How far and where do you go?

For the last two weeks we had a internet carpentry crash course, using html, css and (maybe) some java to make a website. We also worked with concepts, and the webpage could only have one page and had to use a data source that exists. First I looked at using distance to understand something better, or how to understand distance better. The problem with a lot of my ideas was that I would have to represent an amount (like bytes or data) in something, so I would basically have to set the rules.

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Some of the first sketches

Then I looked at the actual physics of the internet. There is a theory that the internet weights the same as a strawberry, if you count and weigh the electrons that carry the information around. There is some skepticism to this theory.

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I also looked at the actual weight of the internet, if you include servers, screens, cables and so on.

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According to the brief, the webpage was supposed to show some information live, and we were allowed to calculate how the numbers would evolve – but with something this unspecific it would be hard to make an exact calculation.

That got me thinking «what other parts of the internet is physical?»

Our teacher for this module, Jørn, showed me this website. You can see where the servers you visit by entering a website are located:

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This became the datasource for my project. In my prototype you write a website of your choice, and get to see the km you have travelled to enter the website, a map, and google street view from the different locations.


I want to make the user more aware of the physical aspect of the internet, and explore the places where the servers are located.

The website is missing some finishing touches, since it’s a prototype.

By entering a website, you visit servers all over the world. How far and where do you go?

Try my prototype:


Data visualization using personal data

For the last weeks we have been working with Processing and data visualization. We were supposed to use personal data as input, and I decided to visualize my browser history. For me, this is kind of personal, I rarely let people use my computer or phone.

I did struggle with the code part, it seemed like everyone did, but we got help and the course was more about exploring what the result could be. What possibilities does code have and how does it change the interaction.

I have previously been working with information graphics, and I see some of the same principles in data visualization – but you can allow more data and smaller objects. When using Illustrator you kind of have to make a lot manually – you have to do the calculation and so on.  Also, by using Processing it’s possible to make the data interactive, and the viewer can take an active part in the visualization – by using the cursor and so on.

This is my sketch:

Browser History Sketch

The sketch focuses on time used on different categories, top sites and the path between the different sites.

And this is how far I got with Processing (and even though this is so private for me, I post it on my blog…):
Browser History Processing

From January 14 2015 22:08 to February 02 2015 11:44 I visited 10 756 urls and 381 unique websites. This data visualization only shows the websites that I have visited over 7 times. I have not been using private mode, and when I was browsing, I did not know that it would be used for this task.

By looking at the results from my own data, I could tell what kind of work I was doing and generally what interested me. I actually thought I was more of a hypochondria than the results show. It would be really interesting comparing this to others browser history.

The task also triggered some thoughts about further developments; working with memory and browser history. It’s so hard maneuvering through your own history, trying to remember what you were doing or find things.

New studio and elective courses

Elective course (a course we have once a week) started today, Ida and me are the only designers in «Freehand Sketching». We are in the wonderful and big A1, (something else than «bunkersen» (as we call it), where we spent last semester). Just look at the ceiling:
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We started from scratch, exploring tools and materials. Great for a paper-freak like me. And it’s also great with a analog day of the week. I bought my first ProMarker pen (those industrial designers and architects are getting to me).
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In Interaction Design 2: Screens, the studio course, we started with Processing and data visualization.

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Look at this wonderful mouse tracker, haha. It takes time to learn Processing, but our teacher Marius knows everything there is to know about code, so that’s kind of comforting. For this module we are supposed to visualize data from our own life. My plan, as we speak, is to track exposure to certain subjects online. We were introduced to different apps and websites that track you somehow, these sites are quite interesting:

Moves Activity Diary. This also shows your location.
Foursquare, I will definitely use this to discover places in Oslo.
Iconosquare gives you statistics from Instagram:

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Skjermbilde 2015-01-27 kl. 22.26.02I’m still fascinated with how much I used Instagram in 2012.



First project at AHO – Enhanced Cards

I want to show you our first project in Tangible Interactions at AHO, because my blog was created after this project. This was a one week project with Gjermund.

An interactive invitation to an exclusive Nintendo event, aimed at members of Club Nintendo.

The invitation is delivered in a box resembling the questionmark-blocks from the NES-era Mario games, which indicate a mystery inside. The graphics on the box aims to build on the expectations of the recipient. The box contains a piranha plant, a known figure from Mario games. Two hand-stickers indicate a hidden functionality. If the pipe is squeezed the piranha plant will open its mouth and eject a rolled up piece of paper, containing the information about the event, to the surprise and delight of the recipient.

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This project was my first meeting with tangible interactions, I used to look at interaction design as screen based design. I was way out of my comfort zone the first week, for example working with silicon at the plastic workshop. I am still out of my comfort zone compared to graphic design and screen based solutions, but I will admit that my geek level has raised a few points.

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Meet Owlfonso

We had a three day workshop with Ericsson, and within the last 24 hours we gave birth to Owlfonso.

Owlfonso is your friend who wants you to stress less in your everyday life. As he watches over you and your stress level gets too high, he starts to inflate from his natural size and forces you to sooth both him and yourself by petting his fluffy feathers. As your stress level decreases, Owlfonso will deflate accordingly.

Owlfonso is the perfect feathery friend of students of any age – from elementary school to university level. As you pet Owlfonso, touching his fluffy feathers soothes you, calms your stress level and rids you of all your worries.

Space Storm

For three weeks now we have been working on a game – and now we are finally done and the exhibition has been held. For this project I have been working with Ola, and our output was an air fan. We were testing and looking at different concepts, when we suddenly stumbled over the Bernoulli’s principle.

Illustration link.

A flying object is kind of magical, and by using a ball with a certain size and a fan with a certain strength and nozzle – we found that we could make a ball fly quite controlled.

Alfred told us about this game that he had when he were little, the Harry Potter Levetating Challenge, who was our initial inspiration. This is actually the only game that we could find using this same effect.

We decided to make a space themed game, where you would have to fly through the obstacles in a spinning wheel.

2014-10-31 14.08.02Our 3D-printed obstacles are drying in the background (yes, my graphic designer-friends, this is what I do now. Haha).

Final concept

We decided to make a game for children, mainly about 7–10 years old, but children in any ages could play. Our goal was to create a game contributing to the use of children’s imagination by endless of opportunities and no specific rules.


This is the description of our final solution:

Welcome to a journey through space and time. Hank, Sarah, Clonk and Spike has been caught in a space storm, help them get trough it alive! How long can you avoid the space garbage and asteroids?

Build your own storm, choose how much garbage and how many asteroids you run in to. A hand held joystick controls the fan. Choose your speed level – do you dare fly at level 3?

spacestorm_marteola2Say hello to Hank, Sarah, Spike and Clonk.

Take a look!



Next week will be quite exciting; the Design Management course will be staying in Risør for one week. We are going to work with students from the University in Agder, who has more of a business and entrepreneur approach. My group is also having a 30 minute lecture about branding (and I sure love branding).

Distance sensors and Arduino

Distance sensors & arduino

About a week ago, we started a sensor experimentation/exploration project. Working in pairs, we were given a particular sensor to explore. Runar and I got different types of distance sensors. You can see the sensors on the image above. Imagine going from a bachelor in graphic design to working over a week with a sensor (just sayin’).

We made an Instructable of our findings, called “Getting started with distance sensors and Arduino”. We present the sensors we have worked with, basic code and fritzing (how to wire the sensor up with the Arduino breadboard), how to do some projects, what it is used for now, other peoples projects, and what we think it could be used for.

This video summarizes our experimentation and ideas.

IMG_9847When the sensor detects something, the LED lights, so we were able to create a light painting of the sensors range.

The things we work on at school these days are kind of heavy and geeky. I can see the eyes of my graphic design-friends fading away or how they only say “oh” if I show them something. So, I try to present it in a way that is possible to understand on my blog, and just ask if there is something that’s unclear.


This week we have been working on a piece for the Elvelangs festival in Oslo. The festival is at night, where lots of people are walking along Akerselva to see. At AHO our class, tangible interactions, made different interactive pieces.

To make sure that everything worked at Thursday night, Martin have been climbing a lot and we have been out at night to make sure that our installation works properly. We used Processing for the code, a Kinect motion sensor and a projector.

In this video you can see our work process in chronological order.


Syver Lauritzen made a video showing all of the projects from my studio


Special thanks to Amnon Owed for his CAN kinect physics tutorial.

Introduction to Arduino

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This week Nick (our teacher in Tangible Interactions) introduced us to Arduino.  What is Arduino, you say? Well, this is how the developers put it:

Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for anyone making interactive projects.

I have learned some electronics, and my father is kind of proud of me (he is an engineer in electronics). The GIF shows my knowledge at this point, I know how to get lights to blink the way I want (almost) and make a button do something. Haha. We’ll see where this goes. My brain tends to get a bit confused with coding (yes, we have to code the instructions) and technical stuff.