Boston March Fellow: DIY Bioengineered Inks

March 18, 2010

Things have been quiet from Boston for a little bit: we’ve been swamped readying the new, improved, and expanded Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences website — and been repping it up at conferences and the like. But, to all those who have been asking, yes, yes, we’re still in business. Extremely proud today to announce that our March Awesome Fellow is Charles Fracchia (that guy above). His idea? To create pens that draw from actually living, growing ink cartridges. Excerpting from his proposal: “I want to develop a set of bioengineered inks to be used with various pen types ranging from gel pens to fountain pens. As an intern at ginkgo bioworks and avid DIYbiologist, I have access to a number of bugs engineered with proteins that result in colour production. I want to make special cultures that can then be packaged as ink cartridges to be used with ordinary pens.” For all you science dorks out there, there’s some neat little possibilities when you start growing your own ink: “This would allow artists and enthusiasts to draw with awesome engineered inks. The great thing about using bioengineering to produce the colour, is that you can engineer them in… read more →

Providence Chapter February Awesome Foundation Winner to Build Materials Petting Zoo

March 17, 2010

The Providence Chapter of the Awesome Foundation for Arts and Sciences has selected Matt Grigsby to receive its February award. Grigsby will use the Awesome Foundation Grant to create a “Materials PettingZoo” showcasing textile, industrial, consumer products and residential construction materials that offer ecologically sensible solutions to more traditional products. Moving beyond descriptions and pictures of such materials, the materials zoo will encourage participants to touch, feel and directly interact with a variety of materials, offering a novel and interactive way to help people of all ages get educated and exposed to spectacular sustainable materials. “The goal of the Materials PettingZoo is to have lots of fun while educating people about on the best sustainable material alternatives and technologies available,” says Grigsby.  “With this on-site and hands-on educational event, the PettingZoo serves as an approachable way for the community to gain real knowledge of what a sustainable material or technology truly can be.” Grigsby, an industrial designer and sustainability expert, has been collecting and investigating sustainable materials for years.  With this grant, Grigsby will expand his collection and improve the design of his mobile “zoo” so that it can be displayed in more locations and at events across the city…. read more →

AF-NYC’s Second Award – The Anywhere Organ

March 9, 2010

Congratulations to Matthew Borgatti and his Anywhere Organ!  AF-NYC loved his idea as much as bagels, coffee and bialys (and more). We kept our second award choice a surprise until last night’s second AF-NYC party at Zeitzeff in the LES, which was packed full of NYC’s most super, Awesome people. M@ and his AF Award (picture @magnify) Here’s M@’s original application: Pipe organs are incredible, awesome instruments. One incredible aspect that contributes to their awesomeness is their ability to play a space. Each space an organ resides in reacts differently, creating different tones, and essentially allowing room for an infinite variety of instruments. Unfortunately nearly every pipe organ in existence is bolted irrevocably into a wall staring longingly at fornications all day. This is why I’m creating the Anywhere Organ. I’ve designed a system where each note, each pipe of a pipe organ is attached to a central air supply through a hose. The air to each organ pipe is controlled by a solenoid valve articulated through Arduino. I’m writing modules to take MIDI keyboard information and translate it to the valves. Each hose is independent making for an octopus like instrument where each separate pipe can be installed with… read more →