Where’d You Get Those Pants?

imageA quirky fashion trend has been spotted around the city: crazily patterned pants with blue plaid, harlequin checks, and orange and brown swirls. The pants have crossed age and gender lines, with males and females, young and old, wearing the trendsetting garments.

The pants can’t be found at your neighborhood Gap store or at your favorite vintage clothing shop. In fact, they’re not really clothing at all, but a small photograph of pants attached to a thin stick. Using the “StickPic”, the camera on your mobile device, and a willing fashion victim, you can create a fun photo of someone wearing the crazy pants. But to make the photo truly come alive, you’ll need to use a little math.

StickPics are part of Digital Design Lab, a new project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that will create mobile apps for use in classrooms throughout the country. The Fancy Pants app, to be released later this year, will be the first of four apps that will turn your mobile phone into a scientific and mathematical tool. Fancy Pants will focus on proportions and forced perspective photography – math concepts that allow you to take a photo of your friend “wearing” those outrageous pants. Digital Design Lab will also include web videos with science-based design challenges and a website where students can post their ideas and solutions.

The central part of this project, however, are the apps, which will allow users to measure and document unexpected phenomena – like that guy wearing those pink psychedelic pants.

It is official! Modular//Neuroid and The New York Hall of Science will be collaborating to create a multi-layered experience for middle and high school students in a project titled Collect, Construct, Change().  The project will give students the chance to collect data on environmental pollution in the field, and then offer them a platform in which to experience this data.  This experience will come in the form of an augmented reality cell phone application. The project will culminate in the form of several workshops over the summer at NySci, and a presentation and workshop at the first ever Maker Faire NYC (which is being held at the New York Hall of Science, September 25 and 26, 2010)! The final step of the project is to promote environmental advocacy through the children participating.  This is extremely exciting.  It also means that I am employed through October 2010. Thank goodness.

This has been on the books for some time now, and have waited to announce it on this site as there were several details to work out. Everything is a go, and I have already begun prototyping for this iteration of modular//neuroid.  I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity and intend on making use of it.  My involvement is the result of a collaboration between the New Youth City Learning Network, along with Parsons and NySci.  The team also consists of a Columbia post-doc, as well as the Bank Street College andCity Lore.

More on this soon!


World Maker Faire New York iPhone & Android App

It’s true, the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir is a real thing

If you haven’t seen the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir, well, you should take a moment, right now…and…see it. Then, come to World Maker Faire this weekend in NYC and see it in person.

This award winning art car from Houston has 250 electromechanical singing fish and lobsters, 300 pounds of batteries, a Linux netbook to coordinate all the singers, and more than 5 miles of wire in the control system. “Quiet please, this is serious.”