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Inter Partner Violence

December 6, 2009

Adam Whiton and Yolita Nugent were featured in today’s Boston Globe for the Inter Partner Violence clothing they have developed over the last few years. The story was part of a larger piece on Yoda Patta’s “End Violence Against Women” year-long event at MIT.

Physically Engaged Electronic Instruments

April 23, 2009

Ievan’s Polkka, played on Physically Engaged Electronic Instruments (Electric Eel and Slider) by Noah Vawter with special guest player Kelly Snook. The built-in note-by-note generators allow electronic music to be played with many of the affordances of traditional instruments.

(lower resolution youtube video here)

Ming-Yip Ltd.

February 3, 2009

The Director met compcult collaborator Edmund Ming-Yip Kwong in his Other Product class, and it was clear from the start that Edmund was a Designer, in that uppercase D sense of the word. He was also humble, and had a deep interest in laminates, especially natural laminates. They collaborated on First Airborne, which used far too many chemicals, and it was clear that Edmund longed for clean air and open spaces. He’s found them, in the form a new construction technique shown above and below.
By laminating small amounts of birch, Edmund has created (with the help of genius John A. Ochsendorf) a first section of what will be a large temporary structure that can be built by two people with a few hand tools. It uses a minimum amount of materials, will probably be able to stand up to code, and as an African friend said when they saw it, “It bounds. It looks like a gazelle.” That’s high praise on the veldt.
Here is a model of the full construction; the roof can either be modules affixed with high bond tape, or heat-shrink boat wrap:

Many congratulation to Edmund on this beautiful, functional design.

Call for Action!

January 22, 2009

Above, Katrin Verclas talking about the field of mobile technologies for social change.
Below: The Hackathon…

Baby Votes

December 17, 2008

Jackie and Helen, two MIT graduate students, are making the bassinet safe for democracy: They have decided to name their baby through Selectricity , Mako & Co.’s online voting system. The baby is completely adorable (The tattoo is just a simulation. Perhaps something to consider?), Helen is well, and there was an auspicious first snow last night.
Congratulations to the very happy parents!

All the Rüst That’s Fit to Print

December 13, 2008

Annina Rüst, Swiss-born artist-inventor and CCG graduate was selected for this year’s NYT Year in Ideas. Congratulations to Annina, whose creativity and dedication are unmatched. We look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Carbon Penance


We all contribute to climate change, but none of us can individually be blamed for it. So we walk around with a free-floating sense of guilt that’s unlikely to be lifted by the purchase of wind-power credits or halogen bulbs. Annina Rüst, a Swiss-born artist-inventor, wanted to help relieve these anxieties by giving people a tangible reminder of their own energy use, as well as an outlet for the feelings of complicity, shame and powerlessness that surround the question of global warming.
So she built a translucent leg band that keeps track of your electricity consumption. When it detects, via a special power monitor, that

We walk around with a free-floating sense of guilt that’s unlikely to be lifted by the purchase of wind-power credits.

electric current levels have exceeded a certain threshold, the wireless device slowly drives six stainless-steel thorns into the flesh of your leg. “It’s therapy for environmental guilt,” says Rüst, who modeled her “personal techno-garter” on the spiked bands worn as a means of self-mortification by a monk in Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code.” (Brown de-rived the idea from the bands worn by some celibate members of the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei.)
Rüst built her prototype while working at the Computing Culture group of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also designed the band to punish wearers if they don’t spend enough time talking to their carbon-fixing houseplants. But first Rüst may have to address a more mundane matter. When the spikes dug in, Rüst says, she noticed that the device “doesn’t hurt that much.”

Tech as in Freedom

November 25, 2008

The Tech as in Freedom workshop at Gallery Sangsangmadang in Seoul was a transformative experience for the Director. The organizer and curator, 박소현, brought together a diverse and talented group of people, and the workshop bubbled like (get ready) a freshly opened jar of kimchi. The director was honored to be involved.