Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Brute computing force alone can’t solve the world’s problems. Data mining innovator Shyam Sankar explains why solving big problems (like catching terrorists or identifying huge hidden trends) is not a question of finding the right algorithm, but rather the right symbiotic relationship between computation and human creativity.

An advocate of human-computer symbiosis, Shyam Sankar looks for clues in big and disparate data sets.

Via Scoop.itCyborg Lives

Computer science researchers at Northwestern University have developed a way to exert limited control on how people move, pushing them out of their regular travel patterns. The key: tapping into some of their cell phone applications.

MIT researcher Skylar Tibbits works on self-assembly — the idea that instead of building something (a chair, a skyscraper), we can create materials that build themselves, much the way a strand of DNA zips itself together. It’s a big concept at early stages; Tibbits shows us three in-the-lab projects that hint at what a self-assembling future might look like.

Architect Neri Oxman is the founder of MATERIALECOLOGY, an interdisciplinary design initiative expanding the boundaries of computational form-generation and material engineering. Named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” Oxman investigates the material and performance of nature in an effort to define form itself.

A must watch: Kevin Slavin argues that we’re living in a world designed for — and increasingly controlled by — algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can’t understand, with implications we can’t control.

One of the most fascinating documentaries you will see this year, the narrative of Adam Curtis with its creative style of juxtapositions,enthralling,soothing and disturbing at the same time, compelling and highly watchable.

first episode: “Love and Power”

second episode: “The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts”

third episode: “The Monkey In The Machine and the Machine in the Monkey”

Read more All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (television documentary series)
an interview with Adam Curtis at the Guardian:
Have computers taken away our power?
If you think machines have liberated us, think again, says film-maker Adam Curtis. Instead we have lost our vision

Screen-less wearable devices allow for the smallest form factor and thus the maximum mobility. However, current screen-less devices only support buttons and gestures. Pointing is not supported because users have nothing to point at. However, we challenge the notion that spatial interaction requires a screen and propose a method for bringing spatial interaction to screen-less devices.

We present Imaginary Interfaces, screen-less devices that allow users to perform spatial interaction with empty hands and without visual feedback. Unlike projection-based solutions, such as Sixth Sense, all visual “feedback” takes place in the user’s imagination. Users define the origin of an imaginary space by forming an L-shaped coordinate cross with their non-dominant hand. Users then point and draw with their dominant hand in the resulting space.

With three user studies we investigate the question: To what extent can users interact spatially with a user interface that exists only in their imagination? Participants created simple drawings, annotated existing drawings, and pointed at locations described in imaginary space. Our findings suggest that users’ visual short-term memory can, in part, replace the feedback conventionally displayed on a screen.

Imaginary Interfaces is a research project from Sean Gustafson, Daniel Bierwirth and Patrick Baudisch at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany.

This video accompanies a paper published in the proceedings of the 2010 ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST).

Download paper here:

More details about the project: