Window to the Heart is a 12-foot diameter 3D-printed sculpture, and the world’s largest Fresnel lens. Created for the 10th Anniversary of Times Square Valentine Heart Competition, this lens warps the image of Times Square, bending light and attention towards its center. Located at the very center is a heart-shaped window: an opening for people to look through and to be photographed within.
Walk around Times Square at any moment and you will notice that everyone has their camera out, photographing themselves in light of the media around them. In this sense, Times Square is a symbol for how we experience our world. It is a physical manifestation of our culture, one dispersed and absorbed through cameras and screens. And in this culture, to fall in love you must first fall through a lens.
Lens making has traditionally been a craft of tedious labor and precision, requiring a series of steps in the casting, cutting and repeatedly polishing of glass. Following from this tradition, Window to the Heart leverages the latest advances in design, materials, and fabrication to craft something that was previously unattainable.
Based on the geometry of a Fresnel-type lens, Window to the Heart is segmented into 98 concentric rings that allows us to attain a flat form-factor while retaining the optical effect of a lens with large spherical curvature. Rings are divided into over 1000 lens segments, which are individually 3D-printed at a high resolution by Formlabs using a clear resin, capable of the resolution and clarity required by optical elements. With the lens made entirely from a 3D-printed material instead of glass, Window to the Heart upends the centuries-old methods of lens-making to invite individuals to reimagine how they see and photograph the world.
The lens is the unspoken hero of our media culture – behind every image is the lens that captured it. By making a very large lens, Window to Heart seeks to remind people that in the process of capturing life with their camera, they are in fact seeing reality distorted through a lens. They're capturing it, filtering it, sharing it, and in doing so are revealing the very mechanisms of seeing.
Beyond Vision is an audiovisual performance created for the Rio 2016 Paralympics Opening Ceremony. As a poetic representation of the sense of sight, a mass cast of 400 dancers were equipped with illuminated walking sticks collectively forming a large-scale 2.5-dimensional display.
Sticks were outfitted with a row of 128 programmable, high-intensity LEDs, which were triggered by a radio transmitter to play a series of pre-scripted animations and visual effects while dancers defined the position and orientation of each light.
The high fidelity electronic control in combination with the improvisational skills of situated dancers allowed for a complex synchrony between dance, projection, music and lighting, crafting a unique media experience for the both the live audience at the Maracanã stadium and television viewers at home.
The Pop-Up Factory is the first example of a live manufacturing experience where an electronic product was custom designed, fabricated and handed to users in real-time.
For the SOLID Conference 2015, we partnered up with ANT Wireless, Formlabs, Protolabs and Seeed Studios to create 500 uniquely designed Alike wristbands. Each wearable consisted of a circuit board and enclosure which were assembled by a pick-and-place machine, injection molded, die cut, 3D printed, and programmed on demand. During the live manufacturing process, conference attendees could customize their device by loading it with their personal profile and selecting a unique design which was generated algorithmically. The wristbands were then used by attendees as a networking tool during the 3-day event.
Fueled by technologies such as 3D printing, generative design, and low-cost electronics, the manufacturing landscape is currently undergoing a complete revolution. This dramatic change brings about incredible opportunities for new kinds of objects to be envisioned and created, and most importantly, it has the potential to democratize how products are made, and who gets to make and use them.
Pop-Up Factory developed in collaboration with David Cranor, Will Walker, and Jon Bruner. Support provided by ANT Wireless, Formlabs, Protolabs, O'Reilly Media, and Seeed Studio.
Sandcastles explores material representation across architectural and nano-scales, by traversing pre and post-photography technologies. In collaboration with visual artist Vik Muniz, who drew a series of castles with the use of a camera lucida, we have developed the techniques for etching these drawings onto a grain of sand with the use of a focused ion beam and scanning electron microscope. The final images are exhibited as large scale prints.
Project supported by the MIT Visiting Artist Program and the MIT Center for Art, Science and Technology.
Alike is a wearable device that brings the power of social networks to where it matters most, the physical world. Alike allows you to discover and connect with new friends in person and without the distractions of a phone or computer screen.
Each Alike device holds a unique user profile. When two people come into close proximity of each other, their devices exchange information and glow to indicate if they are a match. After the event, each person receives a list of their newly made connections.
In anticipation of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, This is not a Ball is a documentary that investigates the meaning of the ball and our passion and innate connection to it. Directed by Vik Muniz and Juan Rendon, the documentary culminates with the making of a large-scale drawing composed of 10,000 soccer balls.
For this movie, we performed the underlying science and technology research, and developed a software tool and process in collaboration with Vik Muniz Studio for arranging the balls into a large-scale image.
This is not a Ball is currently available on Netflix.
Documentary directed by Vik Muniz and Juan Rendon; Written by Juan Rendon and Kristofer Rios; Executive Producer Isaac Lee; Produced by Natalie Osma and Patricia Sanchez; Director of Photography Christopher Gallo; Editor Marlon Venerio, Cynthia Rogers and Darren Kloomok; Music Ed Cortes and Uptempo.
Special thanks to Erika Benincasa, Fabio Ghivelder, Gaspar Muniz, Daisy Santos Soares, Heberth Sobral, and Matt Taylor.
We are in the midst of a revolution that promises to forever change how we make things. At one extreme, software tools are empowering individuals to envision, create and share their own designs; while at another, low-cost digital fabrication machines are allowing these one-of-a-kind creations to be built and consumed from the comfort of our homes. However, while 3D printers are becoming increasingly accessible and capable of rivaling the quality of professional equipment, they are still inherently limited by a small print volume, placing severe constraints on the type and scale of objects we can create.
Hyperform is a design and research project that attempts to address this problem by identifying computational and material folding strategies that will allow large scale objects to be compressed into a minimal volume to maximize the printing capability of desktop 3D printers. Folding as a computational design and assembly strategy can be found across natural systems, such as in the structures of proteins and DNA, and in industrial applications, which seek to increase efficiency while supporting high degrees of structural complexity, interoperability and reuse.
By expanding the boundaries of what can be made today, we hope these new techniques will also unleash entirely new opportunities. Of particular importance is reversibility, which can allow for the shipping of flat materials that expand to maximum volume on-site, and self-transformation which can allow objects to kinetically respond to their environment and accommodate changing use conditions.
Fast Company. MIT Researchers Unveil A New, Smarter Way To 3-D Print
The Creators Project. Hyperform And The Future Of 3D Printing
New Scientist. 3D-printed objects outgrow their printers
Special thanks to Alan Argondizza, Maxim Lobovsky, Will Walker, Craig Broady, Graham Francis, Amir Soltanian, Lina Karain, Marianna Gonzalez, Matthew Gardiner, Erwin Reitboeck and Futurelab.
Six-Forty by Four-Eighty is a large-scale lighting installation that breaks pixels away from the screen, physically immersing viewers into an interactive computing experience.
Individually, pixels can be rearranged in space and change their color in response to touch; however, they only communicate their state to each other by using a person's body as the conduit for information. When grouped together, the pixels create patterns and animations, becoming a medium for composition and expression which evokes a form of digital graffiti.
By transposing the pixel from the confines of the screen and into the physical world, focus is drawn to the materiality of computation and new forms for design emerge.
I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review, Honorable Mention
Ars Electronica - Interactive Arts Honorary Mention 2011
Design Miami - W Hotels Designers of the Future Award 2010
Special thanks to the Fluid Interfaces Group, Design Miami, Jamie Zigelbaum, Joshua Kopin, Varum Perumal, Madeleine Claire Elish, Ryan Wistort, Jeff Lieberman, Mark Feldmeier, Jay Silver, Jean-Baptiste Labrune, Natan Linder, David Merrill, Seth Hunter, Pol Pla, Nicholas Zigelbaum, Emma Lazrove, Silas Maniatis and Grace Escano.
Further advancing the aesthetic exploration initiated with Six-Forty by Four-Eighty, Resolution is a light installation where physical pixels are round units, rather than squares. This circular form both decomposes and dilates the pre-computing pixel encountered in earlier forms of displays, such as the cathode ray tubes of television screens and half-tone printing techniques used in magazines and newspapers.
Resolution was commissioned by the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA, where it is permanently installed.
Special thanks to Alan Argondizza, Louis Thiery, and Mike Shonle.
Reach is an installation of kinetic and interactive jewelry boxes that respond directly to human, exploratory gestures. Developed for the renowned French jeweler and watchmaker Cartier, Reach breaks the window’s boundary with an elegant and invisible technology to allow 5th avenue pedestrians to magically extend their bodies into the jewelry displays. Through this installation, the typical window shopper becomes a conductor of movement and transformation. A slight move of the hand in front of the windows controls spotlights that shine down on boxes to reveal a special surprise.
Buddy Cup is a Facebook-enabled cup developed for Budweiser which allows people at a party to become friends once they "clink" their cups. By digitally connecting people during social events, Buddy Cup bridges the divide between the relationships we foster online with the serendipity and affinity of face-to-face encounters.
Buddy Cup was shortlisted for Cannes Lions 2013 in the Ambient Media category.
AdvertisingAge. Budweiser Lets You Make Facebook Friends With a Clink of Your Pint.
The Drum. Budweiser unveils “Buddy Cup” beer glass which connects to Facebook.
Timepiece Explorer is a custom, gestural installation for browsing videos of Cartier’s fine watchmaking. Commissioned by Publicis Modem and Cartier, the Timepiece Explorer debuted at Fast Company’s Most Creative People event in New York City.
Composed of a sensing frame and display panel, the Timepiece Explorer enables a fluid interaction with video; an experience mediated by gestures in midair. By moving your hands in the space within the frame, you can select and view videos of Cartier’s most innovative timepieces. The videos flow like a stream of water. Lateral motions let you swim back and forth, pushing through time as if video itself were a physical substance bound by the dynamics of mass, inertia, and friction.
Work developed for Publicis and Cartier by Zigelbaum + Coelho. Sensing technology provided by the Interface Ecology Lab at Texas A&M University.
Hive is an architectural scale pavilion made from 224 tensegrity units and built by humans and robots working in close collaboration during Autodesk University 2015.
Over the course of three days, event participants were coordinated by a series of Alike beacons and a system called the foreman engine, which guided them through a sequence of construction steps, such as collecting individual components, handing them off to a robotic assembler, and placing the final assembled pieces on the pavilion structure.
Each tensegrity unit is composed of three bamboo rods, held together with a string wound by robotic arm. Due to natural variations in the length and diameter of the rods, the geometry of each tensegrity is unique. Once assembled, the pavilion uses the Alike beacons embedded in its structure to playback a series of coordinated animations and graphics.
Exploring a variety of themes on the future of making, Hive exists at the confluence of wearables, emergent design, the internet of things, and human-robotic collaboration.
Autodesk Applied Research Lab, Institute for Computational Design, The Living, Autodesk Research, and Marcelo Coelho Studio.
Kukkia and Vilkas are two kinetic electronic garments that move and physically change over time. Their behavior is created through a unique textile composite that combines natural felt, custom electronics and shape-memory alloy.
Kukkia's flowers frame the face and slowly open and close over time, like a caress. The dress does not respond to proximity, mood, or the stock market. Rather, it is an expressive and behavioral kinetic sculpture that develops a visceral relationship with the wearer. The relative rigidity of its felt and silk petals are counteracted by the shape-memory alloy deformation, enabling a slow and distinctive organic motion.
Vilkas is a dress with a kinetic hemline that rises and falls to reveal the knee and lower thigh. It is constructed of heavy hand-made felt with a very light yellow cotton element that contracts and expands through the use of hand-stitched SMA wires. The hemline is programmed to rise autonomously, not in response to any external or internal input. This creates a kinetic dress whose behavior can be playful and even desirable, but can also be problematic in the wrong social context. The wearer can wait for the hemline to fall, which can take several minutes, or can actively pull it back down. This initiates a physical conversation between the wearer and the garment, as they fight over control of the body's real estate.
Special thanks to Joanna Berzowska, Hanna Søder, Shermine Sawalha and Hugues Bruyère.
Food is one of the fundamental ingredients of life. We cannot go a day without it before experiencing discomfort and the kinds of food we eat and how we eat them are closely intertwined with our cultural practices, physical environments and personal health. Nonetheless, we have been cooking progressively less.
While digital media has transformed every facet of society, the fundamental technologies we encounter in the kitchen today provide only incremental improvements to the tools we have been using for hundreds of years. In order to bring our cooking technologies to the digital age, we have developed several prototypes and concept designs that combine digital fabrication technologies and food.
Each design addresses a fundamental process that lies at the heart of cooking, namely the mixing of ingredients; the physical and chemical transformation of these ingredients into new compounds; and finally their modeling into aesthetically pleasing and delectable textures and shapes. Our hope is that these concepts and prototypes will provide a glimpse at the new aesthetic and cultural possibilities, which can be brought forth by a new, digital gastronomy.
Spacehogs is an airborne robotic installation consisting of five autonomous air machines. The airbots are giant helium-filled, silver balloons that move through the air with grace and ease. They are equipped to sense objects in their immediate area, and use tiny onboard propellers to avoid collisions. A tranquil environment emerges as these large, peaceful objects roam with Zen inspired aimlessness.
Each airbot measures 3 x 1.5 x 0.5 meters and is primarily comprised of an airtight envelope made from heat-sealing Mylar. Attached to each face of the envelope are infrared distance sensors and motorized propellers connected to a PIC16F88 microcontroller. A basket on the underside of the envelope holds the electronics, batteries, and additional ballast.
Shutters is a shape-changing fabric curtain for environmental and lighting control. It is composed of an array of morphing louvers that can be individually controlled for precise regulation of ventilation, daylight incidence and information display.
Shutters’ soft mechanics is based on the electronic actuation of shape-memory alloy strands embedded in a felt composite, which can be precisely controlled to angle the louvers and dynamically adjust their aperture, regulating shade and ventilation, as well as displaying images and animations.
By combining smart materials, textiles and computation, Shutters can create living environments and work spaces that are more energy efficient, while being aesthetically pleasing and considerate of its inhabitants’ activities.