ZSL Teachers and Biodiversity Day

I gave a talk on ants and ballet at London Zoo‘s Teachers and Biodiversity Day in October 2010.

This involved a few conversations about pheromones, a demonstration of bug-tracking software I’ve built (using a very passive cockroach), and an adaptation of this experiment for classrooms.

Thanks to Seirian Sumner and Ruth Desforges for inviting me, the ZSL staff for being welcoming and accommodating, and all of the teachers for engaging and showing patience with a passive cockroach!

Plymouth University

Along with my friends Ian Laurance and Cristiana Camisotti, I ran a workshop for 50 Plymouth University Masters Architectural students, including rapid prototyping of devices to enable a non-visual mapping of a series of spaces.

The workshop was called “Mapping space with augmented perception”, and involved students designing and building devices to augment their perception, then using these new prostheses to map spaces they already knew – e.g. areas of the university campus. The point of the workshop was to explore the subjective nature of perceiving space.

Video by Ollie Palmer | Music by Lucky Dragons| CC BY-SA 3.0 License

Credits

Run by Ian Laurence and Ollie Palmer with Cristiana Camisotti
Invited by Krzysztof Nawratek
Plymouth University Architecture Programme, Masters level
5-6 November 2010

Transforming Architecture by Maxine Pringle

I spent a couple of days at Area10 with Maxine Pringle to help set up and document her installation Transforming Architecture earlier this year. The performance was incredible – transforming an entire warehouse room into an immersive, womblike experience.

Performance:

The complete structure was fabricated by Maxine in what must have been a series of marathon sessions at the sewing machine. What doesn’t come across in the video and photos is the level of detail and high quality finish of the piece, or the hidden structure – it utilises a sophisticated set of structural supports in the form of large kevlar rods, and has a set of 36 counterweights dangling from the roof of the warehouse.

Timelapse:

Photos:

Transforming Architecture

Schrödinger’s radio

rotel-rsx-1500-rear.jpg

The radio in my room has started to develop a phobia of me. It works perfectly, except if I am in the room alongside it. Standing on the left hand side of the room produces crackling, and the right side just kills all of the signal. Tuning it in is a bit like seeing if the cat is dead

I rarely work without Radio 4 harping away in the background. My ‘office’ will thus have to relocate to bars, cafés and other more sociable places.

Posted: 2010-02-22

Categories: Blog

Copenhagen Workshop

Unit 14 went to Copenhagen earlier this year. Here’s a video of the installation we built, along with students from Bartlett’s AAC course and the Royal Danish Academy‘s Unit 1.

I also made this rough video of my journey home. It’s a time-lapse and shows an approximate location, mode of travel, and what I saw (through the “eyes” of a Canon G9). It shows my travel by plane, train, bus and foot, and finishes with the first thing I do when I get home: make a cup of tea.

Oyster melting


As part of another project (as-yet-unblogged), I’ve been looking at RFID tags – and more specifically, how they can be used within robotic and entomological systems. The wasp below is sporting an RFID tag that costs €3 as part of a study of wasp movements (image credits: ZSL – for more on that, click here…). RFID is becoming an everyday commodity…

One of the most commonly accepted RFID systems in operation is the Oyster card. I put mine into a glass full of nail varnish in order to remove the chip inside.

After a few hours, the adhesive holding the components together was degraded to such an extent that the whole thing was a floppy mess, ready to be peeled apart.



This is version 2.6 of the Oyster card – previous versions contained copper wire, but this one uses conductive ink as the arial. The flexible centre is now ready for embedding into anything – e.g. a jacket sleeve – ready for use. The pencil points towards the “ID” part, which contains the chip’s all-important frequency.

Posted: 2009-11-17

Categories: Blog

Getty

Good news – Ollie’s photography is now available to license on gettyimages.com. The “by olliepalmer.com” library will grow over time!

olliepalmer.com on gettyimages.com

It is a privilege to be invited to be part of one of the world’s great photo-libraries. Now a global audience is able to buy photographs that I have taken from around the world to use and re-interpret creatively. It’s fantastic to know that your work could be helping others create.

If you like my photography, my hideously unorganised Flickr stream has lots of nice images (along with lots of other, less pretty pictures).