Making Furniture Interactive

September 18, 2007

MJLevy, Part 3(ish)

Filed under: Exercise 3: Four States,Mike Levy — mjlevy @ 8:06 am


So I was racking my brains about what kind of object I wanted to make and how it would act. I began with a whole brainstorming session about how objects have agency and books want to be read and pianos want to be played, and how objects in general want to be used by humans so they can fulfill their purpose in life. But then at some point I realized that I was going about this in a purely human-centered way, thinking only about how people interact with their items, and now how items interact with themselves.

So what I’ve created (or have the back end code to create) is a Love Story Between a Minute Hand and an Hour Hand, one of the untold love stories of our time. For the sake of debugging, I have the mode changes based on the position of the second hand, that way I can see things happening much faster.

Here’s the clock I built in processing to find the positions of the given clock hands.


September 12, 2007

Turn On Your Love Light, Let It Shine On Me

Filed under: Exercise 2: Add a Switch,Mike Levy,Uncategorized — mjlevy @ 1:31 am


Meet the Love Light. He only wants to be close to you.

I really enjoyed our discussion the other day of using emotive properties to elicit response from a user and wanted to explore it. In essence what I have here is two LEDs hooked up to a distance sensor, but he’s so much more than that. When he gets closer to an object, he lights up more and gets happier because he is better fulfilling his purpose in life: to light stuff up for you. So the closer he is to you, the happier he is. Now, yes, you can trick him by putting him in front of an object, but you’d have to be the one to deal with the guilt of tricking such a helpless creature who has nothing but love for you.


he also loves pizza


…and lee


September 8, 2007

Dunne & Raby, GPS Table

Filed under: Exercise 1: What Is?,Mike Levy,Uncategorized — mjlevy @ 6:02 pm


GPS Table

This table has a global positioning sensor inside it. It can only display its position in the world when it has a clear view of the satellites, the rest of the time it is lost and indicates this fact. The ideal owner will need a conservatory or large window, or a garden so that they can at least bring the table outdoors from time to time so it can connect with a satellite and fulfill its potential. We like the idea that people might feel a little cruel keeping it indoors.

Walnut Night Light

Filed under: Exercise 0: Make A Lamp,Mike Levy — mjlevy @ 5:20 pm

title image

For some reason the idea of a night light stuck with me from the original assignment prompt, and the idea of little glowing, pulsating lights seemed to fit in perfectly.

So, to begin with, I realized that the LEDs I had acquired were of a differing level of intensity. The green could barely be seen against the red, and the blue outshone them all. So I decided to focus on the transition between the different colors rather than the mixing of the colors themselves.



The kind of technologically embedded objects that intrigue me the most are the ones that revel in the differences their materials posses, rather than try to hide them. In any event, what I did was take a nice little piece of walnut that I had (which had a knot in it) and use it as the body for the night light.


I then hooked up the arduino, breadboard, and LEDs to the back of the piece of walnut so that when they lit up, they would emit a broad glow around the walnut and onto the wall behind it.



It was a simple enough hook up, but what I would have liked to have done is hook up a battery pack so that the light could have stood on its own without the cord coming out its side.

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