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Post #2794

Monday Links: UFOs, fractal lightshades, power cables, and discount coffee

UFO On Tape (iTunes link) is a game for iOS that simulates tracking a UFO with a video-camera. The magic is in the game’s total commitment to an aesthetic: the grainy, fuzzy simulated video; the panicked advice from a girl next to you; and, best of all, the way the iPhone embodies the video camera – it is, after all, also a camera itself – as you fling it around, oblivious to the real world, tracking an imaginary flying saucer. Good stuff.

Last week, Matt J gave a crit to final-year students in Wassim Jabi’s ‘Digital Tectonics Studio’ at the Welsh School of Architecture. He shared this footage of a model by Tom Draper, exploring the idea of a mechanical screen in front of a building that would cast shadows similar to a dragon curve fractal. In order to explore what this might work like – what it’d feel like to experience those shadows, how you might mechanically create those shadows out of rods – he had to build. Thinking through making. There are also some lovely photos of the model.


Line Block by Korean designers Junbeom So, Lee Ji Eun, Yi-Seo Hyeon, Heo-Hyeoksu and Jeong Minhui proposes an alternative to cable tangles: power cables that can be joined together through tongue-and-groove rubber. I also liked that, in the cross-section, the cable is a surprised little fella. (via Yanko Design)

These links are a bit late because last Friday I was at The Design Of Understanding – a day-long conference at the St Bride Library. It was a cracking event, with lots to chew over – I’ll see if I can get my notes up soon.

Friend-of-Berg Chris Heathcote talked about New New Media – a swift overview of ubicomp and other aspects of situated computing. One highlight was when he took apart the common example of coffee shops offering you a discount as you walk by, asking:

…what ratted on you? Your Nike+ talking shoes, using a credit card nearby, your car number plate being recognised, your phone reporting your location, or your Oyster card informing the system that you’ve just come out of Oxford Circus tube?

The whole example is good – but I liked the idea of ubiquitous computing devices tattling on you, like naughty children; Chris’ use of “ratted” reminds us that such behaviours can be as much a hindrance as a help. The full talk is definitely worth your time.

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