Altars to the Sea, 2016

Altars to the Sea was a project completed for the first year of the Bombay Beach Biennale, an art festival held at the dilapidated town of Bombay Beach in southern California. The town is in ruins and half-deserted, and the Salton Sea - along which it was built - is an ecological disaster, poisoned with agricultural runoff and plagued with a dramatic bloom and die-off of fish and algae every year.

These "altars" were set up along the beach with no nameplate or explanation provided. Visitors were free to come to their own conclusions about the thinking behind the works.

Counter-clockwise from top, photos by: Josh Franklin, Alan Kozlowski, Tanmay Chowdhary, Thomas S. Evans

Prototype Creation game box. The box offers a printed copy of the game rules and storage for paper (within a hollow inside the diagonal beam), the rulebook, pencils and pens etc., and favorite objects. Photo by Scott Evans.

Creation [万物], 2015

Creation is a preliminary investigation into rules for a game that utilizes everyday objects as its game pieces. There is no predetermined "board," but rather a grid with alterable dimensions. Players create godlike characters. These "deities" are responsible for the creation of a new world. This is accomplished by placing outside objects into the area of play, with each deity offering interpretations of the objects that accord with their personal powers. The stories players tell about the things they do with the objects they choose form the basis of a new creation myth as the game progresses.

Creation offers an opportunity to recognize new worth in the mundane objects around us, and helps us get in touch with the deep link between the formulation of value and the creative process. The game was partially intended to be playable, but was also partially intended to be byzantine in its complexity and breadth of customizability. The original Creation is closer to design piece than accessible entertainment in this regard, but its general instructions offer a launchpad for any variety of simpler games that utilize its basic concepts.

(Full rules and other information for Creation and Legend can be found here)

Legend [物語], 2016

Legend is a game that maintains the core concepts of Creation and repackages them in a simpler and more straightforward ruleset. The focus in Legend is on giving players a greater sense of creative freedom by more explicitly defining interactions between gamepieces: players are free to interpret objects in any way they like, but must assign the object one of several categories. The categories define the object's gameplay function, but do not otherwise restrict freeform descriptions of how or in what way the object fulfills that function.

Moon Lamp, 2017 [prototype]

The Moon Lamp is an experiment in reducing packaging waste and exploring the virtues of readily available recyclable materials to create functional designs. The "base" of the lamp is its original box, into which all components can fit.

 

While a laser-cut version would be more precise in its aesthetics, the prototype demonstrates the simplicity and reproducibility of the design, avoiding complex joints. Aside from the Japanese paper used in this prototype as a shading element, anyone with some leftover cardboard, a little time, and a bulb and socket could produce their own version.

 

While the virtues of a self-packaging product are not apparent from a waste perspective when assembled independently, the design is still useful in offering a straightforward means of dissembly and transport - a feature commonly lacking in DIY cardboard lamps such as this.

SPOT Ecosystem, 2018 [prototype/proposal]

The SPOT Ecosystem was developed as an assignment for an Intro to Engineering class in which we were to individually create a product to counter the phenomenon of porch piracy. The SPOT Ecosystem is intended as an aesthetic and functional enhancement over existing solutions such as the Package Guard.

A simple prototype demonstrates the siren functionality with packages placed on and removed from the platform. The prototype form was fabricated with PLA on a MakerBot and quarter-inch birch plywood on a laser cutter. The electronics were modeled with Arduino.