Latest blog posts

Spectres in change. Fieldnotes #1 Sept. 22, 2017, 6:43 p.m.

Seili, a tiny island in the Archipelago Sea. The island is a geologically young and interconnected ecosystem, historically laden with accounts of illness, death and isolation. It seems serene and benign yet harbours hidden disturbances, spectral hostilities. Plagues of ticks and microplastics overlaid with psychic memories of the oppressed and abandoned. Ecological monsters and anomalies hover on the edges of human perception, cunningly invasive even to a casual visitor.

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Creative Design Informatics for Horticultural Awareness at the End of the World Garden Sept. 1, 2017, 4:09 p.m.

Thanks to Paul Chaney who runs The End of the World Garden, we had an opportunity to trial a short workshop based on our Farm Crap App and prototype Allotment Lab on his two-acre forest garden site in Cornwall. This was our contribution to the Bank Holiday Weekend Haymaking Extravaganza (along with a bit of hay-making too).


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FoAM has left the building... Aug. 28, 2017, 2:52 p.m.

Just shy of midday on the 1st of August 2017 we closed the door of the FoAM studio on Koolmijnenkaai in Brussels, one last time. In light of the changing nature of our activities we decided that we no longer needed such a large space, and that we would move out of the Koolmijnenkaai studio, no matter how beautiful and unique it may be. We remain grateful to have been able to inhabit the space for as long as we did, but it had become time to move on. This post looks back at the process of moving out, from 1st of June - 1st of August 2017.

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Pattern Matrix V2 report Aug. 28, 2017, 2:51 p.m.

We've been busy making a new tangible interface – the Pattern Matrix is part of the ERC Penelope project, which explores mathematical proofs embedded in (weaving) pattern, and how technology defines our relationship with the world. The new interface allows the user to play with weaving pattern quickly, and crucially allows mistakes – meaning we can start to understand the mathematics embedded in the patterns. As Margaret Wertheim says in her book about crocheting the foundations of geometry - 'Here, knowing emerges from hands performing mathematics: it is a kind of embodied figuring'

The pattern matrix version 2 is now complete. This post outlines what we’ve done, why and how.

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Viruscraft: Genetic model connected to a tree visualisation July 28, 2017, 5:40 p.m.

The genetic model we were working on previously has now been ported into a browser compatible form and connected to a new tree visualisation that displays the species that emerge as the host population adapts to a virus infection. It's still a prototype with rough edges, but have a play with it here, some example pics:

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Getting a feel for tangible interfaces July 18, 2017, 5 p.m.

We have two projects where we’re building tangible interfaces – Penelope and Viruscraft. This blog is an exploration of tangible interfaces, harvesting thoughts from the worlds of neuroscience, choreograhy, cognitive science and education to see what we can learn to guide our research and design directions.

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Technology after Collapse July 17, 2017, 2:07 p.m.

The philosophy underlying contemporary 'seamless' technology production seems to be one of endless energy, bountiful resources and waste being someone else's problem. Naive working assumptions of some form are a requirement when designing for the future, but do we believe in these enough now to make them useful? Flashy 'aspirational' tech videos of ever thinning devices disappearing into the 'cloud' seem to be less common than they once were, so perhaps not.

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Pattern Matrix PCBs arrived & first tests July 4, 2017, 10:51 a.m.

After triple checking the schematics and design files and ordering 80 PCBs (50 sensors and 30 i2c boards) there was an anxious wait for them to arrive and do some initial tests to find out if there were any mistakes. We now have enough boards to make two new pattern matrix devices, one 4X4 and one 5X5 - the plan is to evaluate the design and refine it for future builds.

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Terra2 July 1, 2017, 11:23 a.m.

On Thursday june 29 a kick-off meeting was held at the Iona Stichting in Amsterdam to bring together Dutch initiatives that are active in restoration ecology, environmental agriculture and finance. Theun joined the meeting entitled Terra2.

The discussions explored two main topics:

dilemmas - what are the main obstacles you encounter in your work to restore natural processes and landscapes?

opportunities - what would be needed to up-scale current practices?

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Viruscraft: building a ‘reasonably accurate’ genetic game world simulation June 20, 2017, 6:12 p.m.

The concept for the viruscraft game is to have a realtime genetic model or simulation of the host evolution which is adapting to the properties of a virus you are building (either on screen or via a tangible interface as part of an exhibit). This model needs to be realistic, but only up to a point - it can be more of a caricature of biology than a research model would need to be, as our intentions are educational rather than biological research.


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