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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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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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THE Urban Bi-spectacle: a data-driven interactive installation

We ended 2016 with a research-driven interactive installation at our very first Biennale. Pi’s, emotional maps of the city, original emotion based frequency sounds, and first person POV’s of four peculiar characters of the city.

That’s loads of data, research and creation all crunched into a month of making. In the meanwhile, we also helped set up URBAN CITYLAB, Bangalore. Fun December 🙂

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Initiated by Ar. Sandhya Rao and Ar. Anabelle Viegas, URBAN CITYLAB is a research collective of Urban Designers, planners, architects, sociologist’s and academicians based out of Bangalore. The research collective focuses on innovative urban proposals that will transform the way we live; concepts of hybrid urbanism that offer a juxtaposition of programs to live, work, and play for a hyper-mobile, hyper-connected population.

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The installation: The Urban Bi-spectacle is an on-going research project on the sensory experience of Bengaluru’s multi-layered, hyper-connected reality.  It uncovers layers of interaction, experience and emotion while revealing the characters, characteristics and peculiarities of the urban.

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Tracing the activities of various urban actors, we examine the multiplicity of the Bangalore urban to generate discourses on alternative methods of city design, and relook at ways to analyse and interpret real-time data.

Conceptualised, and built by Urban Citylab, this study provides insights into the nature of the city we know, sense and recognise, while focusing on the spatial, sensorial and emotional nuances defining it.

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Put simply, the city is calling for help, and we dial in an emotion. A precursor to the digitally lead lives of people in the world’s most dynamic city. Thanks Gopi, Arnab, Arthur, Chetan, Faseeh, Manoj, all volunteers, and THE Workshop for making this.

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Photo by: FAS Films

You can visit THE Urban Bi-spectacle at the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016. Stop by Yousuf Art Gallery, Opposite international tourist police museum, Jew town road, Mattancherry, Kochi. The installation will run all though Feb, until 29th March 17.

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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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The real truth behind open-plan offices

Open-plan offices, flexible working, collaboration, innovation. Buzzwords or just zzZZZzzz’s?

After working in an open-plan, supposedly collaboration boosting, creative-conversation-enhancing environment, I realised that there were definite flaws in the plan to power innovation in offices.

So is the flow of information enhanced? Does it help build better conversations or produce more productive workers? Or, does it impose unseen barriers?

In this painstakingly well-animated RSA ( Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) video, technologist Dave Coplin makes a brilliant argument. Definitely worth the nine minutes.

More on digital productivity?

Ask the cats.

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Smart roads made of glass will change the future

Why didn’t someone think of this before? It’s a brilliant path-changing idea. Literally. The road to the future is made of solar energy absorbing, super-tough glass. So the road will now be more intelligent, complete with awesome LEDs. More? they also heat up. Bye bye snowplows. And all this by a couple who decided to dream big.

Up next, roads that move so you don’t have too… or maybe a full-on trekkie style beam-me-up now.