Designed Objects

Access to technology is a must, not an amenity.

Designs whose goal was to provide an interface with the digital world which is usable, adaptable and accessible to a broader range of people and lifestyles.

Chicago Area Network

When I first arrived at the Art Institute in 2003, I and my graduate cohort were presented with the "Chicago 2020 Plan". We were asked to come up with a design solution that addressed one of the pain points this plan outlines for the Chicago area.

My particular solution was intended to address the "digital divide". Unequal access to technology segregates opportunity and closes off the means of being able to keep up with our evolving culture. My intention with the "Chicago Area Network" was to provide physical, contextual access to technology by putting computer terminals into public spaces and thus augmenting the informational landscape of Chicago.

This project was ultimately one of two from the Art Institute's AIADO department selected to be a part of the Chicago Architecture: Ten Visions exhibit at the Art Institute.

2:40 video which I animated, shot, edited and produced myself. Auto play is turned off, press play when you are ready to view.

Modularly assembled from a kit of parts, terminals can fit into any environment.

Described in detail in my presentation book.

Ambient Envelope

In January of 2005 I was attacked by a dog. The resulting injuries left me without the use of my right hand for a couple of months. I realized right away that I was unable to use any device that required me to press small buttons. Remote control devices, keypads and my cell phone all left me helpless. The complaints of elderly or handicapped friends now rang true in my ears.

So I began exploring ways to conform our technology to our physical capabilities rather than constantly expecting our hands to conform to the gadget. I did a series of studies and came up with this "envelope". This is based upon the shape our hand cuts through the air when opening and closing the fingers. My idea is to take that shape and imbue it with the technical capabilities of cell phones, pda's, pagers, heart rate monitors, blood sugar monitors, step counters, and whatever else we stuff into our pockets or strap onto our bodies.

I currently have prototypes of the shape created in several materials.

front and back illustrations of Ambient envelope
illustration of the gesture from which device was derrived

After some research, I focused in on one gesture to provide a terrain onto which I could map a network of needed properties for a practical context.

hand holding a prototype

A universal gesture of opening the thumb...

mapping the gesture

...mapped to zones of pressure, stroke length and timing...

mapping the gesture 2

...and then adapted to a physical interface with functionality customized to that zone.

Example of a health use for this device. An old man holds it in his pocket

Example of a professional use for this device. a young woman holds device while working

Example of a leisure use for this device. a young woman uses one while jogging

Described in detail in my Presentation book.