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Here is a brilliant work by Tad Hirsch that I came across when looking through a ppt presentation by Swiss researcher Nicolas Nova.

Tad Hirsch is a researcher in the Smart Cities Group at MIT's Media Lab, where his work focuses on the intersections between art, activism, and technology.

In 2006 he made the site-specific installation Tripwire, which responds to the relationship between San Jose International Airport and downtown San Jose in California

Hirsch custom-built sensors, placed them inside coconuts and hung them from trees at several public locations to monitor noise produced by overflying aircrafts.

Detection of excessive aircraft noise would cause the sensors to trigger automated telephone calls to the airport's complaint line on behalf of the city's residents and wildlife.


Suited for Subversion


Humor and creativity often plays a central role when civil disobedience movements develop their tools and tactics.

Sometimes these tools even turn into works of art, such as 'Suited for Subversion' developed by Ralph Borland as a part of his Master's Degree at New York University.

Inspired by notorious activist-networks such as Ya Basta and Tute Bianche, Borland created a bubble-suit shaped as a big red heart, designed to protect the wearer at large scale street protests.

The suit - which can be worn with our without clothes underneath - also monitors the wearer's pulse and projects an amplified heartbeat out of a speaker. Naturally, it's not really the material itself but the obvious vulnerability and self-irony that is most likely to pacify the opposition and win over public support.

Suited for Subversion took part in SAFE: Design Takes on Risk at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 2005/2006.

Related: Surveillance Camera Players + Hello Mr.President.


Rent a chef


If you're in the Netherlands and want to delight or impress your friends with an authentic Japanese dinner but don't know how to prepare it, you just have to call Yukari.

Yukari is a Japanse woman who quit a job at a car company in order to pursue her life-long dream of making people happy through her cooking.

Based on your wishes, budget and kitchen facilities Yukari will put together a menu and prepare the food in your own kitchen, where after she leaves before the guests arrive.




Conflux #1

The Conflux festival, which takes place this week in New York, features a wide range of artistic projects that investigate the border between private and public space.

One of many interesting projects is a performance by SU-EN and Nuria Dina who has decided to walk around knocking on people's doors to ask if they can come inside to do a short improvisation in their home or workspace.

If people agree they enter, choose a space and do a performance of 3–5 minutes. If people decline, they say thank you and goodbye.


Personal Pride = Company Pride


The annual gay-pride parade in Amsterdam, which takes place on the canals, is a happy and colorful event attracting thousands of spectators and thus, also the interest of sponsors.

Traditionally, the parade-boats are sponsored and peopled by members of the gay-community (such as gay clubs/affiliations/organisations etc) but the event is getting increasingly mixed up with non-gay particpants.

This year set new standards. Under the slogan "Personal Pride = Company Pride", a handful of large companies such as IBM and SHELL took part in the parade - not as passive sponsors but as active participants.

See images below.

Nb: IBM's banner, "IBMsterdam", is a clever little rip-off of Amsterdams slogan "I AMsterdam".

ABN AMRO bank ING bank IBM

The Unbearable Lightness of Consumer Electronics - interview with Nicolas Roope


An interview that I made with Nicola Roope is now up at MocoLoco.

Nicolas Roope is the creative mind behind Hulger (formerly Pokia) - the retro-handsets that can turn a dull cell- or VoIP conversation into something special.

Amongst other things, Nicolas talks about Hulger's transformation from concept to a normal(ish) design product.




On November 16, 2005 a parking space in San Fransisco was subliminally hacked.

At noon, the parking-space transformed into a small public park with grass, a tree and a bench where people could rest and relax. After two hours, the park turned back into a parking space.

The intervention was performed (and paid for) by REBAR, a collaborative group of creators, designers and activists based in San Francisco.


Interview with Marko Ahtisaari - Nokia's director of design strategy

marko ahtisaari

My interview with Marko Ahtisaari is now online at the Danish Design Center's web portal.

Ahtisaari is the Director of Design Strategy at Nokia and I talked to him just before his presentation at the Ars Electronica conference in September.

Besides talking about hot industry concepts such as 'simplicity', Ahtisaari offers some insight on the relation between user-centered design and Nokia's innovation strategies.

www.ddc.dk (switch to english in the top menu)

Interview with Theo Jansen


Here's a link to my interview with Theo Jansen, published at artificial.dk.

Theo Jansen is a Dutch artists who is occupied with the making of 'new nature'. For the last 15 years, he has been evolving a series of wind-powered animals that look like skeletons. When these creations are fed by wind, they set into motion and transmute into organic-looking creatures; or 'beach animals' as Jansen calls them.

www.artificial.dk Theo Jansen

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