Midterm Proposal (Initial, Secondary Proposal & Brain Storming)

Our original group brainstorm thoughts can be found in this google doc.

Here is a link to our google doc for our secondary proposal.  This proposal includes the concept for: Environmental Genesis,  with precedents and documentation including 3 prototypes.

Our initial presentation is linked to this google doc. This proposal includes 4 concepts: Enviornmental Genesis, Stimulus On The Brain, Thought Patterns In An Environmental Genesis, & Brain & Environmental Genesis.

Midterm Proposal – Ayo & Julie

Midterm Project Proposal Link


Chemo-neural Memory Pak

The aim of this project is to create a system that mimics neural networks using embodied computation. The system will utilize the method of electrolysis in aqueous and gelatinous copper sulphate solution to fuses electrodes, thus creating hard wired electrical contacts.

The project is designed to learn by creating a hard contact of copper deposited between electrodes.  Sensors will send patterns to the memory pak via transistors for amplification. The system will have two states. A learning state and a memory state. We will also utilize logic gates.

We will try to have the system remember patterns, and forget patterns via chemical processes. The remembered patterns will be utilized to stimulate output actuators.

Sensors will send patterns amplified by transistors to the memory pack.

We will try to have the system remember patterns, and forget patterns via chemical processes.

We will utilize aqueous copper sulphate as well a gelatinous copper sulphate in our process.

Zebrafish Eye:


Our idea is to biologically mimic the inner workings of a zebra fish’s eye. We plan to dissect a zebra fish and remove the eye to get a closer look at it, and possibly test sending currents through it. We want to make a physical computational representation of how the eye works, and use electrical currents to imitate the currents sent from the zebra fish’s eye to its brain when it recognizes images.  We want to create a representation of what happens when a zebra fish sees and processes an image, and recreate that with physical computer parts.


Group {Maxine + Fei} Ideas

Initial Proposals

1. A long range communication device using bodily response as unique code that can be sent across distances

2. An accessory or clothing that reveal one’s emotions

3. Collaborative public painting with body as medium

We were having a little bit of a hard time figuring out which project to do from this list as they’re pretty different from each other. Finally we came to the conclusion that we want to make something that at the minimum, is aesthetically pleasing as a canvas. So we picked the 3rd direction.

Memo Atken, "Bodypaint"
Memo Atken, “Bodypaint”

We want to explore thermal paints to capture an ephemeral impression of the participant that would fade and change colors as people interact with the canvas.

Jay Watson, "Linger a Little Longer"
Jay Watson, “Linger a Little Longer”

The presentation can be seen here: Google Doc

Betty and Stephanie’s project proposal

digital self midterm


Animals emit distinct smells for two reasons:

1) To attract a mate

2) As a form of aggression

We were inspired by these instincts to create a series of fashionable, wearable gloves that emit scents triggered by galvanic skin response.  We would use a pungent scent that would be triggered if stress levels were high, as indicated by a GSR system.

– The GSR triggers different odors ranging from bad smells to good smells depending on your mood when interacting with someone

– The GSR would be connected to two fingertips while the scent dispenser would be located on the inside of the wrist

– Aesthetically, the gloves would look like the animals they are representing


DIY GSR sensor-

http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fmakezine.com%2Fprojects%2Fthe-truthmeter-2% 2F&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNF9v9NFlz_yoFnKhSQnZjSNkyHkmg

Assignments for Week 4

It was unfortunate that our class was cancelled last Thursday, because I had a great lecture prepared for you. I will reschedule this lecture for another time, as we have a guest lecturer for our next class. Dr. Zarinah Agnew, she is a neuroscientist at the Department of Otolaryngology of UC San Francisco. I met her because she was interested in learning more about bone conduction, and given that I made a mouth piece that plays music to be perceived through the teeth she contacted me. You can find out more information about her here:  http://profiles.ucsf.edu/zarinah.agnew   & http://www.zarinahagnew.com Make sure to have questions prepared for her, as this is a great opportunity to inquire about neuroscience.


By next class you should all have your groups finalized with a suite of ideas to embark upon. Each group will have time to present your ideas to the class, so that we can help you decide which idea you should develop. It would be great if you have breadboarded prototypes, as you know that a circuit is the main requirement for your midterm project. That said, you should choose your groups wisely, given that some of you may have more experience with physical computing than others.
Please read all of Part I of The Body Electric, this book has some very interesting insights on the electric components of regeneration. We will be moving through this book fairly quickly, as we have more material to cover. Please attain the book called The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body by Frances Ashcroft. This author is a great scientist who discovered a cure for type I diabetes in younger patients by understanding ion channels in cells.
Post a summary of your ideas to the blog including all of your collaborators. Make sure to identify key elements of your concepts, include sketches and inspirational references to your ideas. Every post must include a few images and a paragraph description.
Hope you have a good weekend, and enjoy the changing topography of the city as snow falls, sticks, melts, and refreezes.



Hello- my background is in costume design for film, television, and theater. Even though a large portion of this field resides in the tactile production of the costumes themselves, there is an equal important role of the research that goes into the design process. A costume designer must understand both the objective and the subjective factors that work together to determine why people clothe themselves as they do in order to fully develop the possibilities presented by the characters in any given situation. This understanding comes from observation and research, and shares a lot of similarities with the human centered design process.

My intention since the beginning of the program has always been to focus on wearable technology. Having spent quite some time bouncing around various ideas, I realized that through wearable tech I would be able to utilize all my skills and interests in one field. I hope to concentrate my research in this class on the future of prosthetics, and therefore reframing the very definition of it. I am particularly interested in the intersection between the body and the artificial, and the implications of design that merges the two.

– stephanie


Hello Class!

Welcome to the Digital Self Blog, this is our hub for recording the documentation process for all of the devices and projects that you will create throughout this class. Today, we had an interesting class, and learned about the work that everyone has taken on in the past.

Next class you will formalize your groups, so chose a partner or a group, max. 3 people. This is a collaborative class, one of the greatest challenges for design and composition is working with others. Come prepared with ideas that you want to share for the midterm project. Remember that this project must have a PCB design of some sort. We will be taking this circuit through the whole process of formalization with various prototypes along the way. You will be learning various processes of PCB fabrication based on the need of your project.


A relationship to the body or life is an important component for your project. You should begin to think about how bodies can be a component within a circuit. The body is electric, conductive, resistive, capacitive, and all of the above. The spectra by which we sense is vast, so explore concepts of physiology and how we perceive information.


A short introduction about you and your work, and what you are interested in gaining throughout this course. (update your images)


1) I Sing the Body Electric by Walt Whitman: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174740


2) The Body Electric: Electromagnetism And The Foundation Of Life

By: Robert Becker and Gary Selden

(Order this book, and we will begin reading up to chapter 2 for week 4)

If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you should. It’s a good deal for students! Click here.

Review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sip_TGONLyQ