We made this initially as a post for a presentation at work, but it doesn’t seem quite right for a work blogpost (though we will do one for that too) but it seems a shame for it not to be public.
The context is this: a fairly quick hack Andrew Nicolaou, Jasmine Cox and I made for Mozfest got nominated for Design of the Year 2015, and so we redesigned it so that it would last five months in place at the museum as part of their exhibition (we hoped; we’ve had some teething problems).
This was something that’s completely new to me and Andrew, though Jasmine is much more experienced at making these kinds of things.
This is the story of us setting it all up.
Jasmine took most of the photos.
As Andrew pointed out, it’s come out a bit like a Peter and Jane book.
We initially made Walls Have Eyes very quickly as part of Ian and Jasmine’s Ethical Dilemma Cafe
The combination of electronics in innocuous frames
and an extremely noisy dot matrix printer
and an updating html output from the cameras, meant that it got the message across quite well
Then we were unexpectedly nominated for the Designs of the Year, which meant we had to build something that lasts 5 months.
So we needed to redesign it a bit and improve the code
It was going to be on a wall rather than in an ambient cafe environment, so it needed a trigger, to make the experience more immediate, like this ultrasonic sensor
It needed wired networking rather than wifi for reliability, and we needed to test it intensively
so Andrew and Libby rewrote the code (mostly Andrew).
Andrew designed and laser cut some beautiful glowing fittings for the frames
Andrew, Dan and Libby tested it at QCon, including creating a ‘surveillance owl’ fitting for the sensor
and working through a load of issues
By thursday we had all the bits more or less working in the kitchen
On Friday morning we took it all to the Design Museum, realising in the process that we needed better bags
At the muesum, this was the first time we’d put the Raspberry Pis in the frames
and consequently that took a while
Then placement took even longer
and involved drilling
and threading wires through holes
We didn’t quite get it ready by the end of friday and had a mad dash to get trains, punctuated by Libby taking pictures of Tower Bridge
On Monday, Andrew did a very slow, stressful dash across London through the roadworks to pick up some postcards and sort out the networking so we could debug remotely.
Then on Tuesday we all went over to do some final tweaks
Then, finally, the party started.
and it was working!
and people were looking at it!
so we had a small beer.
and it works still…
…although yesterday we had to do a little fix.