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by Milind Sonavane

Published on April 6, 2015

Part of the littleBits Global Makeathon, March 28, 2015

What we wanted to do
  • In line with the basic intention of Makerspark, the #RudeFoodMakeathon was about getting people excited about making.
  • We wanted to involve our littleBits Pro Library for this, but it needed to be more than just showing off littleBits. We wanted the attendees to expand their creative visions in some way. So we chose an easy-ish art-centric project, and the littleBits came in to add a new angle altogether.
  • Basically, we have been brooding about pre-visualisation in three dimensions for a long time, and have been wondering if CAD and 3D printing is the only taken-for-granted solution. We wanted to see if this can be done for easier, cheaper, and with creation in mind, not mass production...

So, we…

…decided to create sculptures with vegetables, and give them a dimension of time and motion by rotating them. The rotation, of course, was courtesy littleBits, through dimmers, DC motors and custom acrylic U-holders to keep the DC motors upright (we think it’s a really cool solution for projects that use vertical axes of rotation). :)

We took inspirations from Ludus Ludi and his brilliant products. Also from guru Andy Goldsworthy, his installations in nature and his beautifully documented work in Rivers & Tides, Working with Time.

On March 28…

…we called over some really talented youngsters from design schools in Pune to be a part of the Makeathon. We were already working on our ‘secret’ music device project powered by littleBits when they walked in, so we made some noise as we introduced them to littleBits.

Post that, it was carrots, potatoes and knives out, as everyone set out to make their own rolling sculptures from vegetables. Lots of ideas, lots of beautiful time spent imagining, feeling, and making. In a couple of hours, we had some pretty interesting stuff on the DC motors.

And we realised…

…that while the rotating vegetable sculptures look amazingly trippy in real life, getting them on camera and mirroring them in GIFs creates phenomenal visuals that could have super applications as video art! The colours, tones and shades that nature gives us through vegetables are unparalleled!

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