8 Ties: Interactive Exhibit Research


For Spatial Media we were asked to find a temporary interactive exhibit that was created for an event and critique it. I had a tough time finding examples of temporary exhibits, but eventually I came across “8 ties” for Hermès. It was created for an event in Milan and has now traveled to a few other locations. I haven’t seen this installation in person, but I found some videos online.



The theme of the collection is very digital, referencing many aspects of computer culture and data. The ties’ patterns use iconography like the power button and the recycle symbol, as well as binary among others. The site is much nicer than that video above:



The visuals, drawn from the patterns of the tie collection, are stunning. They are the highlight of the main attraction – the large video wall which I can only assume was a projection. What’s unclear is whether or not the visuals respond to the user. When you watch the video, you can’t really tell if the graphics are moving on their own or as a reaction to the user waving around kinect-style. The audience, who appear to be professionals in the fashion industry, don’t appear to understand either.

I definitely recommend the website. It’s visually very attractive and has some awesome glitchy audio and video. But from the videos online, it looks like the translation to a large screen exhibit may have fallen a bit flat. I think user interaction could have been made much stronger, for example, showing some sparks or something where the user’s hand is detected, or a more clear correlation between movement of the user and movement of the graphics.

DigiFab Research: SkecthUp


What is SketchUp?

SketchUp is a 3d modeling program that became popular while it was owned by Google. It is often used for architecture and interior design, though it can also be used for smaller product design as well.


SketchUp was first created by Last Software and released in 2000. I first heard about it (and I think a lot of people as well) after Google bought the company in 2006. They released a few more versions of it before selling to Trimble last year (2012).


2 versions are available: Free for home and personal use, and Pro for, well, Pros. The Pro version is $495.00, though Students can buy a pro license is $50.00 but it cannot be used for commercial work under their terms of service.


SketchUp is fairly straightforward to use as far as 3d modeling programs go. The controls are pretty sparse in the free version, though I’m not sure how that compares with the Pro edition. Drawing and extruding are pretty intuitive. There also seem to be many tutorials online.

3d Warehouse

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 7.00.51 PM One of the most interesting aspects of SketchUp is the integration with Google’s 3d Warehouse, which is a community-driven online collection of models that can be downloaded and used in your projects. The warehouse is accessed within SketchUp by going to Window > Components. You can search for objects there and if you’d like, you can contribute objects as well for others to use.


SketchUp is extensible through ruby scripts. These add functionality like additional drawing tools, export options (such as exporting to GCode for 3d printing), etc. The landing page is here though you will probably have better luck just googling for what you need directly.


All in all, SketchUp seems like a good tool to have around. It’s free, its pretty simple to use, and seems to be used quite a bit in certain industries. The only other 3d modeling program I have a good deal of experience in is Blender. In comparison, SketchUp seems simpler, but maybe not quite as powerful.


Spacebrew Constellations

For our second assignment, we needed to port an existing project over to using spacebrew. Last semester in ICM, I made a hand-tracking app that you could use to draw constellations. It was a bit hacked together using oscP5 to send the kinect data to the rendering sketch. So I hooked them together using spacebrew instead. It worked well, and was fairly quick to set up and get working… except for my errors in publishing the data. It was good practice in debugging, however, when there isn’t complete documentation and google doesn’t help. Found the bug, squashed it, and the result was beautiful.

spacebrew constellations from brett peterson on Vimeo.

First 2d drawing in Vectorworks

In my Design for Digital Fabrication class we’re starting out with 2d vector drawings. I’ve used Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape for vector drawings in the past, but I’m new to Vectorworks. I’ve already found some very useful functions missing in other programs like the ability to auto-measure and label parts. So nice!

We were asked to create a 2d drawing of an existing object. My parents are restoring an old card catalog that has plastic handles. about 1/3 of them are broken, but they haven’t found a supplier for them yet. I’m going to try to 3d print it. But first, a 2d drawing.

handle_2d <- pdf link

I’m not sure I represented to curve properly, as you can see in the photo below. (Note: This image is not the actual handle, but it’s very similar if not the same)


Hello (Spacebrew) World!

Last night I got started using Spacebrew. It was actually really nice to use once I got everything setup and configured. I ran my own node server and used the example processing sketches to change the greyscale background of one sketch using a slider from another:

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 6.11.02 PM

I then spent a good bit of time trying to get the arduino sketches to work with a leonardo + Wifi shield. I wasn’t able to get it yet, unfortunately, but I think I’ll have to dig into the source of the websockets or arduino spacebrew libraries (or both). I’m looking forward to trying this out with other projects!