First Coded Sketches for Architectural Scores

Below are the first computerized drawings made using the Architectural Scores algorithm/instructions within a computer program. (Previous versions are made by hand out of cut papers). These versions are using many of the rules used for the handmade sets. There are still a few more rules to teach the program and I’ll post updates as the program evolves.

This is a gif sample made from the program output. The program version was completed just before Christmas and this gif was posted on December 29, 2019.
Dancing Stars- Coded Assemblies
First computer-made Architectural Scores. December 17, 2019. This program has a lot to learn but it is off to a good start!

Cosmic Yellow Beach Ball

cosmic yellow beach ball

This is a story I had only shared with friends and family up to now. I’m revamping the blog for Studio Ju Ju and thought this would be a good story to share with y’all as we transition from 2019 to 2020. This story starts two years ago at about the same time of year.

In December of 2017 I had a simple dream. A yellow beach ball was balancing on the surface of shallow ocean shore waters. The waters were a pleasing aqua blue, and the ball touched delicately on the surface of the water where broken waves crisscrossed, ripples coming into the shore and ripples flowing back toward the sea.

As I observed this ball delicately balanced on the water, I was overcome by a sense of calm. Inspired, I made notes, drawings and researched how a ball might balance on the water in similar real-world conditions.

(dated 12/20/2017 – the night I had the dream)

I know the approximate date of this dream because I sketched and dated the sketch; in the following weeks I made a small sculpture. I was captivated by this dream and so I researched how shallow wave patterns might allow a ball to remain in the same spot while balancing on what appeared to be active moving water.

 (Dated 12/27/2018 – researching the dream the following week after I had the dream)

(Photo date December 31, 2017.) The ball in this sculpture has a hole it it because in the previous year I had made dozens of these gastrula-like sculptures , so it was convenient to use one to represent the ball in my dream. The original sculpture was white and I painted this one yellow.

On June 3, 2018 I was in Marshfield, Mass at a cottage on the ocean. ( I don’t live near the ocean, so find times by the ocean very special). We were attending a family wedding that afternoon. The wedding wasn’t until 4pm and there was plenty of time to enjoy the ocean in advance of the ceremony. Early in the morning I went for a run, later I went for a walk, and for the third time that day I went down to the beach with the intent to meditate. On this third trip I didn’t sit right away because I got caught up in collecting rocks. So many beautiful rocks! Time passed quickly I reminded myself that I really should take some time to just sit and enjoy the view at least. And so at last I emptied my hands of the rocks I’d collected into a pile on the sand, sat down next to the pile and looked out at the sea.

There on the shallow shore waters was a yellow ball, floating on the surface. At first I took in the view as one would any sight, but then realized That’s like the ball in my dream!

I stood up, ran closer to the shoreline and fumbled with my phone to take this first snippet of video:

Cosmic Yellow Beach Ball Video 1

Unlike my dream, the scene was evolving. The ball wasn’t paused but moving toward the shore. I started filming again and in this video you see the ball move from the water to the shoreline. The ball appears to be in a dance with shoreline winds.

Cosmic Yellow Beach Ball Video 2

When this video ends, the ball is a meter or two away from where I had originally been sitting when I first saw it on the water –  I could tell because the pile of rocks I left marked my original sitting place. From here I picked up the ball and brought it back to the cottage with me. It is currently in home with me in my studio.

Was the ball’s appearance in the real world just a coincidence? Was it cosmic? Was it a message from a loved one who has passed? Was my original dream a premonition of the real life event?   

I don’t know. 

(Summer 2018) The Cosmic Yellow Beach Ball now resides in my studio in Colchester, VT.

As an artist, what interests me most about these events is how something imaginary and of a dream manifested into a real world experience and tangible object. I don’t think I have any special psychic powers that made this happen, instead I think it points to the potential unknowns and mysteries of life on Earth. It also speaks to what we can see if we take the time to be quiet and closely observe our inner worlds and the world around us.

Presenting at Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium (TIES) 2017

Join us for this year’s symposium – three days of presentations and performances not to be missed! Studio Ju Ju will present on our work with Sub Ambient Sound Lab.

Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium (TIES) 2017

Registration now open
August 9, 2017 to August 12, 2017
Distillery District, downtown Toronto, ON

New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA), the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC) and the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) are pleased to announce the 11th edition of the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium (TIES), and delighted to welcome Québec sound artist Chantal Dumas as Keynote Speaker for TIES 2017. Dumas is a highly respected sound artist who explores the medium of sound through the production of audio fiction and docufiction, sound installation, composition and sound design. The symposium will take place in Toronto from 9-12 August 2017 in Toronto’s Distillery District.

TIES includes papers, lecture-recitals and several concert works curated by an international jury. It is an annual opportunity for exchange between diverse EA communities.

Maker Metrics: Measuring the Impact of Academic Makerspaces

We know that academic makerspaces create meaningful experiences for students, yet how do we measure this meaningful impact? Where do we start?
Last fall on behalf of the UVM FabLab I attended the first International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM) at MIT. Organizers for the symposium came from MIT, Yale, Stanford, Olin, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western Reserve, Georgia Tech and UC Berkeley.
I specifically attended the conference to learn how to better use metrics to measure the impact of academic makerspaces. The big idea emphasized by Malcom Cooke of ThinkBox at Case Western was  Keep Calm and Collect Data – collect as much data as possible and start today! Collect data that you can assess and measure over time, look to metrics and outcomes, quantitative and qualitative outcomes.
Here are 10 suggestions for how to compile and share academic makerspace metrics.

1. Customize your makerspace story to different audiences. School administrators, current students, prospective students, potential donors and parents to name a few. Use data to back up the different stories you tell. Talking points could include:

• Student engagement, classes and workshops in the space.
• Recruitment
• Retention
• Research support
• Cool and exciting projects

2. Track usage of your space on a daily basis. ThinkBox at Case Western has a staffed welcome desk that requires sign in. In the UVM FabLab, a much smaller space than ThinkBox, our projects are tracked through an online ticket system called Footprints. The software is licensed by UVM and available to UVM entities to use at no cost. The ticket system is managed by student techs and serves as a queue for machine use while capturing student net ids, course numbers and names of professors overseeing the projects. Other technology available for capturing usage data include:

• Ipad sign-in apps
• Ticketing systems that your institutions might already license. UVM uses Footprints and we started using it to track FabLab projects two years ago.
• Checking photo ids and driver’s licenses and collecting information from them.
• Break beam sensors and counters. Build your own!

3. Track who uses your space. Even if you want to keep it simple and just track student ids and course numbers, your registrar’s office or the like can run this information for you and provide demographics like gender and major. If you want to take more information you can identify academic department usage and your different audiences such as students, faculty, and visitors.

4. Don’t forget to track special events and tours. Keep track of special events and guests to your space. For example, prospective students, visiting educators, local businesses, local and state government, etc. For a prospective student tour, it might not be practical to get information about individuals, but you can track more broadly. For example, you can track how many prospective students and family members participated in an open house event that included a tour of your space.

5. Track how the space is being used. Based on usage what machines are getting the most use? This could inform future purchasing decisions. Also consider asking your users what tools they would like access to that you don’t currently have. Use this information to assess the future machine makeup of your space.

• Student class projects
• Research support
• Creation of teaching tools
• Personal projects
• Technical training
• Curriculum integration
• Prototyping for startups

6. Identify how your makerspace plays a role in student recruitment and retention. Is your space a deciding factor when students enroll at your institution? How do tours of your space support student recruitment and how does access to your space support student retention? Survey your students to find out.

7. Compare how your makerspace is used in comparison to other facilities in your institution. Compare your numbers with those of other labs and facilities like the library, gym and other places that encourage learning outside the classroom.

8. Pay attention to your space’s demographics. Across the board makerspaces are used more frequently by white males than other groups. The Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Delaware has noticed that through assigning individual projects (rather than group projects) more female students are engaging in the use hands-on tools and technologies. Does the diversity balance of your school match that of your space? By assessing this information you’ll be able to identify how welcoming your space is to different groups at your school.

9. What are your students learning in your makerspace that they aren’t learning in a traditional classroom? What do students get out of working in your space that they don’t get elsewhere? Are they gaining 21st century skills? What do you want your students to learn and is that what they are learning? Survey your students to find out. Georgia Tech is in the process of such a study
There are a few other metrics I that think are worth looking into. These weren’t directly addressed in the metrics sessions at the symposium but they are on my mind:

Remember to keep track of the events you hold in your academic makerspace.

Let’s pay attention to the environmental impact of makerspaces, this is also a meaningful metric.
The consumables we use at the UVM FabLab like pressed board and colored PLA and ABS plastics are very difficult to impossible to recycled locally and in some instances aren’t recycled anywhere. We have the potential to deepen the innovation potential of makerspaces if we can manage our plastic waste. If our bad print runs end up in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that’s not innovation that’s just a sad everyday story. There are some interesting prospects out there for turning ABS and PLA printing waste into recycled filament, least of which is Filabot, a company founded in Vermont that sells grinders and spoolers. We’re looking into this and will follow up in a future post.
Are students who use makerspaces during their education more employable when they graduate?
If students are learning key skills like those identified in this Forbes article about what employers want in graduates, are educational makerspaces making our students more employable? From my experience in the UVM FabLab, I see the students practicing the following skill sets mentioned in Forbes every day.

• Ability to work in a team structure
• Make decisions and solve problems
• Communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization
• Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work

We’ll only know if we ask and track. If we can tell the educational makerspace story and back it up with solid metrics, we’ll improve the likelihood that our maker initiatives have staying power in the U.S. It’s also a way to start connecting the dots between makerspaces and flexible learning pathways (i.e. Vermont Act 77), active learning, hands-on learning and Project Based Learning.

Special thanks to the Malcom Cooke of ThinkBox at Case Western, Jennifer Buckley from the University of Delaware and J. Linsey of Georgia Tech. They were the presenters in Session 14: Metrics, Data and Measuring Impact and inspired the following top ten list.

Do You Need a Sound Detector?

Here’s a nice option for art installations and sound projects that need to detect sound and/or measure sound amplitude.

The SparkFun Sound Detector is a small and relatively easy to use audio sensing board with three different outputs. The Sound Detector not only provides an audio output, but also a binary indication of the presence of sound, and an analog representation of its amplitude. The 3 outputs are simultaneous and independent, so you can use as many or as few as you want at once.

This first demo that includes and arduino and the sound detector board, starts with simple “claps” in order to demonstrate the binary indication of sound. Note that that the LED changes color and an indication light goes on and off on the sound detector board.

The next demo uses a horn sound, the horn sound is more complex and an anolog representation of the sound is shown through the changing colors of the idea. As the amplitude of the sound changes so does the color.

The third demo creates feedback using the sound detectors audio out and generating feedback with the use of the mini amp.

Arduino + Sound Detector tutorial

Product info here