Tag Archives: play

easter eggs at sxsw09

this year at sxsw09 tom and i decided to launch a little prototype qr code-based game, something we came up w o the saturday afternoon and deployed over the next 24 hours. our goals were primarily to test qr codes in a large-scale environment, and more than anything to see what would happen.

i shared an ignite presentation (heh… an adventure ;) with matt milan last week at a workshop here in toronto called situate.us – a day long session exploring the applications and design of situated computing. all in all an amazing day, and major props to matt, michael and daniel for organizing ( as well as the other participants for bringing diverse flavours of awesome).

the premise of the project was this: imagine you’re an intrepid explorer who has stumbled upon sxsw09 for the first time, and it is the technological equivalent of the galapagos islands. the media you discover are somewhat familiar, and echo that which you’ve seen before, but some are completely new species, and essentially you think ‘what the hell is this intarweb?’ and you communicate your discoveries via twitter.

the technical side was pretty lowtech – we wanted to use readily available tools due to time and $$ constraints, so twitter, a qr generator, tinyurl & fedex were the basic platforms, as well as qr readers available on smartphones. every time our explorer found something, he twittered about it and linked to the site via tinyurl. each tweet generated a qr code, which we printed out on paper and distributed across the conference.

the results? well, it sort of worked… it was a good learning experience, in that we found out that printing qr codes on glossy paper = reader FAIL. we used tinyurl, when really we should have used bit.ly for tracking purposes. also, we didn’t really talk it up, preferring to see how ppl would react to random qr codes distributed across the conference (taped on streetposts, tables, walls, etc). turns out, with no context, not very well. so it didn;t work as well as it could have, but that’s what experiments are for!

ps – the last slide w the T800 and lentils is from tom’s recent presentation on augmented reality.


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heading to LIFT08


v v happy to be flying back to geneva this year for the ever-awesome LIFT conference. huge props to laurent, nicolas, sylvie and the rest of the LIFT team for putting together another really fantastic program. bruce sterling, bill cockaynelee bryant, julian bleecker, fabien girardin, stephanie booth, henriette weber andersen and noel hidalgo will be among the many giving talks, leading conversations and workshopping. tom is also giving what looks to be awesome workshop on the future of wireless. oof, unfortunately with the conference last week and project applications all over the place, i missed the deadline to submit…

regardless, i’m looking forward to catching up with friends, meeting new people and having my mind saturated with absolutely fantastic conversations. a new element this year is the venture night – where new startups give us their pitch! and there’s the threat of switzerland’s biggest. fondue. evar. <cheese glee>

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studio n seeks new studiomate!

please pass it along! many thanks, michele

Studio N Seeks New StudioMate

Studio N is a shared studio of independent jewellery/metal/craft artists with varying careers and schedules. The studio itself is located at 44 Dovercourt, south of Queen St, and is approximately 750 sq ft, with a wall of south-facing windows. It comes equipped with a small kitchen, bathroom, a reception area and some storage.

This is a shared studio with 5 bench areas (one area is shared by 2 part time people). We each bring in and are responsible for our own benches, hand tools, torches, materials, hardware, etc, and contribute to larger items/ machinery/ tools where possible. The pickle pot is shared, as are vise grips, a shear, ultrasonic, polisher, hydraulic press, etc.

As a caveat, Studio N is not a residency, mentoring or educational facility – it’s a professional collective of individuals developing their studio practice and business. We don’t provide access to materials, clients or exhibitions, but are definitely about supporting each other when we can. Our works vary from the traditional to the conceptual, with lots of messy territory in between. We do hold open house exhibitions 2+ times a year, involvement is not mandatory, and some of us teach small classes.

What we’re looking for:

You’re friendly, reliable, professional and used to working in a shared, respectful, studio environment. You’re safe and savvy around tools, chemicals, materials and processes. You’ve got some learning in you regarding jewellery and metals, whether it’s through school, apprenticeship, etc, and you have a professional commitment to your practice, whatever that might entail. You’re in possession of tools, and are not averse to contributing when you can!

  • Rent: $200/month inclusive, last month deposit req’d, one year+ commitment preferred.
  • Other: a shared phone line at about $9/month plus any long distance; a $5/month kitty for baking soda, pickle, dish soap, garbage bags, etc.
  • Available: February 1st, 2008
  • Access: 24 hours. close proximity to Queen and King streetcar, Dufferin bus, Gladstone Hotel poutine.

Who we are:

  • Fiona MacIntyre
  • Lara McQuay
  • Michele Perras
  • Carolyn Scandiffio
  • Anneke Van Bommel

Please contact Michele at 416-805-8661, michele {.} perras {@} gmail {.} com

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scotchcamp tonite!

95524589_b04adf2594.jpgphoto by asmunder

the torcamp scotchcamp holiday social will be happening tonight at allen’s on the danforth, from 8pm onwards. stop in to warm up from the cold, and share a bit of cheer. as well, allen’s has a fine selection of over 160 scotches, whiskies and bourbons, and plenty of other options for those whose palate marches to a different drum. and also there’s great food! see you there!

  • when: december 17, 8pm
  • where: allen’s on the danforth, 143 danforth ave (just east of broadview, south side)

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i are dunecat, and necessary for space travel

so this was too funny to pass by – thx to michelle for the giggles!! and yeah… i really should be working too ;)

Your Score: Spice Melange

You scored 100% intoxication, 75% hotness, 100% complexity, and 75% craziness!

You are Spice.

You’re not from around here, are you? You’re extremely valuable. While you resemble mundane cinnamon, you are much more interesting. People fight wars over you, but your giant worms protect you.

You enlighten people; make them aware, prescient, even clairvoyant. Your pure essence can reveal people’s true selves, if they survive their encounter with the real you. You’re addictive, dangerous, seductive, and above all else, necessary for space travel.

Link: The Which Spice Are You Test written by jodiesattva on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test


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media lab toronto is born!


casecamp6 took place last tuesday at the century room, and was a really incredible night full of awesome cases, announcements and people. eli has really raised level of conversation and built a fantastic community around casecamp, which has now partnered with achilles media (the producers of nextMedia). congrats to all – and looking forward to the future. tom has some great notes on the evening as well!

media lab toronto also presented their inaugural project – TXTris, an interactive SMS projection where text messages sink down from the sky onto a hilarious toronto skyline made of tim horton’s boxes. congrats to patrick, gabe, michael and dory, and i can’t wait to see where this will go!!

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all this useless beauty

Sketch (leaves) 2005, blown glass, 15 x 23 cmcali balles, photo

i came across this paper* while researching for my project and prepping for the last lecture of the year before presentations, and it really highlights some of the ideas i’ve spoken about previously as well as given articulate phrasing to some really interesting connections in the relationship between craft, design and digital technology. craft and design have had a schism since the industrial revolution, when, for all intents and purposes, design was born. greg calls design ‘creation for reproduction’ – making with the direct intention of replicating, and thus requiring systems and standards to ensure exactness throughout that reproductive process. and most digital technology reflects this, presenting us with clean and simple efficiencies of form but very little humanity. i think that craft, however, embodies a bit more of our humanity as the unique experience of making by hand can’t be replicated and our tools and processes do not become extensions of ourselves, but rather interfaces in an empathetic relationship with the materials, the ideas, the user and ourselves. and beauty.

jayne wallace and mike press (the latter of whom is speaking this week in halifax at nscad university’s neocraft conference- i SO WISH i was there) express their thoughts on the role of beauty in craft, it’s approximation in design and it’s role in creating better digital technologies.

1st part of the excerpts below (2nd to follow shortly)

Beauty, we argue, plays a vital role in humanising technology and ensuring its cultural relevance… Industrial design can
employ the illusion of beauty to temper the beast of technology by providing a veneer of desire, seduction and usability. But let us not confuse eternal beauty with the passionate but fast fading blooms of desire. We enjoy the delights of the G4 Powerbook as much as the next fashion-conscious academic, but only as a well designed one night stand at the orgiastic party of our consumer culture.

moar Continue reading


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