Generative Soundscape 0.2.1 – IR Comm & Circuit Prototyping


After a failed attempt of creating modules that would communicate through sound, I started looking into Infrared Communication.

This is a project that looks to experiment with Infrared Communication between various Modules. All modules come from the same design made in Eagle CAD. It is a through-hole board routed with The Other Mill. The overall board involves an embedded Arduino (ATMega328), 2 IR-Rx, 3 IR-Tx, a LED and a Push-Button.

Modules can transfer the code from any IR Remote and transfer it among their closest peers. 

Next Steps

Evaluate power consumption to figure how can they be powered through batteries.




Previous Iterations

Remake App Ideas

Call for Interaction Concept

Having different sources to a place where creatives channel their creative blockage and funnel their frustration through a playful way of tentative sustainable ideas has come to: three types of interactions and a pre-screen that sets the turning-point towards fun. 

The first screen is a feed of memes about creative block. A good way of setting perspective is through tragic comedy

Ideation Elements to Remix

Images are separated in three categories. The first is an unclaimed or abandoned object, the second is a highly sustainable material and the third a remake design. Whenever shuffling a new remix, the idea is to also create phrases. This phrase should include terms like as upcycle, reconfigure, renewable, inclusive, composting, durable and modular.


Interaction 1: Spinning

Interaction 2: Flipping

Interaction 3: Tapping

no is net x extension

A Chrome extension that identifies websites' palindromic input.

"A palindrome is a word, phrase, number, or other sequence of characters which reads the same backward or forward."

Why is symmetry appealing? Are palindromes perceived and valued as visually symmetrical compositions like mirrored pieces and rosettes? Could palindromes reflect the overall review of a work? Is discovering and creating palindromes a fun way to postpone duties or just waste some time?



Unclaimed, Lost and Abandoned meet "Chaceros"

Last class as we explored the False Mythification methodology, the idea of an anthropomorphic figure who wanders through remixed ideas emerged as a tentative pathway for exploration beyond coding. A juggler of platonic solids embodying possible ideas from remixed unclaimed/abandoned/lost objects, blending them into reconfiguration. Through the informal streets of Bogota he mingles with the "amigos" AKA "chaceros". 

From Portraits by    Robby Cavanaugh

From Portraits by Robby Cavanaugh

The idea behind unclaimed items in transit spaces such as airports have a curious reclaiming history. These are either resold by state-run surplus centers or at online auction sites.Places like or auction these. 

The other component of this exercise (chacero), are a local/colombian figure that after a bit of online research replicates across other countries, whose economy hasn't entirely formalized. "Chacero" is the slang for street vendors in Colombia. These are wonderful examples of remixed and repurposed stuff through history.

C2C Basic Certifiation

After a first approach to the Design Guidelines and considerations behind the Cradle to Cradle ethos, broader possibilities come to mind when seeking to align the Ideation Tool with Sustainable assets. Currently, the Ideation Tool is one way to exercise creativity by remixing objects from the Cooper Hewitt API. This tool shuffles 3 objects from their database and in the background mixes their description to compose phrases that suggest tentative product scenarios. These phrases are composed through a template phrase where a noun, a verb and an adjective are chosen every time there's a tap. The template phrase is coded in the background like: "This could be a ADJECTIVE NOUN that VERB"

Incorporating VERBS that encourage REUSE, RENEWABLE, COMPOSTING and INCLUSION.

Encouraging a re-make approach through the images and materials included in the database.

Address one of the 4 chapters of the C2C Basic certification, for example

Creating an ideation tool that shuffles terms that reveal unhealthy materials

An ideation tool that encourages solar or wind driven objects.

  1. Material Health

  2. Material Reuse

  3. Renewable Energy

  4. Social Fairness

Material Health Overview

  • Potential Risks: Manufacture, Use and End of Use

  • What’s the complete assessment of ingredients in a product (C2C Material Health Assessment Methodology)
  • No risks for humans and environment
  • C2C banned list of materials or Pharos Green Screen for Safer Chemicals
Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 10.29.51 PM.png


  • Good list of materials from data of C2C Innovation Institute resources 
    • Amount of energy and chemicals to create a material
    • If its easily destroyed
    • Green chemistry
    • Characteristics: abundant, non-toxic, minimal resources, good physical properties, meets regulations, good end of life options and affordable —trade-off (cycles of use)
    • Introduction to Green Material Selection
      • Thanks to advances in material science, today’s engineers and designers have more options for choosing greener materials. Choosing more sustainable materials is all about making informed tradeoffs. While there is no such thing as an entirely "green material," you can improve your materials choices by knowing the variables to consider.
    • Physical Properties of Materials

      • Learn how to select materials with the right performance characteristics, which is critical for designing for energy efficiency.

        To select greener materials you need to consider the material’s environmental, cost, and performance impacts on your design. A material’s performance depends on its physical properties, and optimizing this is the most important way to reduce your product’s environmental impact.
    • Environmental Properties of Materials

      • When looking for sustainable materials, the first step is to understand where their ecological impacts come from. Learn about material scarcity and abundance, rapidly renewable materials, embodied energy, recycled materials, and toxicity.


Material Reutilization

  • %Recyclable or rapidly renewable content + % of product considered recyclable or composted
  • Separate tech nutrients from bio nutrients 
  • Design for lifetime use (longevity, repair & upgrade, 
  • Prioritize next life
  • Design for reuse
    • Disassembly: modular and standard
  • Separation by grinding
  • Less material
  • Avoid coatings
  • UPCYCLING: turn waste materials into new materials or products of higher quality or better environmental impacts 
  • “Clean materials perpetually cycled”

  • Introduction to Design for a Lifetim

    • An important factor in designing for sustainability is getting the most use out of the materials and energy that your product uses throughout its lifecycle. A product’s lifecycle includes extraction of raw materials, manufacture, use and eventual disposal. If you are designing for sustainability, the ideal lifecycle is entirely closed-loop. This would mean that your product does not create any waste at the end of its life that can’t be easily used by other natural or industrial processes. 
  • Design for Durability

    • If your product meets stable, long-term needs, it is important to make it robust. However, ensuring your users want to continue using your product is often tricky. In order for a product to last, it needs to be both physically and stylistically durable. Not only does it need to resist damage and wear, but it needs to stay relevant and desirable for users. 
  • Design for Dissassembly and Recycling

    • Designing for disassembly has several benefits. It can make it easier for your product to be repaired or upgraded, thereby prolonging its useful life. It can also help ensure your product is recycled and enable whole components to be reused. In fact, the degree to which your product can be disassembled easily often determines how the product will end its life.  
  • Repair and Upgrade

    • Products like electronics have components that can fail, or need to be upgraded, well before the rest of the product needs to be replaced. Millions of pounds of electronics are scrapped every year. Repair and upgrade can address this e-waste problem by extending your product’s useful life and slowing down the rate of disposal. 
  • The Maker's Bill Of Rights


Renewable Energy

  • Beyond fossil fuel towards clean-renewable energy
  • Solar, wind, biomass, 
  • Introduction to Energy Use in Design

    • Humans use energy to enhance life in important ways. Yet commonly used energy sources like coal, oil and gas are finite in supply and release greenhouse gases. To continue to improve quality of life while maintaining the planet’s ability to support us, we need to both move towards renewable energy and design for energy efficiency.
  • Optimizing Heat Transfer 

    • Heat Transfer refers to how heat energy moves through the world around us. Refrigerators, ovens, laundry machines, cars, and buildings all manage the flow of heat. Engineers and designers who understand heat transfer can use energy more effectively by optimizing the form and materials of their designs.
  • Friction: Reducing Energy Losses in Design 

    • Friction will occur at any place where two surfaces come into contact with each other. Friction can cause energy losses that create unwanted heat, deformation, and wear. This can reduce the lifetime and increase the cost of the products you design.


Social Fairness Overview

  • Social Hotspot is "a unique resource for supply chain social impact investigation."
  • UN Global Compact is an initiative "aiming to create a sustainable and inclusive global economy that delivers lasting benefits to all people, communities and markets."
  • B-Corp is a certification available to "for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency." 

Sustainable Ideation


With the initial ideation tool concept and prototype, the idea is to explore ways of aligning it to sustainability. This is the reason its gonna be submitted to Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge. Even though it might be slightly off track, since its a digital product, the tool can be assessed to the challenge's description and requirements:

Central to Cradle to Cradle® as a design framework is to eliminate the concept of waste — recognizing that all materials are valuable and finite and when designed appropriately can be used in infinite cycles.  Effectively implementing this design principle can have a significant impact on the environment and the economy.  

The goal of this design challenge is to eliminate the concept of "waste" by designing products with materials that may be perpetually cycled to retain their value as nutrients to fuel growing global economies.

Submission Requirements

Download a pdf of the submission requirements or follow the instructions on this page. All submissions must be in English. All written material should be packaged as a single PDF document not to exceed five pages.

Submission Format

Submissions should be formatted following the outline below using the identical numbers and headings.  Please read the Official Rules prior to submission.


Cradle2Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart


Disruptive Consumerism


Framing the current Peace Process between the Colombian Government and the main guerrilla group FARC, this initiative conceives the strategic need of planning ahead towards coexisting opportunities in the post-conflict scenario. How can we create post-conflict opportunities of sustainable forgiveness? The hypothesis is by allowing people to conceive reasons and ways to reinsert, live and endure through on-site specific production alternatives that span the socially-entrepreneurial panorama.


By remixing local resources, with communities’ needs and unrelated concepts new opportunities may emerge and set the stage towards a coexisting mindset. Multiple socially-entrepreneurial stages that bridge the conflict’s verge and the post-conflict. 

This hypothesis is highly inspired and guided by the HCD Toolkit, ethnographic documentary "Chocolate de Paz",  Culture House “Casa del Pueblo” in El Salado and the Cacao initiative of San José de Apartadó’s Peace Community.

At the same time there's various conceptual frameworks this initiative aims to involve: Ethical Consumerism (human rights, animal rights, environmental pollution), the Open Source and DIY and Social Entrepreneurship


Similar to brands like Patagonia or MUJI, whose corporate practices disrupt traditional practices, this initiative is in search to subvert consumerism and pos-conflict. 

—"What would you think about these glasses, made by people who opt-out the conflict and nowadays create peace? What would you think when realizing it was product of the experience transmitted from a community victim of the conflict?" — Disruptive Consumerism


Ideation Tool – Redesign & Interactive Prototype

Previous Iteration


Call for Interaction

Having in mind Mobile Devices peripherals, I set onto creating a more playful interaction. An interaction from the intersection between common gestures in the real world and Mobile Phone's accelerometer.

I've borrowed two playful gestures from daily observations the reflexive spinning and the swift juggling. Two gestures that could be technically feasible and experientially engaging.

UI Redesign

I've decided to simplify the interface towards the new experience. The accelerometer remixes the images, and a tap shows the prompt from a generated text. This text is a computational mix from the description of the objects shown on screen. This way, people can be inspired visually and textually.

Interactive Prototype

The interactive prototype was made in Javascript using Cooper Hewitt Museum's API, a RiTa a toolkit for computational literature and the p5js library. This is where the Interactive Prototype can be experienced.

Through Javascript, I'm retrieving all the data from the Cooper Hewitt Museum including images and text from their online exhibition data base. I clean the information and select a topic, in this case, all objects in the museum related to 3D Printing


Turns out the spinning gesture is one of the blind spots in Phone Accelerometers. This is why, the prototype will only respond to juggling-type gestures

Text Prompt

By retrieving the descriptions from the 3 objects shown in the screen, I create one phrase by remixing the tokens through a set of computational procedures. Every time the images shown change the tokens by which the phrases are created change. 

Even though the prompted phrases have grammatical errors, embracing the computational glitchiness aligns with the overall playful and mind diverting concept of overcoming a creative block.

ATTiny85 First Sketch

First successful try with ATTiny85, programmed through an Arduino UNO. Followed instructions found here

BEAM Solar Robot

This is an ongoing project to make a sphere spin out of a solar powered motor. The idea behind BEAM Robots (Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics and Mechanics) is all robots that are driven by analogue circuits instead of micro-controllers. 

This robot can run through two types of circuits, one that involves a Voltage Trigger and another that involves Diodes (Zener or Signal). In the end we decided to go with the Signal Diode circuit.

The electronic components in this BEAM Solar robot are: Voltaic 2W - 6V Solar panel, a 1F Capacitor, a 6V and 280 mA DC motor, PNP Transistor (2N3906), two Signal Diodes (in series), 2.2K Ω resistor and NPN Transistor (2N2904). How this circuit works is the Capacitor charges until the PNP transistor (06) receives base current through the Signal Diodes and turns on. The NPN transistor (04) turns on and the capacitor is discharged through the motor. As the NPN turns on, the 2.2K resistor starts to supply base current to the PNP and the circuit snaps on. When the capacitor voltage drops below about 1V, the the PNP turns off, the NPN turns off and disconnects the motor from the capacitor which starts to charge up again.

We changed to this motor once we fail trying out a High Efficiency motor (4V and 30mA). Despite this change, the overall torque from the 6V Motor (± 180 gm/s^2) and 1.4cm radius wheels still isn't enough to drive the entire rig (circuit, plastic disc and plastic sphere). Next steps could be getting a more powerful motor, or make the entire robot lighter.

Solar Data Logger


What could be a way to log ITP's entrance and see the difference between the elevators' use and the stairs'? Through a solar powered DIY Arduino, we decided to visualize this data (and store it in a .csv table) in the screen between the elevators at ITP's entrance.


After creating a DIY Arduino that could be powered through solar energy, by following Kina's tutorial we were able to set a basic solar rig that would charge the 3.7V and 1200 mA LiPo battery. We connected the solar panels in series and ended up with an open circuit voltage of 13V. Our current readings however, were of 4 mA.

We hooked the Arduino data to a Processing sketch that would overwrite the table data of a .csv file every second. All of the code can be found in this link.

ReSounding the City

This is a performance made thanks to the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) Grant at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. In collaboration with Daniela Tenhamm-Tejos, Jana L. Pickart and Ansh Pattel we explored body language and psycho-geography in urban spaces. I was the developer behind the Gesture Recognition code. For the official website please visit this link.

With this project I created a series of visual effects that responded to the performer's choreography and the poet's voice and audience interaction. These effects were created in the C++ toolkit known as OpenFrameworks. Here is a sneak-peak of these effects

Performer and Tech Tryout

All Developed Effects

M-Code Box


How can a fabricated object have an interactive life? The M-Code Box is a manifestation of words translated into a tangible morse code percussion. You can find the code here and what's needed to create one M-Code Box is an Arduino UNO, a Solenoid Motor (external power source, simple circuit) and a laptop with Processing.

Next Steps

There are two paths to take this project further. One is to have an interpreter component, recording its sounds and re-encoding them into words, like conversation triggers. The second is to start thinking on musical compositions by multiplying and varying this box in materials and dimensions.



Previous Iterations

This project came upon assembling two previous projects, the Box Fab exploration of live hinges and the Morse Code Translator that translates typed text into physical pulses.

Lamp Shade


Inspired by Hieronymus Bosch's suculent imagery, I decided to make a lamp. This is a continuation from one of the happy accidents from the live-hinges box. An exploration to push further the notion of wood bending. The result was an interesting exercise in terms of light composition, but not entirely satisfactory in terms of plastic art terms. This is how the result looked


A key fact to consider for future creations involving various bended pieces that will ultimately assemble one shape, is to bend them all together instead of separately. Another insight around this exploration was the progressive ability to successfully bend 1/4 inch plywood. There were two live hinges patterns involved in this lamp shade. The lower pieces were created through a more flexible pattern, while the upper pieces hadn't a lot of flexibility. Both were bended with hot water but the latter involved a DIY circular press that helped create a memory in the wood fibers. Here's a lineal documentation of the entire fabrication process

These were the live-hinges involved in the lamp shade design, upper and lower correspondingly.

Ideation Tool from Cooper Hewitt Museum API

This project is an ongoing pursue around the question of how to overcome a creative block? Partnered with Lutfiadi Rahmanto, we started out scribbling, sketching and describing the problem to better understand what it meant for each of us and how do we scope this problem and usually respond to it.

UX Research

From the first session we were able to narrow the idea onto a determined goal: A tool to aid inspiration in the creative process. This led us to consider various things around the sought scenario and allowed us to start asking other creatives around this. We sought to better understand –qualitatively– how creatives describe a creative block and more importantly how is creative block overcome? From this session we were also able to reflect on how to aid that starting point of ideating, often a hard endeavor. A resonating answer in the end, was through linking non-related words, concepts or ideas.

We also researched two articles with subject matter experts about Creative Block and Overcoming It ("How to Break Through Your Creative Block: Strategies from 90 of Today's Most Exciting Creators" and "Advice from Artists on Hot to Overcome Creative Block, Handle Criticism, and Nurture Your Sense of Self-Worth"). Here we found a collage between our initial hypothesis with additional components such as remix, from Jessica Hagy's wonderful analogical method of overcoming her creative block by randomly grabbing a book and opening it a random page and linking "the seed of a thousand stories". Another valuable insight was creating space of diverted focus from the task at hand generating the block. We also found a clear experience-design directive for our app, to balance between constrain –structured scrambled data from the API– and freedom –imaginative play–.

Brief, Personas and Scenarios

After validating our intuitive hypotheses on how to address the problem through the contextual inquiries and online articles we came up with a solid Design Brief:

Encourage  a diverted focus where people are able to create ideas by scrambling data from the Cooper Hewitt's database into random ideas (phrases). 

Through this research we created seven different behavior patterns and mapped them onto this two-axis map, that defines the extent to which personas would behave between casual/serious and unique/remix

For a more detailed description of these archetype behaviors visit this link

This enabled us to create our guiding design path through what Lola Bates-Campbell describes as the MUSE. An outlier persona to direct and answer the usual nuances behind designing, in this case, our mobile application tool to aid Mae Cherson in her creative block. We determined her goals and thus her underlying motivations, what she usually does –activities– during her creative environment and how she goes around between small and greater creative blocks in her working space. We also describe her attitudes towards this blocking scenario and how her feelings entangle whenever seeking for inspiration. There were some other traits  determined as well that can be reach in more detail through this link.  Overall we crafted this Muse as a reference point for creating an inspirational experience for the selected archetypes –The Clumsy Reliever and The Medley Maker–.


Parallel to the archetypes mapping, we began thinking how to engage our audience –Artists, Designers, Writers, Thinkers, Makers, Tinkerers, all poiesis casters–. Soon we realize the opportunity of captivating our audience through a game-like interaction. A gameplay that requires simple gestures and encourages discoverability. Some of the games we took as reference are Candy Crush and 2 Dots. Two simple games that have out-stand for their heavily and widespread engagement.

Wireframe Sketches

By having research cues and possible game-like affordances in mind there's proliferous space to weave tentative design solutions. Hence we made a couple whiles to sketch layouts, concepts, poetic interactions and nonsense infractions.

On the other side we created sense and sought a balance between amusement and feasibility. At the end of this session we came up with three Design Layout Concepts and general Affordances (call to interaction): Linking, Discovering and Dragging.

Test Insight

From these concepts we started making interactive prototypes. While creating the Discovering prototype, we realize people's intuitive mental model beneath a Candy Crush-like interaction did not match with our design intent, and trying to match it resulted overly complicated and forced. This is why we created prototypes for the Linking and Dragging concepts.


Another prototype explores the underlying preference between text-driven inspiration and visually-driven inspiration. While testing these prototypes we realize some people tent to feel more inspired by imaging the words from a text, and other people feel more inspired by visual queues. This prototype allows both explorations.

The next step is to select one gameplay interaction from our user tests and sintactically address the text data from the API. 

This is another interaction mode –Remixing Mode–, thought after Katherine's valuable feedback on our final prototype that can be accessed in this link.