An app that lets people test the limits of their iPhones – by gauging the maximum deceleration numbers that users can achieve. (I know… it would result in lots of broken phones, but it was a fun idea for an exercise.)
DPEM in San Francisco hired me to design and build a 30′ Flying-Saucer-shaped structure to serve as as a location for an space-alien-themed “haunted house” for a Halloween party that took place on the Google campus.
I started with some sketches to make sure that DPEM and I were on the same page for the basic layout and appearance of the tent.
After receiving feedback, I created some more finished images with Sketchup and Photoshop to better describe the Flying Saucer to DPEM and Google. I then used Vectorworks and Illustrator to start working out construction details of the structure so that I would know how it would be built, and the materials that I needed to gather.
I used the measurements from my drafts and 3D modeling to figure out some patterns for the fabric covering, and after the flying saucer was set up, I added some sod around the edges to make it appear as if it had crashed into the earth.
I made this puppet for a health-care advocacy group. In a short video, the puppet wrecks hospitals, clinics, and even gets to eat some ambulances and doctors. I got to do the puppeteering too – spending a day under the set, getting shot by a fog machine!
The puppet is made from urethane foam covered with liquid latex and acrylic paints. I also added UVA foam teeth and claws, and some red LED lamps for eyes. Steel rods inside the puppet are used to move the arms, and there are two dowels that fit into sockets located at the back of the puppet’s knees so that the puppet can be “walked” without a puppeteer’s arm inside.
Of course this isn’t THE Godzilla. Godzilla has powerful lawyers with radioactive law breath. Let’s just say he’s a Destroyosaurus. Or possibly a Destructiodon.
My first project at FIT was to design an exhibit centered around a favorite food. …I don’t really have a favorite, so I chose Funnel Cake – that sloppy mess of fried dough and confectioner’s sugar that is served at fairs and amusement parks in the summertime.
My design features doughy walls, a funnel-shaped slide that lands in fake sizzling oil, and walls that need to be ripped apart (just like a funnel cake needs to be ripped apart!)
The idea is to impart the feelings and sensory information of eating funnel cake of funnel cake, without actually using funnel cake itself in the exhibit.
The slide amplifies the sounds of happy children who travel down the slide
A tug-of-war activity gives the feeling of ripping apart a funnel cake to share with a friend
A touchscreen lets a visitor use a fingertip to draw out their own spiraling funnel cakes in a game
Lights overhead shine dots of light onto visitors to give the impression of spilled dots of powdered sugar
This is a true story about what I found in a walled-off closet inside my bedroom when I lived at 57 Kent Avenue. There was a walled-off closet, and I needed to figure out what was inside! I started drawing the panels on big sheets of paper, cutting out the good ones and keeping them in an envelope. I liked the little booklet format since it works well to keep each panel a surprise, & that is how I printed up the comic.
I printed up the cover at the AS220 letterpress in Providence from polymer plates which I made from transparencies, and xeroxed the inside pages onto some heavy paper. If you would like to trade for a copy, let me know!
This seven-foot-tall crane was made to strike game show contestants in the groin with a sand-filled plastic wrecking ball. The frame is made from steel, with plywood panels, heater vents, lawnmower wheels, and some video arcade switches. It was difficult to get such a large boom to swing smoothly and predictably, so I used a very large lazy-suzan bearing (about 36″ in diameter) for the boom to rotate upon.
Courtland Premo helped with the electrical system, and I managed to hit the poor contestant in the groin in two out of my three attempts. Yay!
For my thesis project at FIT, I designed a visitor center for the Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory.
When I started this project, Fermilab had recently decommissioned their Tevatron experiment and they were considering opening the giant ring accelerator to tours, which would help to show the importance of particle physics to the general public. My project was divided the exhibit into three segments:
Fermilab’s Future: answering questions about why particle physics is studied by showing applications in medical imaging, aeronautics, communication, data storage, etc. Visitors can see how innovations in particle physics help to see things that are impossibly small when they use light to project an image and create a large 3D representation, and interact with turbulence projections to see how it effects flows in airplanes, weather, and electricity.
Frontier Introduction: a brief intro that gives visitors a sense of the minute scale of the particles and forces that are being studied, and an explanation of the three different frontiers of study (Energy, Intensity, Cosmic.) Visitors start with a display that starts with a common object and cuts it in half again, and again, and again – over and over until the scale of particle physics is reached.
Physics Frontiers: presenting interactive examples of Fermilab’s experiments – showing how teamwork is involved in making new discoveries in particle physics. Visitors operate a model of the Tevatron’s ring, to see how properly timed electrical pulses move subatomic particles around the ring.
I work in the Art & Graphics Department at Sesame Street, and I make plenty of letters and numbers for the childrens’ program. Most are made out of foamcore or blue foam, and gatorboard but I did make some “7′s” that I carefully scored with a razor so that they would break apart easily when chomped on by Cookie Monster.
I was part of a group of FIT students to redesign the lobby and second floor gallery at the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art.
One of the big challenges was that the Introduction to Himalayan Art exhibit on the second floor has two different entrances, each with two ways to start going through the exhibit. My plan was to create dividers to lead visitors through the content in a more controlled sequence. The original use of the building was as a department store, so reconfiguring the space as a museum was fun to think through.
Our final design used the concept that the religious art is much more powerful in context, so we used several ways to teach about the context – overlay projections to show setting, and models and maps to show the location of where the art was originally placed.
BayWa requested a display that would demonstrate some of the money-saving qualities of their building materials. I worked in Illustrator to design multiple graphic layout concepts, and then Vectorworks to further refine details of the designs. Max Schmidt Von Braun was in charge of this project, to be installed at the ZLF agricultural fair.
The display walls let visitors try different insulation materials to see their R-values, feel how different windows insulate heat, and learn about the requirements of air circulation for a family’s home.
I designed some signage for the Brooklyn Cyclones’ stadium on Coney Island. It was fun to do some research into the color schemes of New York baseball and Coney Island, plus I got to eat a candy apple every time I went to the stadium for a presentation!
My concept was based on a combination of the boardwalk’s signs o Coney Island which are filled with hundreds of lightbulbs, and the directional-looking baseball souvenir pennants. The stadium is difficult to navigate, so the arrows help to guide people in the appropriate direction.
Earthbound farm is a giant grower of organic foods, so for this FIT exhibit design project, I created a display with a giant display that is part farm tractor, part tractor trailer, and part shopping cart, to emphasize the connections between the farm, shipping, and the grocery store. The various displays also emphasize connections – between the grocers attending the conference and between the company and the grocers.
The design of the flooring also give the feeling of interweaving parts to help them work together.
Designing and building this machine was one of my biggest challenges on Silent Library.
Figuring out a way for the hands to rotate around a point where I could place no pivots was tricky – so I made a semicircular track for a set of rollerskate wheels, and attached a pair of silicone hands to the wheels. The hands are moved by steel bars which slide in tracks to convert the circular motion of the motor into the back and forth motion of the hands. Some bearings helped to keep everything running smoothly.
I designed this dollar bill for a Sesame Street episode about finance.
It needed to be easy for children to find the numeral “1″ in the design, and look familiar as a banknote, but not so close to the design of the US dollar bill to get us into legal trouble.
The original drawing of Mr. Hooper is by Caroll Spinney, though I went over the lines to get the weight to look right with the drawing of the rest of the bill. We printed these out on blue copy paper and then glued the front and back halves together so that the paper would be durable enough for puppets!
I used Balsamiq to test out different layouts for the Foodfriend recipe and potluck app I was designing as part of a Coursera class. The first concept focuses on building a meal from ingredients available in one’s kitchen, and the second on finding recipes first and building from there.
I made these two pies for a cooking segment on Sesame Street. One pie needed to be made out of eight complete baked apples, and the other out of eight sliced apples, with a pair of eyeglasses hidden inside. I made the crusts out of sculpey, and the apples were standard fake styrofoam fruit… I made the apples look baked by crushing them slightly so that their surface became wrinkled.
The pie filling is made out of “elastack” tinted with melted crayons. Elastack is very stretchy, so it was easy for the material to cover a hole which hid the eyeglasses inside the pie.
Also, little plastic cups are hidden in the pies and each one holds a little applesauce which could be eaten during the actor’s taste-test – so that they could realistically take a bite of the pie.
The writers for Silent Library wanted to hit the contestants with ostrich eggs… but since ostrich eggs are expensive and are so hard that they need to be opened with a hammer, I needed to create some fake ostrich eggs that would make a mess and not kill anyone.
I started by creating a two-part plaster mold from an actual ostrich egg (the egg might have cooked from the heat of the curing plaster, though I never found out since the egg stayed unopened in the refrigerator for the rest of the shoot.)
Porcelain was poured into the plaster mold and left for a few minutes to form a thin shell, and after the porcelain had dried melted parrafin wax was poured into the porcelain shell to make it waterproof. Each of the dozen fake eggs that I made contained the goo from eighteen chicken eggs (thanks to Craig Burghardt for teaching me how to open eggs with one hand, mess hall style.)
The fake eggs were sealed with more melted wax, primed, and then spraypainted. Courtland Premo made a catapult to launch these eggs, and they totally didn’t hurt anyone!
This lamp was made for a “found object” lamp project during my time in the Exhibit Design program at FIT. The base is made from some oak that I found on the street, and the stem is the plastic part of a dried-out marker. I needed to get the bread clips through mail order, since I couldn’t eat so much bread! I’m very happy with the way that light from the bulb filters through the shapes of the bread clips to form zig-zag shadows.
Well, this one was a challenge. I needed to make a pair of artificial hands shaped like beer cans. Also, the cans needed to be remotely filled with beer so that the actor could drink from them. Also, they needed to explode as if they were shot with a bullet. Also, they needed to spray fountains of blood.
I needed to cut the cans open so that I could fit a plastic tube inside that I could use for the pneumatic hardware. Also, the finish needed to be sanded off of the cans so that new Heartshe-branded labels could be applied.
Jason Singleton helped me to rig these cans up to a couple of vegetable-sprayers (filled with alternately O’Doul’s and fake blood) and lots and lots of pneumatic hose.
“Greeking” is when logos are obscured, or fake product names are made for labels that will appear on television.
These are some cans I made for Oscar the Grouch. The labels were designed using Photoshop and Illustrator, & I used globs of hot glue to simulate goop on the cans… the best part of making things for the grouch is that it is okay for them to be messy!
This one was fun to make! I traced my hand, scaled it up 200% and then made a foam hand with acrylic fingernails from the pattern. The arm is made out of 2×4′s glued together and swung with the aid of pneumatics. I scaled up a normal wooden chair 150% and built it out of glued-up 2x4s and plywood. The shoes are just clown shoes painted with flat black paint. I made a sleeve out of a trouser leg and Jessie Voris helped out by stitching together some pant legs for the project.
The Spanking Chair was tested out by almost everyone in Silent Library’s prop department.
I built this puppet stage for Opening Ceremony’s event at Fashion’s Night Out. It was built over a long weekend out of plywood, MDF, yards of black and red velvet, and lots of Christmas lights! It is a simple way to create an effect like theatre lights: drill a line of evenly-spaced holes and screwing bulbs in from the front to hold the wiring in on the back of the stage.
Andrew Bunch helped me with painting and assembly, and sewing magnets to the curtains so that they would close nicely, and Jessie Voris upholstered over my wooden carcass for Miss Piggy’s chaise lounge – with upholstered buttons and everything!
The magazines for Hooper’s Store were getting kinda ratty, so I made a few new issues to add to the shelves and spruce the place up, so that we would be prepared for season 44. I was using random photos from my personal camera’s memory card, hence the odd topics – like “Quackers,” the magazine for ducks who like to eat crackers, and “Pierogi Party,” a childrens’ magazine all about dumplings.
I made these posters to appear in Michael Showalter’s pilot for a new television series. They needed to appear to be designed at different times, and by different people – and the photos cleared for use were mostly pictures of animals, and photos of someone’s vacation. I had fun thinking up names for non-existent programs, along with corny jokes to hide in the posters.
These storyboards were drawn for a user interface design project for a Coursera course, where I tried two different approaches for a app to help people organize informal meals. The first storyboard is for a person eating alone, and the second is for a person hoping to organize a meal with a few friends.
The idea is to pair up friends who could have a really nice meal together with a few of the ingredients that they have at hand.
Sometimes I’m called on to create classy drawings for Polo-Ralph Lauren. Here are some panels from a few different storyboarding projects – one for a dinner party themed commercial, one for a tailor themed commercial, and one other for an instructional video about decorative painting.