Archive for the 'e-Learning' Category

Apr 06 2012

uDrift: TweetDeck Mapping Assignment Demo

Tweetdeck GPS linking site, research objects/places, with assignment

This is an example of a 6-part Tweet assignment using TweetDeck’s GPS and camera app to link Tweet instructions/comments with a demonstration project that could be for disciplines such as urban planning, landscape architecture, architecture, art, and design; as well as for theoretical topics and discussions dealing with mapping layers, semiotics, graffiti, street life, and urban occupation. On the left Tweet #2 is illustrated in TweetDeck running on an Andriod handset; Center is a composited two-part screen shot illustrating a full TweetDeck message of text, image, and map; Background; the full set of Tweets collected on a laptop running TweetDeck by using the class #udrift hashtag. Additionaly, on the right, a SketchBook drawing made on the street is attached to demonstrate the use of specialized apps.

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Apr 04 2012

uDrift(ing) layers in Google Earth

Two urban drifts (flans) composited into Google Earth

4.18 mile urban drift 4 April (Caixa Forum, Squat, Princesa)

Urban drift 3 April

The composite of two urban drifts (flânerie or dérieves) begins to indicated the potential of overlaying urban walking data as place research for class design, spatial relationships, proximity, and location identity. Google Earth allows each layer to be turned on and off for specific tracking — GPS photo data is not yet converting; but I’m still working on that — The 4 April uDrift began at an exhibition of Goya at La Caixa Forum and from there I Tweeted images and with GPS locations (see #udrift.)

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Apr 01 2012

GeoTagging: uDrift Graffiti BCN

Images loaded into Flickr's geotagging

I’ve opened a uDrift site in Flicker for testing geotagging & mapping organization. If anyone would like access let me know by email or Tweet #udrift.

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May 31 2011

Virtual Microscope

67x Diatoms. Fluorescence Microscope

1083x Diatoms. Fluorescence Microscope

The Virtual Microscope

I have been using microscopes and SEMs over the past ten years for the morphological study of barbs and thorns for connecting, hooking, and linking devices potentially useful in design projects. In relation to design, I began drawing frames and skeletal-like building structures based on the silica bones of sponges and diatoms. Access to powerful microscopes has been a problem when teaching that limited the introduction of microscopy into design classes. One option is the virtual microscope. The Virtual Microscope site listed provides a selection of “slides” for SEM and light microscopes and has an easy to use desktop viewer — the two images above are from the viewer; I captured them shortly after downloading. The link below is an article on the use of the virtual microscope at the Open University for distance science learning.

Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning
Volume 26, Issue 2, 2011 Pages 127 – 134

The role of the virtual microscope in distance learning
Peter Whalley; Simon Kelley; Andrew Tindle

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Apr 20 2011

Game-Based Learning #19 — PacMan Started It

This started with PacMan — learning strategies on the screen of my iPhone. PacMan’s game course that looks a lot like gridded cities. First I extrapolated it to a fractal, triangulated plan of the Barcelona Botanic Garden. Working with path tactics borrowed from PacMan, I outlined a game scenario for plant ID and research based in GPS mapping and QR plant tags and I tested them by pasting the QR tags in the garden. These basic game design decisions I then transferred to Barcelona streets where the game strategy was to use GPS tagging and mapping to locate and research urban street art and squats, build data bases for sharing with other classmates and create game trails others could follow. This later evolved with my own tracking of a graffiti project involving animal rights and beautiful chalked drawings all over the city. I never implemented a scoring system and only vaguely thought about one. I was thinking more of the game as a container for class activities — how to stimulate design research and prototyping from and on the street. How students could directly access urban information. As the end of the program comes into sight the work, more detailed in the blog posts below, is growing in significance as I begin to use aspects of mapping, tracking, tagging as movement strategies for development with smartphone design, e-learning programs. That’s where PacMan has delivered me and I’m still testing GPS tracking apps and Google Earth to eventually implement a university course. PacMan is a good friend now. Gee is a classic.

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Apr 08 2011

INC — Revisit: Neocyborg Gun in eXistenZ

YouTube Preview Image

Jude Law uncontrollably gnaws cooked and sauced “mutant reptiles and amphibians.” Flesh chewed off, Law trapped in an osso buco-like rapture —Skeletal parts slightly dripping juices, shedding skin, pulled apart; sometimes pulled from his mouth. “I find this disgusting, but I can’t help myself” he says. A bionic pistol unassembled; it’s a prop. Pieces set on the table. Parts cooked in a Chinese restaurant’s special. Emergent, from an unknown logic (but who cares). Law intuits an assembly, snaps and clicks the organistic gun together. Decides who to kill. Not Allegra. • The pistol looks like its designer loved space invader sets/props a la 1950s TV and crossed them with submerged biosystems for a masterpiece of prop design and STL fabrication. But more — a reverie of product emergence through biological visualization — tactics of form from life systems. David Cronenberg 1999 theory. Frightening: sort of. Hysterical: sort of. Sublime (in a Burkian sense): totally. Uncanny: nth degree. A sublimely uncanny moment of biodesign witnessed in cinema consistent with neocyborgian embodiment and emergence. Could this be cognitively infectious? extended?

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Apr 07 2011

INC — Deleuze as SF

I was searching my notes in Barnett’s “A Will to Learn” and found I had highlighted this quote from Deleuze:

“A book of philosophy should be in part a very particular species of detective novel, in part a kind of science fiction.”
Difference and Repetition.

I’m catching on to the science fiction qualities of much of his writing (and A Thousand Plateaus) and liking the trails of thought they open, but it’s going to take me a while to get any perspective from detective novels — maybe I can switch in film noir since cinema was a deep source for him. Both aspects of SF and detective novels make clear exterior connections and extended cognition are part of the environment Deleuze placed his work in; I’m wondering if he had known the DIY and open-source movements, if his theories would today be more hybridized than cannonic.

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Apr 01 2011

INC — DIY Deleuze & Guattari Theory

Shatz, Adam. “Desire Was Everywhere.” The London Review of Books. 16 December 2010. 9-12. Review of: Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari: Intersecting Lives by François Dosse, translated by Deborah Glassman. Columbia, 651 pp. August 2010.

More and more I’m working through “A Thousand Plateaus,” reading it as a guide to DIY theory. The paragraph quoted below, form Adam Shatz in the December 2010 London Review of Books, has haunted me since first reading. It suggests an interesting view of how Deleuze and Guattari saw “A Thousand Plateaus” — I have finally ordered Dosse’s book but will continue to relay on this paragraph for a bit longer until it arrives. What I am thinking is that the free reading of American culture, the exuberance of pronouncement, the ‘hallucinatory experiences,’ its manifesto-like qualities, and in general its trippy nature (and trippy use of nature) situates it in a position ripe for hypertexting, overwriting, or more appealingly, as an open source thinking template — (clearly, not in the sense of publication rights.) I think the book, with a 2011 trippy bioscience/technology overlay ask for its embedded theory to be cognitively extended ☺. . . and I’m finding some good grafting candidates in neocyborgian work . . .

“Deleuze and Guattari had long envied American writers like Henry Miller and Allen Ginsberg, with their ‘gift for intensities, flows, machine-books, tool-books, schizo-books’: now it seemed as if the desiring revolution’s future was in America. ‘Everything important that has happened or is happening takes the route of the American rhizome: the beatniks, the underground, bands and gangs,’ they announced in A Thousand Plateaus, which appeared in 1980. An even stranger (and longer) work than Anti-Oedipus, A Thousand Plateaus was a chaotic bricolage of anthropology, fractal geometry, music theory, psychoanalysis, literature, art history, physics and military history. It emerged, they said, from ‘hallucinatory experiences’ and read as if it had been written under the influence. They had signed their names, they said, ‘only out of habit’: ‘Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd.’ Their celebration of ‘multiplicity’ generated a barrage of new concepts: rhizomes, war machines, striated and smooth space, nomadology, planes of immanence, faciality. Yet the book was recognisably a continuation of Anti-Oedipus, a hymn to the micro-political weapons of the weak, the ‘lines of flight’ and ‘nomadic’ resistance practised by subjugated groups in their struggles with state power. Once again they criticised psychoanalysis for reducing desire to the ‘family tree’ (the arborescent model), praising the rhizome’s ‘liberation of sexuality not only from reproduction but also from genitality’. Passages of fearsome theoretical density were punctuated with trippy slogans: ‘Make rhizomes, not roots, never plant! Don’t sow, grow offshoots! Don’t be one or multiple, be multiplicities!’”

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Mar 31 2011

Game-Based Learning #18 — Mobile Art

Art Gallery Van, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Finding, tracking, sharing, archiving alt-city information envisioned for playing urbanSQUAT uses GPS tracking, Tweeting, photo/video documenting, and mapping the discovery of urban art, graffiti, cycle-culture, flânerie, and squats and squat gardens. The basic outline works in any urban or rural topography. Since returning to Santa Fe from Barcelona (where urbanSQUAT was initialized) I have been testing the iPhone app, Map-My-Ride to document, record, and map my route; using that information I have made transfers to other maps and Google Earth. Today I find that the pay version of the app ($4.99) allows photos to be geo-tagged into the route (I’ll test that on my next trip). My Santa Fe route begins off-road (sand and gravel and ruts) for 1.3 miles and then continues over steep hills and mesa climbs — it’s not a long course, only 14 miles RT, but it’s a hard course. Today’s surprise was finding the mobile gallery pictured here parked and opened. I had seen Axle Contemporary, featured in The New York Times but had never come upon the mobile gallery in Santa Fe. Finding it today started me thinking of relationships between analog mobile functions and the Barcelona urbanSQUATs and the mobility and territoriality of information and chance encounter — analog and/or digital.

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Mar 28 2011

INC & Game-Based Learning #17 — Drawing with Satellites

Get Tired I. Concentric Circles GPS Drawn on Edinburgh from Drawing with Satellites

In previous posts I have discussed aspects of layering Google Earth maps with strategies from iPhone games, information production, GPS locations, and alt-cultural archiving. These are intended to advance appropriated game tactics for tracing urban graffiti and studying urban squats as ways to game-study city structure through the Benjaminesque transposition of flâneur into smartphone blogger and street-wise student. These posts have help fuse ideas from posthuman theory with ideas for urban design studios and architectural research for future e-learning classes. And so do the implications of “Drawing with Satellites.”

A few days ago I received a publication I ordered and had forgotten about. And, it has further lessons for ways of plotting and experiencing urban space. It’s a handsome little book documenting a project run by Chris Speed, Esther Polak, Ross Cruickshanks, and Karlyn Sutherland for second year architecture students at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. “Drawing with Satellites” is, in its quiet, minimal, and beautiful design, a technological transfer of urban routes into cartographic lines. Drawings, not sketches, these GPS tracked city walks oscillate between minimalist fine-line plots and abstract, yet expressive, portraits of urban movement overwiring living, functioning city spaces.

Student’s worked in groups and accompany their GPS maps with brief descriptions of their conceptual strategies for generating routes they would (mostly) walk as satellites tracked their steps. To various degrees, groups developed strategies with algorithmic-like rules. The group drawing “New Town Old Town Spiral” wrote, “Start from the Missoni Hotel. Walk to the first junction, turn right, walk two junctions, turn right, walk three . . . and so on.” While their algorithm did not produce a spiral, it did produce an interesting portrait of urban movement with a lesson non-linear dynamics; something involving precision formula meets non-linear city. Luckily, the students were flexible adapting their rules and their drawing illustrates a long urban meander across, around, and through Edinburgh. Another group drew concentric circles on a map and then walked their line as best they could through Edinburgh’s decidedly non-concentric spaces. The finished drawing is beautiful with strange over-trackings that seem to translate to dead-end streets as cartographic loops, forcing the rewriting, retracking of routes to complete a the circle-inspired but actually zig-zaggy concentric non-circles — a kind of city space line narrative and movement.

These drawings pack a lot of information, only you the reader has to revisualize and manifest it. They embed and encode information, sequential movement, alternative cartographies, digital flâneries, game strategies — they are moments in time precisely documented in space with instruments in the student’s hands communicating with multiple satellite stations miles above the earth. The clarity of their CAD-and-plotter line is an historic tag to their 21st-century gestation. Nevertheless they join thousands of years of mapping traditions and stories about cities. They are hybridized between students and devices, post-cyborgian, they are telling us there is a view of the city from smartphones and handheld GPS devices that have never been possible before. They are cognitive extensions of architectural thinking, place, time, and movement. And, as noted several times, they are beautiful.

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