Tuesday, 11 December 2007

nano nano nano nano

Researching nanotechnology I have came across various methods of applying the technology that range from boring to absolute fantastic. Nano robots will be able to manipulate organic compounds such as wood, oil or sewage either disassembling them or restructuring the compounds. This technology could solve our societies waste problems, imagine a world with no more landfills. As well as being able to create materials of unprecedented strength. The massive steel Brooklyn bridge in America  supports its weight with steel cables 3600 miles long with the introduction of carbon nanotubes we could replace all the steel cable with fibres the size of hair and the same strength as the steel.
Nano robots will be placed in your clothing, carpet, work areas and they will eliminate any dirt substance eliminating the need for dusting and hoovering. Nanomachines will be able to fabricate furniture, car parts, toys, healthy food etc from a the appropriate elements mixed together in a chemical reaction that will grow these objects similar to how we cook food by bringing different ingredients together to create food. Nanomachines will help solve the the energy crisis by giving society the chance to create small powerful efficient cheap solar cells
and lastly we will be able to repair damaged human cells on the molecular level, thus healing injury curing disease and prolonging life.

Questions to take this project further
If we prolong life to the extent that we as a race start to live for centuries how will we die? Do we choose when we die? will living for centuries mean that we can take our time with life i.e go to school for forty years, have children when we're in our 80's.

How will nanotechnology effect us in the home? Will we want to collect as many possessions if we can self assembly products at home using a destop 3d printer? Can nanotechnology be used to enhance the family network? Will our houses be made from these new materials? Will we be able to make our own houses?

Nanotechnology involves the manipulation of matter and I ask will this matter be able to be hacked by hackers? Will hackers be able to hack into my chair that I just made and manipulate the shape of it?

What happens to nanotechnology when it has been entered into my body to kill tumor cells and the job is done. Do they just dissolve away? Will they stay in my body for ever? Will my immune system stop nano robots from working?


Saturday, 8 December 2007

A new industrial revolution

The following quote from a book called Soft machines by Richard Jones really sum's up nanotechnology for me, at this time of the project.

"Some people think that nanotechnology will transform the world. Nanotechnology, to these people, is a new technology which is not with us yet, but whose arrival within the next fifty years is absolutely inevitable. Once the technology is mastered, we will learn to make tiny machines that will be able to assemble anything atom by atom, from any kind of raw material. The consequences, they believe, will be transforming. Material things of any kind will become virtually free, as well as being immeasurably superior in all respects to anything we have available to us now. These tiny machines will be able to repair our bodies from the inside, cell by cell. The threat of disease will be eliminated, and the process of ageing will be only a historical memory. In this world, energy will be clean and abundant and the environment will have been repaired to a pristine state. Space travel will be cheap and easy and death will be abolished."

This quote shows the positives of nanotechnology and the quote below shows the pessimistic argument regarding the consequences of such a technology. 

"Some pessimists see an alternative future - one transformed by nanotechnology, but infinitely for the worse. They predict that we will learn to make these immensely powerful but tiny robots, but that we will not have the wisdom to control them. To the pessimists, nano technology will allow us to make new kinds of living, intelligent organisms, who may not wish to continue being our servants. These tiny machines will be able to reproduce, feed and adapt to their environment, in just the same way as living organisms do. But unlike natural organisms, they will be made from tough, synthetic materials and they will have been carefully designed rather than having emerged from the blind lottery of evolution. Whether unleashed on the world by a malicious act, or developing out of control from the experiments of naive scientists, these self replicating nanoscale robots will certainly break out of our custody, and when this happens our doom is assured. The pessimists think that life itself will have no chance in the struggle for supremacy with these nano robots; they will take over the world, consuming its resources and rendering feebler, carbon based life forms such as ourselves at best irrelevant, and at worst extinct. In this scenario we humans will accidentally, and quite possibly with the best of intentions, use the power of science to destroy humanity."

Both quotes are from Soft Machines, Nanotechnology and life. By Richard Jones.

Am I for nanotechnology or against it?????????


possible roles for nanotechnology [part 1]

1]Medical cabinet [combination lock operated by biological matter]
2]Glowing report [changes skin colour when certain chems are in short supply]
3]cell control [controlling behaviours of cells with electronics]
4]seek and destroy [find and attach to tumor cells and then kill]
5]Alien invasion [capsule for diabetics, releases insulin when needed]
6]Helping Hand [micro-robotic arm can pick up and move the size of a cell]
7]Power pack [a fuel cell that produces electricity from glucose and oxygen]
8]smart bombs [deliver drugs to specific cells, monitor and report back]
9]tiny turbine [spinning propellor fabricated from a bacterium and nano engineered metal]
10]Nan tubes [ stronger and smaller than still]
11]Nano particles [suntan lotion, cosmetics, varnishes, stain resistant clothing]
12]Molecular [Factories at a cell level]
13]cheap and powerful energy generation [nano-solar-bio cells]
14]nutritionally enhanced interactive smart foods
15]greater information storage
16]reconnaissance [Military clouds of nanorobots]
17]Organic self replication
18]Black market nano factories
19]Alert system against viruses
20]Flat technology [Thinner than LCD tv screens]
21]Nano pets
22]Nano weapons 

Friday, 7 December 2007

Understanding the scale of nanotechnology

My next stage of this project is to take one technology and immerse myself within it. I choose nanotechnology.

First I need to understand the size of this technology!!!!!!!! 

"One nanometre is one-thousandth of a micrometre or micron. This in turn is one thousandth of a millimetre."
Soft machines Nanotechnology and life by R. Jones

Macroworld - Every day objects [cms,metres,miles etc]
     that we can see.

Microworld -  Mites and insects [300 microns]
Human hair [100 microns]
Smallest bacteria [1 micron]

Nanoworld -  Inside a cell Mitochondria [20 - 100nm]
Chloroplast [20-100nm]
Ribosomes [20-100nm]

    Large molecules Protein molecule [3-10nms]

            Small molecules         Soap molecule [10s of atoms]
water molecule [3 atoms]

Atomic -     Atoms Carbon atom [0.14nm]

Sub-atomic -  Nucleus Carbon atom nucleus [3fem]

    Protons and neutrons

       Quarks 3 quarks make a proton or neutron

Next I'm going to investigate all the different possibilities there are of using this technology that exist in the fictional and non-fictional worlds.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

forecasting techniques

forecasting techniques

Most forecasting techniques used by futurologists involve setting up workshops that bring specialists together from a variety of fields such as architects, marketing, science's, social science's, designers, philosophers etc.....

Visioning another technique is a popular method in the studies of desirable futures and the one that gives emphasis to values. It is extensively used in urban planning. The visioning process is based on the assumption that images of the future lead peoples present behaviours, guide choices and influence decisions. Images of the future can be positive or negative and cause different responses according to the perceptions.

Vision is usually seen as a possible, desirable image of the future and can be defined as a compelling, inspiring statement of the preferred future that the authors and those who subscribe to the vision want to create.

There are a number of issues that need to be addressed while using the visioning method. Vision comprises peoples values, wishes, fears and desires. In order to make the visioning process work it is necessary to ensure that it is not making an idealistic wish list that vision is an image of the future shared by a whole community and that the vision is translatable into reality.

A secondary tool used by futurologists is the futures wheel. The futures wheel is a way of organizing thinking and questioning about the future, a kind of structured brainstorming. The name of a trend or event is written in the middle of a piece of paper, then small spokes are drawn wheel like from the center. Primary impacts or consequences are written at the end of each spoke. Next the secondary impacts of each primary impact form a second ring of the wheel. This ripple effect continues until a useful picture of the implications of the event or trend is clear.

The futures wheel is most commonly used to think through possible impacts of current trends or potential future events, organize thoughts about future events or trends. Create forecast within alternative scenarios show complex interrelationships display other futures research develop multi concepts nurture a futures conscious perspective and aid in group brainstorming.


Wednesday, 21 November 2007

100 mini project

Designing for the post-human

I am not going to come up with one question from my research such as below and make this my project because firstly Post-humanism is such a vast area and why choose one question and not the other. secondly im designing for a fictional user with technologies that are still being developed and have not been implemented in our lives yet to fully understand the consequences.
Also I feel that later questions will arise such as how do I know that is what will happen, how will that work? I wont be able to test such ideas.

The answer is to set myself 100 mini projects. I need to think of 100 questions for me to answer in project form. As it is fictional design in a sense then by doing lots of mini projects I wont be digging myself a hole. One project per day will be my aim.

by doing 100 projects i will have 100 final pieces (objects, technical drawings, illustrations etc)
Also I expect the each project will result in more questions being asked about that area which I intend to log and thus I could have between 200-400 more questions.

Final result 100 pieces of work, lots more questions to be answer and the overall final result would be to spark debate around the area of post humanism. 

I could present everything in a book form or maybe it could be a collection of 100 mini books. 

moving forward in 2 directions

1>I intend to explore the area of when does a human become post-human? Creating a piece of design that creates debate around this specific topic. Looking further at how boundaries are broken down, change in identity and the physical change of adding technology to the human body.

2>Designing for the needs of the post-human, use design to question the what if's. For example if our sexual parts are taken away and all reproduction is carried out in the laboratory to prevent disease and create the perfect baby. What could be the possible reaction of human kind I.E. what would we find to replace our sexual needs?

background to brief

A post-human is a hypothetical future being whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards. Post-humans could be a symbiosis of human and artificial intelligence, or uploaded consciousness, or the result of making many smaller but cumulatively augmentations to a biological human i.e. cyborg.

Advancements in medicine have led us into the first stages of post-humanism through the use of heart pacemakers, cochlear implants, contact lenses, bionic limbs and immunizations. These advancements contribute to extending the average life expectancy defying the built in obsolescence of the ageing process as well as replacing natural organic matter with advanced technology.

Through cyber-punk and sci-fi the boundaries are broken down between human and post-human. Using films such as the Terminator, Robocop and the popular television series of the six million dollar man we see a popular representation of the cyborg ( A person having mechanical elements built into the body to extend their normal physical abilities.)

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


Do post humans already exist? 

1> No, technology needs to be developed so much more that it gets to a point when we are becoming cyborgs for example like the six million dollar man. When advanced technology is implemented into our bodies to increase strength, knowledge etc.

2>Yes, We already use implants in medicine to replace limbs and other areas of the body. Also medicine has helped increase our life expectancy with cures and the use of technology. Our use of the internet and such websites as face book are making us more reliant on technology and changing the way we live our lives. Societies us of technology has changes its identity and function.

The reason why I ask this question is because for my major project at this time I am questioning wether it is feasible to design for a post human. 

If they don't exist already, I will be designing for a fictional user and as such cant go down my normal route of finding a problem that the user has and designing a solution. The answer is to design a piece of work that sparks debate. If I go down this route then I need to identify a particular area within post-humanism that I can question and workout what my message is. 


how do I keep it within design and not art. The last thing I want to do is for the piece to give of a confusing message of wether it is design or art.

"Captain Picard joins the borg."

We see images of cyborgs all the time in films, literature, games, comics. It has become such a popular subject that makes money and when integrated with our utopian sense to better ourselves its no wonder we can easily see technology as a big part of our future. 

Is this an alien or an image of a post-human?
Magnetic Implant
area 1
Do objects control the user?

area 2
How does a novice gain experience?

Can objects teach us?

What factors are involved in the learning process?

example: I just upgraded my mobile phone from a blackberry to a samsung. The operating system is different and when I turned the phone on for the first time I was lost and found it hard to navigate around the phone. Over the next few days I gradually broke down the system and found that I could navigate around my new phone. Is it practice that makes possible? What are the factors that make me able to learn a new phone?

Is the phone designed to let you understand particular parts of the phone at your own learning pace? Is it that society is so used to these forms of technology and that we come into contact with technology on a daily basis that we are starting to form a whole new language that lets us understand more efficiently technology than we did in the past?

Could we look at objects historically and explain the language that we have formed?

Area 3

Can objects help the morning process?
this question seems very vague in that i have not said what kind of object and what user i want to define narrative between. I want to use these two weeks before my territories presentation to research this subject as much as I can before specifically having to choose an area to take further.

sexual fetishisms,
fetishisms as a consumer society,
our obsession with particular objects,
improving relstionship between object and user,
utopian object,
objects that we learn,
objects that inspire debate
cyborg object.

Because I am looking at a broad area to study further I am going to undertake research methods that will also seem general but will give me results that can break down this area into specific points of interest:

I will send out questions to everyone that I know and ask them to tell me about how they are or have had a relationship with an object that is of interest to them. Whether this is physical or emotional does not matter.

I am going to produce short films regarding objects and how they fit into our lives.

These are two definite routes im going to follow and the next is a possibility.

What would happen if i set up a website for objects. Kinda like a facebook but with objects being the users. People would set up accounts with there favorite objects and they could tell us things about those objects e.g. personal details, their feelings, interacting with other objects, pictures etc. My point is that with this research what would happen if the user became the object and the object became the user.


-how can i define narrative between object and user??????