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MIT Second Semester

Silent for the last three months. Lot to share – ideas, experiences, projects, impressions and stories. This is just a quick update so you know that I am alive.

Recompose got accepted to CHI, SIGGRAPH E-tech and won the RTT Emerging Technology 2011. Happy Dávid, Tony, Daniel and Matt. ^_^

This semester was just packed in the Media Lab. I took a class co-taught by Hiroshi Ishii and Ken Perlin, with the slightly awkward name Eccescopy. The class explored the interaction design of future immersive, full-body, truly stereoscopic 3D augmented realities – the ones that float around Tom Cruise in 2050, usually. In the first classes Ken explained his vision about Eccescopy, excerpt from his blog:

And so I’ve decided to expand on yesterday’s post with a series of descriptions of the emerging field of “eccescopy”. My techno-geek side likes to think that “ecce” stands for “eye centered computed environment”. An eccescope is simply a device to let everyone see an alternate world created within the computer cloud, thereby allowing that world to appear before our eyes, right alongside our own physical world. It’s the ultimate extension of what is currently called“augmented reality”.

Me and Matt Blackshaw teamed up to build something new. For now: it’s an iPad app that we use as a see through lens for the Eccescopic world. More on it later, stay tuned.

My other class was held by our new lovely professor Neri Oxman and it was named Crafted by Nature. We had to choose a specimen from nature to get inspiration from (finally a real design class ?) – mine was sea sponge. The idea was to fall in love with your specimen and study how it behaves in nature and how it reacts to forces. After finding a peculiar, interesting phenomenon you had to iteratively design an installation that captured the theme of your specimen. Me, Marshall Prado and Cara Liberatore from the Harvard Graduate School of Design decided to create a sponge chair. Again, more to come soon, but here is a picture of the urethane mold that we casted. It’s designed through an algorithm that I wrote that translates a stress pattern (created by your body weight) to a sphere packing. I explain everything thoroughly in my next post I promise.

I also took a class, which I did not finish, called Public Art, instructed by Antoni Muntadas, who is an awesome artist. I walked away with mixed feelings about the class and about the MIT Art program. Maybe more later, but not sure yet.

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