> posted by   on October 7th 2012

LDF 2012: LET’S DO HiLow!

HiLow (HighLow) stands for High technology (hi-tech) in connection with Low technology (lo-tech) tools and equipment. The time is perfect for such a movement. Our advanced technology goes to the wall. All the new future possibilities are in a hole due to silicon miniaturisation. The smaller it is, the quicker the processor can count all the digits and pop up with amazing new stuff. But, we can’t make silicon smaller. It is definitely the end of the silicon era. The new raising star is carbon tubes (Graphene) but they are still concepts in labs. For the discovery of Graphene’s properties, scientists Andre Geim and Novoselov Konstantin got a Nobel Prize in physics last year. However, Poles are ahead of other groups of scientists around the world working on industrial production methods of Graphene.

Anyway, Graphene is still a prototype and our life doesn’t like emptiness. It seems like this is the perfect moment to look back and rethink the last 100 years of technological achievements, to look at patents archives and to enjoy all the forgotten possibilities.

As we are entering a new era of creative society, could technology perhaps play a much more creative role in our lives?

The London Design Festival set a new tendency to “old fashion” DIY using soldering pencil, wires, screwdrivers, old diodes and LEDs, computer components and old computer cases.

Technology Will Save Us at Portobello Dock (Tom Dixon)

Technology Will Save Us is a haberdashery for technology and education dedicated to helping people to produce and not just consume technology.

AIKON Robot Drawing Arm Portrait by Patrick Tresset at V&A

Patrick Tresset has trained a robot to draw human’s portraits. It has been programmed to be kind of clumsy to express the effect of a sketch or a quick drawing.


Musical Table by Kouichi Okamoto at V&A

The Musical Table has 504 monophonic musical boxes wired up to one table with switches that regulate rotational speed and sound volume to produce random sound effects responding to the movements of visitors.


The Happiness Machine by Brendan Dawes

The Happiness Machine is an Internet connected printer that prints random happy thoughts by random people from across the web; press the big black button and the Happiness Machine prints a thought from someone who mentioned the word “happy”.

Interactive Newsprint by photojournalist Garry Cook

Interactive paper is a type of “smart” paper. It is responsive to human touch, which means that sheets of paper can turn into interactive displays. For example, imagine a community news poster with an interactive title. This could be designed to advertise and illustrate articles read aloud at the push of embedded buttons. Alternatively, imagine a home notice board display or picture frame containing active paper to which community club members could broadcast club news in short SMS text messages and voicemails.





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