Chanamon Ratanalert

19 Feb 2014


1. Radio
In my spare time, I like to not-creepily stalk CMU students’ online design portfolios. One that I came across quite a while ago but has always remained in my mind is RADIO by current senior in industrial design, Ethan Frier (I don’t know him… let’s just leave it at that). In this project, he created tangible plaster forms of 5 radio stations: jazz, NPR, pop, freeform, and rock. These tangible stations are shaped differently to represent the radio station. The user takes a station form and puts it onto a dock, which registers the station through RFID tagging. The user can then move the form up and down the dock to control volume.
What could be improved is the solidity of putting in a plaster form. I feel like the audio beep is satisfying, but a physical form of click to go along with the physical aspect of the station would be a more gratifying experience.
I really appreciate this project because it required multiple levels of interaction. Moving a piece up and down to control volume is one thing, but to create separate, physical pieces to represent radio stations another. I like that the full interaction experience of changing and adjusting a radio station is created in this project.

2. Your line or mine – Crowd-sourced animations at the Stedelijk Musem

This interactive exhibit has pieces of paper with varying dots on them. People come along and draw lines, shapes, etc. that connect these dots. They then scan the page and see their creation combined with others’ on a large screen, progressing as the dots move and the pictures change. What I like about this exhibit is that it is not interacting with the art itself, but with others. Not only are you able to play around with the project, but you contribute to it. Additionally, I like how it’s more complex than it seems. In each video of the collection of people’s drawings, you can see there is great variance between what people drew. Connecting the dots is something we did as children before we knew how to draw, but this project takes it to a higher level and pushes thought through it. You can see people in the video really considering what they want to put to the page; what they want to contribute to the project. This project offered a guide for people to connect, but offered great opportunity to be creative and for people to do whatever they wanted.

3. Radiohead: Polyfauna – An immersive, expansive world of primitive life

Described as “a living, breathing, growing touchscreen environment, born from abstraction of the studio sessions from King of Limbs and the organic drawings of Stanley Donwood,” this project kind of creeps me out. It is an iPad app that moves in 3-d motion space and consists of environment scenery, sound, and touch interactions by the user. It’s hard to explain what it is, mostly because I don’t quite understand it (it’s that creepy), so take a look at the video yourself. I like this project because it combines multiple features: motion interaction (moving the iPad around moves the scenery around), visual environments, and audio. I wish this project were a little less abstract so I could understand why changes in the environment occur, but I guess that’s part of their abstract audio-connection visualization they were going for.