mr indecision

a small felt version of myself that turns its head and looks at you.

[Instructable here]

This is a project on using 123D Catch to get a 3D scan of my whole body. Once I had the scan I cleaned it up and manipulated it ready for 123D Make. I sliced the model in Make and preped it for Laser cutting. Once done I lazer cut and integrated the componentry and Arduino to make the head turn. I created two functions an automatic tracking function and a manually controlled function through Max MSP. In a way this is a Modern Day Puppet.

Code below the jump:
Continue reading “mr indecision”


After a discussion with Becky, I have decided that a 1/2 scale plush Richard made from laser-cut  stacked slices of felt could be a really interesting project. In a follow up post I will talk about the viability of making the head a proximity tracking & turning head.

In terms of aesthetics & form language I am thinking of Antony Gormley meets Mark Jenkins.

The style and ‘creepiness’ of both these artists is really well balanced. I hope to push the creepiness but in an artistic way. Things like scale, materiality, posture and gesture will all play a part in this.


Advances in physical computing and interaction design hardware over recent years have created a new breed of smartobjects which are gaining more and more traction in the design world. These smartobjects have the potential to be far more interactive and emersive than ever before. What is exciting is that its becoming increasingly easier and cheaper to become a part of, with DIY and hacker communities initiatives such as Maker Faire, Instrutactables as well numerous other organisations & people showing the growing interest in this area. Done as part of the Making Studio Class taught by Becky Stern in the Products of Design Masters Program at School of Visual Arts. This project aims to capture the essence of this style of designing, where ideas, thinking and process are shared for others to use and expand on.

On one hand ‘Cloud’ is an Arduino controlled, motion triggered lightning & thunder performance. On the other it is a music activated visualizer & suspended speaker unit.




The cloud is made by felting hypoallergenic fiberfill to a sponge casing which forms the frame of the cloud and holds the speakers and componentry. The felting tool used is a custom made felting tool made from the left over sponge and 4 felting needles. To control the functions of the cloud there are three tactile switches scattered around the base. The concept references real clouds which constantly change shape through the switches requiring constant exploration to find the right switch to turn the right feature on or off.

Acting either as a semi-emersive lightning experience or as speaker with visual feedback this Nightlight – Nightspeaker hybrid introduces not only a new discourse for what a nightlight is or cloud be but also what a smartobject is or could be?

The Cloud

The Cloud

The Cloud

Arduino controlled motion triggered lightning & thunder and music activated EL wire diffuse flashes combined into a suspended speaker unit. The Cloud is a felted Nightlight – Nightspeaker hybrid, acting either as a semi-emersive lightning experience or a speaker. The controls of the cloud are tactile switches scattered around the base, similar real clouds which constantly change the switches are subtle and require constant exploration to find the right switch to turn the right feature on or off.

The Cloud

Work in progress, after days of working to get the separate components of the cloud working independently I now have them working together in the same arduino sketch. The components I am using are the the PIR sensor, the Wav Shield & LED Storm. My system does thus: The PIR sensor is triggered by motion > then the randomized Lightning sequence begins in a randomized cycle followed by a super lightning strike > milli seconds after the super lightning strike is a randomly selected thunder sound, the cloud then waits until the PIR is triggered again.

Lightning Cloud Test

Here is my code thus far: Continue reading “The Cloud”

Project One: Vegan Phone Dock

Research, Tutorials and Hacks:

The Vegan Iphone Dock:

This is an iphone dock designed specially for vegans. It is based on multi level Kit-set distribution model. The highest level is the Deluxe kit, with comes with everything needed excluding the fruit and crate. The Standard kit requires the user to find, hack or purchase a dog clip, copper wire, galvanized wire, fruit and a crate. There is also a free demo that shows hacker-vegans to make the entire kit from scratch by themselves.

The system works of a fairly well know chemical reaction that causes ions to move when the citric acid comes into contact with the zinc on the galvanized wire. Although sometime the iphone doesn’t indicate that it is charging it actually is, just at a much slower level than is required to switch on the charging indicator. Over time the fruit and wire will need replacing but that is the fun of the kit.

The kit was designed to suit a range of vegans from ‘standard vegans’ to ‘ultra vegans’ who criticize anything that removes natural landscapes and habitats from animals, sometimes this includes conventional electricity systems, thus the v-dock was born.

Coming to Etsy late 2013 starting at $49.90 + shipping.

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Main Image 1.

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by Richard Clarkson