kottke.org posts about molecubes

Design and the Elastic MindFeb 25 2008

On view at MoMA through May 12, 2008: Design and the Elastic Mind.

In the past few decades, individuals have experienced dramatic changes in some of the most established dimensions of human life: time, space, matter, and individuality. Working across several time zones, traveling with relative ease between satellite maps and nanoscale images, gleefully drowning in information, acting fast in order to preserve some slow downtime, people cope daily with dozens of changes in scale. Minds adapt and acquire enough elasticity to be able to synthesize such abundance. One of design's most fundamental tasks is to stand between revolutions and life, and to help people deal with change.

I was surprised at how many of the show's ideas and objects I'd seen or even featured on kottke.org already. But getting there first isn't the point. The show was super-crowded and I didn't have a lot of time to look around, but here are a couple of things that caught my eye.

Michiko Nitta's Animal Messaging System (AMS), part of a larger project she did called Extreme Green Guerillas. The basic idea of the AMS is to use the radio ID tags worn by migratory animals to send messages from place to place. Nice map.

Molecubes are self-replicating repairing robots. Video here.

And I've been looking for Brendan Dawes' Cinema Redux project for several months now...most recently I wanted to include his work in my time merge media post.

Using eight of my favourite films from eight of my most admired directors including Sidney Lumet, Francis Ford Coppola and John Boorman, each film is processed through a Java program written with the processing environment. This small piece of software samples a movie every second and generates an 8 x 6 pixel image of the frame at that moment in time. It does this for the entire film, with each row representing one minute of film time.

For more, check out the online exhibition (designed by Yugo Nakamura and THA Ltd, the folks behind FFFFOUND!). Thanks (and congratulations!) to Stamen for hosting a tour of the exhibition.

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