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”

Tutorial 1: Charging an iPod with a lemon. [Posted by Richard]

This was a tutorial / education video that helped me out a lot in the first project. Although not the most high quality or aesthetically well presented video it does give very clear demonstrations and back up reasoning and justifications. This backup evidence is something I find really helpful and informative and is something I would like to take through into my own tutorial.

Junk-Mail Phone Case/Dock by Richard

Introducing the “ijunk” – the junk mail iphone / ipod dock

“the best thing to happen to iphone since iphone 5”

When an iphone or ipod is docked it activates a junk mail delivery mechanisim. This was a really project with no apparent purpose but gave me the opportunity to use a physical imput to create a digital action in the ardino code and then return a physical output. The physical circuit uses a tip120 transistor which acts as a electronically controlled switch allowing the motor to draw power from an independent power supply. This is important as if the motor were to be connected directly to the arduino it could fry the arduino’s chip. The code i used was a version of the button example featured in the continue reading section of this post. Ideally if I had more time I would have better integrated the iPhone charging into the arduino and have it actually recognized when it was being docked, rather than just using the phones casing to connect the circuit via contacts.

Some of the tutorials and useful sites I found and used are here:

ijunk dock

Junk Mail Phone Dock from Richard Clarkson on Vimeo.

Code: Continue reading “Junk-Mail Phone Case/Dock by Richard”

Richard Clarkson

Hi i’m Richard. Im from New Zealand, grew up on a farm in Hawkes Bay. I have always been interested in how things work and trying to make more efficient & better versions of existing things.

I really enjoy the workshop and am especially looking forward to merging digital and physical craft into one entity. My background is in Industrial Design, specifically furniture and conceptual products. I also have experience with photography, jewelry and interaction design. also I don’t believe in uppercase letters and my spelling is atrocious.

This is my website:

Some images that represent me and my work:

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