Latest blog posts

An open letter to Sarah Newton MP from FoAM Kernow Aug. 16, 2018, 12:39 p.m.

An open letter sent to Sarah Newton, Member of Parliament for Truro and Falmouth:

Dear Sarah,

We are directors of an independent research organisation based in Penryn. We are classified as an SME, and as such currently fall between gaps in UK research legislation which is causing us considerable problems. As well as being our local representative, your past work in the Science and Technology select committee means you will have have particular experience in this matter.

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AccessLab Penzance - notes from the event Aug. 2, 2018, 12:07 p.m.

In July we ran an AccessLab in Penzance (UK), for people who work in marine and fishing sectors. This event was the first of three AccessLabs for 2018, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and in partnership with the British Science Association (BSA). This blog post is to document the format changes made, feedback received, and notes for future iterations.

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Penelopean robotics (part 2) July 4, 2018, 8:42 a.m.

Penelopean robotics are about rebuilding technology in the woven cosmos. Our aims are to: (1) Embody Penelopean technological practice - they should be easily undone (taken apart) so they can be understandable, self documenting and repairable. (2) They are not automated looms, but must eventually be capable of weaving in some form, maybe by interacting with ancient Greek weaving technology. (3) Capable of embodying elements of ancient Greek poetry and dance, perhaps via livecoding. (4) Be constructed in the spirit of Simone Giertz rather than Boston dynamics

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Penelopean robotics theory and the woven cosmos (part 1) July 3, 2018, 10:44 a.m.

The Penelope project is concerned with many things, pattern structures in ancient poetry, comparisons of Andean and Greek mathematics, and the role of liveness in thought processes - to name just a few. We can also add robotics to this list.


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Stackable hexagon prototype boards July 2, 2018, 4:43 p.m.

We are working on a lot of hardware projects at the moment as we are interested in how to to rebuild technology from various alternative starting points. It seems most "off the shelf" hardware has converged on increasingly inaccessible and conservative forms, but luckily (and probably not due to entirely unrelated reasons) at the same time there has been an explosion in the availability, community documentation and potential of open hardware and DIY micro controllers, modules and components.

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Viruscraft: tangible interface electronics June 26, 2018, 11:52 p.m.

Next up, we needed to get a working prototype of our tangible interface running for the second Viruscraft workshop, so that we could have a complete system up and running from the custom hardware to the on-screen game world for people to test and give us feedback on how it worked. 

A recap on how this is supposed to work - we need to plug different types of ligand (protrusions on the outside of viruses that allow them to attach to cells in order to infect them) into a large wooden model virus capsid (the body of the virus) that we are building for use in exhibitions.

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Building Viruscraft planets June 25, 2018, 12:24 p.m.

This blog post is about the Viruscraft world, how we came up with the idea and populated it with host species. This is a screenshot of the current 'alpha version' of viruscraft we tested with the custom tangible interface (more on that soon) during the second game testing workshop. You can read Amber's report on this workshop here. It took a while to develop this planet, we started with a more conventional system.

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Memoirs from James Duffy's Sonic Kayak Secondment June 4, 2018, 5:07 p.m.

James Duffy joined FoAM Kernow for a 3 month secondment to develop the Sonic Kayak project. This is his blog post describing his time and his work with us.

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Cloud Pergola in Venice June 2, 2018, 3:21 p.m.

The 16th Venice Architecture Biennale opened its many and various doors on the 26th of May 2018. Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney (FoAM Earth) were involved as part of the team responsible for creating the Pavilion of Croatia, entitled Cloud Pergola / Architecture of Hospitality. The installation will remain in the Arsenale complex in Venice until the 25th of November.


Disintegrating VIPs

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An Ephemeral Gaden May 19, 2018, 10:46 a.m.

This post accompanies FoAM’s sound installation Ephemeral Garden presented at the Croatian pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. The exhibition “Cloud Pergola / The Architecture of Hospitality” is conceived as a collaborative site-specific environment, crossing the boundaries of architecture, art, engineering, robotic fabrication and computational models.


Ephemeral Garden

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