[Final Project Proposal] Re-actor

Our project is divided into two parts.

The first part is an audio boom box that references the boomboxes of the 1980’s with a handle and speakers but instead of blasting radio it is pulling sound from electronic frequencies in the air using a coil mic. It is useful for exploring electronic frequencies but we are also interested in capturing audio that is interesting and beautiful.


The second part of the project involves being able to control the boombox wirelessly from a laptop. The boombox can be carried or sent using a robot so that we can send the device undetected by security and below some surveillance techniques.

here is a great inspiration on Multirobot systems for EMF monitoring:


There are these DIY robots that move around:


However we want to make everything from scratch. For the robot we will be using Adruino Yun to control the robot over wifi. Please watch the video for the current progress. We were able to control the motor on Audruino Yun:


Here is also an example of the sound that was picked up by a Coil Pickup Mic




Beyond: Final Project Update

This week Annelie and I have been designing our experiments, our nutrients and our vessels and tools for the growth of mycelium in liquid medias.

We will be creating a diy magnetic stirrer to facilitate the growth of mycelium liquid cultures within an incubator box to achieve the ideal temperature for the organisms. This drawing is a box that has a computer fan inside with magnets attached, then a magnetic bar is placed within the liquid culture and when placed on the box, the stirring is produced from the rotations of the fan. This design allows the stirrer to be portable, and we can create a setup with multiple fans set up to allow us to stir many cultures at one time in a controlled setting.

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Making the special containers for growth of mycelium. The jars are modified with two holes in the lid, one is stuffed with poly fill filling and the other is filled with RTV (autoclavable) silicone. The silicone is a seth healing injection port for the insertion of syringe needles, and the polyfill acts as a filter allowing oxygen into the jar.

IMG_8412 copyThis is a sample of dried mycelium that has been sterilized and becomes a kind of ‘fabric’.

Our cultures on the stirrer: batch 2


Documentation and lab notes:

Mycelium Report


And lastly, we have begun to create a modified petri dish setup with which we will test fungi’s response to electricity. We are interested in this after reading about fungi’s relationship with lightning and we are looking to simulate this interaction in the lab.

Final Project Proposal

Chen and I will continue with our project SoundSorial for our final. We have three goals for the next stage of the project.

  • Revisit the form factor
  • Experiment with sound and visual feedback
  • Experiment with presentation/performative aspect of the piece


This week we presented SoundSorial at NYC Media Lab. We received lots of positive feedback from visitors. However, it was obvious that the form factor is a problem. It is currently too large and inflexible for all head shapes. We want to experiment with different materials and shapes.

We also connected SoundSorial to Processing, through which we can manipulate actual audio files as well as create visual feedback. This opens up many new possibilities for how we express the data we are collecting.

Eventually, we would like to make a companion app for SoundSorial that will allow the user to listen to music and podcasts as the normally would and disrupt their listening experience with static or other audio feedback when they enter an area that is above a certain level of particulate pollution.

Before we try to create an app, however, we want to explore what the possibilities of this project are. Now that we have a working prototype we want to explore the potential types of audiovisual feedback we can create, what it could look like, and how it might be presented. For example, that if SoundSorial became a performance piece?

The first prototype determined the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ and the ‘why’ of our project.  With the second stage of development we want to explore the possibilities of ‘how.’ For our final we envision presenting a series of material, visualization, and presentation experiments.



Final Project Proposal

Team: Jimmy Tang, Ziqu Zou, Norma Chan

For the final project, my team and I are going to build an algae carbon dioxide scrubber. A carbon dioxide scrubber is a device which absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2). It is used to treat exhaust gases from industrial plants or from exhaled air in life support systems such as rebreathers or in spacecraft, submersible craft or airtight chambers. In our algae carbon dioxide scrubber, air is passed through a container where the CO2 is absorbed by the algae and oxygen released.

Portable Algae-Powered ‘Chlorella’ Pods by Ádám Miklósi

Culture Urbaine  by The Cloud Collective

2012-10-08-DSC_0062smallerAlgaculture by Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta

F9O7K22FRD89OSZ.MEDIUMSimple Algae Home CO2 Scrubber via Instructables

“Gas Exchange of Algae” via the National Library of Medicine

A  patent for system for purifying a polluted air by using algae

Birce an Steph – Week One Progress

After thorough research, we moved ahead into the prototyping and experimental phase.

We sourced materials:


Water Pump

Waterproof Fabric (nylon)

And we experimented with these materials to test our idea. We drilled holes in the tube and pumped water through it. We mimicked how the tube would be situated on the neckline to test how the water would flow and drop of the tube. We also wanted to test if the water would bead off the fabric in the way that we wanted. The tests were pretty successful.

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Since we want the water to be fluorescent we are also experimenting with dyeing the water with the ink of a highlighter. When a UV light is shined on the water, it should glow in the dark. We want the water dripping from the tube to glow to mimic the bioluminescent phytoplankton. We are thinking of two ways to incorporate the UV light. 1) Shine the UV flashlight on the dress when the lights are off. 2) incorporate LED UV lights into the tube neckline that turns on when the user feels stressed.

highligher 01

Birce and Steph – Final Project Proposal


After the crying dress, we decided we still wanted to experiment with liquid and fluidics working in a garment. We researched the “glow-in-the-dark beach” in the Maldives.

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These glow-in-the-dark beaches are caused by bioluminescent phytoplankton. Bioluminescence occurs widely in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as in some fungi, microorganisms including some bioluminescent bacteria and terrestrial invertebrates such as fireflies. Communication (quorum sensing) plays a role in the regulation of luminesence in many species of bacteria. Using small extracellularly secreted molecules, they turn on genes for light production only at high cell densities. While most marine bioluminescence is green to blue, the Black Dragonfish produces a red glow. This adaptation allows the fish to see red-pigmented prey, which are normally invisible in the deep ocean environment where red light has been filtered out by the water column.

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The bioluminescent phytoplankton react to any type of stress or change in tension, emitting light from their cells anytime something breaks the water: a wave, a kayak or even your hand. They’re calling it, informally, the “firefly effect.”

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We want to create a garment that mimics the bioluminescent effect of the phytoplankton in the water. Since the phytoplankton illuminate as a reaction to stress or tension, we want to use those as triggers for the garment. The dress will mimic their actions and act as a therapeutic calming sensation to their high stress or tension. We want to the dress to perspire glowing liquid in a similar manner to sweating, as one does when they are stressed. The dress will “sweat” fluorescent water  out of the fabric’s pores but drip in an aesthetically pleasing and beautiful way.


Week 1: research and proposal.

Week 2: source materials and prototype.

Week 3: finish prototyping and execution of final project.

Week 4: Complete project, write-up, and project due.


Materials to explore:

Waterproof fabrics – nylon, vinyl,

Waterproofing coating spray

highlighter to illuminate water



water pump

Illustration of system:


Final Proposal Wes & Sam – Disorientation Helmet

As we navigate through the day we give very little thought to how we turn our head to view the world.  How we move our heads to view the world is second nature to us and is a very subconscious movement at times.  Saman and I wish to turn this on it’s head.


Experiment: Using the oculus rift and a web camera we are going to change up how the user looks at the world.  When you turn your head to the left, a camera mounted on servos will turn to the right, shifting the feed in the rift to the right.  Every which way you turn your head will be mirrored and reversed by the camera feeding the rift.

This will force users to have to carefully think about how to orient their head to see the objects they are after.





Arduino, gyroscopes, magnetometer, accelerometers, servos, a webcam and some motors


The camera will be mounted on a device worn on the chest.


Final Project Proposal- Leah and Lucy

How can we make drinking safe, while still fashionable?

We are creating a bracelet that also functions as a breathalyzer. It is more personal and compact than a traditional, handheld breathalyzer, with a more discreet purpose. We are hoping to make people aware of their intoxication before it is too late.  The more you drink, the more the bracelet will light up.  We are considering adding a switch as a function so it can function in drinking mode as well as in sober mode. Sober mode displays the lights in a pattern of the user’s choice. The purpose of sober mode is to allow the wearer to use the piece in a fun way while  also making their intoxication levels indistinguishable for safety/privacy reasons.

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Our inspiration comes from several other tech bracelets that have a tracking purpose


This fictional watch was personalized, convenient, and pretty damn nifty.


These Rebecca Minkoff bracelets have a bluetooth connection to your phone and lights up depending on who is contacting you.


The Fitbit is a watch that syncs with your phone, that tracks heart rate, activity, and calories burned

Beyond: Final Project Proposal

What is Mycelium?

“Mycelium is the vegetative part of fungi, which consists of a network of interconnected filamentous cells called hyphae. The mycelium of mushroom- forming basidiomycetes is highly attractive and embodies a great potential, because of its tendency of growing on a wide variety of substrates, therefore resulting into a range of diverse materials and applications, related to the architecture and the design fields. Moreover, this organic network of filamentous cells is characterised by peculiar properties, such as strength, elasticity, thickness, homogeneity and water repellency.”

What is currently be done with mycelium?

Currently mycelium is being used in the art and design world for various applications. The strong fibers of mycelium works wells as a natural alternative to wood, cork and plastics and can also be easily shaped into both structural materials such as insulation and decorative artifacts such as lampshades and homeware. It is also produced in a more energy efficient way than conventional manufacturing.

What we would like to explore?

The use of mycelium as an alternative building material is revolutionary and is proving that there are natural alternatives to our current ways of manufacturing, but within the discipline of mycoculture itself there has not been much experimentation and it seems that the majority are using the fibres in a composite of materials and the actual chemistry beyond the physiology is not being explored.

We would like to see how we can go beyond the current methods of growing and using mycelium cultures and with this explore new material solutions. We hope to achieve this through a series of experiments addressing these two parts of mycoculture:

  1. Growing Mycelium
  2. Fabricating with Mycelium

Growing Mycelium

Current research with mycelium involves the growth of material in organic decaying substrates. We propose an alternative approach, we will be growing pure mycelium in a liquid culture using experimentally designed methods, based on research in the industrial production of mycelium for medicinal use.

After our tour to the Industry City Distillery we have been doing a lot of research into growth optimisation and found that the same alginate that is used to keep the yeast growing at optimal temperature and Ph level can be used as a substrate for the growth of mycelium in liquid culture. We will definitely be exploring this avenue when we get to the growing of larger masses of mycelium.

We will also be prototyping a DIY bioreactor to further optimize the growth of the material.

Fabricating with Mycelium

Fungi and electricity:

Lightning induces fruiting of mushrooms in nature

We would like to scale down this interaction between fungi and electricity by creating a modified petri dish experiment that will test the effect of electrical current on the growth of fungal cultures.

There is also currently some interest within the science world in the perceived conductivity of mycelium. As per our previous project we would like to continue this research with more scientific backing.

Fungi as fabric:

We are hoping to move away from the composite use of mycelium to explore the chemical makeup of the hyphae and see if there is a way in which we can use this fibre for fabric or as alternative to cotton or yarn.


Maurizio Montalti




Jonas Edvard Nielsen




Phil Ross