Data Visualizations from the Museum of Natural History

March 24th, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR
RAP (Robot Action Painter) - creates original paintings using a combination of random decisions and responses to its environment

RAP (Robot Action Painter) - creates original paintings using a combination of random decisions and responses to its environment

Last week I visited the Museum of Natural History in New York City and was amazed with all the data visualizations they put together for their displays. Ever since my visit to the museum, I have become addicted to designing my own data visualizations for different types of data sets. Click here to view some of the visualizations I photographed during my journey through the Museum of Natural History.

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Puck Music: Electronic Hockey Puck

March 10th, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR

Puck Music is a soundscape composed using hockey pucks and hockey sticks. Each hockey stick acts as a different musical instrument when they move the hockey pucks on the floor. I am presently working on this piece for my Dataflow Programming class at ITP.

The following are some images of the puck’s construction and the Pure Data syntax that I am using to program them:

View photos and documentation of the project »

Reading and Writing to the VDIP1 USB Host Controller using Arduino

March 4th, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR

The VDIP1 USB host controller is a worthwhile extension module for anyone working with the Arduino microcontroller. The ability to integrate USB inputs/outputs with your Arduino microcontroller means that you can interface it with practically any USB device, creating even more exciting possibilities with Arduino. Another valuable integration feature that the module can provide is the ability to increase Arduino’s memory capacity using any USB memory drive.

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Cupping Time by Adi Marom and Jason Safir

March 1st, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR

A timepiece that indicates the passage of time in a cup.

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Interactive Memory Box

February 26th, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR

The box, fashioned from wood salvaged from the home where I grew up, holds and preserves memories from my youth.

Memory Box reveals the recollections I have from my childhood through an interactive memory box. The memory box gives the user the ability to discover my childhood past through a montage of personal photographs, depicting images of my youth and significant others in my life. By utilizing these historic images as miniature push button switches, distinctive sounds and LED lights promptly respond to the user’s input. These animated responses reflect my own personal impression of the selected images based on my memories of them.

Hockey Puck Pong Controller

February 11th, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR

A hockey puck can be an engaging networked object. For the second assignment in my Networked Objects class, students were asked to develop intriguing input devices for a networked pong game using the WIZnet module. I took this opportunity to get my feet wet by beginning to play with some of the materials and technology I will be using for my final project which will be a virtual floor hockey game involving hockey pucks and sticks that communicate over a network (details on this concept will be posted in the coming weeks). The initial idea for the functionality of the pong controller was to insert a wheel potentiometer into the center of the base of the hockey puck to detect whether the object is moving left or right. This did not work out as planned since the puck can only move in a certain angle in order for the movement to be processed serially. As a contingency plan for this week, I inserted two push button switches at the sides of the puck which act as targets for the user and the hockey stick. The result was an engaging aesthetic that I am pleased with. While admittedly this is not an effective interface design for a networked pong game if a hockey stick were to be used, I believe it is a productive start in establishing my goal to convert hockey pucks into networked objects.

HIV Test Package Design

February 10th, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR

Jaw-Dropping Statistics

February 2nd, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR

For inspiration to help develop an idea for a semester long project, my Mainstreaming Information class was asked to present three examples of “jaw-dropping” statistics that highlight a particularly surprising situation or trend. I think much can be said about the following shocking data that affect our planet both environmentally and socially:

The Basic Problem with Coffee Cups

  • Paper cup use in 2006 accounted for 4 billion gallons of water wasted, 6.5 million trees cut down, and 4,884 billion BTU’s of energy used.
  • At the University of Washington, a college of roughly 42 thousand students, the Housing and Food Services Department estimates that 5000 paper coffee cups are thrown away every school day.
  • Starbucks found that 1.9 billion cups were used by Starbucks in 2000. In 2006, Starbucks reported that this figure had grown to 2.3 billion cups for use at their stores.
  • Starbucks has begun to use cups made from 10% post-consumer materials, while the remaining 90% of the cup is composed of new paper releases methane, a greenhouse gas with 23 times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide.
  • How often do we lie to others?

  • Most people lie to others once or twice a day and deceive about 30 people per week. The average is 7 times per hour if you count all the times people lie to themselves.
  • 75% of all lies are for admittedly selfish purposes with 25% told for allegedly unselfish purposes.
  • 35 percent of resumes contain lies
  • We lie in 30 to 38% of all our interactions
  • How much shower water does one person consume in a week?

  • One person can use almost 11,000 gallons a year if they take a 15 minute shower every day
  • You can save water by simply reducing the water flow from your hot or cold water faucets to regulate temperature instead of increasing the flow
  • Stir it Up!

    January 31st, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR

    This was a physical computing improvisation assignment I did for my Networked Objects class. The idea was to be able to control a video by stirring a coffee mug. Random, huh? We do very weird things with technology at ITP.

    Little Orlando

    January 14th, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR

    Little Orlando is a toy doll that was inspired from the main character I used in my interactive video project He Don’t Got Game. The 3D character, Orlando Florida, was modeled using Maya and was then printed using a Z Corp rapid prototyping machine. In upcoming projects, I plan to use the 3D character in stop motion animations and as well build him into an electronic voodoo toy.