Archive for the ‘making data pretty’ Category

Recently I found some time to fiddle a little bit with CSS3D and I took the chance to restyle a little the company home page; normally I don’t do web based stuff, but I admit that all this super performant new stuff (I’m mainly thinking of WebGL and the possibility to use some GPU power in a webpage) is making javascript interesting again 🙂

While I’m here, I’ll also make a quick summary of all the things happened in the last months and that I was to busy (maybe also a little lazy?) to write about:

– During Milan’s Design Week I had the opportunity to give a hand with the setup of M.I.T. Tangible Media Group‘s Transform; needless to say it was an interesting toy to play with and a great way to spend a week with stimulating people;

– a good part of the spring was spent on art projects, including a software tool for Eileen Cowin, a couple dynamic sculptures for George Theonas and some experimental real time visuals for an upcoming Empress Stah show; also a couple SPECTRE installations travelled to a lovely gallery in Paris.

Right now I’m finishing a VJ tool making use of laser projectors and working on some new computer vision stuff.


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Yesterday I attended the inauguration of the Democratizing Technology exhibit @ Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, easily the coolest museum in Italy from a geek’s point of view. The exhibit is sponsored by Ford and aims to show how the new car embedded “intelligent systems” work; I was responsible to create 2 interactive softwares to demonstrate traffic sign recognition and voice recognition.

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realized together with Stefano Moscardini.

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The video below depicts the first version of computational architecture experiment: a software that creates reciprocal frames. A reciprocal frame is a self-supporting structure in which every beam supports the others and is supported by them in mean time; they are an excellent example of elegant, minimal design and a good piece of flexible sustainable (I can imagine hundreds of way to build them with recycled waste materials) architecture.

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This is just a quick update covering a couple of recent works that are slightly different from the stuff I usually do; they are two very different projects, but they have a few points in common: they are games, they have pretty much traditional interfaces (no computer vision here) and they were coded in as3 (which is VERY unusual for me).

The first one was a simple game used to support an event sponsored by Polisnet; we placed a touch screen based totem in the club and gave people the opportunity to win prizes trying their hand at 2 mini-games. First they had to solve a simple puzzle: if they completed the Polisnet logo in the given time they would qualify for the big Prize (an Xbox console), otherwise they still had the possibility to win some kind of gadget; after that they could play a slot machine, cross their fingers and receive a prize from the hostesses.

The second one was a much more complex project: my friend Alessandro Fontana contacted me and told me that he needed to develop a business game to support an upcoming new media training for the Oracle marketing guys. I immediatly accepted and, to make a long story short, we ended up creating an rpg-like browser game where every trainee would use the skills acquired during the training to make their in game character grow, conquer territories, gain badges and complete quests.
I’ts been an interesting adventure and ended up with the creation of a very peculiar teaching/learning tool; I’ll definetly make a more detailed post about it here and/or on my portfolio.

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my monkey headed friend is currently working for Aegis Media Agency; the other day, after a day at the office, we had a chat about data visualization, relative platforms and possible charting models. i digested our talk for some time, then i came up with a metaball based tag cloud visualizer.

imho, sticky balls are a good model to describe semantic clouds: setting the relative stickyness between two clouds you can map relations in an easy to read way.

[click the snapshot to start the app]


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