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2008 December | Tomita Designs

Walking Chaboo

December 31st, 2008 by admin

A walking chaboo, not walking a chaboo.  Although… sometimes I feel like chaboos are like pets- cute and cuddly.

Inventor David Butts proposes a walking chaboo! This is basically the coolest thing I have EVER seen! It  beats out swimming with dolphins , a snake swallowing a mouse, and watching Betas fight. Alright, alright- seeing Brandon Roy hit the fadeaway 3 at the buzzer against the Rockets this year was better but just barely.

The way it works is you pull a lever and through a series of gears the outside part moves, picking you up and dropping you a few inches forwards (demonstrated in diagram above).  Repeat over and over and the chaboo WALKS.  Right and left are independent levers so you can actually steer by pulling one lever more than the other.

David aka Maddog has made many a kinetic sculpture.  He has all the fancy metal machining equipment, mills and lathes and builds his own gears out of baltic birch plywood.  Check out his website Maddog Garage.  Click on the photo above to view a video of a prototype of his balloon tree sculpture.  RAD!

I cant even contain my excitement for seeing his walking chaboo.  Hes not sure if it will work- but I DIG that hes gonna try!

Chaboo Artists Posting on Blog

December 30th, 2008 by admin

You may have noticed the last post by Lisa Kuhnhausen.  From meeting with her I thought her process was absolutely fascinating and I wanted to blog about it.  She showed me the plain white Tshirt that she is deconstructing to create this beautiful lace pattern.  She documented her process with images and even video.

Side note:  the way she collages images on her website is very interesting. Different perspectives portraying the same thing…. If I had an Xmen special power it would be to be able to be in multiple places at the same time. Yup I would see the world like in her collages

I was going to blog about her thoughts and process but had a revelation to have her do it herself.  It will be nice for the readers to have a different (ehem…more mature…cough…cough….) voice in the blog.  We can all look forward to her next entry.

This project is about so much more than the finished result.  The process, the collaboration, the ideas, the energy- all more important than what physical object we end up with.

Thanks for blogging Lisa~

If anyone else wants to blog about their process pretty please contact me.

- Ken

about the process… by lisa kuhnhausen

December 26th, 2008 by admin

I often wonder how designers arrive at their final product. What inspires them? What is their first thought? Did they sketch, build, experiment? What type of media do they use? Where do they work? Who do they talk to? What makes them stop at a certain point? Where would their mind take them if they could carry on the design indefinitely?

Well, for all of those who are as curious as me, here is a little glimpse into my process for the design of the Chaboo…

a little introduction /// My name is Lisa Kuhnhausen. I am a freelance interior designer working in Portland and sometimes beyond; Germany to be exact. Fashion is a continual source of inspiration in my life, not only in my everyday life when i get dressed in the morning (or sometimes the afternoon), but it also has become the starting point for many of my projects.

inspiration /// Patrik Rzepski shirt /// but how does this relate to the chaboo?

first thoughts /// fundamentals of clothes… string /// fundamentals of chaboo… encourage the user, assert your own creativity, utilize it to its fullest potential

experimentation /// playing with the strings of fashion… shredding a shirt

experimentation /// attempting to integrate chaboo and string /// my thought: not strong enough yet… keep working

stay tuned… i’ll explore how the chaboo and fashion become further integrated by interacting with one another and the user.

Walruses for Mom

December 25th, 2008 by admin

I bought this painting from Jennifer Mercede (chaboo artist) for my mom.  She has seen it more than a year ago and wanted it but the painting was already sold.  Something happened and I found out that Jennifer still had the painting.  I thought I would surprise my mom for christmas this year with the walrus she had always wanted.

She lives up in the west hills though and the roads are impassible without chains.  So, I trekked it.  I carried the painting and walked up to her house from SE Portland.  If you saw someone walking through downtown with two walruses under their arm odds are good that it was me.

It looks great in her house.  I put it next to these sumi inked bamboo shelving units I made for her years ago.  She likes to put little trinkets up there and make sculptures.  The quiet monotone quality of my work and the exuberance and bright color of Jennifers work play off each other surprisingly well.  The home feels so much warmer now.

I remember now when I was writing essays to get into grad programs for architecture I wrote about how I wanted to learn how the design of spaces could affect people emotionally.  I wondered why some spaces felt warm and cozy while others felt cold.  Id like to get back to thinking about feeling more in my own work as a designer.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Talking Chaboo With Ryan Thomson

December 24th, 2008 by admin

I met with a new Chaboo artist, Ryan Thomson today for lunch.

Ryan made the piece to the right for ShowPDX 2006 and won best in show.

He does 3D modeling now for an big architecture firm called ZGF and he was the main guy in the model shop for many years.  He knows so much about awesome (expensive) machines like 3D printers, CNC, and lasers which makes him the human version of what we call “the bible” around here (sorry if that offends anyone) which is the book on the left.  Its this $95 book which has every single manufacturing and working  technique imaginable for every material imaginable with data sheets on materials as well.  The descriptions are brief but enough to get the imagination rolling on possibilities.  Great bed time reading for geeks like me!  Makes a great stocking stuffer.  Ok. Not really- too big.

Project Chaboo is so amazing because I get to meet people who are experts in their respective fields and tap their brains.  Hopefully, the network Im creating will help everyone in the community like its helping me.