Intel Living Frames

Living Frames (2011) was a two-week industry project  developed by Marco Triverio and Chris Bierbower at Intel Labs. The two designers took up the challenge of exploring the future interplay between images, technology and people behaviours.

A team from Intel asked us to look 10 years into the future and imagine how people might capture or display photos given expected advances in technology. Intel is in the ever faster processor business and uses these predictions to steer chip architecture as well as to help spur developers imagination to maintain demand for faster silicon.

Over the course of the project we realized that using photos for story telling is such a fundamentally instinctive behavior that it is safe to predict it will last through several generations of technological innovation. Our concept develops on this insight. However, foreseeing 10 years into the future is tricky. With IBM’s Watson, we’re seeing a sneak peak of improvements in natural language and intention recognition. We think that one of the photo related advances users will enjoy are computers that will actually help us tell stories and have richer conversations.

Learn more about Living Frames

Ode: “a fragrance alarm clock” to stimulate appetite in people with dementia

According to the product page, “Ode by design firm Rodd has been created for people living with dementia, including Alzheimer’s. As their condition advances many people with dementia lose weight as their appetite reduces. They then may experience many of the problems associated with malnutrition such as dehydration, delerium and muscle wastage. As well as supporting people with dementia, ode can be used more widely by adults with memory problems, or who are simply going off eating or convalescing from an illness which has affected their appetite”.

Find out more on FastCoDesign and on the initial project page.



Speculation on future garments: wearing organ skin suits to improve health?

Speculation on future garments: wearing organ skin suits to improve health?

For her thesis, Cloe Cooper – student at Rhode Island School of Design – is working an a speculative design project. She imagines a future where organ skin garments – i.e. a stomach suit, a lung suit, etc.  –  will be used just as clothes to improve health  – instead of being means to express style and status quo.

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The Machine: HP aims at redesign the computer

In a period of troubled business, HP is betting its future on the redesign of the “computer” architecture as we know it. According to Tom Simonite:


HP Enterprise is working on a risky research project in hopes of driving a remarkable comeback. Nearly three-quarters of the people in HP’s research division are now dedicated to a single project: a powerful new kind of computer known as “the Machine.” It would fundamentally redesign the way computers function, making them simpler and more powerful. If it works, the project could dramatically upgrade everything from servers to smartphones—and save HP itself.


The Machine is an attempt to update the design that has defined the guts of computers since the 1970s. Essentially, computers are constantly shuttling data back and forth between different pieces of hardware that hold information. One, known as storage, keeps your photos and documents plus the computer’s operating system. It consists of hard drives or flash memory chips, which can fit a lot of data into a small space and retain it without power (engineers call it “nonvolatile” memory). But both hard drives and flash chips read and write data very slowly relative to the pace that a computer’s processor can work on it.


The Machine is designed to overcome these problems by scrapping the distinction between storage and memory. A single large store of memory based on HP’s memristors will both hold data and make it available for the processor.


To make the Machine work as well as Fink imagines, HP needs to create memristor memory chips and a new kind of operating system designed to use a single, giant store of memory. Fink’s blueprint also calls for two other departures from the usual computer design. One is to move data between the Machine’s processors and memory using light pulses sent over optical fibers, a faster and more energy-efficient alternative to metal wiring. The second is to use groups of specialized energy-efficient chips, such as those found in mobile devices, instead of individual, general-purpose processors.

Find out more on MIT Technology Review and on the HP Labs page.


IDEOgraph: a record player to draw physical space flows

During his Fortnight internship,  designed and crafted IDEOgraph – a machine that captures the energy and flow of IDEO Chicago physical office space. The device is basically a record player made by:

  • two stepper motors to run the turntable and arm – the arm is used to draw on a disc or to cut it so to produce a tangible representation of the flow it captures
  • a servo mounted on the back side of the arm to lower and raise it;
  • a PIR motion sensor mounted over the counter in the kitchen to collect data and send it to an Arduino.

Code, diagrams and vector files necessary to make your own IDEOgraph are available here and on GitHub.

Find out more on IDEO Labs.

Drone Garden: robot plants struggling for resources

Drone Garden by Martin Reiche is an installation that addresses the issue of naturality in a networked and virtualised environment. It offers a speculative insight on a future where even robots will fight for vital resources (such as bandwidth as in this case). According to the project page:

[…] As a series of interconnected hybrid “plants”, the installation creates a utopian garden through wires, circuit boards, cables and other circuitry – a garden in which all of their inhabitants, the plants (drones), are constantly fighting for resources (network bandwidth). This fight, happening on packet level on the network sockets and in the memory of the “plants”, is fueled by an instinctive codified behavior which is visualized on the screen. The installation raises the question if it is ethical to interfere with such a confined microcosm, which, even though carefully designed and therefore artificial, nevertheless behaves and fights for its existence.

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