Latest blog posts

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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Dust and shadow. Fieldnotes #1 June 5, 2017, 7:20 p.m.

We had arrived in the Sonoran desert. A place of desiccated time, layered time, geological, vegetal, human time. Time kneads the Earth's crust into deep folds, cracks and canyons. Plants lay dormant through cycles of drought or grow slowly for centuries, bursting into blossom after the first rains. Humans come and go. Blown through the ages like tumbleweeds. Things don't really decay here. They shrivel, dry up or slowly rust, yet remain present, as they gradually erode into dust. A thick, dusty atmosphere of things that were, things that are and things that might be. Densities and intensities coagulating on a larger than human scale, illuminated by stark light or lurking in the deep shadow.

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Accesslab Pilot 1 Notes May 31, 2017, 5:15 p.m.

We launched the accesslab project last week with two pilot workshops. This is a write-up of how the workshops were run and why, together with some of the feedback and modifications we will make in future.

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