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5 Improbable Machines for quarantine living

How do you not touch your face during the pandemic?

 

There’s panic, and a lot more Don’t’s than we are usually used to. However, when we looked at this critically, through multiple lenses, taking into consideration a diversity of personas the answer to the question ‘how not to touch your face’ was simple. After deep thought and a bottom-up design process, we closed in on a few winners.  Here is the series of 5 such fully-thought through machinations that relook at our relationship with technology, our hands, our face and our hearts during #covid19

 

Introducing machine 1: THE Facecupboard

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The next logical prototype after THE Facecupboard…

 Improbable Machine 2: THE Handsmacker, aka the high-fiver, aka the gobsmacker.

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Is it a falcon? is it a drone? presenting Drone Falcons – Machine 3 in the series.

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Nothing keeps your face safe like the Rotating Cactus Glass Helmet, the fourth machine in our series of Improbable Machines that can help you not touch your face.

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For the finale, its a pant drop. Literally Self-Dropping Pants. Our least intrusive, most offensive idea so far. 🙂

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Maybe someday soon we will probably try to make these improbable machines. Till then, stay safe and think happy everyday.

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Transience: an iridescent installation

We made this for BMS School of Architecture, Yelahanka sometime last year. Finally got around to posting it. In the meanwhile..THE team has been making and doing a whole lot of things 🙂  more posts will be up soon.

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Built pixel by pixel, Transience is an abstraction of the transitionary nature of being, where life is more than metadata . 

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Transience represents a moment where industry meets art, and technology meets imagination –– a freely linked collective defying gravity to open-up to a whole new world of perspective, where life is juxtaposed with an iridescence of spirit. 

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Structured at its core, the installation fuses material with metaphor transcending monotony, infusing vibrance, and a state of play.

A flux of neon comments on the kinesis of being still, transience is motion. We wanted the viewer to experience the fleeting pixels of inspiration, all linked, yet unique, like ideas, inspiration and the very ambition that drives us. 

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This one really did light us up.

Designed and made in 2018 for BMS SA by Ar. Anabelle Viegas at THE Workshop. 

 

 

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THE Billboard that Breathes

Every once in a while a brief that really inspires comes along. This one was a breath of fresh air.  Time-coded fans to suck in air, an Air Quality Monitor, Real time display, loads of metal, mesh, pristine white hepa filters, and finally a compelling message.

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Minimal Tech maximised

This billboard was more an urban intervention meets brand activation meets experiential marketing.

Fun Fact: While it was one of the littlest billboards around the city, (we did make the Abbys Goafest 2018 shortlist…OOH), the real kicker here (read win) was that well-over 2 and a half million people saw this creative output. Not bots…or counting the eyeballs on-site. With the budgets we had when we made it, every single reaction on digital was organic. The good stuff. Happy to see millions of people care. Humanity…we still have faith in you.

The making of ‘THE Billboard that Breathes’ was fun. Artist, Coders, THE Workshop team, Art, copy, welders, things moved swiftly at THE Workshop.  On-ground it was tougher to get the billboard up than we anticipated. Plus we didn’t have a budget for a crane. People power!

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Long story short. We made an explainer video VO,  edit, et all. Somehow, Brut made a better one. We like the brut video. Peppy stuff.

Here’s the FB post that went viral: Love it when people comment, there were over 1500 concerned people. And thousands and thousands of shares. Whoopiee! Job done.

This is what we made.

The media did catch wind of this. Press mentions always make THE work feel a tad bit more rewarding. Here’s what they had to say:

The New Indian Express
Deccan Chronicle 
Times of India
The News Minute

Kerosene Digital

My Times Now 
UC News 
Daily Hunt 
Indian Express 
Times Of India (2nd article)
Newsfeed.co
News 18

Bangalore is just the start. India needed this installation. A movement has begun.

Part II : The Evidence reaches the right people.People who can change things.

 

Clean air –– THE people are fighting for you 🙂 

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THE TIDAL EPIC: LIQUID, METAL, LIGHT

Once upon a magical moon, a ‘fearless artist’ decided to tell a story of the tides. Heart full of flowers, she needed help to make Tidal, a ‘geofeedback’ installation that bridges the gap between water bodies outside and inside us. THE Workshop stepped up to build a suspended storm of metal clouds, illuminated with thousands of LEDs that pull from tidal data and flow in time with the river. When you interact with a large silver moon-like bowl of water placed in the centre of the installation- you start to pull light towards you, from one body of water to another. This went beyond the usual

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Could we make this at THE Workshop? And then ship it across the seas to the Three Rivers Art Festival in Pittsburgh?

Challenge Accepted 🙂 🙂 🙂

From under the bridge to the outdoor structure, the final location where the installation was to be built changed , so the installation changed form, and code. Every iteration looked beautiful.

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Thousands of LEDs embedded in over 30 huge metal clouds forming a spiral vortex, code directing it as it hovers over a four-foot moon shaped bowl filled with water. Water that responds to your touch. Water that links you to the river. The LEDs programmed with over three years of the live tidal data. The patterns flowed, matching Shilo’s artistic vision. It was a great team effort making the tech happen, sensors, moon bowl, weeks of intense wiring, soldering, rewiring, testing, and all that jazz. Twas’ a fun monsoon.

Packed to perfection, Tidal travelled 13,634 km from THE Workshop, at Nagwara, Bangalore to Point State Park, Pittsburgh, USA.  Coincidentally, it was the first international build for THE Workshop. We literally had our heads in the clouds for the whole week we spent assembling it in there.

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Tidal was a massively precise build. Made possible by THE team of asskickers: Srinidhi, Juneza, Gopi, Sanjay, Purvi, Naseer, back in India, and Heather, and everyone else who helped in Pittsburgh.

Here’s the MAKING video:

 

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The finale. A beautifully interactive geofeedback installation in a giant white geodesic dome. We could say Tidal was a geostorm of a build, maybe that be a tad bit too…Cheesy?

The tide is in. Aqueous transmission complete.

 

 

 

Tidal did make some waves : Here’s what the people of the media had to say:

Tidal was made in 2017 @THE Workshop in collaboration with Shilo Shiv Suleman.

 

 

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Perspective is a powerful thing

Big, small, little, large, too young, too old, dark, fair, brown, black, loud, soft, smart, stupid, from here, from there, worships this, believes that, nobody, somebody, everybody. Think Happy Everyday.

(This was the copy that didn’t make it on the final installation)

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Sometime last year we were invited to partner with the Under25 Summit to be held early January this year. Founders Shreyans and Anto were open to ideas for an installation that echoed their ideology. Woopiee! Good time for us to work with a super-motivated and socially-active audience.

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While  mining for  ideas, we realised that perspective was what one of the core takeaways from this summit.

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We jogged through some surreal illusions before deciding on The Ames room: a perspective based optical illusion room, constructed with the walls, floor and roof at various acute angles. The sum effect creating an illusion where one person standing at one corner of the room seemed like a giant towering over another person standing at the opposite corner.

So DSC_0494we got our Hobbit boots on and summoned the white wizard. The build was simple enough, a week of cutting up plywood, metal sections and the painting repetitive patterns. Sometime around the end of our build we found out our venue was on the 7th Floor terrace of the World Trade Centre. Schematics shuffled, welds broken and we had a modular design in a couple of hours.

Friends and fairy folk stopped by around midnight to help us finish up. Post sunrise, we struggled for three hours to get a little perspective up to the 7th floor. Service elevator worries, a serpentine corridor to navigate that made the task Sisyphean. 10 am, the sun blazing on the northern terrace, our semi-fatigued motley crew all paint, grease conjured up the 12 x 8  illusion in wood, metal and rexine.

 

People were curious. How did it work? What was inside ? Was there a show? Was there a message? A surprise? Selfies, videos, like like like, happy times. End of story…We were delighted that one message resonated with everyone there. Perspective, is indeed a powerful thing. DSC_0548

Video coming soon 🙂

 

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Synesthesia lights up Mini Maker Faire Bangalore

A thousand two hundred meters of tubing, sixty kilos of steel, six hundred LEDs, five ultrasonic sensors, 2 coats of paint, one coat of primer, over a 100 nuts and bolts, and this was just the installation. Plus fifty-four square meters of black rexine to enclose this little light monster.

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The build was crazy. 7 days. Help arrived magically. Almost sequenced. Thanks Gopi, Arnab, Chetan (for the perfect soundscape), Manoj, Kavita, Vijay, Sneha, Caco, Abhi and all of you who helped snip, string or wire stuff.

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We loved the response at the Faire. People were like “this is straight outta Avatar”. Awesomeness.

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Conceptualised and designed by THE Workshop boss Anabelle Viegas, Synesthesia is an interactive and iterative structure computationally generated with acting forces as the design constraint. The installation tests rigid materiality transforming it engaging the user with a soft, malleable fluid dynamism.

The light patterns iterate as the user engages with the installation. This time around we could only engage two senses. The next iteration will be more divergent, delightful and responsive.

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Super happy we made this happen.

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a month in the making…

THE Workshop has been up and running for over a month. We’ve hosted a few workshops. Met some excellent people. Fun times.

We tinkered with electronics. We made music with tools. Literally.

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We had an Open Day. Met some interesting artists. We made some keychain mementos.

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We asked people for their interpretations of a box…They were really out of the box.

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Now we’re trying to have conversations with furniture. Woo Hoo.

FURNITURE HACK event

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A fundamental step: Getting back to THE basics

Our new series at THE Workshop. Fundamentally fun stuff.

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