Portrait a Day

I’ve started trying to draw a portrait a day. This is inspired partially by friends who’ve taken one photo, or even a self-portrait, every day with their cameras for a whole year. I’m hoping to do the same, but with an emphasis on allowing it to try and improve my drawing skills rather than my photography.

At the moment I’m on day 53, with no breaks. I’ve filled one Moleskine sketching notebook already. Who knows if I’ll make it to 365 pictures (or 7 sketchbooks). I’m enjoying trying, though.

I’m posting my favourites to Flickr, some of which are below.

#22. 20th November 2010. Saturday. Home.#34. 2nd December 2010. Thursday. Home.#47. 15th December 2010. Wednesday. Home.#48. 16th December 2010. Thursday. Home.#53. 21st December 2010. Tuesday. Home.

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Timecard Video

As promised a while ago, when I posted the videos of the Backup Box and Digital Slide Viewer, I’ve finally put together something that shows the Timecard device (see video below). This is a timeline viewer, meant to represent someone’s life, that we imagine might be the digital equivalent of a photo album or baby book. We’d like to think that it might become a precious object for a family, forming a new class of digital heirloom.

More explanation of these devices (including Timecard) here and of our ideas behind Technology Heirlooms here.

Timecard from Richard Banks on Vimeo.

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Getting into materials

This year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are titled “Size Matters”. Presented by Dr Mark Miodownik, they’re an exploration of materials science looking at facts like “How can hamsters survive falling from an airplane? How can hair keep you warm in the cold and cool in the heat?” and so on. Aimed at kids from 11 to 17, they’ll be broadcast on BB4 on the 28th, 29th and 30th of December from 8pm. Definitely one to watch for the budding scientist. Good for adults, too, actually. And something I’m very happy to see us sponsor.

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All In The Mind

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Thanks to presenter Claudia Hammond and producer Fiona Hill from BBC Radio 4’s All In The Mind show for a really great edit of a conversation we had in Cambridge last Wednesday about our Technology Heirlooms work. It was broadcast last night on Radio 4, is repeated again today at 4:30pm, and thanks to the speed of the Internets is already available to stream and as a podcast.

It’s a 10 minute segment about 9 minutes into the show in which Abi and I talk about the objects we’ve designed, as well as some of the issues of overload and longevity for digital artefacts that might be inherited from us when we pass away.

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If you’re interested in the topic here are some bits to read:

  • An Introduction to Technology Heirlooms – A high level description of some of the issues around the topic of keeping and bequeathing digital things.
  • Some Technology Heirlooms – Descriptions and images of the three technology heirlooms we’ve built so far, including the Timecard device discussed in the show.
  • Technology Heirlooms videos – This blog post doesn’t yet have a video of the Timecard device discussed in the show, but does have content I’ve created for two other objects, the Backup Box and the Digital Slide Viewer.

        [UPDATE: BBC Online did a write up of this chat here: Life Goes Online After Death with ‘Memory Boxes’]

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