Tag: technology


I created this project, in collaboration with PhD Hadi Mehrpouya, as the final piece of my master thesis.

Please have a look at our WEBSITE to have more informations about the project.
Everyday we get bombarded with data and information from all over the world. Often we feel helpless about our abilities to do things while being trapped in the dilemma of knowing the consequences of our consumptions and choices. Playing on these feelings, SAAD, from Afrikaans meaning Seed, is visualising human deaths as a direct and indirect result of the mining industry and conflict minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), used to build smart-phones and computers. The project is constructed on different layers which all recall the idea of being on the edge, the border between life and death, and emphasise the complexity of nothing being either totally positive or negative. SAAD is composed of two complementary installations: a seed dispenser and a plant, visualising deaths due to the mining industry in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It aims to push the reflexion of the responsibility Western consumer users of smartphones and computers have towards these workers. It plays on the feeling of being helpless towards the different issues our societies are facing. The project is constructed on different layers which all recall the idea of being on the edge, the border between life and death, and emphasise the complexity of nothing being either totally positive or negative. It aims to symbolise the complexity of today’s world and the difficulty to position the self and the ethic in it. We choose to focus on the partial perspective we have of our electronic devices nowadays, as it is something most Europeans possessed and use everyday without questioning the impact it can have on other human beings and the natural environment.


It has been more than a month that I finished my dissertation. But better later than never…

Here is the abstract and you can click on the cover bellow to access it.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 15.18.23By obfuscating what western human being take for granted, such as the knowledge offered to us by maps, clocks, or more recently electronic de- vices, my research aims to reveal how technology fails to give us the ‘god’s eye view’ that it promises. This dissertation presents three of my projects: MyMap, Circadian Clock and SAAD, which encourage people to reflect on how we might overcome the challenges that modern technology puts in front of us, in order to reconnect with others and nature.
This dissertation explores the concept of borders; physical, symbolic, invis- ible or psychological, which I would argue are partly responsible for ‘dim- ming’ our perspective of the world. The research and projects, allowed me to develop the concept of ‘Design Geography’, which I define as the prac- tice to mediate the value of human interaction with others and the natural environment, using design processes.


Data all around us

These thoughts come up from a discussion I had with a friend who pointed out that there is a atomic clock based in Germany, which is sending the exact time at +/- 1 sec in 1 million years. The signals is with the DCF-77 (77,5 kHz) frequency, 1.5000km around Francfort. It means that if we are in this perimeter, we have the time all around us.

A already pointed out these question on a previous post (Looking @ to be disconnected). And the fact that we are surrounded by data, transported by radio waves, wifi, cellular waves… I was already interested in making the ‘invisible’, ‘visible’. Since I found some projects who manages to do so.


  • CPD_2007_03The oldest one is Cell Phone Disco by Ursula Lavrencic & Auke Touwslager – 2006. It is a surface that visualizes the electromagnetic field of an active mobile phone. Several thousand lights illuminate when you make or receive a phone call in the vicinity of the installation. Cell Phone Disco makes an invisible property of the environment perceptible to our senses. It reveals the communicating body of the mobile phone. Their fascination lies with the transmission quality of the mobile phone; its presence beyond the shell of the device.



  • An other one, Digital Ethereal by Luis Hernan – 2014 is a system which scans for wireless networks and creates images where different signal strengths are represented by different coloured LED lights. The results, allow us to see the WiFi around us. He said : “I believe our interaction with this landscape of electromagnetic signals, described by Antony Dunne as Hertzian Space, can be characterised in the same terms as that with ghosts and spectra. They both are paradoxical entities, whose untypical substance allows them to be an invisible presence. In the same way, they undergo a process of gradual substantiation to become temporarily available to perception. Finally, they both haunt us.” His studies blend photography, design, performance, installation art, programming and electronics to explore not only the world of invisible internet signals, but also “the cultural and social complexity imbued in the use of such technologies.”


  • Finally, Visualizing Wifi how far does a WiFi network actually reach and what would it look like? How come we can have reception in one spot and not in another? the team answer just such a question by creating visual representations of actual Wifi networks to spectacular effect. Utilizing long-exposure photography and a four-metre long measuring rod with 80 LED light points they were able to “reveal” cross-sections in wireless networks.


 Explanation of the atomic clock  in French from Oregon Scientific BeNeLux

L’heure radio-pilotée est basée sur une horloge atomique à jet de césium, exploitée par le “Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt” (l’institut fédéral allemand de physique) de Braunschweig en Allemagne, dont l’exactitude est, selon les calculs, de l’ordre de +/- 1 seconde en 1 million d’années.

L’heure est codée et transmise depuis Mainflingen près de Francfort par l’intermédiaire de signaux de fréquence DCF-77 (77,5 kHz), dont la portée est un rayon d’environ 1.500km autour de Francfort. C’est-à-dire que l’émission radio de l’antenne de Francfort couvre l’Europe de Copenhague à Barcelone, Milan, Budapest.

L’appareil – réveil, horloge, station de températures, station météo… – se met automatiquement à scanner les signaux de fréquence DCF-77 dès que les piles ont été installées. Dans le rayon de réception standard et dans un environnement normal, loin d’éventuelles sources d’interférences, les signaux sont reçus en 3 à 5 minutes. Concrètement, cela signifie que grâce au radio-pilotage, un appareil radio-piloté sera toujours à l’heure au millième de secondes près.


Looking @ ‘to be disconnected’

On my last post about the different topic I was looking I developed the one on borders.

Since few days I was looking at ‘to be disconnected’ in relation with happiness (the border theme also have a connection with happiness in the way I see it). I looked at the fact that when you work you are expected to answer an email promptly, or the time spending on social media in comparaison with ‘human’ (see this post).

On this topic I am interested in making the ‘invisible’, ‘visible’ (same ideas with the borders, I guess happiness and make the invisible visible are the commun aspect in both cases). Visualise all the data surrounding us all the time.

I am asquint the question: is there a correlation with being more connected? If you are in an environment with less radiation would you spend less time on your mobile?

For that I would like to measure:

• the level of radiation corresponding with location and to see if the person is more connected when there is more waves around (link GPS tracking and, data transfert and level of radiation).

• how much data transferred on a location (link GPS tracking and data transfert) and superpose with the map of coverage

• the number of word exchange with a real person in comparaison with number of word with social media (or time speeding corresponding verbally and on social media)

I guess it is maybe less interesting than the ‘border’ theme, as a lot of people are looking at the subject currently with these app helping to disconnect: FreedomI Off YouAntisocialForest or the wall paper which block radiations, and the WiFi cold spot.

I read that problems linked up with hyper connectivity are more a society issues (we use technology to respond to what is expected from us… ) and not a technical issue. Create more technology to not use technology seems not the right things to do, it is “the cat biting its own tail”.

I don’t think I can come with anything to change today society, because it means to solve a question of hierarchy (have the power, to be disconnected against society expect me to be connected all the time), also job organisation and planification, and  finally todays life style (teenagers hyper connected…).


How Technology Can Help Work/Life Balance

La surconnexion est une question sociale, il est temps de s’en préoccuper

Poetic technologies

I looked at some projects which use technologies to create artistic performances.

Drones become a flock of dancing lampshades


Circus troupe Cirque du Soleil teamed up with drone specialist Raffaello D’Andrea to create Sparked – a short movie that transforms 10 autonomous flying machines into lampshades that seem to come alive and “dance” with a human performer.

The Canadian circus troupe wanted to investigate ways to apply drone technology into a live production, that could be potentially acted out in front of an audience.

“What we wanted to do was to explore what could we do with an emerging new technology, the quadcopters, and give it some meaning, give it some magic, bring it to another level,” said Altidor.

“We saw right away that there was a potential with quadcopters to explore where else could we go and what type of interaction could they have with humans,” he said. “What’s fun is to imagine, what else could we put on them to make them fly and is it possible to make the quadcopters disappear.”

From dezeen


Frankensteinian robots perform dance routines to music


Synthetic human body parts mounted on robots dance to dramatic music in Dance Machines, an installation by British artist Peter William Holden in London.

Peter William Holden presented three Dance Machines named Arabesque, Vicious Cycle and SoleNoid β as part of Merge Festival, a series of arts events currently taking place around London’s Southbank area. The sinister-looking machines act out dance routines on spotlit-platforms in a darkened room off Borough Road.

The Leipzig-based artist designed the mechanised sculptures, made up of prosthetic limbs and body parts mounted on steel frames, to perform repetitive movements to well-known classical music by Sergei Prokofiev and Johann Strauss.

“I have attempted to create work which falls somewhere between conventional notions of pictorial art and a kind of performance,” Holden told Dezeen.

From dezeen

Machine Draw Sound, Then Wear It On A Scarf


This is what sound looks like. Roos Meerman, a designer based in the Netherlands, focuses his efforts on creating machines controlled by natural phenomena. His latest project, Canorgraphy, can draw sound using pens and the vibration caused by speakers to create abstract, blue and purple dotted patterns on paper or textile.

The process itself is a hypnotic dance of dangling pens on paper, spinning and circling independently according to the beat.

From fastcodesign

The Death Of Conversation

Babycakes Romero is primarily a street photographer dedicated to documenting the world around him. He photographed People Obsessed With Their Smartphones

He said: “I don’t have a problem with portable tech specifically, because our devices facilitate our lives, but I believe it is making people seriously dull…

I started to photograph people in company on their phones as there was a certain symmetry to them and it appealed on a visual level, but as I continued I noticed an inherent sadness to the proceedings.

Before mobile phones were invented, people would have had no choice but to interact. However, that is no longer necessary as we can all now “pretend” we are doing something “important” on our devices rather than think of something to say. This is killing conversation. I believe it’s increasing social pain.

Most people used to use cigarettes as a social prop. Admittedly, they’re bad for your health, but at least they didn’t turn people into ‘plugged in’ bores. Together we must be strong and release ourselves from the shackles of smartphones and bring face-to-face chat back!”

More info: babycakesromero.com

Windows Phone Ad

Comical irony of this ad: it claims to offer us a savior that will end our perceived slavery to technology – in the form of more technology. As jarring as this logic is, it makes complete sense when taken as a prime example of capitalism taking something that could possibly subvert it and twisting it to its advantage.  “it can’t attempt to overthrow the tyranny of cellphones, because it is selling a phone” is spot-on – the obvious way to stop your phone from running your life is to get rid of it or at least stop carrying it all the time. This is problematic for capitalism because you can’t sell something that people can already do for free. The decision to address the problem (at least in the mind of the audience) without losing the ability to profit from its root cause is at once terrifyingly effective and par for the course.

On a slightly different (but hopefully related) tangent, the first part of this commercial can be easily construed as a panopticon. The people on their phones may be “connected” online, but the point the ad makes is how isolated they are in real life. The metaphorical observation tower here is occupied by the few people saying “Really? ” and the viewer watching the ad. The Windows Phone purports to break down the divisive cell walls of this panopticon, but all it’s really selling is the ability to pretend they don’t exist.  by Alex Beachum

From Critical commons

Lucy McRae

A very inspirational artist. Her topics are mostly technology, body and space. She an exemple of a mix between science and art.




“Lucy McRae is a Body Architect exploring the relationship between the body, technology and the grey areas of synthetic and organic materials. She invents playful, imaginary worlds steered by complex scientific  challenges to create portals of possibility that provoke the way people embody the future.”

“Where does the term “body architect” come from? I made it up to get hired for a job. I remember standing in the HR office being faced with the question “What are you?”. Wafting my hands in the air, scrambling for a description that packaged my background in ballet, architecture and fashion I plainly said, “I’m not just one thing, I’m a hybrid”. He gestured towards a white board with a matrix of job descriptions and explained he needed my job title in order to hire me, I left without the job. I called the my soon-to-be boss and said “Didn’t get the job, as I don’t know what I am.” He said “Go back and tell them you are a body architect”. I returned to HR the following week, knocked on the door and said “I am a body architect”… “Okay”, he said “Sign here, you start next week”.

Her website

Swing Time


In Boston, playgrounds are no longer just for kids. Twenty LED-lit circular swings have been installed outdoors as a part of “Swing Time,” Boston’s first interactive sculpture installation. The hanging, glowing orbs are a twist on traditional rubber-and-rope swings, dangling from a minimal steel structure similar to those used in conventional playgrounds. LED lights embedded in the swings activate and change color as each swing moves, returning to a dim white light when static. The piece is designed to blend Boston’s design community with its expanding technology sector while playfully engaging residents.

Inspired by traditional playgrounds, Swing Time aims to activate outdoor spaces in Boston using technology and creativity, and was designed by Boston-based Howeler and Yoon Architecture in response to a lack of opportunity for urban play in the city. Swing Time is located at the Lawn on D, a contemporary sculpture park that borders on the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on D Street on the city’s southern waterfront. The Lawn on D belongs to Boston’s newly minted Innovation District, an experimental area designed to foster the city’s burgeoning technology sector. Mayor Thomas M. Menino has defined the Innovation District as an “urban environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship,” creating a unique challenge for the designers of Swing Time.



The project represents a fusion of technology and community engagement while providing a new platform to celebrate local ingenuity. Each swing is formed of custom moulded and welded polypropylene built in three sizes for optimal use by residents of all ages. Movement in each swing is measured by an internal accelerometer that triggers the change of colour in the LED lighting system, ranging from white to blue and purple. The brief from Howeler and Yoon adds: “Swing Time‘s responsive play elements invite users to interact with the swings and with each other, activating the urban park and creating a community laboratory in the Innovation District and South Boston Neighbourhoods.”

From archdaily

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