Work_table v2

I've been using my old sound_Garden experiment as a work table for the past few months and I've run into one of those old form vs. function issues. The sound_Garden was aesthetically very interesting but from a functional standpoint, be it work table or coffee table, it just didn't work.
Combine that with the fact that I never finished wiring the interactive lighting for it and its really just become more of a large paperweight in my apartment. So wandering through Ikea as I tend to do, I came up with the design, as I also tend to do. The new work table will be much more functional but the aesthetic still won't be compromised by that function, instead my hope is that they will work collaboratively to provide a better experience then either could on it's own.

The work table is built almost entirely from simple IKEA modules, ala IkeaHacker, in fact the construction should be so simple that I think I may document it similar to a cooking recipe, or perhaps post it on instructables. I'm hoping to do some more furniture design in the next year, actually I'm hoping all of us will be able to do some more furniture design in the next year. (I know your down with that Sam) While we are on the subject of IkeaHacking, it brings to light an interesting prospect.

If we as consumers(users) can redefine our environment as we see fit, to our own expressed aesthetic desire, where does the designer fit in? I think we've kind of answered that with some of the earlier stuff we've done. The fab.Light let the user do all the "designing" within the sandbox and even though our express aesthetic isn't signed on every item you can still see our influence, especially on a macro scale. You see that idea working in things like dunnys and munny's, both of those figures allow anyone to redesign the paint on the figure while the figure itself remains the same. Those designers saw the possibly of letting the end user participate in the design. This seems to work extremely well in mass produced environments like urban vinyl, and our own lighting example. But, the true test will be how it translates to singular one off designs like what we all work on everyday. Perhaps what this system is telling us is that we should move from singular one off designs, a singular design requires a great deal of money and time (which tends to encourage the belief architecture is for the wealthy and powerful) by letting the mob design its own object we ensure that every object is singular and unique, while still retaining control and providing motivation for good design.

Perhaps we can evaluate these systems by how much uniqueness they inspire and to what ease they are created, and how well the system achieves design without a direct guiding hand. I think that will be the future of design, where we the designer don't create the sandcastle, we create the sandbox, the sand and even the water. When we control the system our aesthetic influence is felt through every product generated in that system. Looking at some of the pre fab housing projects out there you can tell pretty immediately which ones are producing interesting outcomes and which ones suffer from "Quadrant Home" syndrome.
Which brings me back to Ikea, why the companies designers haven't jumped in full bore with the DIY community is beyond me, I suppose there are certain, shall we say, warranty issues. But it seems that could be worked out fairly easily. Yes, they do have a certain amount of interoperability but it always seems fairly limiting in my opinion. I know I would find Ikea a heck of a lot more useful if all there components actually worked with one another. My DVD cabinet being exhibit number one; the cabinet door I bought, in order to have a nice white sliding door along the top, is too large to fit in front of two spaces but not large enough to cover three.

Here's an early rendering of the design.

The parts are as follows
-(1) White Lack Bookcase
-(8) Capita Cabinet Legs
-(2)Vika Inge Table Legs
-(1)Dioder LED lighting kit

-(2)2'x4' 23/32 MDF Sheets
-(2)1x6 poplar trim boards
-(3)Decking 90 degree straps
-(4) decking flat straps
-(1) qt. paint "Black Russian"
-(1) qt primer

I'm hoping to scavenge the unfinished drivers from the sound_garden and reroute them through IKEA's LED kit.

I think I need it needs a little crit, I'm still concerned about the whole hanging off the wall bit. I'm also interested in possibly turning it into a more transformable object. What do you guys think?


I'll take the red pill

So here I am sitting and watching The Matrix and beginning to learn a programming language I swore I would master a long time ago. That language is Processing. I got a good primer (or at least it seems good so far) and I've just completed one of my first little apps. It's nothing cool, just a block that follows the mouse. But, the exciting thing about this programming language is how perfectly it is molded for interactive design as well as for physical computing. Expect to see a significant amount of these apps as I'm learning I'm hoping within the next few months to be able to convert what I learn into real physical interactive installations.
Hopefully as I learn this I'll figure out a better way to embed the script within the blog, or least come up with a better html page for them.