Archive for May, 2007

..more patterns..

May 28, 2007

(I do apologise for the thumbnails and small images. After over an hour of attempted blogging, it seems the only option..)

First is a pattern inspired by the traditional Louis Vuitton trademark pattern, and using RFID teags of various shapes. This pattern could for example be used for fashion accessories, like lining in bags or clothes.


The ZigBee pattern is inspired by zig zags and bees, and opposite to the Bluetooth patterns this has a softer and more playful feel. The two types of communication are similar, and therefore the patterns may help distinguishing between them.


This last pattern does not necessarily refer to any one particular network, but rather action with the use of a phone.



Presence by Pattern

May 27, 2007

Instead of visualising the actual bubble, patterns could be printed onto the physical space where is it present.
The pattern can be “wallpaper’ed” onto streets, interiors, exteriors and objects, as a subtle alternative to blunt signs.

Following are some patterns inspired by the Bluetooth logo..






Tutorial on Tuesday the 22nd of May

May 25, 2007

On Tuesday I was working on 5 more or less interlinked concepts;

Mobile Phone Application

Description: Application for mobile phones displaying varying degrees of presence of different bubbles, represented with one antenna icon and corresponding reception bars. Mobile phone as a compass, to navigate through invisible fields.
Intention: Visualise the invisible bubbles. Make people aware of ‘what they’re going through’.
: Interactive, making use of the phone as communicator (oracle/ medium) between user and the invisible fields.

Bad: Will people be interested in this application? It’s almost like a screen saver or a game; people would actively have to go into it, and would they? Would it make people wiser about their invisible surroundings?
Ugly: will involve a considerable amount of Flash, something I’m less than good at..

Bubble Flora

This idea developped during the process of trying to get an overview of the bubbles for the moblie application.

Description: Old fashioned encyclopaedia containing all the electromagnetic bubbles.
Intention: To obtain a clear, tangible and visually pleasing overview of the invisible components in the landscape of radio.
Good: Hands on about something completely untangible. Old fashioned about something new.
Bad: It is only gathering information that’s already there. Nothing new. Will not have time to make sure all the information is correct. Not particularly interactive.
Ugly: The internet contains an endless amount of information. It’s a huge job. Should be bound properly, as a book.

Umbrella – for Electromagnetic Walks in the Park

Description: an umbrella that translates electromagnetic fields into sound. Sensors on the top surface register em waves and the sound output is played ‘inside’ the umbrella.
Intention: Be more comfortable, at ease with the bubbles. Beware that they are there. The sound played should reflect their nature, i.e. classical music for good natured/ ‘nice’ bubbles. Create an interactive experience.
Good: Creates an intimate, personal conversation between you and the electromagnetic bubble(s) you’re currently in. Allows you to explore your familiar surroundings in a new way. Explore the invisible twin landscape around you.
Bad: Will have to be a fake model, if at all. Other than creating an experience and letting the user know what the fields sound like, will there be anything more to it?
Ugly: Is it another art installation? Do we need that, and does Touch need it? If building, it needs to get going very soon!

EM sugestive patterns

This concept derives from the umbrella idea, where the top surface sensors (copper coil antennas) could the shaped and pattern’ed for added aesthetics, meaning and experience. May only be prints.

Indicating the presence of a particular bubble, i.e. on wallpaper in a cafe, print on pavement, tiles in a piazza/ public space. Patterns inspired by the communication technology. Pattern describing bubble ‘identity’.
b) Pattern indicating danger, function, action. Could be used for example in a bag lined with RFID hacker/ bluesnarfing proof fabric, or as part of the anti-em home kit, on an apron. Communicating i.e. safety, protection from – or presence of technology.
Good: Subtle indicator. Information integrated in decoration. Good potential for additional/ alternative/ hidden messages.
Bad: Only a flat pattern, turning from bubbles into graphic design..

Make hand drawings!

Domestic Electromagnetic Detergent

Description: create your own ‘negative’ bubble, shielding your home off from the otherwise nearly saturated environment we live in. Either only visualise, or deter. Scare away, dissolve, neutralise, block out, trap, fool, make it oversee you, hide.
Intention: Claming? Actually blocking? Taking the mickey out of sceptics? Artistic installation?
Good: Familiar, domestic, something people have references to, know how to use, know what does. Down to earth solution.
Bad: Very little knowledge on actual effect of suggested solutions/ technology. All will be the creating of my imagination.

How to present it.. Labels on existing packaging? New packaging? 3D rendering? Nicely designed packaging, ‘scientific’ description of effect, and ‘mode d’emploi’ / user manual.


If more than one of the above is chosen, then they should share a ‘red thread’. It will be important that they belong in the same family/ concept/ project. Whereas the first four aim to visualise and increase awareness about the so-called bubbles, the last one looks more towards how to actively go against, remove or control them. Concept 5 goes for now.

I will concentrate on the Flora and the Patterns for now, and try to implement them in the Mobile Phone App. and the Umbrella, but also look at alternative areas of use. One could for example imagine them interlinked through the use of common patterns, names etc. We are surrounded by a lot of ‘bubbles’ all the time, so while their marking should be seamful (visible if desired), it should also be subtle and unobtrusive.

A Walk in the (Electromagnetic) Park

May 21, 2007

5-umbrella.jpgTake your umbrella for a stroll in the park and listen to the invisible nature of our Landscape of Radio.

The umbrella is a familiar object, it has a good large surface that may be covered in sensors and creates a nice little sphere underneath it, which also nearly allows for a surround sound effect.

Below is playing around with patterns inspired by a stylised RFID chip. If the sensors turn out to look anything like copper coil antennas, this could open for nice decoration possibilities on the umbrella’s upper surface.


5. Mobile mess – in progress..

May 11, 2007

Graphical display of kinds of antenna icons that each refer to different fields of communication, i.e. Bluetooth antenna, GSM antenna, G3 antenna etc. Navigate through invisible communication fields with the mobile phone as your compass..


4. Free space

May 9, 2007

Once you knew about the bubbles, would you necessarily avoid them? Is the “electrosmog” actual and does it affect us?
Is there a real need for (placebo?) electro-raincoats, umbrellas, gasmasks or protective shelters?

Here the protection tool chosen is a regular umbrella, which only provides shelter from above. Detection of electromagnetic presence could be communicated by the sound of an “electric storm” or electro rain tapping away until the shower has passed.

Electromagnetic fields do not behave like rain though, so a more inclusive garment would be necessary.
Having said all this, do I wish to create a tool that protects against radiation (providing there is need and interest) or just a detection device? In the latter case, the experience would be the focus. Walk around with the umbrella and get an impression of the invisible landscape of radio through sound.

3. On/ Off switch

May 9, 2007

Would you and could you switch a whole bubble off? Or could you make it “oversee” you and thus leave you alone?

If the electromagnetic bubble is just hovering over the city and only dipping in when required by a an electronic communication device..

then, by isolating your electronic devices, you can avoid being spotted. This view considers the big bubble to be the maternale superior, and all the smaller ones stretching towards her and trying to get her attention.
With mobile phones there is already the options of switching to airplane mode or swithcing it off altogether, but I believe this would open for a nice little putting-to-sleep ritual, (Sleeping Beauty in the crystal coffin) as a continuation of the already strong bonds we have to our phones.
Other than the phone, there are a lot of electronic communicating devices in our homes that this could also apply to.

2. Trap or neutralise

May 9, 2007

Tool that allows for the (illusion of) ’trapping’ or ‘collecting’ the invisible bubbles.

I chose to let an oversized magnet represent one of the versions of the trap tool. I could have given it the shape of a “machine that does this”, and now I have instead given it an initial representation through a familiar object.

Whatever the tool will end up looking like (most likely not a magnet) I imagine it appearing in different sizes appropriate to various areas of use, i.e. a smaller one to protect your workspace.

Another example of a common domestic utensil with a strong pulling power.

Neutralising rather than trapping, this gramophone-shaped device sends our inverse electromagnetic waves. The areas where the two opposite sets of waves cross will neutralise and thus empty. (The choise of gramophone to illustrate this is potentially be misleading. The thought behind is of a small powerful machinery producing concentrated radiation and spraying it about through the funnel. I could have used a garden hose or a loudspeaker too.)

Not wanting to get in trouble with the neighbour (and their communication fields) the owner should adjust the device to comprise only his or her
privat sphere.

The device could be set to cover even smaller areas, for use in hotels for example. But would your sleep improve surrounded by twice as much radiation, or will it be better to just shield it off in the first place?

1. contd – Measure and Display

May 8, 2007

1.b Another way of detection electromagnetic presence could be with ‘magic powder’. Throw it up in the air, and it will react to active fields by sparkling or changing colour.



The electromagnetism detecting powder could be presented eighter as “Precious Magic Powder” (above) or as “Domestic Electrosmog Detergent” (below).


If my project were looking at negative feelings and aspects of electromagnetic radiation and presence, the reaction resulting from spraying or throwing powder into the air should probably have a scarier look to it than white fairytalish sparkles. I was adviced to look at geological patterns for inspiration.



1.c One could imagine the gradual appearance of mutant digital species, as a result of our increasingly electronc atmosphere. They would naturally thrive in the areas of strong radiation, which with their mere presence they would also reveal.


Another idea including pigeons came up during a little workshop with Una, Katarina and Sara; neckbands could be attach to live pigeons that would tighten at electromagnetic presence. This would have the exact opposite effect of the above, and birds thus would be a sign of electrofree, clean space.

1.d Cuckoo Clock – Not telling the time, but the strength of electromagnetism in the air.1b-mea-dis-6-clock-and-paper.jpg


Common household objects that measure and display

  • clock, cuckoo clock
  • weather forecasts in the paper
  • thermometer
  • el metre
  • barometre
  • measuring cup for cooking
  • weigth, kitchen and bath
  • (speedometre – in the car)