February - April 2011, Faculty: Phil Van Alan
Project Synopsis The project brief was to explore and to create experimental systems that accept and leverage the human tendency towards animism, thereby creating new modes of interaction and communication.
Writing tools have for sometime now carried the burden of expression of human thought, Can some of these objects, still trigger a conversation and instigate a human thought? Animism : "an idea of pervading life and will in nature", the will of these objects to stay alive and continue to perform. Doodler is not just a machine rather it embodies the essence of human thinking process and how our mind is constantly engaged in profundity. It is the epitome of human progression and evolution.

Final Ouput
"I am no longer desired. No one wants to write but, I itch to write something. When I see people expressing, I want to join" Inspired from pencil, doodler hangs around on your desk either scribbling absentmindedly or lost in some thought and sometimes it could appear to be very busy. When you start typing, it senses companionship and become very animatedly involved with some seriousness. Thus, doodler is like a companion to you and your mind.

As part of the initial idea the letters are typed the pencil makes its own combination and starts writing. While writing it has its own thinking moments and when excited starts free writing. It also has imaginative momemets and writers block. As I started making the final artifact the idea processed and the pencil depicted the idea through the attempt of making a mark. At this time the idea of creating a network between the keyboard, the pencil and the sand tray was developed.


Doodler is constructed of three servo motors. Two servo motors operate the two axis of the pencil and the third operate the tray. All of the three servo motors are connected to the make controller and respond to the code and Net-lab tool kit in Flash.


At the onset of the project I did not start with a writing pencil. I was initially intrigued in seeing what is the idea of animism in an automated environment and through the medium I was attempting to see role of pervasive computing in introducing a life within the environment of future of automated homes and their relation to its owner/s. Pass the ball is the system that helps leveraging the performance of your appliance by creating an environment of play while they work.

Then I started playing with the idea What if animistic objects can instigate a change among the people's? Rather them always obliging their mistakes can objects counteract to generate a corrective behavior? Can objects have a "an idea of pervading life and will in nature" For this I built a story board on common situation,
Jack love to make coffee with an intention ti have it but often forgets to have his coffee while engrossed in his work. The coffee cup would like make Jack aware of the fact that the coffee is getting cold. Whereby it starts to move away from Jack at the same time the trash can approaches the table and the cup ultimately reaches the edge of the table and falls into the trash can. In sometime the Jack realize the missing coffee cup and finds it in the trash can, he is confused. But, the repeated situation makes him conscious.

Then I started exploring other objects and of these the Pen struck me. Which finally lead to the idea of exploring animism in the ecology of writing.