Square Root of Negative One

bezier mustache

Posted in baking idea by cheng on February 5, 2012

cute possibilities with mustache


And with processing, I made this parametric mustache generator :{P

It’ll connect with our Piccolo and draw mustache at all the places you don’t expect…


New Year’s Card

Posted in baking idea by cheng on December 30, 2010

I made some new year’s cards out of the google voice sms conversation for a few friends. Here is one for my roommate. Looks like I’m constantly inviting her to dinner at home while she is still in class.


labmate. working hard and playing hard

with family. almost look like a life log….

cybernetics…or, super hero

Posted in baking idea by cheng on October 14, 2010

Interestingly, Kevin Warwick, professor of cybernetics at University of Reading, visited CMU the same week we read Bruce Sterling’s vision of the SPIME. Kevin talked about his research projects, including the ones in which he implanted a nerve-computer interface in his body.
In his view, the technology expands the input and output human beings can get. On one hand, we could sense things we weren’t able to before ( “ Who is not envious that your television can see infrared but you can’t?”). Kevin spent 6 weeks to learn to interpret ultrasonic sensor input, and to use it to avoid obstacles. “Yes!” One would immediately infer that blind people can benefit from this. (Actually, Electronic Lollipop is already doing it.) How about feeling hazards, such as radioactivity? If a firefighter can see the temperature, and know what’s about to explode, could that be a form of super power of seeing the future? “More than 50 years ago, Austrian researcher Ivo Kohler gave people goggles that severely distorted their vision: The lenses turned the world upside down. After several weeks, subjects adjusted – their vision was still tweaked, but their brains began to process the images so they’d appear normal. In fact, when people took the glasses off at the end of the trial, everything seemed to move and distort in the opposite way”( sensory prosthetics, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.04/esp_pr.html) Could we merge some 6th sense into people’s existing sensors, or use some less occupied ones (like Electronic Lollipop)?
On the other hand, we could extend our impact to a new level. Kevin showed a robotic arm connected to the human body. It could be engineered to mimic a human arm. It might as well be 100 times stronger. It doesn’t even need to connect to the human body (I was imagining Ian Ingram’s “YOU ARE NO. 1 “ installation, hmm…) . “Your body gets as large as the internet goes”. Potentially, yes. A more interesting question is, if each body is an I/O node, what can we get out of the whole network? Are we more intelligent? More powerful? How do we show it in a costume design, and deliver the idea in a show?
Coincidently, TEI student design competition is calling for superhero suit. I see an intriguing opportunity to make a statement on this topic. It’ll be fun to stop by Kevin Warwick’s lab and show my vision of the future.

“what do you want to be?”

it’s all about display

Posted in baking idea, TID by cheng on June 28, 2010

This particular display caught my eyes in Ivan’s report from CES2010 :


“Experia phone from Sony Ericsson that had half transparent screen, which looked very nice, designy and conceptual.”

Now you can type from the back of your cell! I had always want to make a phone with keyboard on the back, since a lot of us don’t need to look at keyboard anyway (more true in China where we’re crazy about texting). Now with this translucent screen, you even get visual feedback where your finger is.

3D output

Posted in baking idea, TID by cheng on February 22, 2010

Peter Cho seems big in text visualization ..



Posted in baking idea by cheng on February 21, 2010

Larry Kagan


shadow monster

kai linke

out dated processing shadow rendering

rendering shadow in solidworks?


Posted in baking idea by cheng on February 7, 2010

Until Dawn Curtain
made of Tyvek, covered in a floral-fauna pattern in lilac/white, red/white, or black/white, against a transparent background.
Tyvek is a durable, liquid-resistant material.


Garland Shade Light
Tord Boontje, 2003

This cascading floral shade reflects the Dutch designer’s admiration for the intricate, romantic aesthetic of 17th and 18th century objects. The delicately etched leaves and flowers are created using photographic process normally employed in the manufacture of electronic components. The shade, made of brass, secures to the base with a simple clip and may be expanded in size and form. Includes 15-foot cord with standard plug. 60-watt bulb not included.

Algue, Ronan Bouroullec

tree curtain

Tord Boontje & Artecnica’s Ivy Panels
laser cut from plated steel and coated in brass or silver.
Notice the detail in the four corners that connects to each other

Organic line
Brice Marden:Cold Mountain 6 (bridge) (SF MOMA, 1989-1991)

prosthesis [digital fabrication proj2]

Posted in baking idea by cheng on February 2, 2010

In 2030, the limitation on environmental source push human race onto the fringe. To reduce medical expense, Governments passed bill against marriage between couples carrying genetic inheritance that would possibly produce offspring with genetic diseases. Prosthesis displaying genetic disease information is force implanted to citizens. Though mostly implanted to private body area, those who can afford gene therapy would prefer to show off their purity.

Underskin implant model in solidworks. lateral edge length 1 in.

Reference and related work

Genetic Diseases and Inheritance

Growing Pains: Nurturing The Relationship Between Man & Object
Seed and grow a piece in your body

Body modification for Love
My proposal includes a technique for genetically growing selected parts of your beloved person on your skin. Having a nipple of your ex-girlfriend close to the pelvic bone would be one option, growing a mole of your ex-boyfriend another. It would also be possible to grow a patch of living hair on your arm, reminding you of mum. It’s much like tattoo, but you would have to shave every now and then.


Posted in baking idea, visual by cheng on January 27, 2010

Vik Muniz gave an amazing key note at the TEI conference. But what I’m talk about here is an idea inspired by his website.

A heat sensitive paper/thermochromic painted surface, in addition to a huge matrix of diodes/resistor or other heating electrical components should be able to do this. I envision it at the size of a wall paper … So that the viewer can enjoy both the gradual growth of dots, and, when stepping back, can see the emerge of the whole portrait. Might create a processing interface to take portraits, or image shot from web cam as input, or thingy people draw. Sounds interesting?

One related proj is briefly described here.

The Watch Paper is printed on ordinary paper and uses a heat sensitive coating to tell time. Each digit blurs from one into the other using the heat from the LED in the back which makes the coating transparent

Other related projects

Mies van der Rohe portrait.
2003, IIT
This halftone portrait of Mies van
der Rohe is actually comprised of
a a set of pictograms designed for
signage at IIT. This reveals both
the icon tha Mies is to IIT and the
communicative icons which appear
through the building.


how about laser cut a image and reorganize it?

Posted in baking idea by cheng on January 13, 2010
We Feel Fine In Polaroid Project, I had two hours to take 150 Polaroid exposures of a live audience, and then assemble these photographs into a grid that told some kind of story.
Starting in opposite corners are uncut pictures of a fully clothed man (bottom left / tinted blue) and a fully clothed woman (top right / tinted pink). Both genders twist towards the center along curved paths, discarding clothes, wigs, shoes, and other accessories along the way, as the photos start to shatter, becoming less about objects and more about flesh. Approaching the center, the pictures are increasingly difficult to decipher, as body parts blend together and their owners’ identities dissolve.  Throughout the piece, the male and female cut marks are symmetric, mirrored copies of each other, extending beyond the boundaries of the photographs into the white border, itself composed of the individual white borders of all 150 Polaroids, so that the whole canvas comes to resemble a single giant exposure.
Polaroid Project was assisted by Kyla Fullenwider.
polaroidproject.org . statement . photos . process


Posted in architecture, baking idea by cheng on January 8, 2010


Special Grant 4th Student Competition“Textile Structures for New Building” 1997
Though old, this site has some inspiring ideas on movable structure at architectural scale. Could those be  future Archi bots?

Polyhedral toy


Imagine covering these frame with elastic membrane in such a way that all surface are in tension, the resulting shape will 1)hold its own shape and allow huge deformation 2) have nice curves and edges like Mark Baskinger’s white balloon over metal frame
might I actuate it with linear actuators from inside and give it its own kinetics and shape its own world? another SMA gadget?

kenneths nelson, the inventor has some amazing experiment with different contraction forces.. not only a mater using the elastic ropes, he also discussed rigid connection, and magnetic connection.

could one change the direction of these magnets, and change the overall form?


Greg Witt’s amazing piece ” surface with sticks