18
Dec

visualMUSE is an inspiration board (approximately 40″x30″) with embedded internet-ready screens that combines the tactile experience of pinning up clippings and swatches as an inspirational tool with the wealth of visual resources now available the internet. Inspired by traditional inspiration boards, I designed visualMUSE as an attempt to address an interesting question: How can we bridge the digital divide in inspirational tools by combining the viscerally stimulating tactile experience of viewing physical inspirational artifacts on a physical board with the massive amount of inspirational imagery available on the web?

visualMUSE

visualMUSE addresses this question by integrating both experiences onto one plane­ while equipping the designer with the digital resources to keep a record of the images that they view (and which images they find immediately inspiring). The embedded screens on the board rotate through images that have been retrieved based on the user-determined keywords, and all the user has to do is press a button underneath the screen if they especially like an image, or alternatively if they want to discard an image. All of this information is recorded on a database so that the user can review his or her selections at the end of the day (or even months later if desired).The physical board pictured is accompanied by an image management tool that I hand-coded with PHP and MySQL to handle the data retrieval side of the project. Click here to read more about the image management system.

visualMUSE

The prototype for visualMUSE board pictured here was created by coding a Processing sketch to pull images from Flickr’s API (through a series of PHP scripts) for a given set of user-defined keywords. A piece of foam board with windows cut to match the placement of where the embedded screens would be placed was mounted to the front of a 28″ monitor to simulate the effect of embedded screens.

visualMUSE

visualMUSE

visualMUSE

visualMUSE

You can read more about the process involved in the creation of the visualMUSE board prototype at my MFA documentation blog.

Category : Databases / Fall 2010 / Final Project: visualMUSE / Major Studio: Interface