preliminary research meeting 20060331

alkan - overview

{see Research Report Alkan for complete notes… }

  • summary of his studies over the last year, during his stay.
  • most painful aspect was the constant wearing of the 'anthropologists' mask
  • no special insights or observations, in that experience should not be 'detatched'
  • more as a 'learner' or 'student' rather than observer, dissector.
  • pressed about methodology, still can find an accurate answer
  • no fixed, preconceived methodology, could/should be developed/co-created
  • fluidity, and indeterminacy → exciting aspect of field work
  • fieldwork/experience as 'experiment' or 'test' [awkwardly placed in the social sciences]
    • .. personal
    • . .of anth. toward viewing fluidity in human relations/approaches
    • rigorous relativism / occupying positions in a social field
    • yet not reducible to the position.

→ move toward the dark and luminous, do not stray from the path of the nectar/ambrosia


  • after being in india, more interested in working how the physical world works
  • physics, ecology, new skills →
  • what to do with foam lab .nl?+
    • more presentations rather than screenings → more direct contact
    • venue for discussions between technical & non-technical audiences
    • website (communication)
  • use of analogy, visual representation for understanding physics and mathematics


  • looking at further details..
  • how to move closer to ideas for driving 'research' w/out pressure of presentation
  • preliminary thinking;
    • video textures in ogre3d
    • further adventures with particle systems
      • non-object based 3d systems / visualisation
      • ways of imposing form / structure onto particle systems
    • overlap with humanly recognisable forms (semantics)
    • real world interfacing
      • non-screen based interfaces, tactile displays
      • h/w control → fuzzy control systems / real world ↔ fuzzy logic
      • ir camera for motion tracking in projected light
    • realtime generative algorithms in more than 2d
      • algorithmic 3d systems
      • what techniques can be transferred from 2d to 3d
    • how to model growth

→ projections, mappings, etc+

  • NPR texhniques
  • iterated functions / strange attractor


  • looking at sustainable dev. and ecological impact of textile industries
  • deeper understanding of how active textiles work
  • how should this be documented ?+

1. active materials

method: survey of the field, empyrical experiments, testing different techniques, selection of most promissing materials

research questions:

1a printing thermochromics

  • what responsivity can you get from active materials without the use of electricity and electronics?
  • biomimetic design - looking at plant mechanisms to inspire design with active materials
  • which active materials are not toxic?

1b. visualising imaginary worlds with active materials

  • what can we learn from processes and effects of magic, how do we translate them into designs with active materials?

2. materials library

method: survey of the field, contact with existing material libraries, survey of existing cataloguing systems, make a physical library, catalogue and sort materials and information research question

  • how can we build a comprehensive and extensible library, containing both materials and information about materials? how do we catalogue active materials and processes?

3. secondary research interest: portable spaces, nomadic events (such as a circus)


  • material research →
    • actively seeking out manufacturers, TU Delft, conferences, etc+
    • documentation
    • how to present foam to potential suppliers/manufaturers/etc+
  • kites
    • shapes & materials for kites
    • sonifying / sourcing data from the kite
  • visit a wind tunnel
    • somewhere between .nl & .be
    • throw kids into wind-tunnel
  • inflatable spaces
    • look at new materials, blowers, how to improve it, make more modular


  • role of the artist/designer in ecological discussions (issues of biodiversity, climate change…)
  • sustainable arts and design / future of design practice
  • relationships between food and ecology
    • wild foods
    • molecular gastronomy
    • demystifying the process of producing, distributing, cooking, presenting and consuming food
  • low power / self sustaining systems
    • ideas behind desire and sustainability
    • how to engage an audience in these discussions
  • processes of growth and transformation - in environmental studies, cooking and alchemy
  • documentation and reflection of foam's first 5 years of existence


  • rt audiovisuals
  • qfwfq and visual programming languages
  • working with fluxus, a-life, procedural graphics
  • futurology (in terms of new design practices)

interject / general

  • how to ensure that 'research' is more than just fiddling
  • reframing what 'research' can be, without diluting its meaning
  • marketing / bus. dev. person.. .
  • foam website
    • redesign for ease of updating..
    • how to incorporate .nl lab

is foam an apocalyptic life cult?

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  • Last modified: 2007-06-19 10:22
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