Monthly Archives: September 2008

serenity stones.

New top banner is a shot of my Serenity Stones that I created for Project Two.
Again, I’m happy with how the review and presentations went – generally.
I was way nervous (blaming my rude pantyhose) and I feel like I ran through my presentation way too fast, but overall I got some of the reactions that I was hoping for when many of the critics said that they found my product ‘pleasing’.
If I could change my project, I would clearly improve the pebble portion of my model – but I do feel that I did the best I could have with what was available at the time.
I enjoyed the challenge of only using images for our boards, but I’m not quite sure if I really rose to the challenge completely.
Oh man, I’m tired. I swear I had more to say. I think I’m proud of what I did, but I’m not sure.
I feel like the whole product is too simple, but at the same time the simplicity is what makes it so beautiful and easy to use. I accomplished a lot of what I intended to do with this product concept: create something to decrease anxiety, and that applies to a wide range of ages and people without being a fugly, obviously ‘assistive’ prodcut.
Our boards were 80″ X 34″, with 2″ margins all over. Here’s a shot of my layout, with the grid. For the actual presentation I moved the large black board to the bottom of that column.

My two favorite concepts for this project were by Wes and Yichen – both very cool. Wes made a very revolutionary design for the walker that looks much sleeker and fun, and Yichen made a water fountain clock that always has water streaming to tell what time it is through the number of streams.

Sand sand sand

Studio isn’t studio unless something is wrong; at least that’s how it goes for me.
That being said, nothing is TOO terribly wrong except that I can’t actually finish my pebbles until right before the presentation because the lights will get too dim if I tape the whole circuit deal together too soon. I am not too bummed about this because it’s going to be easy to “fake” it for some pictures to put on my board and everything is on schedule and perfectly fine…
But I am bummed because once I glue the caps on my pebbles with the LEDs “on” inside of them and they finally burn out and die, then I’ll be left with a whole lot of white pebbles that don’t light up.
And that won’t be as cool of an addition to my apartment as I had hoped because I was hoping I could put this dish and these pebbles on my actual coffee table at home and potentially use them as I intended the product to be used.
For now, I’m still just sand sand sanding my pebbles in-between sanding, priming, sanding, spackling, sanding, priming, sanding and painting (and sanding) my dish.
I’m hoping for a late-night pebble photoshoot in the apartment; maybe throwing in some context with my sweet Ikea coffee table and/or couch.
Blah blah blah.
Everything is fine and nothing hurts [except my ears. LAME. Boo GT Health Services]

I’ve been testing a complete LED & battery pack since 3:30 and it’s still running pretty well; I’ve been taking it everywhere to make sure it doesn’t die when I’m not looking – rather reminiscent of having a “baby” for health class or something. Colleen said that most battery/LED deals lasts 150 hours on average, so it should work out for the project at least. Jake had some ideas on how to make the ‘caps’ removable now, so I need to play around with that, too.

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calm, before the storm

I am nervous that I’m not nervous yet.
I’m still hanging out in this rather calm area before the storm, and everything is moving along pretty well. My pebbles are currently printing dowstairs and should be done when I get off work. I cut my dish out of sign foam [more like watched while someone did it for me], and I’ve already started sanding it. I plan on sanding, priming, and painting my dish tonight after work. I already have the LEDs broken out of the cheap key chains I got at Party City, so I need to get those set and ready to put into the pebbles, but I’ve already played around with that and it shouldn’t be bad.
The storm I’m waiting for is what the 3D printer is actually going to give me when its done printing. I’m concerned that I didn’t measure/think enough about how big the “slices” off the end are – so I’m not certain I can fit my LEDs, complete with batteries, into all of my pebbles yet. But there’s nothing I can do about that right now. If some of them don’t work, I’ll probably just make my boards with what does work, and then 3D print some new pebbles later when everyone else isn’t freaking out and trying to get stuff printed. I also don’t know if the shells are too thin to sand smooth without breaking…but again, nothing I can do until I have them in my hands.
So far, so good.
Also, I found my jumpdrive!

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I wish that there were RFIDs on everything so that I wouldn’t lose really important things like my JUMPDRIVE (and/or other people’s jumpdrives, too) in my horribly spacious and filled with dirty clothes/junk apartment!

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So. Things are looking up?
More like, ‘Things will be looking up once I can find cheap light-up junk to break, and some of those clear plastic piggy bank-esque plugs for my pebbles.’
DVA helped me re-size the ‘pebbles’ from the kind you might use to stone people with to something more appropriate. It’ll cost a lot less now, but I’m really going to need some assistance cutting the hole into the ‘pebbles’ in SolidWorks after I’ve found the aforementioned plugs [more like: creating the perfect hole for the plug to go into].
I don’t really know what to do about the dish right now; nothing’s really working the way I want it to. I made an actual bowl in SW (thanks to Jes), but its sort of boring. My mind was thinking of a lot more drama and dynamics in the shape and position it should rest on a table…so we’ll see.
Jes helped me out with a combo of rectilinear + curves + brutalist idea, so I’m going to plop that into SW today, too.
We also have some crazy [but good in the long run] guidelines for how to do our boards.
In general, I really appreciate how hard DVA pushes us to work so hard. But its stressful, none the less.

To Do:
1. make 9 different pebble shapes on Alias [x]
2. find LED things [X]
3. cut holes in ‘pebbles’ and shell them out in SW [X]
4. make ‘dish’ [X]
5. 3D print [X]
—————————————————————-by Monday, hopefully
6. sand/paint/dye/finish models [  ]
7. boards, etc. (not until Tuesday or Wednesday) [  ]
8. plot (not on Friday. Geeze) [  ]

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3D: dumb dumb dilema

I am an idiot.
Computer modeling is not simple. How the hell could I forget THAT of all things?
I do not know how to use SolidWorks.
Alias seemed promising until I realized I can’t measure things before throwing it into SolidWorks.
This is very, very bad.

I’ve gotten some helpful advice on ways to create what I want, but I don’t want to spend forever doing making cardboard cut-outs and then tracing and then whatevering. Why isn’t there a simple way to create what I want? I’m attempting to make something similar to a plastic Easter egg shell, but in a more amorphous, pebble-y way.

I feel like I don’t have any of the right tools in my quiver right now.
I don’t know if I’ll ever have the right tools in my quiver.
Not to mention my chair is all off-kilter.

Bryan + Jackson = lifesavers
I will be beyond broke and in debt at the end of this project considering its $5.50/cubic inch to print this stuff, and I wanted to go all out and make 7-9 pebbles + ‘dish’.
Right now it looks like a full pebble is going to cost me $30 unless I knock down the thickness a bit.
[Which, of course, I don’t know how to do without effing everything Bryan made me up!]

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induction insanity.

I’ve made some solid design decisions that I’m pleased with thus far. For instance, I know I want to make one base that really promotes the whole concept of the product, and offer it in different colors and finishes instead of offering different base styles.
However, I am not pleased that the more I learn about the technology that seems ‘so easy’ that everyone throws around like its no big deal [Oh yeah, you know, LEDs, induction charging, whateverrrr], the more I realize I am so so far behind. How am I supposed to even learn enough about this stuff in two weeks, let alone make it all work? I feel sort of sick to my stomach.
I don’t even know where to begin with making or even buying materials for this…
Altho I did find some sweet Graffiti + LED stuff.
I want some coffee and some au gratin poatoes – STAT.

(ps. tumblr)

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project notes.

What is everyone else doing, so that I don’t do it?
a walker that is an “un-walker” of sorts
changing the way a container is used from fine motor movements to simpler, more general ones
a playground
changing keys/knobs for people with arthritis
a water temperature regulator
a high-tech-y, redesigned walker
a gardening assistant tool
a recycling system for plastic bags that helps the homeless [whoa]
‘golden brick road’ of safety and comfort
something Yichen’s doing…?
a “hobby idea of the day” planner
shoe insole that measures medical data
an ad campaign that also measures medical data
and then something I’m doing… ha ha ha

This is what I have written down:
-> slow living/happy living
Night light, pill boxes/bottles, reminders, mobility, bathroom, kitchens, functional jewelry, clocks/timers/alarms, comfort/safety, being remembered/legendary, furniture, lighting, calmness, anxiety, functional art, low-tech, pockets, electronic ink…
How to reduce anxiety, slow life down, make things more enjoyable in the moment?
dual-purpose products
something that markets to everyone
sneaky purposes
But what makes a house a home? How can I de-stress elderly living?
Not just the obvious “I’m afraid to fall down” “What if I take the wrong pill?” stuff.


When Yichen said something about a clock, it jolted my brain a little bit. I wake up panicky sometimes because I don’t know what time it is and I’m afraid I’ve overslept or something. I also started thinking a little when someone said night light because whenever my grandparents come stay at my parent’s house, they put a night light in the hallway…[but those are other people’s ideas. AGAIN.]

Oh, this is so stressful. I know I’m SO so close to something. I can feel it inside my brain – little workers are organizing boxes of thoughts, pushing them around and placing them on the correct shelves and the box with the idea for this project in it is just right beside what they’re currently organizing, but they haven’t reached the box I need yet…

I need to create something assistive in a non-traditional sense. Gah.
I’ve come to far now to cop-out and do something “just assistive.”
I have to make something that makes people happy.
I also really want whatever “technology” I use to be REALLY easy – i.e. that beaker lamp DVA talked about in class that uses simple hand motions to use.



I went to a screen printing party @ the Epidemik Coalition office/home of Ted. It was really rad and I did what DVA said and I made friends with people. Ted gave me a tour of the office space upstairs and got a sort of ‘inside scoop’ on what they do.
Pretty interesting to see those kids outside of 104 and actually talk about different things.
I’m excited to get more involved in IDSA and start some things.
Screenprinting was soo fun; I forgot how much I enjoy it. I think I’m going to put a screenprinting kit on my Christmas list [with a new Lomo flash ring, etc.]
I’ve also decided I need to think more seriously about getting a bike – or a bike that is practical for city riding and is not a sweet orange Paul Frank cruiser that sits in my apartment and holds magazines. Parking over in downtown ATL was so sketch, and I’m awful at parallel parking [although I did manage on my second try].
Speaking of sketch, I know what I have to do the rest of this weekend!
Hopefully we’ll all be amazed on Monday.

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emtha thinks/talks/tumbls

I was stalking around the internet recently, and I found how lovely tumblr blogs are.
I really dig how easy it is to use, and how simple the layouts are.
Now I can think AND tumbl.

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