On invitation by emerging new talent Eleanor Litten I attended the Free Range Exhibition this weekend. London based Eleanor Litten is a Graphiste and Illustrator. She specialises in mixed media illustrations using lino print, and technology such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Her awesome illustrations compliment any published material. Also she must have the coolest domain name crouching-pencil.org.uk. Her piece in exhibition is a meditative publication. I could easily have spent my time curled up in a corner consuming the illustrations. However that wasn’t an option as this is UK’s largest graduate art and design show and there was a lot to see.
A couple of pieces really caught my attention. Following the the buzz of creating my last film Free Pixel I have to mention John Peters Bamboo Phone. Much has been reported about the material scarcity in mobile technology. To reduce the use of indium and nikel the Bamboo phone uses electronic ink screens and a bamboo case. John Peters is a 3D designer who studied in South Indian International Schools and Cornwall.
The variety of design, architecture, photography, fashion, art and illustration will keep you enthralled, and with so many ideas fully conceptualised you may even find your next recruit or big idea or both.
I got my first phone in 1995. It was a massive Motorola brick. It was so heavy it wore out all the pockets in my jeans. My phone needed to be smaller or my jeans stronger.
As the century rolled over my mobile phone finally become tiny. Small. Beautiful. It broke, if dropped once. I connected it to my HP PDA and used it to download email and news content. Juggling both devices and my non existent iPod meant something would be dropped sooner or later. In a rush at Gatwick airport I smashed my lovely PDA and blamed the phone. When would I get a single device that could provide all the software a modern women needed ?
2009 and now all those devices are merged and in a single device. I drop my iPhone all the time. It bounces, scratches but stays intact. Just. It still isn’t good enough. It doesn’t scale. Isn’t fit for purpose. Apple tells me I need an iPad and iMac. I need a TV and Radio and Games Console. In fact I need phone. As my iPhone doesn’t really make great phone calls.
At each stage I knew what I wanted and it wasn’t available. When it finally arrived it wasn’t good enough, I was by then ready for the next device. My imagination far out paces what can be delivered in the market place. Yet I do nothing about it. I wait and hope that the corporate machine will catch up. It doesn’t.
Our research also led us to Displax product Skin. It is completely transparent and works on surfaces that are also transparent such as glass. This hardware operates via a grid of nanowires embedded Skin’s polymer film. Each time a user makes contact with the surface “a small electrical disturbance is detected allowing the micro-processor controller to pinpoint the movement”. Probably not likely to make a great mobile phone in the near future. Unless we carry glass screen around with us at all time. mmm maybe.
For a different take on mobile phones what about one that projects tactile images onto the surface of the phone. The New Scientist described one in Sep this year.
So then we turned our attention to projection technology. Firstly I was inspired by this Ted Talk which shows how a mobile phone and projector can be combined to make an extensible device.
And also from MIT is this device which hasn’t had nearly enough online buzz about it;