Fracture IO is a 3D Photo Booth that takes full-body scans of participants using Kinects and renders them in an intricate, abstract style. What I found captivating about this project was how they were able to create lovely organic forms, and I later found out that the 3D meshes were created using algorithms ascribed to crystal growth in nature. This technique immediately reminded me of Nervous System and how they used biological algorithms in creating organic designs. But while the forms generated by Fracture IO are certainly beautiful, I’m not really sure whether they can hold my interest. In conventional Photo Booth, people usually able to edit their pictures and add a variety of effects to them. Japan, in particular, is notable for its ‘purikura’ machines, which allow patrons to decorate their photos with a multitude of fancy stickers (sparkle warning for the link). I think what this project is missing is that variety found in Photo Booths and it would be nice to see the other types of organic structures they can construct using similar algorithms.
Ryan Raffa, an MFA Design and Technology candidate and Teaching Fellow at Parsons School of Design, created an ‘instrument’ that interprets colored plastic pieces as notes and plays them. As the users change the configuration of the squares on the ‘radar player’, the rhythm and sound of the output changes, which creates an interesting study of how physical objects are encoded in music and rhythm. It is clear that, at the moment, the project is in its early experimental stage so I am eager to see how far it can go. There are a number of projects which investigate audiovisual experiences, but few that explore tangible audiovisual experiences–which is why I believe this project has a lot of potential.
The Lego Calendar by Vitamins Design is adorable. Its name is pretty self-explanatory: it’s a calendar that uses Lego pieces to organize schedules and “visualize complex logistics systems”. In addition, it is synced with Google calendar which provides a convenient way for a team of people to see the changes made to the schedule. The Lego Calendar relates to the Color Music Instrument in the sense that they both use a tangible medium as an interface between humans and a computer system. Of course, the Lego Calendar is a more finished project with a practical application. Its simplicity and practicality, in my opinion, are its strongest points that make it an important contribution to the field. All it needs is a way to incorporate the two-peg brick to allow for a wider variety of time blocks.