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design for interactive experiences.

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2011 September

Twirly Milkshake Sign

I made this giant rotating milkshake for a pie/milkshake merchant. The provided graphics were applied to gatorboard which I sandwiched around a signpost and then bulked-up with some polyurethane foam. The edge was painted white and covered with glitter.

The base is plywood and contains a drill motor, which spins the giant milkshake!

Nipple Robot – Silent Library

Someday many years from now, my grandkids will ask me “Grandpa, were you ever a television robot star?” And I will be able to honestly tell them “Yes children, I was an EVIL television robot star.

I built this robot out of all sorts of odds-and-ends. A funnel, bucket, two mini plasma spheres to make a head, and two wheelbarrows to make a body. The legs are made from wiggle board and plywood, and then I attached a bunch of wires and junk circuit boards… with plenty of silver paint to make things look futuristic.

Courtland Premo made a remote control base for the robot by dissecting a remote-control golf bag carrier.

It gets very hot in a robot costume!

Toe Snap – Silent Library

I built this machine to sequentially shoot a contestant in the toes with rubber bands.

The mechanism works with screws which are placed around the barrel of a crank-operated winch every few degrees. As the crank is turned, the rubber bands fire off one-by-one.

Pedal Pop – Silent Library

I built this five-passenger bike by cutting apart and welding together the parts from three tandem bikes, and adding a bit of black gas piping where I needed straight tubing. It actually worked too, and I was able to take it for some wobbly rides in the studio! (Though the rear seat was responsible for shifting gears, since my cables weren’t long enough.)

Inflatable hot water bottles were added to make exploding seats (by Jason Singleton and Jessie Voris, I think)


Rugburn Swing – Silent Library

The second in a series of swingsets that made me feel bad!

I created a swing out of heavy black rubber to hold a contestant so that their knees would graze against a carpet as they swung, getting a nasty case of rugburn in the process.

Sorry, contestant!

Flounder Swing – Silent Library

This challenge almost made me puke.

I made a welded steel mechanism that swung three flounders into the face of a contestant as they played on a swingset. The fish are all put in motion by a pneumatic cylinder that rotates the fish in the opposite direction from the contestant.

My stomach was churning as I tried to zip-tie the flounders in place, but Katie Akana not only bravely attached the fish for me – she also broke out a big bucket of slime to make the fish extra revolting.

Motorized Cheek Pincher – Silent Library

I cast these rubber hands and built them to pinch a contestant’s cheeks. A spring-powered clamp was modified to make the fingers pinch. Jason Singleton built the motors which moved the hands from side-to-side.

Groin-Punching ATM Machine – Silent Library

I built this ATM machine with help from Daniel Rasa. The shell of the machine is made out of MDF and plywood, and acrylic components were added for lighted signs and to simulate buttons.

It re-uses the mechanism from the groin-punching slot machine that I’d built earlier, only with a new cast silicone hand that held a fistful of phony money. Courtland Premo programmed a LCD photo frame to act as an ATM screen for the stunt.

Dual-Punch Elliptical Trainer – Silent Library

This was a simple modification that only took a few hours to complete – an elliptical trainer that I welded arms onto, so that it could punch a contestant alternately in the stomach and groin.

Puppet Stage for Miss Piggy!

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! Andrew Bunch helped me with painting and assembly, and sewing magnets to the curtains so that they would close nicely, and Jessie Voris upholstered the chaise lounge – with buttons and everything!