AL Bookmark Design

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Sketch: AL Bookmark Draft 1
Misc. images of forms/lights etc.

Materials research/experimentation for Bookmark.

One of the aspects of the Bookmark that is core to its visual stimulus is the light emission. I see the bookmark as a beacon, which attracts. This is unlike a lighthouse, which may be attractive but is clearly sending out a warning, the intense spinning light is an alert to stay clear not an invitation. We want materials that invite. On a personal level. I see them more as fireflies then lighthouses. The Bookmark should also be unique and unexpected for an electronic device. Semi-translucent materials allow the light to be defused across the Bookmark’s surface. The Bookmark must be an appropriate weight. I would also like the Bookmark to communicate with its environment; it ought to be something that belongs to Crosset’s world.

Pro: Very versatile. Molds will allow a great deal of Bookmarks to be made very easily. The entire body can be semi-translucent.
Con: Possibility for low impact resistance. Could feel mundane.

Aluminum/stainless steel (also polished brass/copper)
Pro: Sleek and cool. The materials of the modern and could have interesting conversation with Crosset. Could be come an interesting skeletal structure, or a mesh. Cool to the touch.
Con: Light emission can be an issue. Potentially too inorganic. Production may be more one off.

Pro: Warm. Dialogue with the building, book shelves and furniture. Unexpected, for an electronic device.
Cons: Light emission can be an issue. Production can be more difficult.

Pro: Very unique. Organic, warm. Hippy cool. May have health benefits.
Con: Durability might be an issue. Probably too heavy.

Pro: Translucency could be mirrored to incorporate a metallic feel when not lit.
Cons: Impact resistance would be an issue.

Pro: A translucent skin over a skeletal structure would be very nice to the touch. It could also be warm and organic.
Cons: Structure becomes an issue.

Pro: Can give a very warm diffused light. Would be very unique.
Con: Impact resistance will be an issue. Cold both in temperature and potentially visually when the light is off. Weight could be a problem.

I don’t want to send the impression that I have forgotten about the “tassel” portion of the bookmark; I have not. This must directly relate to the “body” of the Bookmark. It must grow out of the body both physically and materially. Also, I haven’t forgotten about how the bookmark rests in/on the book and we will address that in more sketches.

Define behavior of Bookmark -- LED blinking etc.

The light should entice the user. The device should communicate with the user. The depth and level of this communication is an issue for David. Ultimately the bookmark blinks and possibly shakes for user interaction.

How does the bookmark look and feel? How is the Bookmark integrated into the interface station?

The Bookmark has three states: 1) In book, 2) In hand, 3) In dock. The form must relate to all three states. In book the Bookmark is a pendent. I have been looking at a lot of earrings. In hand the bookmark is pet; it is a frog or a hamster in the palm of your hand. In the dock the Bookmark is fixture; it should support the user’s experience at the interface station.

The hemisphere form is strong in all of these states: it makes an attractive and omni directional pendent, it sits comfortably in the hand, it docks flat and can become a mediation tool to connect the user to the interface station and navigate through the database.

Other Thoughts


Some tech specs.

  • The tech team is working with the arduino mini ( with a USB hookup (that usb hookup is detachable )
  • LEDS are RGB (that's one light that can be programmed in a range of colors -- mixing red/green/blue) adding more than one LED would suck battery power and likely not be good.
  • Charging/programming link/hardware has not been determined, although, since we don't nec. have time to create/engineer something custom (this is a real question for tech--kyle), it could likely be USB.

Bookmark Objects

(2) Science • Apollo Lunar Module – The Apollo Lunar Module was the landing portion of the Apollo program, which achieved the first landing of humans on the moon. Referred to as the “Lem”, it was an essential and defining part of completing the mission to the moon. The Lem is representative of the whole Apollo program which constituted landmarks in civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. The Apollo program spurred advances in many areas of technology peripheral to rocketry and manned spaceflight. These include major contributions in the fields of avionics, telecommunications, and computers. The program sparked interest in many fields of engineering, including pioneering work using statistical methods to study the reliability of complex systems made from component parts. The first practical fuelcells were used during the Apollo program. The flight computer design used in both the Lem and command modules is seen as the driving force behind early research into integrated circuits. Computer-controlled machining (CNC) was also pioneered in fabricating Apollo structural components. Additionally, the Lem became a symbol of engineering resourcefulness and ingenuity when it was used as a “life raft”, saving the lives of the Apollo 13 astronauts. • Yeast cell – The yeast cell is a fungus that has been used in baking and fermenting for 1000's of years. Several yeasts, particularly the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have been widely used in genetics and cell biology. This is largely because the cell cycle in a yeast cell is very similar to the cell cycle in humans, and therefore the basic cellular mechanics of DNA replication, recombination, cell division and metabolism are comparable. Because of these similarities research done with yeast cells can often be applicable to human cells. S. cerevisiae was announced to be the first eukaryote to have its genome, consisting of 12 million base pairs, fully sequenced as part of the Genome project. At the time it was the most complex organism to have its full genome sequenced and took 7 years and the involvement of more than 100 laboratories to accomplish. Also many proteins important in human biology were first discovered by studying their homologs in yeast; these proteins include cell cycle proteins, signaling proteins, and protein-processing enzymes. Humanity’s relationship with yeast is not just cellular, yeast microbes are probably one of the earliest domesticated organisms. People have used yeast for fermentation and baking for thousands of years, with the earliest documented bakeries and breweries coming from ancient Egypt. Yeast is also used in biotechnology industry for ethanol fuel production, while yeast extracts are used in nutritional supplements and Vegemite.

(1) Music • Drum - One of the basic elements of music is rhythm. It is likely that one of the first instruments used by humans was a drum, an instrument widely used in the creation of rhythm. In fact the term “drum beat” is used relatively interchangeably in English with rhythm. A beat being a sound instance from which a relation can be built to other sound events to create a rhythm. Heart rhythm is often compared to the beat of a drum, contributing to the sentiment of the drum as a giver of life. The drum is a member of the percussion group, technically classified as a membranophone. Drums consist of at least one stretched membrane which vibrates under impact to create sound. Human ears work like a reverse drum; they are sensitive because of a stretched membrane which translates sound waves into nerve signals. Theoretically, the sound of a drum is particular to specific shape of that drum, thus the question of whether the shape of a drum can be heard has arisen in harmonics and mathematical experimentation. Drums have been used not only for their musical qualities, but also as a means of direct communication, especially through signals. Drums served as early form of long distance communication through drum telography. The talking drums of Africa can imitate the inflections and pitch variations of a spoken language and are used for communicating over great distances. There are cases where Europeans expeditions came to native lands, and were surprised to find that their comings and intentions were carried through the woods a step in advance of their arrival through the use of drums. Drum has also played a key role in military conflicts. The drummer’s cadences provided a steady marching pace for moving armies. Drums are widely used in music therapy for a variety of therapeutic purposes including: motor skills, social/interpersonal development, cognitive development, self-awareness, and spiritual enhancement.

(2) Literature • Jocasta’s Brooch – This is the infamous object used in the ancient tale of Oedipus Rex where, Oedipus the mythical Greek king of Thebes fulfills a prophecy that said he would kill his father (Laius) and marry his mother (Jocasta), and thus bring disaster on his city and family. On discovering of all his crimes, Oedipus rushes into the palace, where he finds his mother and wife, dead by her own hand. Ripping the dress brooch that fastened her dress in the traditional Greek fashion, Oedipus blinds himself with its sharp point. He lives the rest of his life blind in countryside. This legend originated in the oral tradition and has been retold in many versions. The first written references to Oedipus appear in the 7th-8th century B.C, However the most famous written account is Sophocles' Oedipus the King. In modern times the tale has been retold by writers, poets and lyrists including: Jean Cocteau, Peter Schickele, Jim Morrison, Steven Berkoff and Regina Spektor. Of course the story is also famously used by Sigmund Freud to describe his theory of the Oedipus complex. Freud argued that the unconscious association appears between the ages of three and five where the child feels sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex and desires the death of the parent of the same sex. The resolution of this complex, it is argued by Freud, is key to the healthy development of the child. • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee’s 1960 novel deals with racial injustice, the destruction of innocence, class tensions, courage and compassion, and gender roles in the American South. Siblings Scout and Jem with friend Dill are terrified by and fascinated with, their neighbor, the reclusive "Boo" Radley. Dill, Scout and Jem find that someone is leaving them small gifts in a tree outside the Radley place. Objects found in the tree include soap carvings of a boy and girl, gum, twine, and pocket watch. The book is widely taught in schools in English-speaking countries with lessons that emphasize tolerance and decry prejudice However, To Kill a Mockingbird has been targeted by various campaigns to have it removed from public classrooms for its use of racial epithets. Some claim that the book is at least a partial autobiography of Lee’s own childhood in Monroeville Alabama, where many of the charters and situations were taken from. Lee denies that the story is a direct autobiography and further has refused any personal publicity for herself or the novel since 1964. The title’s mockingbird is understood to be a metaphor for loss innocence seen throughout the novel. In 1962 the film was adapted for film by Alan J. Pakula, garnering three Oscars: Best Actor for Gregory Peck performance, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration in Black-and-White, and Best Writing for a Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

(1) Performing arts • Martha Graham – The piece shows Martha Graham in a pose immortalized by Philippe Halsman's photograph of Graham’s "Letter to the World". This image gained more cultural significance for its use by Andy Warhol his print entitled “The Kick”. Martha Graham is revered for her invention a new language of movement, and her ability to use that language to reveal the passion, rage and ecstasy common to human experience. Her dances were often based on strong, precise movement and pelvic contractions, and were charged with beauty and emotion. In 1936, Graham made her defining work, "Chronicle", which signaled the beginning of a new era in contemporary dance. The dance brought serious issues to the stage for the general public in a dramatic manner. Influenced by the Wall Street Crash, the Great Depression and the Spanish Civil War, it focused on depression and isolation, reflected in the dark nature of both the set and costumes. She taught at Bennington College, creating a dance haven in rural Vermont. Graham often collaborated with famed artist, and designer Isamu Noguchi. Noguchi created many of her most famous set pieces. In 1998, Time listed her as the "Dancer of the Century".

(1) Visual arts • Duchamp’s Fountain - One of Duchamp’s readymades, Fountain is often considered the most important art work of the 20th century. Physically consisting of an overturned urinal signed "R. Mutt", likely to hide his role in the piece, Duchamp described his purpose with the piece as shifting the focus of art from physical craft to intellectual interpretation. The piece was initially submitted anonymously to an exhibition by the Society of Independent Artists (which Duchamp was a member) which claimed that all pieces would be shown. The piece was however rejected by the board of the society and was not shown because its status as art was questioned. Almost appropriately, a testament to the importance on the conceptual not the physical, Fountain was lost after its initial showing. Fountains seen in museums today were commissioned by Duchamp later in the 1960s. The work is attributed with the birth of conceptual art, creating a dialoged that lasts to this day, some ninety years after Fountain’s showing in 1917.

(2) Social science • Minerva’s Owl- In many parts of the world, owls have been associated with death and misfortune, likely due to their nocturnal activity and common screeching call. Ancient Egyptians used a representation of an owl for their hieroglyph for the sound “m”. They would often draw this hieroglyph with its legs broken to keep this bird of prey from coming to life. However, owls have also been associated with wisdom and prosperity, frequently being companion animals for goddesses. The owl of Minerva is the owl that accompanies Minerva in Roman myths, seen as a symbol of wisdom. The nineteenth-century idealist philosopher G.W.F. Hegel famously noted that "the owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk" meaning that philosophy comes to understand a historical condition just as it passes away. Philosophy cannot be prescriptive because it understands only in hindsight. • Ockham's razor - Attributed to the 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham. “entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem", or "entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity" or "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best." In other words, when multiple competing theories are equal in other respects, the Ockham's principle recommends selecting the theory that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities. Originally a tenet of the reductionism philosophy of nominalism, it is more often taken today as a heuristic that advises economy, parsimony, or simplicity, often or especially in scientific theories.


  • Miller-Urey Experiment- Simulated hypothetical conditions of early earth and tested for the occurrence of chemical evolution. Began with the elements thought to have existed in early earth and ran tests to see how they interacted and developed. The experiment used water (H2O), methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3) and hydrogen (H2). At the end of one week of continuous operation Miller and Urey observed that as much as 10-15% of the carbon within the system was now in the form of organic compounds. Two percent of the carbon had formed amino acids, including 13 of the 22 that are used to make proteins in living cells, with glycine as the most abundant.
  • Lungs- Respitory, transport oxygen into body and release co2 into atmosphere. This is done by thin walled cells called alveoli.
  • Kazoo- It is a form of drum, it is a membranophone that adds a "buzzing" timbral quality to a player's voice when one hums into it. The kazoo is a type of mirliton - a device which modifies the sound of a person's voice by way of a vibrating membrane. Such instruments have been used in Africa for hundreds of years, to disguise the sound of somebody's voice or to imitate animals. In orchestral and jazz music the kazoo is often confused with that sound of a trombone. Kazoo’s have been used popular music by the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Cure, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink Floyd, The Kinks, The Spinto Band, The Killers and Michelle Branch.
  • Don Quixote, Windmills- Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s Alonso Quixano, is a country gentleman who has read so many stories of chivalry that he descends into fantasy and becomes convinced he is a knight errant. Quixano series of famous adventures begins with an attack on windmills that he believes to be ferocious giants. The character of Don Quixote became so well-known in its time that the word quixotic (a person or an act that is caught up in the romance of noble deeds and the pursuit of unreachable goals) was quickly calqued into many languages. The phrase "tilting at windmills" to describe an act of futility similarly derives from an iconic scene in the book.
  • Tempest-
  • Streetcar-
  • Othello- handkerchief
  • Paradise lost-apple
  • The Odyssey -boat
  • Great Gatsby-
  • Gullivers travels
  • Tom and Huck
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Grapes of Wrath
  • 1984
  • Catch 22
  • Crucible Coll
  • Scarlet Letter - letter
  • Catcher in rye-red hat, ice skates
  • Hardwood floor with choreographed dance
  • Hemlock- Socrates drank this because he was in prison. If he fled prison then he would be in violation of his own principles.
  • Paper Cutter-Sartre argument for existence and intelligent design. Humanism of existentialism number 1.
  • Hammer - Heiddeger, turn signal on an old car
  • Glass of water
  • ball of wax—Descartes
  • cave—plato
  • supply and demand graph
  • trickle down
  • invisible hand
  • masks - anthropology



Isherwood Meeting 1

We spoke with Isherwood and he said he could be of help in several areas.

1. 3-D scanning- This involved sculpting/buying an object that is the correct size and shape of the final product. It is placed on a platform and scanned with a laser shot from a camera. The file is uploaded to a program(probably rhino) and then the file can be altered if need be. After that the form can be milled. The only problem with this is that with the 3-d scanner, if the form is complex and there are overlaps when the object is spinning, then the outcome could be imperfect. Also, this process forces us to carve out a cavity for the circuitry and led to go into.

2. 3-D printing- Instead of milling a material, a 3-D printer lays layer after layer of a translucent(good for LED) plastic material and builds from the bottom up. The end result is really cool and hollow, so it leaves a cavity for the circuits to fit into. The only downside to this process is that it leaves a striated texture on the finished surface. It is kind of rough but could be a nice effect if used with the proper bookmark.

3. Casting/Molding- Isherwood said that if we made molds of the objects that he knew a guy who could cast it in glass and one who could cast in silver. He also said that Umphlett was doing an aluminum pour in a week or so and if we had forms by then we could cast in aluminum.

We are going to talk with Isherwood further next week more specifically about materials.

Isherwood Meeting 2

Scanning these forms will cost around $100 a piece. Over our per object budget. Also, scanning presents problems when dealing with recesses and undercuts.

Question: How much do we value the hand in the object? See next.

Rendering the objects directly in Autodesk 3ds Max with the help of a consultant at NYT seems like our best course. John’s contract is said to be very good with this software, at the same time, he does not impose his own style. We would also be able to build the forms around our universal technical package. This package would hold the circuitry and be common to all of the forms. Naturally, we will be able to scale our models down to be precious as we intend them to be.

I have scheduled April 3rd (although this Thursday, the 27th, may be possible) to go with Kyle to NYT and work with John. John Isherwood’s contract is named John.

It also appears that because of small size of the objects, that we will be able to do them in one printing. This will save lots of money and decrease the turn around time. John and John estimate that we will have them in less the five days after making the digital models.

We will also be able to go directly to model with some troublesome objects, such as Ockham's razor which has been difficult to model.

Isherwood Meeting number 3 will happen before class. I intend to get some estimates on prices for all this magic.



Universal Technical Package

Dockdim.jpg Utpdim.jpg

To keep the footprint reasonably sized and at the same time to have adequate contact widths, I returned to the magnet being a connection as well. Will this be a problem? The whole unit will recess into the form creating a second physical cue for the user. --BChoiniere 05:04, 2 April 2008 (EDT)

I don't think you should use the magnet as an electrical conductor. a) The magnet material may not conduct electricity (ferrite magnets don't; dunno about rare earth magnets); b) we may not want the magnet to make physical contact with the dock: the rare earth magnets are ridiculously strong and it's nearly impossible to pull them straight off. The design might require a non-magnetic buffer between the magnet and the dock, such as 1/8" thickness of plastic. Joe 06:31, 2 April 2008 (EDT)

Hey Ben, this is looking better. I agree with Joe about the magnet as for magnet strength, we will have to test them (we need to order some samples.) One big thing is that this shape is an octagon and our shapes are hexagons -- sorry to nudge, but we should keep it consistent....Robert_Ransick 08:18, 2 April 2008 (EDT)