Sunday, 30 November 2014

Narratives-Max/Msp patch and Arduino

As we have finally got a clear idea of the narrative of our object, which is looking at how netsukes were an agent of carrying objects and memory throughout its role in the history both in Japan and Europe. We decide to look at what could Netsukes be carrying for us in modern life.

We sort of made a list of any important things we have as modern citizens-virtual identities, personal information, etc. And at the end we figure that our memories could be one things we can be more cite about. Perhaps a tiny objects that could help us to share our memories together would be an interesting project. Therefore our objective is to make a portable projector that could be carried with a person and able to project their memories in a visual form, i.e. images and videos.

For that I start making a Max/Msp patch which plays a list of videos in a loop. Ive also connect an Arduino with it acts as physical controls, with fast forwards/backwards, jump-to-frame and select frame functions. All to enhance the experience of a potential social situations where the user can inspect one specific moment in that video.

Obviously I didn't make the patch all by my own, the tutor Nick helped me to started the project and I sort of research the way of doing it along the way. I already have experience of using Arduino and censors. that particular part of the project isn't terribly difficult. At the end of the term I have got a working patch with all the controls ready which does just about everything I have mentioned above.

The following is the screen shot of the patch I created for this first prototype 

Sunday, 23 November 2014


For the V&A project, the group partner of mine is joyce. We decided to go for Netsuke as our object. It took a long time before I realised we dont need to tells the narratives of the object itself but sort of expand the narrative into modern life and present it in a interactive way. We really lost a lot of time focusing on irrelevant areas.

At first I was really worry about the narrative of our object, as the object is quite obvious and simple in terms of telling a story. I read some "The Hare with Amber Eyes" trying to come up with a narrative that is compatible to interactive installation. Yet I just couldn't find a useful element in its historical content. Little did I know it can actually be a lot more simpler.

The narrative we are exploring and presenting does not have to be a historical fact or story, all we are looking for is a small element of its property and expand it into an experience which allows the participant be be exposed to the narrative we have chose and trying to tell. 

I was really baffling about the main outcome of the project and couldnt get over with my mind that I was trying to show the "history" of Netsukes instead of telling its potential "narrative"    

Overall, We wasted 2 weeks of time trying to come up with a narrative while other groups have already start making MAX/MSP patches and prototypes. This was a difficult start.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Narrative - Netsuke

In the project, Narrative, we were asked to pick an object from V&A museum, which we think is interesting in some sense, an object that carries an unique fact or story that can be explore or extent with modern ideology. And finally display the narrative we like to show in a form of interactive object.

I have to admit, I had a feeling that this project is not going to be easy to me and I was right. from picking the object to exploring it`s narrative and present it as an interactive museum installation. The process and amount of difficulty has gone way beyond my expectation. This will be quite a challenge to myself.

After some walks at the museum, there are many have some potential to be "Interesting", yet I could not know for sure as there is little to none useful information on most of them, eventually I had to picked up some, which I need to guess if it would be useful. After wondering around the museum, I found myself deeply into this collection of exhibits- Netsuke.

Netsuke was invented around 17th century. Netsukes were used for a specific function, the Japanese traditional dress- Kosode and Kimono had no carrying pocket, their solution was to place such objects in containers hung by cords from the robes' sashes. 

Technically Netsuke is not a single object but a collection of physical objects, I am not sure if that fits the brief but I would like to choose this thing anyway because I feel that these are way more familiar to me than some other European inventions as Japan and China share a similar history to an extent and it makes more sense to me.

I have also found an interesting background of Netsuke, British artist Edmund de Waal has written a book about the Netsukes he was inherited from his family "The Hare with Amber Eyes" 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

IDEO Methodology

We were introduced to IDEO method cards today. I have heard of those cards previously but never really look at them and use them in my projects. SO basically IDEO method cards are divided into four categories, which is: Learn, Look, Ask, Try. Each of them contain several cards with unique method can be used in design thinking. 

We were asked to rethink and redesign Drinking Water Fountain, obviously it is not the most interesting things to design, but the principle lay behind this is to get us to engage the methods of IDEO method cards. We have one week time to come up with a new design of a drinking water fountain by using the category: Learn and Look in the method card pack. As a group we choose few cards from these categories and generate a new idea.

What I think of this method card pack is that it is mighty useful for design works. When I was doing my BA projects, I often encounter the situation that I knew my workflow is not well enough, not complete enough to create a design which reach the level of mass production. Maybe it was not necessary to meet those levels as it was not required by our brief, I was still not satisfied. The designs I made were just lack of something, both in research and physical prototyping. 

And now I have been introduced to method cards, I believe that this will be able to help me with my design work, it provide many other way of thinking about or trying on something, a more creative and thorough way of designing product/services.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Soundscape project final result

After a week since we started working on editing soundscape project, We have finally come together and finish or "journey" as a whole.

My work section

The problem we have last week, was mostly because we decided to work separately and try to put things together afterward, which was never going to work smoothly, we have different working style, different opinions on each part, therefore its always troublesome to do it this way. Luckily we ditched that workflow and have everybody working on one machine only, does help the efficiency and the issue of individual working style.

Joy`s work section

The final soundscape we put together, was a story of a woman experiencing high pressure from her surrounding world eventually lead her to her own end. 
In the soundscape, we started up with relatively peaceful sound, and gradually intensified the amplitude and effects, to signified her being pushed to the edge by the exploding sounds in her head, and after she ended her life, it went back to a peaceful and more cheerful melody, she can finally rest in peace. 

Mohamed & Joyce`s work section

In this project, we are suppose to use only the sounds we have recorded few weeks ago, yet in the construction of this story, we find it very difficult to not to use other sound resources, for couple of reasons. First of all, We did not record everything we need as we did not know what sort of "journey" we were going to construct, therefore we will always ended up lacking one particular recording or two. Second reason is that, on the day of recording, was an open area with noisy background, was next to impossible to have a clean recording without any background noise, even with any noise reduction tool the file is not going to be as clean as straight recording from the source.
Group work section

Overall I would say this was a successful project to our group, we had differences on many things but we managed to overcome them and create a wonderful(in my opinion) piece of journey.
Group work section 

Final Result