Doing Good Is Good Business

Design Thinking

Readings and Questions 

Designing Field Trial Protocols in Ethiopia for Pneumonia Diagnostic Devices

Interesting Concepts:

  • The importance of: early identification, classification, diagnosis and treatment of children where they need it the most: close to home.

In relation to (ARIDA) versus the beads method:

Question: The contradictions between analog and digital or “sophisticated” technologies to solve humanitarian problems seem to have a complexity of layers, however, most of them go back to education and efficiency. When time is of the essence, is it possible to introduce an element of education or culture awareness to the final solution or design-efficiently?

  • High Trust in Technology: The user research also showed that patients do have some experience with ‘low-tech’ health products, such as thermometers, stethoscopes, blood pressure meters and pregnancy tests, and they have a high degree of trust in them.  Patients generally believe that health technology reduces human error. When one of these tools is used on them, people feel that they have been properly examined; raising confidence in the health worker and potentially reducing their desire to self-medicate, use traditional healing methods or seek advice from unlicensed ‘chemists’.

Thought: This element of “trust” is crucial. In my personal experience, back home in Colombia where the health system, in general, suffers from all kinds of corruption and inefficiencies, people have already lost faith in the system and tend to rely more often on community doctors which sometimes might not be the best solution. However, it would be valuable to provide this community centers with the proper technology that might save lives and slowly educate and regain trust in the potential benefits of the health system.

Question: what are the common causes of pneumonia in these communities? Is there a way to prevent it at all? Is it due to specific environmental conditions linked to cultural traditions? As I read this papers I find it interesting how little we know about the world, and how easy it is to look up in google some fact sheet which I am sure will be the basic knowledge of the typical politician or bureaucrat. But how can we redesign the system so that a person can actually understand or explore the complex situation that a community might be experiencing? How can we pretend to solve a problem when we know so little about the multiple layers that determine a culture?

Community Case Management handbook

Interesting Concepts:

“We do not need a new science or new gadget to address the challenges we face today. What we need is to remove the bottlenecks that prevent these population groups from sustainably accessing essential services.”

One of the key bottlenecks is the ability to know where disparities are the greatest so that resources can be targeted more actively .

Are we reaching the right people?

What are the returns on our investments?

How can we make mid-term course corrections to our programmes based on feedback from real time data?

How can we get the few key pieces of information we need that can help programme managers act in time?

Can mobiles help us improve program- matic outcomes and increase impact?

And how can we engage the people we serve in this process?

How can we use communication technologies to give a stronger voice to community demand for Community Case Management services through Community Health Workers on the front line of care?

Idea: The most common complaint you will get in public/poor hospitals and health service providers in Colombia is: “The nurse or caretaker is always on her mobile and couldn’t care less about the patient.”  I have seen this situation first hand and it is quite impressive how mobile phones affect the already poor service quality in hospital but also other public service centers.  

However, it is such an intrinsic element of their realities that it seems quite smart to give it a turn and benefit from it somehow. I am not sure if it will work at all, but in the case of the nurses and caretakers, it would be interesting to see what happens if they were given an incentive for everytime they use a specific mobile app to help a patient. The incentive might be that they will be given free internet data for personal use. 

  • Rather than forcing hierarchical, linear chains of communications, look for overlaps in the system. 

UBER & Drones

  •  It is through its hyper focus on efficiency that Uber may have the most potential to benefit riders and drivers across the 473 cities and 76 countries where it works.
  • Early stage impact and long term potential in areas like safe roads and clean air that have traditionally fallen within the domain of aid agencies.
  • Uber is a testament that the global development community needs to continue pushing the envelope in terms of innovations that promote sustainable transport.
  • Uber advertises the flexibility the platform gives drivers to be their own bosses.

Question: How can we as designers, create or remodel and make attractive the idea of investing in doing good. How can we make “doing good” the next big thing in finance?

Doing Good Is Good Business




Principles of Innovation in Action (pages 105-115),

Social Media Fingerprints of Unemployment,

The Data That Turned the World Upside Down,

Fake News Is Not The Only Problem


Guest Speakers:  Gilad Lotan , Dr. Amen Ra Mashariki , Manuel Garcia-Herranz


Questions / Thoughts:

  • How do the concepts of innovation and relevance relate to time and sustainability in design?
  • What is the history behind post-truth politics, and how did it become so acceptable? 
  • How or what is being done in a research front to understand people’s perception of what is real?
  • How can we create or expect people to create something based on publicly-available social media datasets, if the average person does not know how to read data?
  • How can we understand why people react or act to a specific piece of information?
  • If data quantifies information based on actions and/or reactions, could it somehow analyze communication or interactions? Possibly as a means to then make data more trustworthy and non-binary?




ma il cielo è sempre più blu

{me at Unity}


For some reason, I really enjoy the visual experience while working at Unity. I could explore infinite possibilities of arranging colors, shapes, objects, textures and making them have shadows and move—> joy!

I wish I had more time to do this all day long.

I made a short unity “game” or it could be a poem, that you can control with your keyboard. I am emailing the file because I can’t seem to embed or upload via wordpress.

I tried to do it all bymyself, so it is not that fancy but it was exciting for me.

While learning, I decided to make a list of the ideas that come and go, hopefully I can figure out how to make them:






Physical Computing








Physical Computing

Final Project

Concept – week 1 (narrow your ideas)


-In physical level-


-Color/Caustic Patterns (understand light waves and phenomena)



-Interaction with human body(vibrations/frequency)

-In a conceptual level-

-“..Because humans cannot reside in a point, in the beginning there was the bubble..” A study in the morphology that connects all aspects of life. Inherent morphologic dynamics of the worlds we share.

“And how perplexed must any womb-born creature feel, who is obliged to fly thin air.”Rilke

-Gaining access to something that is the most real, yet also the most elusive and least tangible of things:self-realizing forms (spheres)

-“To speak means to play with the body of the other” A.tomatis Body/Vibrations. How can we make visible the vibrations and frequencies that interact with our bodies and realities. Drawing the body with bubbles.

– How could we replicate the experience of floating on water surface?

– Cloud made of growing/expanding bubbles+quinine fluorescence







-What we need-


– 1 Arduino mega or multiple Arduino micro

– 13 Peristaltic pumps

– 3 Air pumps ( )

– Tubing

– Power supply and AC/DC conversion

– Distance Sensor or Camera

– Mini proyector

– Other sensors (Thermo/Neuro/Photo/Pulse)


Version 1:

-Acrylic tube

-Rubber tubing

-Acrylic cement


Version 2:

-Test tube

-Test tube lab stand

-Rubber tubbing

-3D printed surface lid

-Acrylic sheet




-Space & design sketches-


-Code Arduino & circuits-

const int analogInPin = A0;  // Analog input pin that the potentiometer is attached to

const int digitalOutPin = 9; // Analog output pin that the LED is attached to

int sensorValue = 0;        // value read from the pot

int outputValue = 0;        // value output to the PWM (analog out)

int oldValue=0;

void setup() {

  // initialize serial communications at 9600 bps:




void loop() {

  // read the analog in value:

  sensorValue = analogRead(analogInPin);

  // map it to the range of the analog out:

if (sensorValue+oldValue < 40 ) {


  digitalWrite(digitalOutPin, HIGH);

  delay (100);

  digitalWrite(digitalOutPin, LOW);



  oldValue=sensorValue;//filter noise

//  else{

//    digitalWrite(digitalOutPin, LOW);

//    delay(30);

//    }


    //outputValue = map(sensorValue, 0, 1023, 0, 255);

    // change the analog out value:

// analogWrite(analogOutPin, outputValue);

  // print the results to the serial monitor:

  Serial.print(“sensor = “);


  //Serial.print(“\t output = “);


  // wait 2 milliseconds before the next loop

  // for the analog-to-digital converter to settle

  // after the last reading:



Intro to Computational Media

Final Project Idea1


I am interested in:

-A sudden suspension of the natural order.

-Observation, to notice and wonder.

-An intelligent cloud/spheric connections of space.

-“Humans are beings that participate in spaces unknown to physics.”Peter sloterdijk

-“And how perplexed must any womb-born creature feel, who is obliged to fly thin air.”Rilke

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could look up to the blue sky and see the smoke coming out of factory chimneys transform into classic marble sculptures. They rise and are shaped with the smoke and then disappear in thin air one by one.

I would like to try this idea using p5 and data from museums all over the world, so you could control the marble sculptures that you want to see, from specific time period or artists. Also, if possible a real video of smoke from different factories.

I am not sure if this is possible but I have asked around ITP and some say it is, they tell me to explore: 3d simulation, webgl smoke and this library that looks incredible:

Intro to Computational Media

skeleton tracking with bubbles










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Body outline cone #openframeworks

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Body curl uncurl in place #openframeworks

A post shared by zach lieberman (@zach.lieberman) on


Physical Computing





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There are so many ideas that I would like to develop, and even if I question them I still want to create them and amaze myself, because I realize that with every amazement, more questions arise. Questions about design, but also about science, art, cognitive process, human interactions, emotions etc. So I think maybe right now I am interested in design that enables observation. Any kind of observation. 






Second step: I am working on connecting this system to the P5 editor and the Kinect skeleton tracking system, so that each joint of the human body which is represented by an ellipse in the current kinect code, will then be physically represented by a bubble and a light bubble as you enter a room.
The other option is to have to skeleton tracking system projected inside the bubble. Also, using micro organisms.


Intro to Computational Media





The problem with network theory, Sloterdijk claims, is that it overstates the linear connections of points within a planar surface to the detriment of the intrinsic volume of all social space—network theory replicates rather than analyses the Euclid hierarchy in which a point is that which has no part, lines are made out of these empty points, planes from lines, and spheres from planes. For Sloterdijk—and it would seem for Levi-Strauss as well—because humans cannot reside in a point, in the beginning there was the bubble.12 Third, for Levi-Strauss, because every cultural world feels like a closed space to those within it, each cultural world is structured immunologically in the sense that each world interprets every difference within it as a possible foreign invasion and uses mechanisms to neutralize, expel, or extinguish this “invasion.”







                                                     THE ITP TOOTHBRUSH














To design with only two materials is one of the most pleasurable activities a designer can enjoy. I wish we had a semester long class where we had to create every week a two material design piece.

For this assignment I wanted to continue working on the bubble machine, but I also really wanted to make a toothbrush.

The history behind toothbrush design and fabrication is quite interesting, and if you think about it, it is interesting that a tool that is so basic and primal can still offer space for re-design and conceptualization. From all bathroom related design (sink,shower,toilet, layout etc) the toothbrush, in my personal judgment is the only element that works as a design object.

A design probably originated from innovation and despair:

By the 1840s toothbrushes were being mass-produced across Europe, but the first U.S. patent for a toothbrush wasn’t filed until 1857, by H.N. Wadsworth (US Patent No. 18,653). In the eloquent text accompanying his patent application, Wadsworth explains the innovations in design that make his invention patent-worthy:

The nature of my invention consists in separating the bunches of bristles more than in the common brush, so as to give more elasticity and enable them to enter between the interstices of the teeth – having the brush wide that it may be imperative on the part of the patient to brush the gums thoroughly; the brush is partly circular from heel to point the more readily to fit the circle or arch formed by the teeth, and from side to side the bristles are a little concave the more readily to adapt themselves to the oval form of the teeth; toward the point the bristles are shorter and intended to project as far as possible beyond the end and at as acute an angle as possible, while the back of bone ivory or other material is thin and rounded off so as to occupy as little room as possible, and forming almost a projecting point of bristles, particularly intended to force its Way far back in the mouth between the muscles of the cheeks, and jaws, and the back or molar teeth, and thoroughly free them from impurities, and while it keeps the teeth in these places clean, and highly polished, it also keeps the gums healthy and vigorous.






Finally, I understand! After multiple interaction with the Laser Cutter, I kept on wondering why this “machine of the future” that proves to be quite efficient, sophisticated and precise, why is it that I am not attracted at all?  I can see everything I can do with this machine, I can see how good it can be for my work, but still…there is something missing for me.
And, tonight after many attempts and several days of making, I realized that what I need or what I am missing is the element of TRACTABILITY. I deeply enjoy touching and feeling a material with my hands. I enjoy sensing how it transforms in my hands, how it develops, how it smells, how complex or surprisingly maleable it can be. This whole thing reminded me of a beautiful concept developed by a 1960’s Italian design group called SuperStudio. The piece was called “La Moglie di Lot” (Lot’s wife)
and it looked like the first model of a 3D printing machine, but it was placed on a dock and it seemed to use salt and water to create shapes.
At least that was my perception, then I read that the piece consisted of an iron frame with a table on which were placed four basic architectural forms constructed of salt, like a round Coliseum (see below). The frame has a taller high-rise like armature that help up plastic tubes that dripped water down on the forms. Each mass slowly disappeared or eroded into nothingness like Superstudio’s careers and hopes for radical change in culture and the architecture profession.

la-moglie-di-lot superstudio-la-moglie-di-lot-biennale-internazionale-darte-di-venezia-1978 300px-moglielot


I decided I would use the laser cutter then to aid my bubble project. Therefore I needed to make a white pedestal and a clear glass like cube. So I could create ephemeral classic sculptures with:


However, I spend too much time making the bubble machine work that then I realize I had to modify my pedestal design to avoid leaks and other drama.

So, I decided to make a kaleidoscope:


img_6043 img_6069



I had some issues with this project because ideally I wanted the whole piece to be assembled without glue, but joining or even making a perfect equilateral triangle had some difficulties, then I tried making frame pieces to hold everything together but that didn’t work so well. I thought about making the inner triangles different so that they could have joints. I also wanted to experiment with the visual element, trying to think about adding an interesting kinetic design or sensors.

This project can improve a lot!


Physical Computing


Assignment: Pick a piece of interactive technology in public, used by multiple people. Write down your assumptions as to how it’s used, and describe the context in which it’s being used. Watch people use it, preferably without them knowing they’re being observed. Take notes on how they use it, what they do differently, what appear to be the difficulties, what appear to be the easiest parts. Record what takes the longest, what takes the least amount of time, and how long the whole transaction takes. Consider how the readings from Norman and Crawford reflect on what you see.


Lets talk about public bathrooms for a minute… Actually I have been wanting to talk about public bathrooms for a while now. I usually carry around in my head a list of bad design or what can/must be designed better. Public bathrooms are the #1 in my list always. 

There are many things to be said and I know there is a rich history in bathroom design and history, but can someone please explain to me how are you supposed to go to a public bathroom in an airport when you are carrying your personal luggage, which obviously has to be with you at all times, how do you enter the small (tiny) cubicle where there is already a toilet, a garbage can, rolls of paper, and then your luggage + you-AND the best part of all is that once you are inside, the door must be pulled towards you so it opens and you must somehow move out. 

I understand and it is logical (maybe) that the bathroom doors need to be pulled to open instead of pushed because you dont want to hit anyone passing by, but still can’t we figure out a different layout for these places where almost always there is a long line and then you can barely walk in the cubicle with your luggage and to get out is another struggle. 

Evidently, this mechanism is designed from a “practical” or “efficient” perspective but it never took in consideration, the user experience or the different kinds of scenarios where it would be used. 

I have seen multiple times, women not being able to exit the bathroom cubicle or enter it due to the amount of luggage they are carrying. 

On the other hand, have you ever wondered about drains in bathroom or shower floors? Why do we enter a public bathroom and  85 to 90% of the time, it is wet! Or there is some water somewhere it should not be. If drains were designed specifically to move water or liquid from one area where we dont want water to another area, then why does it constantly fail to do its one real task? 

I’m sure drains have been part of human design history since forever, and we surely need them, but I wonder if in this case it does not apply what one of the readings mentioned, that when trying to reinvent a commercial design it was very hard to change certain components that have somehow been approved by the public. 

Then we have the water dryers, which designers seem to love and try to constantly reinvent. I have taken the time to observe people in public bathrooms back home in Colombia, where fancy bathroom technology is just making its way in. it is fascinating to see how people interact with hand dryers. The more advanced the design, and when I say advanced I mean like futuristic aesthetics, the harder it is for people to understand where they have to place their hands, where to press and for how long etc. There is even this newish kind of hand dryer, where it seems like your hands will fit just right and it will all look very anatomically correct and right, however I have seen woman back home actually afraid of sticking their hands inside something “unknown.”

Lastly, we should talk about the overall feeling or the ambient design and the anatomical input that should be considered when designing public bathrooms. 



I have been trying to develop a bubble mechanism for a while now. It all began few years ago at the SVA BioLab where I was working to create a bioluminescent cloud. At one point I had to experiment with ways to vaporize algae or introduce microorganisms into air molecules. So, I made protein bubbles and tried to insert Noctiluca.
As all experiments go, there was a lot of trial and error. One of these errors became another project when I discovered that my bubbles could create drawings that seemed to depict their own fractal formations.
I still want to develop the Plankton cloud, but I also want to explore the possibilities of interacting and controlling a bubble machine that can draw or mirror itself.

yeahburb_600 bwgrandebubbb_15_670result-exp_1422

Bubble machine hacking and possible interaction:

img_6020img_6016 img_6025



Communications Lab: Video and Sound


A Study On Blood 

Inspiration:  –

Les Amours de la Pieuvre
By Jean Painlevé & Geneviève Hamon

35mm, Color, 13′
Music : Pierre Henry
Commentary : Jean Painlevé
Voice-over : Roger Clairval

The Color Of Pomegranates

Define Beauty: His Sweat 









4 1/6 MOBILE







img_5956 screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-2-29-39-am

Assignment: Make multiples of something. The objects must be a multi-process piece.

Does it happen to you, from time to time, that you wonder: Why do we need more objects? I always give myself the same answer: public bathrooms or bathrooms in general need to be redesigned; along with so many other objects. However, when thinking about this assignment, I had a hard time deciding what deserves to be multiplied. first, I thought about something practical that could be done elegantly by only using 4 or 5 objects with exact symmetry. A chair for instance or a table. I even thought about a toothbrush.
Then, I started thinking about materials and space; and I thought about words that have exact same spelling (same shape) but have a different meaning (weight) and how would that work for objects. How to create a sentence with the same words but different meaning, how to find balance and symmetry with these objects?
So I researched Alexander Calder’s work, which I have loved since I discovered he made a mercury fountain.

I then decided to take 5 different materials and try my best to make exact same objects with them.
4 1/6  x 0.5 ” ellipse.

To my surprise, this particular task allowed me to explore multiple tools in the shop, more than I ever thought I used but it also made me realize I could get really good results if I had specific knowledge of certain tools. For instance: How to make a perfect circle when using metal? How to sand metal? How to calculate a weird angle? How to clamp and glue two seemingly impossible materials?
Patience is for sure the best tool at the shop!

There is so so much that I need to learn.


calder_halfcircle calder-8


Physical Computing · Uncategorized




The Yam HaMelach Switch 




dead-sea-salt-crystals2fullsizerender-5 fullsizerender-4








Switches belong to that category of objects in our every-day human life, that are just taken for granted. Who really thinks about the switch that turns the light off in a room every night? Or for that matter, who stops to think about the Sun, that lights up our day, every day!? Observation is essential. Sometimes I wish I had more time just to observe, or I guess I just have to learn to be present.

This assignment was very interesting, because it somehow takes us to another level of observation. We clearly went looking for different kinds of switches, but I think we were all really imagining and drawing in our minds the internal mechanism or interaction of this object. I particularly found myself wondering, what else can it do? A candle for instance will also “turn off or on” the light of a room, but, how can I make my switch feel like a candle? But not really look like one.
The human brain has infinite switches, well maybe not infinite, but each neuron has multiple switches which I believe also learn to evolve and adapt. How could we map these switches? Would it be a good idea to learn from internal brain interaction? What about in a cellular level? Could we learn to design as cells in our body do so magically?

I feel that Pcomp, is a little bit like dancing or any procedural memory, if I stop to think too much about the circuit or the process, my mind goes blank. However if I observe and imagine, circuits start coming together. I tried many different options before arriving to the salt+water switch. I tried working with a motor, but there was something too mechanical or technical that removed the simplicity of good design. It so interesting to discover how effective one interaction can be if it resonates in the mind of the person experiencing it. If there is no dialogue there is nothing.

As designers or creators, can we learn a new dialogue?

To draw with bubbles and lab-grade ink using the arduino and maybe even to calculate the exponential or fractal growth of the bubbles and thus the final drawing- I really want to do this!


result-exp_1422yeahburb_600                      –








Communications Lab: Video and Sound

Egg Incubation








This sound piece is an experiment based on Octavia Butler’s Short story “BloodChild”.
An attempt to imagine the fertile process, the reproduction and cell division of an unknown species. Thus, we had the opportunity to imagine life from its origin, from its unknown origin to its visceral, physical manifestation-through sound.
Looking for the right instruments to create the sounds we somehow associated with this new life formation, was an interesting process. To my surprise, the simplest most basic tools can emanate the most intrinsic and complex sounds. We had to ask ourselves questions like: What kind of heartbeat does this creature have? How many hearts? In a cellular level, how do we imagine this life form? Do we think metallic or slimey? Achute or smooth? How can we demonstrate growth and process but not a clear beginning or end, for it is the process what we would like to record. What are the specific emotions we would like to create, and how will the sound be perceived? What materials should we use?
One of the most powerful moments of recording and editing this piece, was actually closing my eyes and listening to the final cut and literally feel SUSPENSE and a certain fear, being able to visualize or sense the creation of an uncertain life form that changed its aesthetics as sounds changed and thoughts followed.

Teamwork with Chester Dols





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A1-I am so tired, but so extremely happy! Today I was able to do what I am most passionate about in life: the opportunity to create and imagine. This, I believe, is ITP’s particular magic. To exercise one’s intellectual capabilities to the fullest while getting your hands dirty trying to build and produce what your imagination dreams about, it is definitely the must effective learning experience. I began today’s assignment with, what I thought were fantastic ideas, but zero technical knowledge. It was not an easy task, but there is nothing more rewarding for an artist, than to be able to produce something you imagined and now see it in front of you just exactly how you wanted it to be. So much that one can learn from this process, not only in a technical level but also in a personal aspect. To be confronted with failure, with choices and risks. Having to deal with time and recognizing that the best tool is actually listening.
When I thought about making a flashlight, I thought about objects that people describe as needs not as pleasure. I realized that the object that I need the most is also my source of pleasure: the sun.
I was born in the Caribbean, a place where you learn that the sun is carried inside and it leads the way. Therefore my flashlight had to be a sun, a portable sun.
I did some research, and I thought about using prisms, crystals or mirrors, but I already had two salt crystals that I picked from an expedition in an island in the Caribbean. I intended then, to make a small hole trough the rocks and start the foundation for my flashlight. In the way I visited the Junkshop and found really interesting objects, which I ended up loving and visualizing immediately as the piece I wanted to create. I struggled at first letting go of imaginary sketches and coming up with new ones, but every time I took the risk, something really good happened.
I learned so much about electricity, energy and patience. At the end of the day, I produced magic, or at least what I see as magic. I was surprised by my flashlight infinite potential, just like the sun.





Intro to Computational Media


Infinite possibilities/potential, this is what I would like to explore. A concept that seems so easy for a computer or a programing mechanism and so difficult for humans, but in reality the human body-or nature-seem to have organically infinite possibilities.
I would like to understand how can we measure the dialogue amongst these infinite possibilities. How can we learn from it? Is it a new measurement unit? Is it maybe a new way of learning that is not based in comparison?
I feel that artists have always thought about the fabrication of reality, in different levels and spheres. Just as anthropologists or other social sciences. (In the beginning there was the bubble.) With P5.js, everyone could think about this, everyone can participate in the dialogue or can resonate with someone else’s dialogue with reality. I have questions.
Can I use coding to make drawings with light in space? Can I upload my own hand drawing and transform it into code and then have it virtually in space, similar to:

article-2109060-11fea371000005dc-386_306x406 picasso_3 http-%2f%2fa-amz-mshcdn-com%2fwp-content%2fuploads%2f2014%2f10%2fpicasso-light

Can I change the entire color/light of a room during time using coding and connect the technology to a chemical  process?

P5 Sketch:

Physical Computing





As I walked out of our first class, I had one concrete question (why almost everyone wanted to make a dream machine? Can we re-imagine how humans dream?) And then I had a very abstract question clutter, which kept on tormenting me:

I keep on thinking about the input-output conversation inherent to interaction.  I wonder, is there a measurement for that? The bit is a measurement for information, right? What is then the measurement for communication or interaction?
If you have an idea that demands an interaction between machine/machine or machine/organism, is there a method to start calculating the input-outputs that you might need?
Lets say, like when you find a new species and you try to identify it on the scientific scale (kingdom, domain, genus etc.)
Science learns by comparison, technology learns by?

In the assigned readings, one author describes interaction as a conversation, a cyclic or continuous variable with relative measures. He then attempts to distinguish between interaction and reaction or participation, emphasizing three particular elements inherent to successful interaction: listen/think/speak (loop). However, I still cant see or understand how he measures or what tool or thought process he uses to calculate interaction. At one point he writes: “performance artists seldom interact with their audiences at any deep level.” I wonder what is his definition of “deep” for, I can certainly understand the practical aspect of his arguments and the importance of the non-subjectivity, but if we think of interaction as a conversation or a dialogue, how are we measuring it’s reciprocity? When I stand in front of a work of art and I sense the reality of an artist being depicted somehow and this reality resonates with my own reality and yes, somehow a dialogue begins…is that interaction? I can’t send an input to the painting, so I guess no, but there is a dialogue and it goes deep. Certainly Giacometti’s drawings seem to be an interaction with time and space and he even mentioned how drawings could never be finished for there are infinite interconnections between objects, movements, space, time etc.
I don’t know why I keep associating interaction with magic or awe. I feel that in my personal work, I have focused not so much in the practical aspect of design but on the elements of surprise or wonder that can yield to discoveries and certainly deep dialogues between those interacting.

Are rugs interactive? NO. Could rugs be interactive if you were to genetically modify cotton molecules to have bioluminescence and therefore glow when touched or stepped on?

I agree on the fact that visions do matter, they matter a lot; so do human capabilities, which I think need to be explored to their full potential, particularly those capabilities which seem more organic and less technological.

Human needs and human capabilities are interesting thoughts. It would be great to see a daily record of every object we manipulate with an anatomical and anthropological study next to it. Nowadays when we record everything we do, but we fail to observe how we do it.

Take for instance, plants, and their high- high tech interaction with sunlight. Do we really know how to measure that? We can measure light, but in order to interact with light, that means plants have a faster mechanism than the speed of light?

Ok, I’m going to stop this blog post now. I have too many ideas, but I really want to learn more!



Communications Lab: Video and Sound

Sound Expands


As sound expands spherically from its generating source, it creates spherical waves that spread simultaneously in all directions.


The science of movement and patterns created by sound frequencies on physical surfaces and inside mediums, that is, the science of dancing matter, is called Cymatics.

World’s largest natural sound archive now fully digital and fully online.

Sound Walk: Thoughts on history, space and time

For almost 4 years I lived in a small but sunny apartment in 315 East 12th street. My room received the most beautiful sunlight I have seen in New York City, particularly because there was an empty lot across the street, the lot is a basketball court, but to my surprise it is not just that. Today as I followed the Poetry Walk, I found myself standing in front of my old building and learning that my precious-sun provider-courtyard is actually the place where Lorenzo Da Ponte, the famous writer of Don Giovanni is buried, and just a couple of buildings down the street, a poet that transformed literature and inspired so many young minds, used to spend his days and troubled nights.
To explore the full capacity of the human senses, corroborates once and again the infinite possibilities of creation.

I wonder what role does evolution play in the development or decline of human senses? What role does technology play?
It was very interesting to experience such a high level of concentration, focus and complete awe while an audio piece led me through my old neighbored. Streets I could relate to, places I already associate with memories and a sense of reality but that now have so many different layers of time, space and history. So much can be done with this tool!
I would like to explore the relation between sound or vibrations and the human body. How our 70% liquid structure reacts to different vibrations or frequencies. Certainly our bodies are already a very complex audio piece.

On Plagiarism

I am curious to know if you might have a similar reaction:
As I repeat the phrase “All mankind is of one author, one volume.” I get a peculiar sensation, one of aesthetic unity, symmetry or a sense of something being complete.

It is the exact same reaction that I feel when I stand in front of a work of art that moves me, that fills me or empties me but that somehow gives clarity to my own reality. I find it interesting that I could unconsciously make that connection, and then consciously generate a comparison that yields to a learning process.
However, my second thought-process relates to an expression Picasso used to say: “Some can paint the sun as a yellow spot, but there are others who can make a yellow spot, the sun.” At first I thought this distinction, which seems subjective even if Picasso renders it universal, could inform the doubts behind plagiarism or the organic influence in creation. It certainly goes along with the idea that “…a gift is carried by the work from the artist to his audience”…” “Where there is no gift there is no art.” Yet, there is something missing. And that is the value inherent in the reciprocity of the gift or the infinite loop of creation. “Most artists are brought to their vocation when their own nascent gifts are awakened by the work of a master. That is to say, most artists are converted to art by art itself.”
That awakening process is universal, empathic and organic. Anyone who in the presence of a work of art, is able to identify their own reality with the artist’s reality and engage in a conscious or unconscious dialogue, that individual is creating, and therefore the whole of society is learning, evolving.

If we learn by comparison, if science learns by observation and comparison, how then does technology learn? How can it ever be universal and organic? How does technology fit in the reciprocal gift?

I deeply enjoy this visual/audio experience:
“The silence in a movie theater is a transitory commons, impossibly fragile, treasured by those who crave it, and constructed as a mutual gift by those who compose it.”

Doing Good Is Good Business








There are three possible contexts in which we can put this problem statement:

Context 1: There are no banks in the world. We can imagine a world without banks, how would money work then? How can digital currency exists without banks?

Context 2: Design for the unbanked population. What would digital currency look like for someone without access to formal banking services? Can they be brought into a digitized economy without making them open bank accounts?

Context 3: Only we don’t have access to banking. In this you basically want to artificially create the problems of the unbanked population, for yourself, in New York. For example if you decide to go bankless for a month. How can you still digitally pay for day to day stuff.

Out of the three, I feel that we would be able to do most justice to the third context. That is because the scope of context 1 is too big and for the second, we won’t have an easy access to unbanked population in or near NY. This would mean designing in isolation, away from the users.

Links research ongoing:




“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”

Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016)


A distributed database

Picture a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. Then imagine that this network is designed to regularly update this spreadsheet and you have a basic understanding of the blockchain.

Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared — and continually reconciled — database. This is a way of using the network that has obvious benefits. The blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable. No centralized version of this information exists for a hacker to corrupt. Hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, its data is accessible to anyone on the internet.



“The underlying tech behind much of this is simply peer-to-peer transfer technology based off of mobile phones,” explained Dan Kleinbaum, co-founder and chief operating officer of Beyonic, a tech firm facilitating mobile money payments in Kenya and Uganda; rapid demand is driving expansion to 25 more countries. “Pretty much anywhere you don’t have widespread access to bank accounts but [do have] very high penetration of mobile phones – I’m talking 50 percent to 90 percent – is a good recipe for mobile money and P2P transfers.”

A total of 75 percent of the world’s 7 billion mobile phone subscriptions are in developing countries and similarly high levels of usage are found among refugees. A research study in Uganda found that 89 percent of refugees in urban settings and 46 percent of refugees in rural settlements use mobile phones in their main income-generating activity.

– See more at:


There are 255 mobile money services in 89 countries, according to the GSMA, a mobile money industry group. Besides Kenya’s M-Pesa, top providers are Rwanda’s mVisa; Tanzania’s Tigo Pesa; bKash in Bangladesh, created by the development organization BRAC; and Globe GCash in the Philippines.

The essential ingredient, besides a telecom with a P2P cash transfer mechanism, is a large enough network of agents throughout a country so that no matter where a cash recipient is located, she can find a place to cash out when needed.

– See more at:


Like every Uber country office, Uber Nigeria is a locally incorporated company that hires employees, runs support services, and adapts the platform to meet the demands of local consumers. For example, while Uber riders in most markets pay via credit card through the app, riders in Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa have the option to pay in cash. Many of these riders and drivers handle these transactions via mobile money transfers such as M-Pesa.






Unlearning Machine / Bioluminescent Cloud

I have to admit that I felt a bit worried or scared before taking Nature of Code, mainly because well, I don’t have a coding background of any kind.

However, the idea of attempting to understand and explore how nature and physics work through code seemed to me extremely exciting, even if I could not follow the math.

To my surprise, instead of feeling scared or troubled by numbers, I actually feel as if every class is a new door or window to infinite possibilities!  Even if I can’t make the math, I do visualize everything in a strange way. It is as if I was doing a mental drawing with layers of interconnections in space and as I keep on realizing those connections, new ideas emerge-new conceptions of reality.

I also realized that I can’t understand all the algorithmic component in such a little time, but I could explore it deeper and find meaning. This has, in turn, resulted in an amazing learning process, I encountered: Richard Feynman, Seymour Papert, John Tyler Bonner and so many other books and information that seems to be like a never-ending source of ideas.

For my final project, I would like to explore one of these ideas. I know that they are way beyond my capabilities at this point, but maybe I can do a first step or a silhouette and see what happens.

I have noticed I see nature of code a lot like drawing and just as I would criticize my sketches for a design project or a piece of art, I see myself criticizing my attempts in code but I wish I could freely play around and continue to have that “aha” moment with code.

So my idea has some layers, interesting layers I think  : )

Once I realized the capabilities of particle systems, forces and possible autonomous agents that can learn and somehow adapt, I immediately thought about Chromatophores in the skin of squids and other cephalopods. I wondered if there could be a way to kind of replicate or simulate the biological interaction that occurs in-between brain-skin-environment. Furthermore, my real question is: could we maybe understand something about how our brain works by generating this study? Could we understand the process of learning and maybe of unlearning?

Camouflage-brain motor patterns and neural activity-emotions- evolution

(If technology provides the tools for a certain “evolution” of humankind if it can give you the tools to be “Superhuman”, how can we actually assimilate or grow and contribute to tech. if being “human” is all we know… how can we redesign the learning or unlearning process in us humans so that we reassess our own limits?)

Another Idea would be to use nature of code in my ongoing experiment with clouds of bioluminescent algae.

Maybe I can simulate and predict what would happen to phytoplankton when suspended in a cloud water molecule. Potentially I could understand what kind of microorganism will survive my actual physical experiment. 

  • Building architecture from the frequencies of our brains
  • MicroOrganisms (unicellular) movement being affected/changed by human-made frequencies, visualizing this in a project mapping or AR- how frequencies affect our bodies at a cellular level-how do we move?
  • Creating a choreography with frequencies (we can trace or make visible as patterns or paths of movement )




Pathways Study

. Post-Mortem .



We arrived, seduced by the idea of infinite possibilities,
intrigued by the dimensions we might perceive while creating a path.

We posed a question: How would you move in space if you were able to see or perceive the invisible interconnections (frequencies/vibrations)around you? What kind of path would you create?

We thought: This could be a study on human frequencies, a speculative anatomy.

First step: Place six speakers in a room. Position them in a certain manner that will delimit space in x,y,z axis. Play different sounds representing invisible frequencies around us carrying data.

What pathways did you see?

* Static: No physical movement or shift in space, possibly due to blindfolds and multiple inputs of constant sounds- with no rules or guides to follow. However, it is interesting to notice that no physical displacement can occur parallel to a possible internal movement or thought process – Therefore how could we trace the pathway of thoughts (doubt, fear, curiosity etc.) inside our brains and bodies as we remain static in space?

* Random: Once the first participant felt comfortable to explore physical space, there seemed to be an intention to find a beat/rhythm and follow it or disrupt it. However, the multiplicity of sounds/volumes, we believe made the participant pose a question: whether to create “order” or follow “chaos” in movement. In other words, a tension between linear and random path making.

* Circular/Smoothness: or an intention of roundness, as the first participant explored space. Her arms stretched and her body expanded in an attempt to reach a sound source. At the same time, she tried to find more stability and familiarity, thus she placed her body closer to the walls. This path involved exploring the limits, touching them with movement.

*Linear: There seemed to be a contraction or push and pull as she attempted to find smoothness or roundness in her movement but found herself pushed and constrained into a linear path by the various points of sounds.

The second person to experience our piece, probably due to the previous reference, entered space with confidence. However, when blindfolded we noticed how a limitation or barrier in her intended path had emerged. It is interesting to notice that a pathway might have several points of decision-making or detours that determine orientation/force/goal. Therefore a pathway might be described as a learning process.

This second experience generated a pathway that we believe followed a triangle wave or a non-sinusoidal waveform. A periodic, linear and continuous function. A triangle wave contains only odd harmonics, demonstrating odd symmetry.

The pathway created in this case followed a specific upbeat, almost like a synthesizer of various sounds, generating a visual sound by a punctuated sharp linear movement on y-axis, counterpoint.

This was followed by a crawling movement, transforming the high peaks on y axis to a now constant low position on y axis and a malleable x axis exploration, almost noisy.

Which ones did you predict and design for?

Our main goal was to question a possible volume or dimensionality generated by the interaction of movement/presence and sound/frequencies. Therefore we predicted and designed delimitations in space by means of sound that we expected could generate points of constraint.

We predicted a fundamental linear path that would trace the limit points in-between the six sound sources, creating a constant movement which we hoped in turn to draw a perspective.

We specifically placed the speakers in different x y and z coordinates so that the possible pathway enabled a perspective by enlarging or extending space by a sensation of distance (the relation of two figures in the same plane, such that pairs of corresponding points lie on concurrent lines, and corresponding lines meet in collinear points.)

We also predicted a random spatial distribution as movement perceived sound.

Which were surprises?

Our experimental approach called for surprises, however, we did not expect pathways “off boundaries” or exit points. We imagined the speakers, placed in specific positions in space, serving as barriers or total delimitations of space. We did predict users approaching or having the desire to explore the source of a sound, but we were surprised to see pathways expanding to a non-audible territory or invisible to the Kinect.

Moreover, we expected more cautious and reserved movements guided by the augmentation of the hearing sense as we cut the sense of sight. Thus it was surprising to see a freer movement, smooth and expansive.   

A very pleasant surprise was seeing users move in the x, y and z axis; we hoped for dimensionality but we did not know exactly how it would look like.

What design choices did you make to influence the pathways people would take?

Our design choices responded to:

An assigned space: the classroom scenario.

Our specific goal: to render visible the interconnections in space by means of movement and dimensionality,

The strongest design choice we made was to disable the sense of sight and augment the sense of audition. This choice resulted as an answer to a question we asked ourselves: How would you move in space if you were able to perceive the interconnections (frequencies/vibrations)? What would your path be?

We predicted that the Kinect had to be positioned at a higher altitude with an angle, in order to sense and trace the movement of the head/torso as a complete element in space. We were not interested in limbs or displaceable joints.

Once we determined the possible range of the Kinect, we decided the x,y and z locations of the audio sources, predicting a linear movement on multiple axis.

We also asked ourselves, how does a choreography of existing frequencies around us might look like? Therefore we prototyped the idea of having multiple devices in space receiving and emitting frequencies we can trace and make visible as patterns or paths of movement.

What if frequencies have a certain weight or other unexpected means of perception? This question informed our design choices regarding stroke weight and audio file selection.

What choices were not made? left to chance?

We did not calculate the time for each track playing from a different source. We thought about having the sounds on a loop but then we decided to let them play and see what happens when randomly some stop and others continue playing. We thought that could be an interesting thread to a pathway.

We invited a volunteer to experience our piece but we did not provide any explanation or rules, and it was interesting to notice that a person is more likely to expect rules or directions once blindfolded. In a way taking the element of vision is giving yourself to chance.

What did people feel interacting with your piece? How big was the difference between what you intended and what actually happened?




NatGeo: The brain is full of Manhattan-like grids (Ed Yong) – 03/29/2012

Choros / 2011 / 13 min / HD / Stereo (Directed by Michael Langan and Terah Maher)

Ray Tracing

The Acrobatic Cardinal Points (Cosac Naify) – 2013

NY Times: Mysterious Rite of Reproduction (NATALIA V. OSIPOVA) Jun. 20, 2016

ScienceAlert: Scientists have confirmed a brand new phase of matter: time crystals (Fiona MacDonald) – Feb. 1, 2017

Doing Good Is Good Business


Design Thinking Workshop (class activity) 


Quick design challenge process on the theme of digital or virtual communications (Skype, Facetime etc.)

We had to pair up with a classmate and together engage in the step by step process of identifying a problem and creating a simple solution through design thinking. My solution to Kenzo’s virtual communications problem is the “Mom Cloud” or possible “imom” a portable device designed to be clipped to any wall. It will be synchronized with Kenzo’s cloud system, therefore a screen video will appear on the device when Kenzo’s mother calls him but it will only allow video calls when his icloud calendar permits, on the other side, Kenzo’s mother will also recieve time notifications from the “imom.”

Kenzo’s problem is that as much as he loves his mother, he can’t afford to talk to her everyday all the time as she would like to.

This class activity was a great experience. The time constraints and partnership allowed us to realize the importance of adapting our design approach depending on context and user’s needs.





var mic;
var micLevel;
var points = [];
var x, y;
var px, py;

function setup() {

createCanvas(windowWidth, windowHeight);
text(“SEGURO AZAR “, 0, 60);

mic = new p5.AudioIn()
x = width / 2;
y = height / 2;
px = x;
py = y;

function draw() {


x += random(-4, 4);
y += random(-4, 4);

// Draw a line from the previous loc to this loc
stroke(0, 0, 200);
line(px, py, x, y);

// Remember current location for next frame
px = x;
py = y;

micLevel = mic.getLevel();

for (i = 0; i < points.length; i++) {

fill(247, 170);

function mouseMoved() {
if (mouseMoved) {
var newPoint = new Point();
newPoint.xpos = mouseX;
newPoint.ypos = mouseY;
// newPoint.displayOffset(micLevel);

function Point() {
this.xpos = 0;
this.ypos = 0;
this.display = function(micLevel) {
//fill(255,0, 0);
ellipse(this.xpos, constrain(this.ypos – micLevel * this.ypos * 10, 0, this.ypos), 60, 10);
ellipse(this.xpos, constrain(this.ypos – 40 + micLevel * this.ypos * 10, 0, this.ypos), 10, 10);
//point(this.xpos + micLevel ,this.ypos + micLevel);
// this.displayOffset = function(micLevel){
// ellipse(this.xpos, constrain(this.ypos+micLevel*this.ypos*5, 0, this.ypos), 1, 1);
text(“CERTAIN CHANCE “, 40, 100);
text(“CERTAIN CHANCE “, 80, 200);
text(“CERTAIN CHANCE “, 90, 300);
text(“CERTAIN CHANCE “, 100, 400);