We were honoured to be asked to build and install the first show ever in the UK of the work of Yves Saint Laurent at the Bowes Museum in 2015. This spectacular show was designed in conjunction with the Pierre Bergé Fondacion to showcase the best of the great designer’s masterpieces. We had six technicians on the build for 3 weeks with many of the plinths prefabricated by Ian Watson and Sunghoon Son during this period, and a week of the six of us on site to install the show itself.
Read the write up in Harpers Bazaar where we are mentioned here.
The home of the Earls Grey and famous for its spectacular gardens, Howick Hall Gardens near Alnwick have just opened a new visitor centre in what was the entrance to the Hall itself. Colin Williams of Williams Design Associates designed and project managed the works with his trademark finesse and elegance. With Colin’s vision for the space explained, we designed the brackets for the displays and asked Craig Knowles, artist and blacksmith, to fabricate them all. (To see Craig’s website click here.) Once in place, we attached the rails to the brackets and hung the cable assemblies and artwork.
We were recently asked to design and build a lectern for an exhibition in March 2013. The sketchup drawings we made gave us the basis for the fabrication idea, and we ended up making the radius of the curve smaller in order to provide easier access for wheelchair users. The lamp contains a camera which picks up a fiducial marker printed on the left hand page of an open book, so that when the book is browsed, a projector will display more visual content relevant to the content on the right hand page. The power and data cables are embedded into the spine of the stand allowing the design of the lectern to dominate visually.
iLab-learn is part of Newcastle University’s school of Education Communication and Language Sciences (ECLS). We were commissioned to build a smart kitchen for them which would be capable of supporting a platform for web-based technologies, pervasive computing and situated interaction. This has been integrated into their programme of technology enhanced learning and now the Lab has a fully functioning kitchen within the space to join the multi-user pen-tables and learning environment cubicle we designed and made. The kitchen has rfid’s embedded into the surfaces, HD screens embedded behind plexiglas walls and a multi touch surface combined to work with one of the screens. Have a look at this link to see it in action. The project has met with great success and an EU grant of €400K has been obtained to develop English, German, Spanish, Italian, Finnish and Catalan versions. Professor Paul Seedhouse sheds more light on the project in this article.
Our introduction to working with the Culture Lab at Newcastle University was sparked when Dr. Patrick Olivier approached us to discuss an exciting project he had been working on. The ‘Ambient Kitchen’ was an idea that came out of work done with dementia patients and the problems encountered in caring for these patients due to the nature of the symptoms. The goal of Ambient Kitchen is to build an environment that can provide calm support for older people in a kitchen using technology that has effectively disappeared. This has been achieved by embedding the RFID readers within the work surfaces and the cupboards; concealing the miniature DLP projectors inside the cabinets; placing pressure sensors under the flooring; an attaching wireless light and acceleration sensors to anything that can be moved. The Ambient Kitchen’s software is able to monitor not only what objects are manipulated, but the actions people are trying to perform (although this is quite basic at present). Using this information gentle hints and advice is displayed to help people in their everyday kitchen activities.
Touchscape Multi-Touch tables were invented and developed by Dr. Cassim Ladha who asked us to come up with some prototype designs for a coffee table that could operate as a multi-touch interactive surface. Making sure that all the relevant technology could fit and the many layers of components would work together, we developed some blueprints for how it could be built, and designed a table that could perform as well as look good. Have a look at this video to see it in action.
These personhood boxes were made for Jayne Wallace and the Culture Lab, and house emotive jewellery and objects which have special significance for the particular dementia sufferer. In one instance, the fabric off-cuts of old dresses helped trigger memories of when they were worn which were recorded in that instant. The boxes can record audio memories and play them back to the user. These images show the dovetail boxes at various stages of completion, and were made in walnut, cherry and goncalo.
These tables were designed for the Culture Lab embedding interactive whiteboards into a table surface, which are then calibrated to projected images, allowing multiple users to work on a projected document with whiteboard pens. The Digital Mysteries project was rolled out using these tables in schools in the Northeast and proved to be a great success.