Dec 29 2008

Subversive Streetsigns :: 2008

Like Throwies with a message, Subversive Streetsigns are meant to be programmed with subversive text and left in public places. Milled from aluminum and fitted with high-strength magnets, they are designed to be installed in and blend in to an urban environment.

Watch video of Subversive Streetsigns here

Dec 24 2008

Chatterboxen :: 2007


Chatterboxen is two wooden and brass boxes with large brass horns; one speaks of war, political corruption, and environmental crisis, the other speaks of celebrity misbehavior, acting awards, and hit movies.

The boxen of Chatterboxen contain an Internet-enabled microcontroller reading current news feeds from different sources. They are crafted of birch, acrylic, brass, and replica grammaphone horns.

Listen to the Chatterboxen here.

Dec 24 2008

Portable Light :: 2007


with Kennedy and Violich Architecture.

Portable Light is a non-profit interdisciplinary research, design and engineering project to provide de-centralized, sustainable lighting and electrical power to serve the large number of people—more than 2 billion—who do not have access to electric light or power. The Portable Light Project began with an idea created and developed by MATx, the materials research unit of Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd. The MATx team developed design strategies to leverage the extraordinary energy efficiency of low cost, large market HBLED technology, optomize it with digital electronics to work efficiently with flexible photovoltaics and integrate it into energy harvesting textiles that are small, smart and shippable. The goal of the portable light project is to create fully autonomous, off-the-grid light “engines” that can provide durable, energy-efficient illumination to enable better options for household economic self-sufficiency, community based education and health care. Portable Light can be easily folded and can travel with the person who uses it. The flexible textile form works as an optical reflector and provides a material common denominator that is familiar in many different cultures. Portable light is highly adaptable and can be integrated into traditional textiles. This creates the possibility for women who are often among the most vulnerable in developing countries to produce, own and use this technology on their own terms.

Portable Light Pilot projects are currently in place in Mexico, South America and Australia. For more information please visit as well as to our web site at

Dec 24 2008

Suspicious Looking Device :: 2006


The only function of the Suspicious Looking Device is to appear as suspicious as possible, whether carried in hand or placed indiscrimately in public places.
The SLD contains LEDs, a LED array, a character display, an optical distance sensor, capacitive touch sensor, buzzer, and motors.

Dec 24 2008

Escapement :: 2005


Escapement is a literal embodiment of my official job function as “Clockmaker” according to the legal requirements of the Worker’s Compensation program.

Dec 24 2008

Haiku :: 2005

Haiku displays a collections of haikus, written weekly and following traditional forms, based on entertainment news and celebrity gossip.

Dec 24 2008

Idle Hands :: 2004



Idle Hands is a machine from (n)either the future (n)or the past. Its origins and use are unknown- only two small buttons provide any hint of its function. Touching the ‘Bored’ plaque causes a few lights to glow, then text scrolls across the display. The text seems to be a peek into the dark depths of someone’s thoughts. After touching the ‘Afraid’ plaque, obituaries of successful people scroll across the display.

Idle Hands contains a Internet-enabled microcontroller, a smaller, more standard microcontroller, stepper motor, various electronics, and other odds and ends. Special thanks to my friends at Rahulbotics and GrowDown for the assistance.

Dec 24 2008

Phantasy Phone :: 2003

The Phantasy Phone provides an anonymous communication medium to satisfy both the desire to disclose fantasies (not necessarily sexual) as well as the voyeuristic desire to intercept them. It attempts to combine the magic of a ringing payphone with the magic of knowing that your desires are heard.

The Phantasy Phone contains an Internet enabled microcontroller and its own email address. The phone will ring periodically and choose one of the most recent received fantasies. Passing public, if choosing to answer the phone, will hear the text of the email read to them through the handset.

Send a message to the Phantasy Phone

Dec 24 2008

Terror-o-meter :: 2003


The Terror-o-meter attempts to provide citizens with an accurate, up-to-the-minute forecast of the threat of terrorism. By parsing Internet news feeds for specific keywords, the amount of terror-related content reported by the media is used to predict the upcoming impact of terrorism on our lives. This quantity is displayed on an easy-to-read needle meter packaged in an attractive, wall-hung device.

The Terror-o-meter contains an Internet enabled microcontroller that parses frequently updated world news feeds. It is designed to be truly plug-and-play, providing instant readouts after being connected to any DHCP capable network. The Terror-o-meter has been featured in Maximum PC magazine, the Deseret News, as well as many smaller technology and culture magazines. A Terror-o-meter unit has been stolen by Gear magazine. Shame on you. 


Dec 24 2008

The GiveBack Curtain v.2 :: 2002

“The GiveBack Curtain v.2”
by Kennedy and Violich Architecture
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
New York, New York 2002
The Giveback Curtain returns light into a space after darkness arrives through phosphorescent dyes and white LEDs. It is part solar shade, part ambient light source, and part information display. The network of LEDs is controlled by a microprocessor capable of displaying any pattern or relevant information.
Images are copyright of Kennedy and Violich Architecture, 2002