Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Week 6: Debrief

Discussion on Hertzian Tales
  • Hegemony: the common way the dominant forces play in our society
  • Cryptocurrency: a form of currency that compares cyrptography software the exchange unique changes of value; provides people a way to exchange value for things that is extremely secure for people to use
  • Bitcoin: a type of currency introduced a few years back
  • Dunne's Thesis
  • Lost Object? Theoretical frames that have been applied
  • Why is it Lost?
  • Technological Perspective- Has it ever caused you problems? 
  • Instrumental as method/aesthetic
  • It has the expediency of the technological object ever caused you a problem?

'The Treachery of Images- Ceci n'est past une pipe', Magritte
  • Semiotics- as a design strategy; the study of signs\
  • Material Culture Theory
  • Design as Theory
  • Design-Synthesis of the preceding and experimentation
  • Manzaiu and Susani claim that culture is grasping for material representations in an increasingly immaterial world
  • By combining material, semiotic, and instrumentality strategies for the new 'objectology' 
  • The 'Object' of itself
  1. Packages
  2. Fusions
  3. Dematerialization

On Off, 1988, Alberto Meda, Denis Santachiara
  • A new take on modern fluidity, and making a organic shape to something so mechanical
  • Kuntsflug: argued that there was no need for real material objects
  • 'The Electronic Room: Programmable Appearances': a place where one could project images onto a wall and have a different wall everyday (Holodeck aka Star Trek)
  • The Post-Optimal; argues for the rejection of instrumentality, signifiers, cultural function, or that we break from efficiency, optimization
(in)Human Factors
  • Dunne begins to explore to explore the assumptions we have about the H in Human Machine Interaction design
  • Argues that we have become inculcated in narrow 'genericizations' through mass design
  • As we have idealized the workplace 'improving productivity and efficiency'
  • Noise Project: 
  1. Transparency vs. Opacity
  2. Pet vs. The Alien
  3. Prose vs. Poetry

Brionvega ST201 TV, 1969, Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper
  • A minimalist cube modern design that functioned as not only a source of entertainment but can be tucked away to not distract and be a form of artwork

'Adelbrecht', 1988-2000, Martin Spanjaard

  • An interactive, talking robotic sphere that relied on human touch and social interaction to maintain a happy manifestation (BB-8's Drunk co-dependant Uncle)
'Moonbot in the Hood', Mike Winter
  • An example of interactive robotics and what could possibly be in our future
  • Teledeldonics

Dunne & Raby, 'Technological Dream Series: No 1, Robots', 2007

  • This series was their way of making us have a conversation of what was to be expected of a futuristic world, and a look into the objects that we will need in a depleting world
  • This 'Robotic' girl interrogates these objects in a way that reflects on her function
  • Speculative Design- a way to look into creating things that can help with future problems

Week 6: Reading Response- Hertzian Tales Chapter 1 and 2

Chapter 1: The Electronic as Post-Optimal Object

Semiotics: the study of meaning-making, the study of sign processes and meaningful communication.

In this chapter, it covered the ideas and theology towards electronic objects spanning from the late 60's to now as it talks on how these objects are not so much on how these objects live within the space but rather the affect they have on us and our desire to change our world to fit the aesthetic of this object. Aesthetics play in to this because we all have certain tastes and sensibilities that reflect into out outer wear, and in this study it talks about how these electronic objects are a part of our own aesthetic and that it subconsciously shapes our world to match it. The descriptions placed upon electronic objects fall into three categories: Lost Object, Object, and Post-Optimal. Lost Object is the focus on the theoretical illustrates upon what is known of an object, and further pushes new ideas and theories on what is to become of an already established form. Object has four parts: package, fusion, dematerialization, and juxtaposition. Package is where an object is one part decoration and the other is a person having a nonchalance view towards it. Fusion is where you are to take multiple objects and set them on a modem to create something else such as Daniel Weil's Clock (1983) where he took kitchen forks and a bock to create an object that simulated a clock as a reaction against miniaturization as he used the biggest circuit boards one could buy in the 80's. Dematerialization is very much how it sounds, but flips back and forth between two nouns in how it takes commonplace and recognizable objects and settings deconstructs them according to it;s space such as the design group Kuntsflug's The Electronic Room: Programmable Appearances-Surfaces, Appliances, Comfort where images would project onto walls and counters off different styles and textures so that a person could experience a different setting everyday according to their moods and aesthetics. Juxtaposition is the opposite of dematerilization, and combines two objects together so that it is blatantly known as an electronic object, and that it focuses in the practical needs for ones uses of that object. The final theory of Post-Optimal is actually a theory that has yet to been fully tapped, and now lies on the contemporary world to take what had been done before, and turn them into the realm of metaphysics, poetry and aesthetics. This is when the study of electronics objects now gets interesting.

Chapter 2: (In) Human Factors

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Week 7: Debrief

  • Short Term Project- search through this website, find a good one, bad one, and absolutely horrible one, and put them in the blog
  • This will help with creating a rubric for when we have our final project where we create an instructables post
  • Fart controlled channel changer
  • Randofo- creates a device hidden within a hoodie that has infrared LED to block out camera sensors
  • Gravitational Waves Detection- SCIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENCE!!!
  • We will be creating interfaces, setting up Arduinos, and understanding a publishing layout for instructables
Arduino Notes:
  • 2004- New Media Study emerges in Ivrea, Italy
  • Micro Controller- 8081 (60's)- created these controllers create new forms of electronics (Grandfather to the modern day smart phone)
  • Prototyping Platform- All the computing and control happens on the Arduino chord 2028 chip
  • Massimo Banzai- Founder of the Arduino project
  • Arduino: A/The Documentary (Vimeo)
  • Instructables- There are at least 121 pages/10,000 projects on creating something involving the Arduino
  • Arduino.cc- website we should get very well aquatinted with 
Final Project Prompt:
  • Must have Arduino
  • Use sensors
  • Have an analog input that can be activated by viewer (i.e. switch)
  • Does something Physical
  • We have a chart to help us with deciding on our expense rate when we start collecting items for our final project that we can find through our blogs
  • Expense vs. Selection
  • Pt. 2- Post our final project onto Instructables as a series or tutorials so that others may follow it
  • Record, document, and record everything we do with this project to show an exhaustive demonstration of the product
Documenting the Project:
  • Phototgrphas and IMages
  • LIghintg and Stabalizing the camera to make it clear
  • Diagrams and Drawings 
  • Videos and gifs
  • Be honest about the project and write down the good, the bad, and the ugly of doing the project
  • The narrative should be compelling and to the point
  • Watch out for spelling and grammer
  • Add the materials-Even add links
  • Sources in the sense of what inspired you would be awesome as well
  • (All of this as well could get us vey close to a full marks in grading)
Next Week:
  • Bring in a small electronic object for class
  • Small, doesn't take up too much energy, but does plug into the wall
  • Bring it in on Monday

Short Term Project: Instructables

For this, we had to look thoruhg 'Instructables.com' to find tutoprials tht matched up into this category

The Good

The Bad

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Week 3: Blinky LED Kit

Jumping off our Breadboard post, we jump into soldering a TNM Circuit, or 'Blinky' Board as our teacher has dubbed it. With this project, we'll be doing the opposite of a breadboard; A breadboard is a solderless tool used to experiment with circuits as you can put in and take out wires and capacitors to experiment with making a 'circuit' of some kind, and now we move to creating a permantnet connection on a circuit board

Soldering is a process in which two or more items (usually metal) are joined together by melting and putting a filler metal (solder) into the joint, the filler metal having a lower melting point than the adjoining metal.

A soldering iron is a tool with a nib at the end small enough to solder small points on circuit boards and is the most important tool in your arsenal dealing with small circuit boards.

For an understanding on how to solder, check out my post on Soldering Basics, or click the link to some videos and guides to help you if you're a first timer with a soldering iron:

This tool must be taken care especially  because overtime, the metal begins to corrode as it heats up and oxidizes the air, and become brittle or lose it's point. On thing you can do to protect the tip is to leave a bit of solder on the tip before unplugging/turning it off so it protects the metal as it cools down.

Making a Blinky LED Circuit:

Basically you'll need the same competences as you did in the Solderless Breadboard, but instead of the breadboard, you'll need the small PCB board that came with the bag kit. (Not pictured: 9 Volt battery)

The diagrams with symbols shows how your connections work within the circuit, while the last diagram is how they connect visually on a breadboard. The circuit board we used actually showed how to do it via the top diagrams, and had symbols to let us know where to slide our components through.

Follow your instructions on how to place your components, and pay very close attention to your positive and negative legs on your components connections. Long= +/ Short= -

(Me soldering... Like a Pro!)

I'd suggest soldering on your smaller components, like your ICC chip and resistors first, but slide in your lights as well so you have a room for them as their holes are really close to where your resisters sit. Also, bend the wires through the holes so your board components aren't moving around as you solder.

(Bottom View)

(Bottom View)

When sliding in the resistors, you don't have to worry so much about polarity as they help reduce current flow and make sure that your circuit doesn't overheat and cause a short circuit


Slide in your LED lights, and Capacitor, but be very careful in placing them in the right slot because if the legs are in the wrong direction, they will not work. The flat side of the LED lights, the negative side, must be placed accordingly in that they face one way on the board according to which resistor they're over. The capacitor is more simple in that there are symbols to follow on the board itself. Then finally you add your battery connection wire and you're done.

(Business in front...)

(Party in the back!)

Snip and haircut!

And there you have your own Blinky LED Circuit board.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Week 3: Discussion on Art of Noise and Electric Body Manipulation

  • Discussion on 'The Art of Noise' by Futurist Artist Luigi Russolo, and the concepts of 'aesthetic' and 'What is noise?' as he questioned and challenged the idea of 'sound' during a time of great change of the early 1900's
  • During World War II, people began to emerge from the woodworks, and worked on radar and radio systems
  • Theremin- An operator that created and instrument dubbed the 'Theremin' where it emits radio signals between two antennas, and a person manipulates these waves between there hands and play music
  • Theremin discovered this working in radio technology, and has been pinnacle of the 1950-'s scifi era sound, and is used into today's music/art world

  • Jump 70 years forward, and we meet Reed Ghazala- One of the forefathers of new electronic noise art
  • Ghazala is the forefather of 'Circuit Bending' a form of noise art where one takes apart circuit boards, speak and spells, and other forms of electronics and bending the sounds that emit from it, and experimenting with shorting out the circuit power, and lengthening, and thus coming up with the 'Electronic Art' music
  • Ghazala comments how this became a very important tool in the subculture of the arts (i.e. The Speak and Spell) and how by misappropriating and changing what has been in placed by 'polite society', he challenges what is proper and what is not with bending the circuits that have been created solely for one purpose, and changing it into something else
  • By bending the circuit, you change what is considered 'consistent' and 'marketable'; While some hate the idea of something not doing what it was designed for, Ghazala was more excited for what is could become
Electric Body Manipulation as Performance Art Discussion 
  • 1700's scientist Stephen Gray discovers the electric current, and uses it to perform feats of science such as suspending a child above metal shavings, electrically charge them , and watch as the metal shavings would float/suspend between the child and the plates they sat on
  • This was an early form of 'Magic Shows' as they would show these experiments to learned people and put on a show
  • This was considered the first form of Electric Body Art where the Human Body is nothing but a Human Conductor
  • Eventually, it would change as the study of the electric current was further tested and studied, and how it would be turned into a lethal form of being used to control animals like elephants, and the invention of the Electric Chair for executions of convicted persons
  • Westing House system-Alternating Current
  • Edison- Direct Current
  • Giovanni Aldini would discover during the 1800's that the human body would be manipulated through small amounts of electrical current, and could be used to affect our inner psychological thinking
  • It does work on some occasions, even though it;s considered very horrific, but could be used as a sort of stimulation of muscles and possibly used to help with our mental states
  • Duchenne de Bologne spearheaded this movement
  • By the 20th century, Stelarc, a writer of this article, would continue this practice and use electric currents to manipulate his body as a form of performance art
  • Elsanaar, writer 2, goes on with it and says' The human body is outdated; It's time to upgrade'

Week 3: Notes on Soldering

What is Solder?
  • Solder is a a alloy that is a substance composed of two or more metals that typically comes as a long, thin wire in spools or tubes. It can also be use as a verb as it means to join two pieces of metal in what is called a solder point.
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  • It is highly bendable to the point of a liquid string and easily breaks by a simple pull of the hand
  • Composed of mostly lead (Pb), tin, (Sn), and a few other trace metals
  • Lead is harmful to humans in large amounts, but it's chosen as the go-to metal for creating solder joints the best
  • Lead-free solder has become the norm in electronics manufacturing
  • Composed of mostly tin and other trace metals such as silver and copper, and is very similar to it's counterpart
  • RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive)is the symbol used for it
  • Overall, it;s one person's own decision what to use and take the rick with the reward
  • Lead-free solder isn't without fault as since it's mostly composed of tin, it has a higher melting point and thus requires a higher heat, and sometimes needs a little help
  • Flux Core: A chemical agent that aids in the flow of lead-free solder; it helps to achieve the same effect as does regular leaded solder, but can sometimes be more expensive than leaded solder
  • These two types aren't the only types as there are other metals to chose aside from lead or tin 
  • Solder comes in varying sizes, but the best for small electronics (Especially for this class) is the thinner version where it;s easier to maneuver it around the components of a small circuit board
Soldering Irons

  • A Soldering Iron is a Hand Tool that heats up so that it may be used as a conductor when melting solder onto a circuit board or to create a solder joint
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  • For this class, we'll be using a simple 30-40 Watt iron
  • Tips: the part of the iron that heats up and allows solder to flow around the two components being joined. We'll be using a small, pointed tips for better precision on our boards, but they come in other variations according to ones needs


  • Wand: This part of the iron that holds the tip, is the insulator for the heating coils and wires, and has a rubber grip that prevents the tip from transferring heat to the outside of the wand, and protects your hand from the heat of the metal tip

  • Base: This is a conductor box you can use to adjust the amount of heat conducted into the tip to match the varying alloys you can experiment with but for this class we just used a regular electrical socket because the heat is already set within the soldering irons required for the class, But, this is something you can look in to if you have a soldering iron that can vary in heat
  • Stand (Cradle): This is a stand used to house the soldering iron when not in use while it's plugged in. Leaving an iron on without placing it in a metal stand can cause a fire, or burn your hand when you're not paying attention to it as it rolls along the table, or could possibly touch it;s own electrical chord and melt the wiring. ALWAYS USE THE METAL STAND!!!

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  • Brass Sponge: As the soldering iron heats up, and corrodes and oxidizes, turning your tip black and begin to reject solder. This 'sponge' scrapes off the gunk that builds at the tip of your iron, which causes the oxidization. The more traditional method is to use a wet sponge, but it'll wear out the tip due to the change of heat causing your tip to expand and contract. This can cause a hole o from in your tip; Once there is a hole in the tip, it is no good for soldering. The brass sponge works much better than a regular sponge, but if you don't have this item, a regular sponge is better than nothing.

brass sponge

  • Solder Wick: This is the equivalent of an eraser for solder. By eating up this thin strip of copper, you can attract solder on a circuit board to remove it, and it's used to help in fixing any problems that may occur like placing a compennt wrong, or if a bridge has formed betwen components which could cause a short curcuit which is bad

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  • Flush Cutters: Cutters that allow you to trim legs of components you've soldered onto a board, and to make it look cleaner
  • Safety Glasses: Unless you need glasses to see, I would suggest safety glasses just in case a bit of solder flies up from removing a tip to quickly and flicking upwards; let's protect our money makers shall we?
How to Solder Tips:

  • When you solder, be careful not to overheat your PCB (Circuit Base) boards and cause your boards to burn out, or cause a fire
  • As depicted above, you want your solder to create a Volcano or Hershey's Kiss shape when creating a soldering joint
  • Also, it should be shiny and glossy when connected to create a good connection whitin the circuit
  • A tip to do is clean off your tip with your brass sponge and add a bit of solder onto the tip
  • Connect to your board and component for a second to heat up the metal, connect your solder, and let the heat wrap your solder around the joint, then quickly lift off your board
  • Since you'll be using both hands, use a 'third arm' or type of pliers that lock so you can keep your two components in place
  • Pay attention to your diagram when connection your board, and know which side you should slide your component through and which side to add solder


For more tips on How to Solder, and a more visual understanding of soldering, check out the links Below:

Spark Fun Video on Soldering Basics