March 15 project progress

The stroke sensor is working. The servo motor now works connected to the stroke sensor: when the hat is being petted, the servo motor makes the hat’s “tail” move.

The color sensor is working as well, photos/videos coming soon.

Photos and videos of our progress (on Leeza’s blog).




A mezmerizing butterfly dress by Turkish couture designers Ezra and Tuba Çetin

While looking at this article about LED clutches / bags, I stumbled upon this LED ribbon. It is a commercial product, and it basically has LEDs nicely integrated into a ribbon. In terms of functionality, it doesn’t seem like something I couldn’t make myself, but I was impressed by how clean and pretty it looks, as well as the fact that it is water resistant.



My chosen everyday object is my head massager. It usually sits on my desktop and I pick it up whenever I need a little break from studying.

In today’s workshop, it has been transformed (imaginatively) into a Magical Massager with these three powers:

  1. Power related to the senses:

Unlike a regular massager, which feels amazing already, this one has x50 amplified power, taking all your senses on a marvelous trip to a state of bliss.

2. Power related to anything of my choice:

It also affects your mental state by actively sending positive and peaceful thoughts and feelings into your head.

3. Power related to money:

While you massage someone’s head with this massager, it has access to all data in the person’s brain, including secrets and sensitive information such as PINs and bank accounts, which can then be used to retrieve money.

The Magical Massager in action:

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Week 2 readings & research

Why do we need things?


Csikszentmihalyi compares artifacts to living beings that compete with humans for the planet’s resources. This similarity is illustrated by how both undergo an evolution process and become more and more complex over time, building and improving upon previous iterations.

He then says that humans mostly need objects not to satisfy their physical needs but their psychological needs. He links human dependence on objects to the unstable nature of the human mind. When the mind is left to itself without any sensory stimuli, it wanders, becomes anxious and the person’s mood deteriorates. Physical objects around us provide structure and sensory input that helps the mind stay focused and organized. Also, it is difficult for the mind to remember experiences in the past, what are the plans for the future, and ultimately, the person’s sense of self becomes lost in the randomness of the wandering mind. Objects provide a material anchor to these experiences and to one’s own identity. There are 3 ways the objects help their owner to shape their identity:

  1. They can demonstrate power
    1. Houses, cars, furniture and anything that is rare, expensive or tasteful
    2. Because people’s sense of identity is vague, and often formed by how others perceive them, it feels good to display things and receive praise for owning them.
  2. Objects that help to organize one’s own identity
    1. For young people, it is often stereo / TV set, and a musical instrument. These provided ordered sensory stimulation and help to feel focused and to concretize feelings
    2. For adults, it is often furtniture, objects of art and books, as they represent their values and accomplishments.
    3. For old people these objects are photos, because they help remember their past vividly and recall details that would have otherwise be forgotten.
  3. Objects can represent relationships
    1. Photographs, gifts from relatives, objects that remind of experiences with family and friends, symbols and tokens of friendship

Csikszentmihalyi notes that the objects of power are the most expensive in terms of labor and cost for the planet’s ecosystem. The objects that represent relationships typically are very inexpensive. So the kind of selves that people build affects our planet. He also says that if we learn to discipline our mind ourselves, our need to rely on objects will diminish. This can be achieved by rich symbolic culture: songs, prayers, rituals, crafts.



Smart rituals


Dresscode motion or sound circuits




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