I came across this interesting idea for taking data visualization into the physical world. Sculptor Luke Jerram has taken wall street performance data graphs, rotated them around their x axis, and using wood molds casts them in glass.
It’s an interesting design concept, and a way of thinking about sort of the next step of data visualization. I could easily see this approach to interpreting data become a element in architectural design.
Presented at the Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction Conference, the setup turns a Kinect into 3-D scanner. The Kinect is hooked up to a Mac, and users can pose in front of it and see a real-time wire-frame representation onscreen. When they see what they like, they hit a button and they are captured in an STL (stereolithography) file. This file is sent to the 3-D printer, where a small, low-resolution model is finally spat out.
As souvenirs go, a miniature replica of yourself — striking a pose of your choosing on Barcelona’s La Rambla street — is a far sight more original than a bullfights-and-senoritas snow globe. This past January, the hilariously titled BlablabLAB enlisted three Kinects and a RepRap machine to snap passersby and render them into personalized tchotchkes, in a project called Be Your Own Souvenir. Subjects stood atop a small platform, mimicking the human statues on La Rambla, as the Kinects captured their likeness in full 360-degree glory. The resulting images were then processed as a mesh reconstruction, saved as a G-code file, and then fed through a 3D printer — and voila, out popped the tiny statuettes.
I came across this website dedicated to the idea of “breeding objects”. The conference asks: what is the future of manufacturing technology? They propose using the internet as a platform for user-generation and mass-customization of consumer products. Imagine a tool where you can design an object (a stool, bowl, desk, picture frame, jewelry, t-shirt graphics) and have it 3D printed, CNC’d, woven, or sculpted then sent to you for a price thats competitive with current day mass manufactured products.
Put the “aura” back in your everyday objects… Walter Benjamin would be proud : )