NEXUM

Duration

2.5 weeks (October 2021)

Role

Experience Curator

Maker

Presenter

Team 

Juhi Dhanesha

Tom Scherlis

Sam Zeloof

Skills

Presentation Curation

Prototyping 

Storytelling

Tools Used

Figma

Woodshop, Glue

Hardware/Arduino Server

Soft and touchable lid material

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Bring Joy
Your own NEXUM may not create much feedback, but knowing that another NEXUM in the same network will light up and make an impact on someone else, can bring joy to yourself

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NEXUM is derived from the word 'nexus', a connection or series of connections linking two or more things.

 

In a world where we constantly seeking interaction and people’s validations, we are ironically less intimate with more people we try to connect with. Our actions become less meaningful and more performative.

With NEXUM, you are compelled to see intimacy with a new lens.

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Anonymous Intimacy
Harvest a unique relationship with someone that you may never meet, yet you feel a close connection with them

 

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Hope In Us
If you feel like you’ve lost hope in humanity and our current ways in society, NEXUM is a way to regain faith and confidence that there are people out there that want to bring goodness to others and to society without even knowing the person

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Your experience begins with opening NEXUM from its packaging and looking through the instruction & purpose booklet

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Easy and quick communication to strangers of the network through Wifi

At work, home, by yourself or with other...

You can find anonymous intimacy to lift you up anytime and anywhere.

The Opportunity
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“Touchbar Nyan Cat,” 2019, Aslan Vatsaev

Exploring Touch

"Push buttons are capable, ubiquitous, and empowering.

Since their inception in the late 19th century, buttons have served as mechanical operators that turn machines, devices, and interfaces on or off.

And with Bell Telephone Company’s introduction
of the first electronic push-button telephone in 1963, buttons established themselves as a silent staple of a
new era of technology.

Amidst complex advancements in automation
and cybernetics, buttons persevered as simple,
binary interfaces through which humans could
efficiently interact with complex electrical signaling.

Given the rich history of the push button, what might
the future hold for buttons? And how might we rethink the push button so that it is as familiar and informing to users as it is effective?
"

Process
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Ideating and Collecting Precedents 

My teammates and I collected various precedents that we thought were interesting and meaningful to what we were trying to investigate to start our brainstorming

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A Collective Interest

To organize our thoughts, I decided to use Venn diagrams to see where the group's interests lies. I wanted to make sure that we decided to follow through an idea that everyone was interested in because I knew that this would affect the overall enthusiasm and contribution in the project in the process. 

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Deciding on the Form

My sketches based on the topics we found most compelling to provoke a deeper understanding of the button and our sense of touch. The little critter form on the right generated much conversation, and after further development and simplification, it became similar to the form we ended up crafting.

 

I chose to design it in a friendly-looking form, almost resembling a mushroom, because it followed our theme well of fostering intimacy through the exploration of the umbrella term 'button'.

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Prototyping Process

We started experimenting with resin, however it melted easily

Using hot glue instead because it’s a flexible,

malleable but sturdy material

Clay molds and using heat gun to smooth surface

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Cutting wood stands and sanding

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Embedding flex sensors to produce pulsating light

Using transmitters to connect LED lights to network (WIFI) for one NEXUM to communicate to another random NEXUM

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Creating network for each individual NEXUM

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All five NEXUMs completed

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