{ Brain } – beta version


Brain <beta version>

Brain is an automata that shows how the brain works when you think. Composed of handmade steel wires and knotted rope as pulley system. Brain functions in two ways:

1) Conscious –> Hand cranking the steel wheel to fluctuate the shells, and also rotating the wheels on the other face of brain.

2) Subconscious –> Using ultrasonic sensor to measure the distance, part of the brain will function automatically once the user is in position / wearing the helmet.


Exposing yourself & Taking in the unknown

The most exciting/weird experience of this project is the moment you stick your head into it. The motor above you starts moving; the vibration and sounds of the pulley system; the view you see through the wood cubes, knotted ropes, and steel wheels. It’s the mixture feelling of exposing yourself to undergo the vulnerability, and taking in the unknown to activate all your senses in the narrow space.


2D/paper –> 3D/physical

Inspired by renowned kinetic sculptor Arthur Ganson, I decided to use steel wire as the means for my Automata final project. Based on the photos and videos collecting from internet, I sketched out the shape first, and then tried to figure out how to bend the steel wire into wheel.


It’s a trial and error process, but thanks to magical Zoe Logan, I learned different pliers and jigs to make proper(at least better than free style) steel wheel. The whole journey is a little bit pain in the ass, but the result is satisfying. Beside boosting my stamina with heavy laboring, I’m glad the efforts somehow accumulating into something weird and terrifying looking.


I learned a lot from this transforming 2d ideas into 3d physical form process: the pros and cons of wire bending compare to the thick steel connected by welding; the limit of series connection the wheels with knotted ropes; the necessity of middleware of two big wheels to increase the tension.


gamma version

Multiple motors to fully construct the node system of brain on all the faces. Pill the paper off the acrylic sheets so it’d be totally transparent. Could have multiple hand crank nodes as well so it will become a cooperative “thinking” system.



Related posts

Concept Sketch, Process of Making.


Thoughts about Fungus(update)


This semester I’m taking class of “Fungus Among Us”, and I’ve found some aspects of fungus I’m particular interested about, and would love to develop project based on them:

Gift to Gross Out People

Every time I google “fungus”, I can always have some valuable “wtf” moments, and I think it’s an amazing power deserved to be explored. Is it because fungus usually comes along with rotten, dead stuff and thus build up the association? Are we scared of its decomposing ability because it makes us relate to our future death? I’m interested in how we can do this kind of power of horror.

Super Adaptive Behavior

Fungus grows and prospers anywhere it lands. I’d love to grow them on different materials and different locations, and see how different the fungus will be. After that, I plan to gather those fungi together and see how their information/consciousness network work. Will they merge into each other and become a new kind of fungus?

Peculiar Round Shape

Fungus usually has circular shape because it grows by spreading out in all directions from a central point, where the original spore germinates. It’s an interesting feature I’d love to try with computer vision. The different looks of Pileus and there different functions can be inspirations for interactive devices too.


So, for the possible future project, I would either

  1. try to grow fungus into terrifying one, as horrible as it can be, and see how the power of horrors can be apply to(psychology aspect), or
  2. grow same fungus in different environments and see how people’s affect them, and after that see what they will communicate with each other by meshing up, and it might somehow representing the meshing up behaviors of people’s(communication/network aspect)? Or
  3. explore more about the structure and function of different shape of Pileus and see how it can be applied to enhance the communication/interaction among people as a wearable device(pcomp project).


responds to Form And FungusMagic of Mushrooms, Paul Stamets’s TED talk

website philross

sources are-fungi-earths-natural-internet, what role do fungi play in food chain,

5-in-5_Day2_Moving Eye


(click pic to play! Using keyboard’s ↑ ↓ ← →)

JavaScript, first time! Nearly die…. I think I’m too used to Java/C++ syntax and too greedy/ambitious to try to do projects with JS… I spent whole afternoon searching on internet, and although I did found some awesome source codes, they just simply blown my mind. SO FOREIGN.

Thanks to Andy‘s suggestion, I narrowed down my goal to make a simple bouncing image in window. And it worked! After kind of (really just kind of) understanding JavaScript’s syntax and structure, I added extra functions: auto-moving and controlled by arrow keys at same time, and speed up/slow down feature.

Below are some of the resources I found:

I know right? Crazy.