23 05 2008

After the presentation for the Rapid Prototype project leader today, we agreed on working further on the Pebbles Concept. A direction I was very pleased with, as it opens up for a lot of new exploring in use and interaction with online music in physical form. I also find the concept tempting due to its aesthetical values.   

For me Pebbles represents something soothing and quiet. It brings back the tactility in media shearing and has a clear sense of relaxation and peace. Therefore I feel, bringing in Fengshui Principles in the final design could be a interesting and beautiful direction. Beneath are some pictures for inspiration.

Feng Shui is the Chinese art of living in harmony with your environment, although its followers would argue it is a science. They believe that changing your environment by placing different objects in different places can affect your luck, health, wealth, and happiness.

Searching for Pebbles and Fengshui I actually found commercial Fengshui Pebbles distributed online.. It even comes in a nice wrapping…



Some suggestions to how you could separate the different Pebbles from eachother; writing, drawing, painting, relieff, wrapping, tactility…



A lot of possiblities here.. Some intresting options for customizing aswell..


WORKSHOP, 2. year students, Rapid Prototyping

21 05 2008

This Tuesday I had the pleasure of having a very good workshop with my colleague Kristian Trengereid, an Grapfick designer from Westedahls, and my Rapid Prototyping group at AHO. The mission was to investigate the use of rapid prototyping and designer toys as a contribution to my project. Our mission was to look at the good, the bad and the ugly side of media shearing online, and to build a interactive toy concept around this.



So called “designer toys”, “urbanvinyl”, “asianvinyl”, or “plush” is an emerging art form among designers and artists now a days, and according to Wikipedia, the term Designer Toys is used to describe a toy or other collectible work of art made in limited quantities, usually by designers or graphic artists. The most common materials used to manufacture these toys are vinyl and plastic. Plush dolls are also a frequent designer toy expression medium. Metal, wood and cloth are occasionally used. These toys are consumed predominantly adults and very rarely by kids due high prices and the lack of a naive aspect. Sometimes, a designer toy is produced in an all white version just to let designers and artists create their own exclusive version of the toy, just like a work of art. These versions are usually very expensive for a toy.


My aim is to explore the direction of using this art form as a tool for shearing and distributing online media through physical objects. What if up and coming artists, record labels or producers could earn money on their work by selling media containing, limited edition designer toys? Would this create an opportunity for the music industry to get people from downloading their material for free? Are physical objects representing music, labels or artists a desired product for the mass market?

The result after about two hours of brain twisting was a toy concept for up and coming artists, record labels and producers, giving them opportunity to sell their media files through limited edition designer toys, containing music and goodies from the artists.


Below some sketches of what this could be are shown. A more pin pointed direction will appear after a meeting with my skilled 2. year industrial design student group tomorrow.




An illustration on how 2. year students sees the concept of shearing online media through physical objects. I LIKE IT! But there has to be some more info in feedback and useability here!



Maybe there should be more difference between the objects, exploring the use of grapficks, lights and tactility?



The “play/reader board” should also give some feedback on wich objects that are playing and active..maybe you could create a playlists with random order with just draging your finger from pebble to pebble, playing those that are linked, leaving the rest out? This bar concept, interactive bar, is a good example with the effect of using light in placement interaction..


illustration on how to bring my flower concept to another level by one of the students in my rapid prototyping group.. gele in the box makes the flowers sink slowly to the buttom, playing the first one touching the reader..haha, it`s funny and I like it!



One of my ideas on how a physical media pirat could look like.. buy limited edition gadgets and pimp up your pirat with new online abbilities..buy him a hook and get the latest album of your favorite music, the one you get hooked to.. the reader could be an island where you could place your very own media pirat and his belongings..emagine the play value in such a toy..


9 05 2008

What characterizes a good product or service, which direction and point of departure is the most valuable in order to create the best experience for the aimed user?


My goal for my major project is to combine my personal values as an industrial designer with design theory and aesthetics to create a range of four media players exploring different directions and possibilities for such a product in an increasingly growing interactive world. My focus will be on creating variety in all concepts, but use similar aesthetical expression, technology and materials where the main focus will be exclusiveness and aesthetics. The four directions will be represented as physical objects communicating the aim of the concepts and its users.


My directions will represent what I find most promising and important in the design genre at the moment and will be under built by current theory in those areas. Overall I’m interested in uncovering the influence interaction design has and will have on industrial design the coming years, and in what way the importance of quality in aesthetics and material use affect this.





In a world where media shearing is expanding rapidly and media is less physical than ever, maybe the time is in for shearing some flowers?

Focus on a cradle to cradle mindset.





In Norway people watch TV approximately 3 hours per day, but are still complaining that there is no time for exercise in their busy life. This media player forces you to get physical before relaxing with a good movie.

Focus on user interaction and monitoring of personal health.










Blind people have possibly the best hearing of all people, however online media is hard to discover when you can`t see. This is a super simple media player for enabling blind and poor sighted people the joy of handling online music in their home. Focus on tactility and texture.







Fashion and contemporary art is pushing the limits of aesthetical expression in industrial design each day. This is a media player exploring the value of fashion and exclusivity in a product for the home market. Focus on the importance of beauty in physical interaction.





More updates on my project will come soon!



2 05 2008



This week we had the joy of having a highly skilled interaction/experience design duo from London to lecture us. Schulze & Webb was established in 2005 as a consultancy in creative design. Their specialty is mobile technology, web based media, physical computing, interaction design and sociality.


Schulze & Webb arranged a three days workshop where the focus was the experience of the product and what they referred to as the experience hooks for the users/costumers. This forced us to drag out the key elements of our concepts and illustrate these.


Presenting my own project which now has the aim of becoming a exclusive media player including the use of RFID technology in its form and function I surely got a couple of things to think about. Why does it have to be for elders, why is better than other media players..? Where are the experience hooks?


Reflecting over these questions I see a lot possible directions for my project. Why can’t I make it little more playful media player, maybe several different models with different aims? It could be fun to have media player which have to keep in motion to be able to use it, maybe as a workout tool. Or what about a media player which you have to deserve to use. “To see this movie you would have to walk three kilometres first.”



Well, I think I want to make a couple more suggestions, but the main concept is still a aesthetical MEDIA PLAYER using RFID technology as it’s main function control. As inspiration Schulze and Webb showed me this project by Crispin Jones. Social Mobiles is an exploration into mobile phone behaviour. Rather than create a set of phones that addressed aesthetic concerns of mobile phones, designer and artist Crispin Jones worked as a research associate with IDEO to create five working mobile telephones that in different ways modify their users’ behaviour to make it less disruptive. The intent is to provoke discussion about the social impact of mobile phones. Social Mobiles was included in the “Design for the Elastic Mind” exhibition at the MoMA in 2008.


Workshopping with Tom Igoe

23 03 2008

   Last week we had the pleasure of having Tom Igoe as our tutor for the technical part of our major project. As I have mentioned I’m trying to investigate the use of physical objects to communicate via web channels. Discussing the matter with mr. Igoe I got a lot of input on how I could do the technical part of the concept. Due to my lack of experience with programming concerning the use of processing and arduino I found this very helpful.   sp_a0167.jpg  He also gave me input on how I could take the project further in my major project where I want to either make a stationary audio device for elders or a system enabling elders to communicate on the same channels as youngsters do now a days.    sp_a0174.jpg   

Mr. MSN is my test bunny for a physical object communicating through msn, facebook and skype platforms. He will voluntary put himself into the hard task of investigating which things he will be able to do now and in the future. At the moment this only concerns blinking lights and moving hands to be able to notify the owner of new messages and incoming commuters through the web. Hopefully this will give the opportunity to engage in web interaction in a somehow better way. The experience will be built upon as my skills in processing picks up and as new ideas of functions pops up. What if he could read rfid chips and have inbuilt speaker and microphone?

sp_a0169.jpg  Well, hopefully I will be able to get some interesting things out of playing around with mr. MSN and his physical functions. Time will show..




7 03 2008

How would our modern day society communication platforms look if they were represented in physical objects instead of screen based experiences? Would it improve or would it destroy the joy of online communication? Can physical computing open up the medium for new users which are excluded from this online society because of problems handling a keyboard and understanding how to communicate through text? What kind of arrangements and abilities must these objects withhold and what will they look like?


These are some of the questions I want to investigate my, and hopefully Tom Igo`s time, in the coming week. Through screen based, physical and verbal interaction I want to create some kind of fusion between MSN, Skype and Flickr. Hopefully there are ways of doing this using RFID technology, computer sensors and audio equipment. I don`t know, but it shureley would be interesting to explore it further!


My goal with the workshop week is to try out different applications for communication between people through computers via physical interaction. My findings will be used as base for building up my Major Project, also involving communication between people through physical objects and the web. My main focus will still be elders, and trying to create a platform for easy and enriching experiences through interaction with computers.


The illustrations shown here are examples on how I picture MSN could look like as a physical interaction in connection with screen based media. What’s the point you might ask yourself, well, to be frankly I don’t know, but I would like to find out…



3 03 2008

FUTURE WORKSHOP How will the elderly home of the future look like and what kind of products and services will they be filled with? These were my main focus during my 3 hour intensive workshop this Thursday.  To get my workshop participants in the right mood I decided to design the setting for this future including a introduction of the Concept;   the-centre.jpg 

THE OLD FRIENDS HOME, featuring futuristic retro architecture and housing old hippies and intellectuals from the disco era in the 80`s. The year is 2020, the Old FRIENDS HOME is about to open, but they are in instant need of some groundbreaking concepts for the products and services available for the inhabitants. Can we help them? Serving coffee and cookies in addition to playing inspiring and moody music I led my 5 “work shoppers” through the 3 steps of the workshop. With caffeine and sugar pumping in their veins it was no problem to get them start poring out ideas, and already in the warm up round, where I wanted them to get rid of the clichés and the obvious, interesting stuff came a long.  I split the six contestants, me included, in two groups of three persons each, letting the images from the projector guide the workshop along the path of innovation. Starting off as I said with the wish to empty our heads for the obvious, I had prepared I short mind storm exercise and a floor game base don associations. Both lasting for 10 minutes each and switching the mode halfway to get variation.


 After this we had a short discussion around the words and thoughts coming in, before there were a 10 minute break, to get some fresh air and re-charge the batteries with more coffee and cookies.  


 In the second round, I had prepared a list of four main themes I wanted concrete ideas on, including both groups at the same time, having to write and draw dawn ideas based on the theme within a time span of 10 minutes for each theme; LEARNING, ENTERTAINMENT, COMMUNICATION and SLEEP, RELAXATION. A METHOD proving itself to be very fruity, bringing in a lot of good ideas and thoughts.  After this intensive period, a break was well deserved and highly needed. It seemed people were satisfied and a lot of good thoughts were shared during the presentation of ideas after the session.  In the end, the “work shoppers” went back to being groups and in collaboration had to pick out their favourite idea to further elaborate, illustrate and try to sell at the final presentation! Despite going one hour over time, the workshop was highly successful, and I felt I got a lot out of it, as well as I think the group of contributors did. Henrik Rundshaug, a Diploma student also working with design for elders summed it up to be very interesting and helpful in his own process and project. Something I find very positive.


26 02 2008



Today we have had a very good introduction to how we can go about one of the main challenges of being an industrial designer or interaction designer, THE CREATIVE WORKSHOP. As this being a major part of our work and profession it is important to know this field in and out.

sp_a0066.jpg sp_a0065.jpg 

The lecture was held by two co-workers of the Oslo based ideation firm, Stig and Stein Idea lab AS. During the over 6 hours long lecture/workshop they led us through the steps of a good ideation workshop in a playful and professional way. Showing us methods and techniques not completely new to us, but surely important to repeat over and over.  Now I feel prepared to”design” my own workshop and develop my own project, Design for Elders further this Thursday and Friday! I’m sure it will lead to many good and far out ideas which I can build further on!


25 02 2008

Lars Kleivan works with locating whales and following them around out on the open seas. In fact he is the only one in Norway working with marking whales. He works in his own company towards the university in Bergen and currently is in collaboration with FFI, (forsvarets forsknings institutt), to work against whales and their life spandex.   




Seemingly the biggest problems in the business of tracking whales are the size if the batteries used for the transmitters and making the RFID tag stick to the whales for as long as possible without causing harm. Satellite tagging has been tried out for the last ten years, but problems have occurred with the tagging of the whales due to the bad range of GPS technology. But present, a man called Ed Bryant, are working on a system that might work.  Some of the main issues for wanting to track the whale’s life and movement are questions concerning their life and behaviour as very little data is collected in this field. Another issue is the low frequencies of new sounds being exposed in the sea by the army and their submarines.  – What happens to the whales when being exposed to low frequencies sound over a long period of time. Will their hearing be damaged, will they loose their ability to navigate and therefore strand?  To find the answers to these questions there are three key issues waiting to be solved, duration of tag, signals and reading. Apparently one needs about three months to have good satellite read of the tags. As the tags being very expensive, and still getting more expensive, this is a highly costly project and the methods must become more reliable.  So, these are the main issues of modern day research into whales. Especially military activity with submarines using sonar’s is being investigated. What about the oil companies using sonar’s to locate oil.  In the end, the main question is, HOW CAN WE GET THE TAGS TO SIT ON THE ANIMALS FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE?  

Clearly, the use of industrial designers can be used to work out these questions, however it seems a long way before any of the research institutes understand this. Lets hope the whales survive this waiting.. From a tangible interaction and ubiqutes computing view this is a highly interesting field involving both research and developing!


25 02 2008

The stage is set for taking the step into developing our own thoughts about what tangible interactions and ubiquitous computing can and should be about. Personally I have had a lot of ideas and possible directions I want to go in, and the decision about a defined direction and approach has not been an easy one. However I feel I have made the right choice when deciding upon designing for the elders.


My exact problem definition is the following;How to make solutions and concepts that are DESIRABLE, EXPERIMENTAL and “JOYABLE” to so called ELDERLY PEOPLE???  FOCUS will be on LIFESTYLE and HEALTHCARE….. PHYSICAL INTERACTION, ECOLOGY and AESTHETICS will function as OVERALL RULERS..   My main reason for choosing this target group are maybe best expressed by a short quote by interaction GURU John Tackara; “Imagine a world where every second European adult is over fifty years old. And where two-thirds of disposable consumer income is held by this age-group. By 2020 this will be a reality. There will be huge demand for services that enable older people to live independently in their own communities as they age. But although it is potentially huge – health care alone represents nearly eight per cent of Europe’s GDP – few people or companies understand this emerging market. There is no category in the DOW index for services in which elderly people communicate and care for each other using new information tools and services; investors and entrepreneurs seem blind to the potential of new markets fuelled by the changing lifestyles and considerable financial resources of many elderly people.” 


Well, there it is. The challenge is clearly mighty, but I am positive and look forward to exploring this emerging field more thoroughly. I wish to dig deep and come up with concepts more far fetched from the normal for these kinds of products, traditionally concerning healthcare. My sketchbook is all ready filing with ideas, soon to be posted and I`m really looking forward to the next couple of weeks!  For more info, click on the link below and get a look into my first iteration.