Selective Reality is an approach to augmented reality through selective sensory filtering. Tone is a conceptual application of this approach for a near-future device that enables greater focus by selectively balancing auditory stimuli. It comes in the form of a pair of earbuds that allow for sound isolation, noise reduction, and environmental sonification using a gestural interface.
This project responded to the brief of an international Microsoft Research design competition: in a world of a billion sensors, how will we make sense of it all? Indeed, with countless stimuli vying for our attention, we are suffering from information overload and are increasingly losing the ability to focus. With augmented reality technologies entering the mainstream, it is our responsibility as researches and designers to ensure that they will not just add another layer of distraction, but instead be something that enriches our lives and allows greater focus on the things that matter.
The project was selected as one of nine finalists and my teammate Claudia Ciarpella and I were invited to the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA to present at the Microsoft Design Expo at the 2014 Faculty Summit. While there was no final winner we were awarded the prize in the Most Thought-Provoking category. It is worth noting that most participating schools had about twelve weeks to work on this competition while we completed our entry in a six-day sprint.
Created in collaboration with Anders Erlendsson, Julian Kraan, Paula Te, Henriette Kruse, and Claudia Ciarpella at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. I conceived of the Selective Reality concept and did all sound design, as well as structuring and writing the presentation we performed at Microsoft on July 14, 2014. Pictured here is some of our early user testing with crude selective sensory filtering.
Grit is a concept and design for a symptom tracker iOS app. It helps chemotherapy patients take control of their treatment by tracking and visualizing their symptoms in an empowering way.
Our first step in this project was to create a survey for chemotherapy patients in order to better understand their needs and difficulties as they undergo the treatment process. We posted the survey on numerous cancer forums and received 17 detailed responses from a variety of people of different demographics and with a range of different types of symptoms and treatment plans. These responses informed our design process and concept.
We designed the app around simplicity and ease of use in an attempt to make it usable for chemotherapy patients of any age and to accommodate a wide range of treatment cycles. The essential features are to track one’s symptoms and their severity as they occur and to visualize these symptoms over time in order to provide a tool for the patient to calibrate their treatment with their healthcare provider.
The main screen shows the current cycle including the treatment and rest period, and displays symptoms over time at a glance. Grit also reminds users of important upcoming dates, such as their next doctor’s appointment. Each day users can track the symptoms they experienced by indicating the occurrence and severity of the five most common symptoms or by adding their own. In the profile users can update their treatment plan, track their medication, and set reminders for important dates in the calendar. Finally, users can access historical data to see their symptoms over time and observe their progress, or to show their doctor a summary to better calibrate their medication.
The Grit concept and design was created over the course of nine days at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design in collaboration with Arun Mota and Amalia Goutaki. I was responsible for the concept and user interface design as well as video production, scripting, and editing.
Using simple lighting techniques with a swinging lightbulb suspended from the ceiling in an otherwise dark room, we created a series of looping GIF portraits. The dynamic lighting progressively reveals beautiful details in the facial structure of the subjects.
Activate.io is a concept and design for a digital service that enables senior citizens to establish social connections through learning and the exploration of shared interests. The service adds a user interface layer to educational television programs, allowing the user to save programs they are interested in watching later. The saved programs are sent to a web interface, where the user is invited to join other locals in group activities and meet-ups related to the program.
The interfaces are designed to give the user a maximum degree of control over and understanding of the service. Menus are abstracted to the most basic interactions, and the interface evolves dynamically and comprehensively instead of switching suddenly from one state to another. Items give visual feedback and shrink and grow on screen instead of vanishing, always remaining accessible. Additionally, the font is specifically designed for readers with sight impairments. These design choices make Activate.io accessible, friendly, simple, and empowering.
The aging population is a growing one, and is continuously underserved in the area of digital services. Through the interviews we conducted, we found that many seniors are looking for ways to maintain mobility and connect with others, but current online social networks aren’t tailored to their needs. We designed the service to work on platforms that are common in senior citizens’ everyday lives, such as TV and email.
In this five-day project, we were tasked with creating a digital learning service. We started out by defining our target audience, senior citizens, and interviewing potential users. We discovered what their needs were and started brainstorming solutions to address them. We iterated a number of times over the brainstorming process, each time developing our ideas a little further through storyboarding, scenario creation, and paper prototyping.
Created in collaboration with Paula Te, Arunima Singh, and Angelisa Scalera at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. I worked on the research and concept, all screen animations, as well as video production and editing.
Paper Oracle is an interactive installation that encourages participants to engage in a ritualistic dialogue with an uncanny responsive entity.
Viewers can engage with the oracle by donning the priest’s mask and addressing the oracle, which responds in a deep, rustling paper voice. To build the oracle we first modeled it in 3d and exported all of the surfaces to the laser cutter. We experimented with different textures and materials and chose white cardboard because of its combination of stability and color neutrality. Inside the oracle’s mouth I built a mounted circuit of seven small used speakers.
The communication with the oracle occurs through a microphone inside the priest’s mask. A custom Max patch detects the onset and end of a participant’s question and records the input. The signal is processed in Ableton Live and Max for Live where it is slowed down, reversed, and treated with reverb. The oracle waits for the suppliant to finish, then responds eerily, leaving it up to the listener to interpret the prophecy.
Paper Oracle was created over the course of three days in collaboration with Julian Kraan and Arunima Singh. I took charge of prototyping, physical construction, electronics, and sound design. This project was created at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design within the scope of a class entitled Sound and Paper.
This infographic shows the changes in communication patterns with four people close to me as I underwent several important life events. The graph examines how factors such as geographic separation and dramatic events such as a breakup or job change affect the forms and volume of communication between myself and four people I am or was closest to. The graphs track face-to-face interactions, email, text and instant messages, voice and Skype calls, social media, and physical letters.
The Sensing Umbrella is a platform to gather, display, and share local air pollution data. Each umbrella serves as a node for measuring CO and NO2 pollution levels and can provide exceptionally granular data to pollution databases and for scientific analysis.
The light visualizations inside the umbrella respond to pollution levels in real time and spread awareness of air quality in the city for its inhabitants. The umbrella uses open hardware and software to gather and interpret data through a built-in sensor array, displays CO and NO2 pollution locally in two modes, and logs the timestamped and geolocated data to the cloud for analysis.
Created over the course of three days at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design in collaboration with Akarsh Sanghi and Saurabh Datta. I worked on the concept and the physical prototype, wrote the code for sensor monitoring and LED array visualization, and edited the video.
Using a laser cutter, I engraved and cut a series of 15x5cm wooden pieces with patterns taken from nature, human civilization, and mathematics. Some of the pieces include a river delta in California, an industrial woven steel net, treetops, and several types of fractals.
Using Processing, a Java-based programming language, I created animations inspired by nature and recursive systems. These GIFs are brief excerpts of a few seconds - follow the links to watch them unfold over minutes!
The Planetary System is an animated 3D solar system with a sun, planets, moons, and an asteroid belt. The sizes, orbital planes, and orbital distances of these celestial bodies are randomly generated, and the program can theoretically generate any number of bodies, each with their own unique properties generated in relation to each other.
The Polygon Mandala and Ellipses Mandala are part of a series of abstract geometric animations with radial symmetry. They change continuously over minutes without looping. The yellow and white Generative Body is an exploration of the interplay of several geometric shapes in 3D space.
Leather is an exciting but difficult material to work with as it requires special equipment, techniques, and considerable experience. Combining some printed cotton shirting with lambskin, I created a short-sleeved button-up shirt finished with lined lambskin panels at the top and on the sleeves. As a hidden detail that gave me a lot of joy to make, every inside seam is bound with red or yellow bias tape, giving a clean and interesting finish. As leather is a particularly tough and unforgiving material, certain parts like the collar and buttonholes were a major challenge. Correspondingly, I constructed muslin prototypes to ensure proper fit before risking the expensive leather.
My first major project with leather, shown below, was a lined lambskin t-shirt. I love any project that reinterprets low-brow (such as a t-shirt silhouette) in a high-brow way (by using leather instead of jersey), and this is no exception. The t-shirt is intended to be worn as a vest of sorts over a button-up shirt or by itself and is very comfortable thanks to the cotton/silk lining. Both garments are embossed with my logo using a custom brass stamp.
Over the course of a year, I designed and built a functioning DJ controller from scratch. I had been DJing for almost 6 years already and was dissatisfied with existing controllers that were unable to match the custom software setup I had built for myself. My aim was to realize my idea for a new approach to mixing: a custom Max/MSP patch splits the two tracks being mixed into high, middle, and low frequency bands which can be individually cross-faded for extremely smooth transitions. In addition, I had specific ideas about the ideal form and layout of a controller and the quality of the controls that existing products were falling short on.
I bought two bare-bones MIDI microchips and learned to program them in hexadecimal code to correctly interpret the signals from the control components. After an initial prototype built from messy hand-modified protoboards with innumerable wires, I decided to learn proper circuit design using CadSoft EAGLE. After many months of this and 6 iterations of board layouts, I arrived at the one pictured here, which remains one of the things I’m proudest of having created. With this design, I was able to have the bare circuit board manufactured in China. After many more weeks of soldering, milling, and code tweaking, the controller is now fully functional and meets all my expectations.
I’m particularly proud of this project because going into it, I only had a goal but none of the skills necessary to accomplish it. With the guidance of my mentor Douglas Repetto, I was able to learn enough about hardware design, electronics, soldering, microcontroller programming, materials, CNC milling, and circuit design to make this a reality. I show this to anyone who wants to make something but is deterred by not having the necessary skills - anything is possible with enough time, guidance, and perseverance.