It reminds me of a Letterpress class I took at Art Center:

See in context:

They use these tools for teaching. If interested, here's more information:
The Museum of Interesting Things
Denny Daniel


Warning: include(/home/honganne/ [function.include]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /data/www/ on line 7275

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening '/home/honganne/' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/php:/usr/share/pear') in /data/www/ on line 7275


Warning: include(/home/honganne/ [function.include]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /data/www/ on line 7287

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening '/home/honganne/' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/php:/usr/share/pear') in /data/www/ on line 7287
Powered by
Movable Type 3.33