Mar 29, 2012

Quick Post: Media Facades and Luminous Tweets (Video featuring Thomas Schielke)

I am fascinated by interactive large displays in public places, "urban screens" and the convergence of architecture and technology, especially media facades, and am happy to share a video of a presentation of Thomas Schielke to a group at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.  Thomas Schielke is a German architect known for his work in the area of architectural lighting and media facades. In the presentation, Thomas talks about how new technologies are influencing what he calls "urban branding", and also provides an overview of related history.  If this is an area that interests you, take the time to view the video!  

Below is a summary about the presentation taken from TheHavardGSD YouTube site:

"Brands strive worldwide for distinctive visual identities in the urban landscape. At night they rely on luminous messages ranging from conventionally illuminated signs and billboards up to dynamic luminous architecture for story telling. Therefore, media facades have turned into a fascinating medium to create an architectural image in the nocturnal city. Some brands use guerrilla lighting projections for temporary installations to subversively transform urban spaces. Other companies equip their flagship stores with large LED pixel screens for high-resolution images or they consider the building fa├žade as an interface for more artistic solutions. Often video screens appear as decorated elements competing for attention with traditional commercial billboards. Here media facades have become an interesting alternative to establish a more sophisticated design language for merging the dynamic content with the building. Whereas some luminous facades appear as monumental monologues repeating a fixed animation daily, some installations even allow people to interact with the building to receive enlightening responses. Thereby, the consumer becomes part of the urban marketing strategy to shape a vivid and progressive brand identity. The lecture by the German architect Thomas Schielke ( gave an overview about media facades for urban brand communication and addressed questions like: Will the energy consumption of luminous facades go along with the desire to introduce sustainability? To which extent do neighbors accept obtrusive luminous content? Further, what kind of media facades will shape the future of urban branding with luminous tweets?"

"The overview of international projects covers various lighting methods and techniques from lighting designers as ag4, Arup Lighting, blinkenlights, LAb[au], Licht Kunst Licht, Mader Stublic Wiermann, Okayasu Izumi, magic monkey, Onur Sonmez , Qosmo, realities:united, Rogier van der Heide, StandardVision, Uwe Belzner and architecture like Asymptote Architecture, BIG, Frank Gehry, Kohn Pederson Fox, Jean Nouvel, Peter Cook, UN Studio, schneider + schuhmacher, Simone Giostra, WOHA architects1. Artists like Doug Aitken are included in the timeline as well. Brands like Coca- Cola, Nokia, American Eagle, Citroen, Bayer and ERCO or social campaigns for Occupy Wall Street with the Illuminator are presented as case studies."

2012 Media Facades Summit
Media Facades: "When Buildings Start to Twitter"
International Urban Screens Association
Designing Urban Media Environments as Cultural Spaces (pdf)
Curating Urban Screens //Approaching the City as Cinema
Media Architecture

Mar 24, 2012

Digital Media and Learning: Video presentation by high schoolers, video of John Seely Brown's keynote at DML2012

This is a video of students from Morningside, Crenshaw, Rosevelt, Locke, and Manual Arts high schools in L.A. who presented a session on Education for a Digital Democracy at the recent Digital Media and Learning Conference

What I especially like about this presentation is the way the students highlighted the current state of technology in their urban schools, and what they have to say about their schools' policies regarding the use of personal technologies during the school day.

Thanks to the School Library Journal and Scott McCloud for sharing this!

If you are interested in digital media/new media/multimedia and learning, take the time to view John Seely Brown's DML 2012 Keynote:
Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Learner in the 21st Century

Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown

Mar 11, 2012

Workshop on Digital Ecosystems for Collaborative Learning: Embedding Personal and Collaborative Devices to Support Classrooms of the Future

Workshop on Digital Ecosystems for Collaborative Learning:  Embedding Personal and 
Collaborative Devices to Support Classrooms of the Future

This workshop will be held in conjunction with ICLS 2012  (International Conference of the Learning Sciences) on July 2, 2012, in Sydney, Australia. The guest speaker in the introductory panel is Chia Shen, the SEAS Senior Research Fellow and Director for the SDR (Scientists' Discovery Room) Lab at Harvard University.

Call For Papers
Applications for the workshop must be submitted by May 1, 2012, and must include a paper of up to 4 pages, along with an optional video.

Topics of Interest (from the workshop website) 
Connection between technologies and co-located collaborative learning 
Usage of technology in the classroom 
Ubiquitous and mobile learning environments 
Multi-touch tables and surfaces, interactive whiteboards 
Motion sensitive interfaces, physical and tangible computing 
Multi-display, single-display groupware 
Educational uses of smart phones and tablets 
Classroom orchestration and monitoring 
Improving teacher support Integrating technology and pedagogical theory
Best practices for adaptation of technology to educational context 

Thanks to Steven M. Monson for sharing this info!

Sonic Wire Sculptor and Rhonda, a 3D drawing tool

Amit Pitaru and James Paterson, creators of Numby, an app for kids to teach counting skills, have been involved in a number of interesting projects.  Here are two of them:

Sonic Wire Sculpture

The app creates music in 3D, so it is best to use headphones.

Sonic Wire Sculpture is available as an iPhone app.  More information can be found on the Sonic Wire Sculptor website.

Rhonda Forever is a 3D drawing tool that was born around 2003 and has a team of developers who are working to create stable releases of the application so it can be accessed through different platforms.  There is a newer beta version of Rhonda for PC and Mac that can be downloaded from the Rhonda website. The team is working on releases that will support 2-hand interaction.

I'm hoping that Rhonda Forever will be available for the iPad.

Everybody Loves Sketch (an user-friendly 3D drawing application that is designed for non-artists, tested with high school students.)
ILoveSketch website

Numby: an app for learning how to count, via Creative Applications Network

Watch the video!

I've been meaning to post reviews about my favorite apps for kids, but there are so many that I love and use at work and when I'm with my little grandson, I haven't figured out where to begin!  

I came across information about the Numby app on the Creative Application Network website, one of my favorite places to learn about creative, innovative applications and technologies. The app was created by Amit Pitaru and James Paterson.

Creative Applications Network
Numby Review:  Numby by Pitaru and Paterson, Learning counting in weird and wonky ways.
Filip, CAN, 7/3/12

Rhonda, the 3D Drawing Tool, created by Pitaru and Paterson (set to an old Neil Young song)
Sonic Wire Sculptor: 3D musical sequencer (Zach Gage, Amit Pitaru, and team)
"Sonic Wire Sculptor was reworked for the iPhone with ofxIphone and openframeworks open source libraries. See more at

Jennifer Pahlka's TED talk: "Coding a Better Government" - how Code for America fellows and others are harnessing social media, mobile apps, and the web.

FYI: Jennifer Pahlka will be a keynote speaker on Tuesday, March 13 at the SXSW (South by Southwest) conference in Austin, Texas. SXSW events and interactive keynotes will be streaming live at 

In the above video, Jennifer Pahlka, the founder of Code for America, discusses how "coding" citizens- app developers, web developers, designers, and others are helping government work more efficiently and effectively, drawing on the strength of the internet, mobile web, and social media.

Participatory citizenship through coding!

Code for America Fellowship Program
The Code for America Fellows work in teams for 11 months, during which they receive mentoring, education about municipal government, and the opportunity to develop a web application to help cities - and citizens- solve problems.  The 2012 Fellows are based in San Francisco, and are provided a $35,000 stipend, travel expenses, and healthcare. Although based in San Francisco, the Fellows are assigned to a host city (Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, or Seatle), and spend some of their time on-site.
Code for America Blog

South by Southwest - SXSW -Austin, Texas
"The South by Southwest Conference & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery" -SXSW 

SXSW YouTube Channel

Mar 1, 2012

Seamless Collaborative Computing Between Tables and Tablets: nSquared Presenter -Video

I came across the following video about nsquare's presenter application. It looks like it has potential.  It supports "seamless" collaboration between people, multimedia content, interactive tables, interactive touch screens, and tablet devices.

nsquared website
Video presentation about "Seamless Computing", by Neil Roodyn

More blog posts on the topic of natural user interaction, interfaces, and examples of seamless computing are planned for the future!

This was shared by one of my FB friends.

Creating Responsive HTML5 Touch Interfaces (Stephen Woods -Video and Slides)

Here is an interesting video I came across during my HTML5 explorations - Stephen Woods, from Flickr, shares his words of wisdom about HTML5 and touch interfaces:

Stephen Woods (Flickr): Creating Responsive HTML5 Touch Interfaces

Here are a few links from the presentation:

Slides:  Creating Responsive HTML5 Touch Interfaces

Responsive Web Design

Link to article about HTML5, web "apps", and the future, from a "Yahoo" perspective

I thought I'd share a link to an article about HTML5 and the future from a "Yahoo" perspective:

Why ambitious developers need more than just HTML5
Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz, CNET News, 3/1/12

Think "Cocktail".