The co-lab DT Faculty Ellen Pearlman taught, Cyborg Futures, just was written up in “How We Get To Next” – the news magazine of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“We’re exposed to radiation everyday; it’s not necessarily a dangerous thing,” explains David Troetschel, whose background is in industrial design. With the exception of visible and some infrared light, we don’t see any of it.
That question drives Troetschel and Team Radiation, a group of artists, designers, and researchers collaborating to build a prototype device for a new human sense, one that can detect electromagnetic waves typically imperceptible to us. They’re one of three teams participating in Cyborg Futures, a course held at Parsons School of Design in New York City. The box I’m holding is a homemade electromagnetic field translator. Its sensor picks up ambient electromagnetic waves, and a motherboard, jerry-rigged from an old cassette player, converts those waves into audio that I can hear pumped through the headphones. It has DIY charm, with a rubber band holding a plastic top over the whole contraption.
“It’s not meant to be a fear-mongering thing,” Troetschel says. Rather, this new source of input is meant to inspire, to give people a chance to tap into a part of the world they haven’t been able to reach before. “Through extra data, extra experience, you get abstract feelings that allow you to be more creative.”
In our dynamic world, art reflects conditional reality, and design contributes to further development of global societies. At Parsons School of Design, rigorous practice and critical scholarship prepares students to become leading agents of commentary and change.
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