We welcomed 2016 by cleaning the studio, so we got the house in order and now we’re finally blogging again. The studio along with the blog got a bit sidelined by the activities of the year that was 2015. The last I blogged was about our core conversation at SXSW last year, which was titled the future of physical digital placemaking. The panel was a big hit and since then we’ve moved our work forward to create more case studies to represent the future that we talked about. In October last year, our project Airbare, a data visualization piece that visualizes air pollutants and turns it into a game, was a finalist in the SXSW Eco Place by Design Data + Tech category. Here is our pitch if you are interested in data and game design.
Other highlights included being a part of the mentorship program for the Big Idea Week last May 2015. We shared some of our work with some very bright 4th graders at a PS 46K and they pitched some amazing product ideas to us and other mentors who came from product development, design and architecture backgrounds. It was one of the most inspiring, creative mornings we’d spent in a while. The product/business ideas were ingenious and fully thought through. All these kids have a very bright future ahead of them.
We installed Play Array at the Center of Urban Science and Progress storefront space in Downtown Brooklyn for two weeks last May. The project was a fun to install and was covered in some reputed tech and design blogs. Around the same time we were named one of the finalists for a public art intervention for the Joint Communication Center in Charlotte, NC. We were proud to be considered for a project of that enormity. Also, as a part of South Asian Creative Collective Ornate’s Exhibition, we showed the project Bare Branches with Fariba Alam at the Shirin Gallery in Manhattan, NYC last June (pictures below).
During the summer, we started work on a project, the working title of which was ‘Smart Sticky’. The project circles around the idea of contextual day to day information and easy accessibility of the same. We were lucky to have Lucia Cozzi as our intern in the studio. She came from the undergraduate program in service design at SCAD and helped us enormously to conduct our early research for the project which included creating a sticky booklet that we sent to 15-20 families nationally and internationally, to collect data around what type of information people accessed and where. The project continues under a different name with talking prototypes. More on this soon.
Our project Airbare was deinstalled from its downtown Louisville location and inherited from Creative Commons by the Institute of Healthy Air Water and Soil. The project is supposed to tour local schools and create awareness around air pollution. We reprogrammed the piece to work with the EPA sensors. We also deinstalled Silent Lights. The local community was sad to see it go. It was used by vendors to exhibit their goods for the Afro Punk Festival earlier in August. The moment was moving for us as well. Silent Lights was an exercise in patience. A lot of people and organizations including the Artplace America, Department of Transportation, Black Rock Foundation and Designers Lighting Forum of New York and others were involved in making it a success. It was a massive undertaking and we are all proud to have been a part of it.
We’ve continued working on our various projects to bring them to fruition in 2016. There is definitely news in the near horizon. This time I’ll make sure to not wait 10 months before bringing it to the blog. Happy 2016 everyone.