Recent Projects

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MetaFlora is to bring life to things that cannot sustain life. It is a flower-powered statement that comments on the absence of nature in the streets of New York City.

An urban street intervention developed for UWAC Day, the student residents, along with Doris Cacolio, Sonali Sridhar, and window farmer Maya Nayak came up with the idea of MetaFlora. Each MetaFlora flower has seedpods in the middle of blossoms crafted from newspaper and crepe paper; they were designed to support plant life where plant life does not grow. The newspaper acts as a semi-porous shell to hold moisture for the seed-pod, and the colorful crepe paper attracts passersby to take a closer look: the miracle of life happening on the side of a building, on construction scaffolding, and even on road blocks.

Wanting to keep eco-friendly, most of the materials used were post-consumer and biodegradable. On UWAC day, we invited people to make flowers with us, and then hit the street to festoon drab, urban spaces with colorful flowers.

The project is so DIY, that it's almost DIYWF! (Do It Yourself With Friends!)

Instructions for making your own flowers, details, and photos on the project page on the UWAC website:

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For the 2009 Holiday Hackshop, Eyebeam asked the current Student Residents to create an eyebeam-themed installation for their window gallery. In the holiday spirit, they designed An Eyebeam Nativity, which recreated the nativity scene using the founding principals, technologies, and people of Eyebeam as a basis for the design.

The center piece was "Baby Eyebeam" (in the place of baby jesus) and it represented the melding of technology, the arts, and bright ideas. Surrounding the baby were the three wise men played by Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Linus Torvalds; and with Ada Lovelace in the role of Mary. The whole scene was bordered by the different aspects of art/tech culture - ranging from Pokeman as the North star, to a digitally generated wreath, to a pile of old T.V.s for "snow."

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The Urban Wilderness Action Center (U.W.A.C.) is a virtual platform for developing and sharing urban wilderness interventions. The project was created by the Eyebeam Student Residents with artist Jon Cohrs in the lead-up to the Electrosmog Festival 2010. We developed the webiste to host descriptions, instructions, and examples of projects that promote urban agriculture and engender urban wilderness. Projects were shared by different groups and individuals from urban centers across the globe. Our goal was that the UWAC website could collectively represent a global perspective on how to catalyze an urban wilderness.

 

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The Sentient City Survival Kit is a design research project that explores the social, cultural and political implications of ubiquitous computing for urban environments. It takes as its method the design, fabrication and presentation of a collection of artifacts, spaces and media for survival in the near-future sentient city.

As computing leaves the desktop and spills out onto the sidewalks, streets and public spaces of the city, information processing becomes embedded in and distributed throughout the material fabric of everyday urban space. Pervasive/ubiquitous computing evangelists herald a coming age of urban information systems capable of sensing and responding to the events and activities transpiring around them. Imbued with the capacity to remember, correlate and anticipate, this “sentient” city is envisioned as being capable of reflexively monitoring our behavior within it and becoming an active agent in the organization of our daily lives.

Few may quibble about “smart” traffic light control systems that more efficiently manage the ebbs and flows of trucks, cars and busses on our city streets. Some may be irritated when discount coupons for their favorite espresso drink are beamed to their mobile phone as they pass by Starbucks. Many are likely to protest when they are denied passage through a subway turnstile because the system “senses” that their purchasing habits, mobility patterns and current galvanic skin response (GSR) reading happens to match the profile of a terrorist.

The project aims to raise awareness of the implications for privacy, autonomy, trust and serendipity in this highly observant, ever-more efficient and over-coded city.

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Bluetooth Beats is a physical turntable emulator. With a DJ Hero controller, a Wiimote, OSCulator, and PureData, Bluetooth Beats gives anyone the ability to manipulate and scratch songs like a DJ without the need for expensive, professional equipment.

The purpose of the official DJ Hero game is to reproduce the experience of being an actual DJ. For example, in the game, when a user places their finger on the 'vinyl' and pulls in a certain direction it makes a scratch sound. These actions take place in a controlled environment, with set songs and scratch points, where a user follows prompts provided by the game - scoring points for reproducing the sounds in the game.

Instead of recording a user's actions and sending them to the DJ Hero software, Bluetooth Beats uses the DJ Hero turntable controller to send data about a user's actions to a computer program that allows the user to manipulate a chosen song in real-time, and wirelessly. Currently Bluetooth Beats allows the user to change volume, stop/start, rewind and fastforward, scratch, and sample in real time.

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Mandatory Minimum—We Have Moved! is comprised of an urban intervention located adjacent to a Home Depot in Brooklyn and the chain link fence installation at Eyebeam that displays documentation of past Orange Work projects. The Home Depot intervention is comprised of a large printed sign that blandly announces a fictitious increase in the federal minimum wage. The Orange Work method might be summed up as: “Be The State”, by appropriating visual languages to contest issues of spatial dynamics.

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MakerBot is an affordable, open source 3D printer rapid prototyping machine developed by Bre Pettis, Zach Hoeken, and Adam Mayer. Build your own MakerBot and it makes things for you, functioning like a personal factory. Digital designs for the MakerBot can be shared on Thingiverse.com, a web-based community initiated by MakerBot Industries, where users post files, document designs, and collaborate on open source hardware.

 

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Crisis Map of Haiti represents the most comprehensive and up-to-date crisis map available to the humanitarian community. The information here is mapped in near real time and gathered from reports coming from inside Haiti via: SMS, Web, Email, Radio, Phone, Twitter, Facebook, Television, List-serves, Live streams, and Situation Reports

Volunteers at Ushahidi's Situation Room at the Fletcher School, in Washington DC, Geneva, London and Portland are mapping the majority of the reports submitted to Ushahidi in near real-time. The volunteers then identify GPS coordinates for the reports and geo-tag the reports on the Ushahidi map. Each report is first read at least once by Situation Room before being published on the map. This Ushahidi deployment represents a joint initiative with members of the International Network of Crisis Mappers. All this information published under Creative Commons License (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike).

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During the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Vote-Auction.net offered U.S. citizens an anonymous and quick way to sell their vote to the highest bidder. Because of the threat to the outcome of the election, several U.S. states issued temporary restraining orders for alleged illegal vote trading and consumer fraud. Over 2,500 news media outlets reported on the project. Collaborators: James Baumgartner, Tilmann Singer, Aaron Kaplan, Silver Server, lo-res.org, Oskar Obereder, Christoph Johannes Mutter, hell.com, Bootlab Berlin, Domenico Quaranta.

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Ghana Think Tank is solving the problems of the Developed World. Local problems collected from communities in the U.S. and UK are sent to think tanks in Ghana, Cuba, Iran, Serbia, Mexico and El Salvador. The think tanks propose solutions, which are enacted back in the problem community, whether the solutions seem brilliant or embarrassing. This project explores the friction caused when solutions are generated in one context and applied elsewhere.