For capturing the air flow, we were temporarily installing a grid of balloons filled with helium in a park in Zurich 10mx10m. The question was how to explore the quality of the air outside the science center and to see what kind of learnings we could gain from the behaviour of the climate change during the day. We tried to focus as much as possible on the particularities of the wind, its direction, force and pressure, which brought the balloons into certain arrangements. Ideally, we could try out this grid as a measurement and visualizing device for micro climates in different territories.
Katharina Herzog and Kevin Benz started their Bachelor in the Science Toys project and just finished. We congratulate and are very proud to have two strong concepts how air and wind could be explored and understood by using toys as facilitators. Katharina and Kevin started their project together and splitter up at the end to focus on different aspects of air. Katharina was focusing on using wind as a medium to generated movement. She created “Whua” – a kite that could be used in the city. Kevin focused on wind drawing machines and created “Huiii” a machine that makes wind traces visible.
From their description: “huiii & whua toys stimulate an experimental inquiry into the randomness and fluidity of wind. The whua is an urban kite engaging an active, playful and immersive interaction with the wind. The huiii takes a more calm and contemplative approach in which the user can co-create with the wind and generate drawings. Both toys enable interaction and contact with the hard-to-grasp natural phenomenon of wind.”
In the videos they demonstrate how their products could be integrated in everyday experiences. Therefore they showed situated use cases as well as characteristic personas who could be possible users of the products. We think that the direction that Katharina and Kevin have taken – generating open exploration tools is worth it to pursue int he context of Science Toys – Science Tools project.
For various reasons we wanted to create a lightweight material that is stiff enough to build some flying objects out of it. After researching we found out, that Styropor could be used to create very lightweight, yet sturdy sheets. We call this material “StyroPaper” because it is very thin (approximately 0.5 to 0.8 Millimeters) and could be folded, cut or glued – nearly like paper. A detailed view of the material could be found here, where we also discuss the properties of this material.