Custom (M)AssificationDecember 21st, 2010

Custom (M)Assification, or what should be instead called, (M)Ass Customization, based on Bob Somol’s Green Dots, is a experiment to integrate the recent Microsoft Kinect gaming platform with architecture. It is also an attempt to produce highly customized furniture pieces, in this case chairs, that would cater to a single individual with his/her specific body traits.

Kinect was used to calculate the depth of a person’s butt at each individual point while in a seating position. This data was extracted and converted into a mesh, which was originally rough but still a breakthrough since it allowed a photograph to be converted directly into a 3-dimensional model.

This mesh was imported into Rhino and AutoCAD for further manipulation. The result was a semi-accurate seating cut-out that would be able to accommodate that specific person.

The goal is to create an interface where these 3-d Kinect meshes can be created at home by the customers and then sent over to manufacturers for custom fitting.

Filed in Electronics and Technology, Uncategorized
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Must Have PensOctober 9th, 2009

Where are pens when you need them? This project came about because of necessity to keep pens where they need to be; at the same time it became an exploration of how an object itself could turned into a writing or drawing medium. In this case, a pen itself is turned into a pixel and serves as a single measure of verbal and visual communication.

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Good old Styrofoam is curved out for the base and punctured with evenly distributed holes, which are just big enough to fit in a pen. Pens are fit tightly, but are not glued, which allows for endless reshuffling and configurations.

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Finally, these black and white pens are arranged into representational images and text. This is a very interesting moment because an ink pen, which is traditionally used as a medium of production of words and images; starts to physically compose them out of itself. A pen, or a pixel, becomes a metaphor of communication and representation.

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To exaggerate its metaphorical meaning, the pen-holder is hung like a picture on a wall. On one hand, its 3-dimensionality and its natural depth, on the other hand its deliberate connection to a flat painting/drawing/text place it in between sculpture and painting, but reject it from either categories. It is not a sculpture, and it’s not a painting, but it’s a metaphor for the importance of capturing and distributing the world we live in.

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Filed in Black & White, Interactive Design
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FUZZy the cat-sitterOctober 4th, 2009

Meet FUZZy: the ultimate cat-sitter! Soft and playful: it was programmed to entertain your cat when you’re not around or have your hands full.
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FUZZy can be hung anywhere in a room and adjusted according to your cat’s needs; it can automatically turn on every 15 minutes, half-an-hour, or 45 minutes until you shut it off. We also experimented with different toy sizes and how they would affect cat’s behavior.

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FUZZy was first digitally designed in Rhino, then sectioned and physically reproduced in a chip board mold form.

Rhino model from Darya A. Minosyants on Vimeo.

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FUZZy was tested on our lazy cat; and believe it or not it worked somehow… Here some first clips of Zaha that we recorded.

FUZZy the cat-sitter from Darya A. Minosyants on Vimeo.

Filed in Black & White, Electronics and Technology, Interactive Design
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Growing With StyleOctober 4th, 2009

We always wanted to grow something; so an indoor herb “garden” recently became our new “hobby”. Besides, I was curious to add a little more “style” to traditional growing. We separated the earth into four areas with strips of chipboard and planted four different herbs (dill, parsley, salad leaves and basil) into each area.

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Since every herb has a different growing cycle, it was interesting to see the pot become greener at different intervals and intensities; so far parsley has been dominating the pot.

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The final goal is to remove chipboard as the sprouts grow taller and uncover fields of plants of different heights and frequencies which have been artificially controlled and grown to create a specific layout. Watch for more images and updates!

Filed in Plant Matters
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Moscow AdventureOctober 4th, 2009

Last time I was in Moscow was when I was five years old; this year we decided to refresh our memory and go see it again. Obviously it has changed beyond recognition. We enjoyed the good times but also ran into some issues that are pretty common for tourists in Russia. Here are some tips for the travelers: if you’re going to apply for a Homestay visa, make sure you allow yourself upto three months before your flight: they really want you to apply for a Tourist visa instead so they make it very complicated to get the Homestay one; once you arrived, you have to register at a local OVIR which could take you upto a day of waiting in lines, so don’t plan any local flights within 24 hours from arrival; go inside of Russian McDonald’s: the atmosphere is much different from what you’re used to; and never try to cross a road: unless you’re suicidal, use below ground cross-passes. I am sure that I’ve missed something, so if you need more tips let me know…

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Filed in World Travel
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