March 2013

time views

Something we have been running across has been videos that have been exploring what can be observed  and what becomes apparent of as one looks at a scene/event/through a compressed or extended time period.  For example:

“Departures from San Diego Int Airport Dec 27, 2012” by Cy Kuckenbake


The title provides a self-explanatory interpretation of six hours of aircraft departures at the San Diego International Airport. It is powerful way to make a common everyday experience incredibly amazing as well as impart the scale of a technological activity that occurs every day.

Meanwhile the film “Street” showing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by James Nares

This slows down time while also using time as way to transect geographically the city of New York. It allows one to examine the in “moving” detail the incredible complexity of city life.

These experience point how we as experience developers and designers should at times break out of our “in the moment” experiences.

As we look at content and stories one should think how time can be manipulated to bring a new perspective and aid the impact we wish to create.

Let us know what amazing time “pieces” you know of

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musical cooperation


So, with another snowfall here at the studio yet again our thoughts turned to spring and the upcoming summer. With that in mind, we share with you this simple but evocative experience that could be at home at an art, science, or children’s museum.

21 Swings by daily tous les jours a design studio with a focus on participation. This piece takes what we what have as field have done countless times (musical stairs or giant keyboards) and adds a complexity element (different series of notes) and also adds the element of group participation, which can be sometimes hard in other musical experiences.  It should be pointed out that this experience is part of the “empathiCITY, making our city together” exhibition at the 2013 biennale internationale design saint-etienne.

daily tous les jours has done some other interesting pieces that might be of interest. Check out the these:

The “On The Difficulty of Serving Tea” a piece where we can see a lot of  connections to a variety of cultural as well as science topics

and “Machine à Turlute” which demonstrates another interesting physical musical collaborative experience and cultural exploration.

As always, let us know of other experience of the same ilk, or if we can inspire with you.

By the way, let’s go Spring! Come on, get here soon!


photo by Oliver Blouin


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Sound! Water! Camera! – Action!

There are often experiences or demonstrations that just cry out for someone to use them as an inspiration for an interactive exhibit. Here is one that we are experimenting with here At ALCHEMY studio for a local fabricator to bring to a science center near you.

This experiment/demonstration was done by Brusspup. It involves not only making sure the device is constructed correctly but also viewing it with a camera that is in sync with the sound. What is clear is that it’s possible to create a very interesting experience demonstrating several science principles in which one side of the exhibit seems like somewhat chaotic water movement but the other side seems to reveal a “frozen in time” moment.

If you are interested in our investigation of this phenomenon/experience and would like to explore what we are doing and perhaps acquiring some version of what we com up with drop us a line.

A special shout out!

And, as always, if you have something you think we should share, send it to us.We should mention we recently got several submittals from fans of inspiration weeklies. We’ll be rolling these out over the next few weeks with our own examples of things  that are inspiring us and making us think about the experiences we find in our informal learning lives.

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reshaping our planet

One of the projects we are working on here at the studio is a film that will explore engineering and the amazing achievements we can as a species succeed at, as well as the challenges that we face from what we do and the solutions engineering may provide. As part of our work we are always on the look for great ways to visualize what we now call the Anthropocene epoch. The geologic age of human influence. Here is a dramatic one  ’Welcome to the Anthropocene’

This is the work of Globaia, a organization that attempts to educate people on understanding the modern world and the issues our environment and planet faces. Here are some stills

An image dramatically showing how our civilization networks (transportaion, power, cities)  fade into the norther wilds of Canada.



The transportation, power and cities of Europe and Asia


Flight between North America and Europe


A map of energy: pipelines are orange, power lines are white, underwater cables are blue


These images present the yin and yang of our civilization.


The way we are becoming a networked planet and species and at the same time how we  are impacting every single square mile of the planet. Too often the conversations that seem to revolve around the issues we face are one sided. Rather we look at these amazing images and see on one hand the amazing achievement of how we can connect ourselves both physically and electronically sharing information and materials, building and creating incredible works. We also see the issues and impacts that this endeavor makes on our planet and realize that the price we are paying is at times too much for our world to sustain. Only together with our ingenuity and innovation can we improve on what will always be an eternal dilemma.

Feel free to send us any links that you know of or come across that depict the two sides of the coin that these images show.

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