Orbit Conditions
Lunar procedural design
2014
Found 3D Models, Print
Languages: Rhinoscript

Orbit Conditions is in progress and being developed as part of my design MFA thesis at California College of the Arts.  I am currently exploring procedural strategies for design to generate forms that I could never imagine on my own.
These forms are meant to serve as compositional guidelines for 3D objects, just as a score provides the structure for a musical composition. The scores were made by implementing the following instructions.
The set of lunar spacecraft (also used for Moon in Google Earth) was taken from Google’s SketchUp 3D Warehouse. I imported the models into rhino and wrote a RhinoScript to pick objects, generate the required chance values, spin, project, and edit the resulting vectors more quickly than I could do by hand. Because of the chance operations involved, and the ability to choose any 3D model, following these instructions should provide an infinite number of possible outcomes.
John Cage, Score Without Parts (40 Drawing by Thoreau): Twelve Haiku, 1978

The inspiration for using chance to develop scores for objects came from the musical notation of John Cage. His scores (or drawings) were made with chance operations consulting the I-Ching and meant to be ambiguous. This way each musician would have to interpret his abstract compositions.
The drawings that resulted are meant to be ambiguous and not specific to any product category or material. Interpreting the drawings into 3D forms should allow each performance (or translation) of each lunar score to be imagined as lighting, jewelry, satellites, or any number of other objects.
Stay tuned…I’m currently translating some of the drawings back into 3D printed forms on my Makerbot!
124
Scores for 20736 Objects
2014
3D Printing, Book, Printed Materials
Languages: Processing

Scores for 20736 objects was an exploration into algorithmically generating 2D guidelines that sit somewhere between the ambiguity of a sketch and the prescription of a technical drawing. The scores were made by splitting 12 projections of a cube into 4 quadrants each, and combining each option for each quadrant in all possible permutations using a Processing script. The process resulted in 20736 unique scores.
These forms are meant to serve as compositional guidelines for 3D objects, just as a score provides the structure for a musical composition. In order to isolate the effects of the process, I chose to modify as neutral a form as possible.
The scores were made by splitting 12 projections of a cube into 4 quadrants each, and combining each option for each quadrant in all possible permutations using a Processing script. The cube projections I used were made using Rhino to rotate the cube at 15° increments at 2 different perspectives before dividing.
The original instructions are meant to be a little ambiguous to leave some room for interpretation.  If someone else were to complete the process, or translate any of these forms into 3D, they should end up with a completely different set of shapes than I would.
Generating the 2D scores as an intermediate step before translating them back into 3D provides another layer of interpretation to create an infinite number of possible outcomes.  This is a small selection of forms I translated into 3D prints myself in Rhino. I would eventually like to have others translate them as well.
Posters of all 20736
Wassiliscope
Light frequencies to sound
2013
Aluminum, Plastic, Glass, Electronics
Languages: Processing, Supercollider
Sound Design: Benjamin Lichtner

The Wassiliscope measures light frequencies from our visible range and translates them into their corresponding frequency in our audible range.
The Wassiliscope analyzes the average frequency of light waves in the center of the telescope's viewport with an embedded camera and maps that frequency to its corresponding audible frequency. The frequency is then sent through a triangle wave oscillator and out to the headphones.
Watch this demonstration video to hear some lemons.
There is a long history of exploring synesthesia in work by painters such as Wassily Kandinsky in his Composition VIII (1928), but, being a designer, I wanted to see if it was possible to create a tool to listen to color. There is software that uses spectral analysis of images to produce sound such as Max/MSP/Jitter, but no physical tools that can be interacted with intuitively in real time.
I made the Wassiliscope to explore the link between material and concept. I often thought of sound and color as linked, but hadn't made the connection that both are literally the same material (waves).
Check it out on Gizmodo / Designboom
"Champagne and the Stars"
A CELESTIAL MAP OF THE GREAT GATSBY
2013
Language: Javascript

"Champage and the Stars" is an interactive constellation chart that shows only the punctuation marks from The Great Gatsby. You can use it the same way as Google Maps.
For a mapping project at CCA, I had been asked to make a map of conflict. I realized that conflict and desire were inherently linked and one could not exist without the other. Borrowing from Dutch design methods, I wanted to find one metaphor and one gesture that would describe this relationship.
Galileo
Moon phase indicator
2013
Electronics, Found Object, Wood, Glass
Language: C (Arduino)

Galileo is a lunar calendar that rotates a half-black, half-white glass sphere at the same rate as the moon orbits the earth. The view through the magnifying glass shows the moon's current phase.
I made Galileo to see how we might interact with calendars if they were based on objects instead of two dimensional representations.
After doing some research, I found out that the moon was originally our only way to measure long periods and was used to keep track of seasons and harvests. The month was originally based on the length of one lunar cycle.
I tried to find a form to excecute my concept in the Dutch design sensibility:
1 idea, 1 gesture.

I also wanted to make the device excecutable in the simplest way possible. I opted to use helping hands used to solder a circuit as the main structure.
I quickly realized the side of the moon you were seeing would change depending on your perspective. I decided to control this interaction by using the helping hand's magnifying glass to reference the way you would look at the moon through a telescope.
Value Perception @ SF MoMA
2012
Colored Pencil and Ink on Paper

Value Perception @ SF MoMa is a map exploring the definition of value in the fine art world. I wanted to explore how subjective monetary value was, especially in art.
The map shows works of art in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art based on their perceived value. Not their actual market value (I found out the hard way that museums are VERY secretive about that sort of thing). Each piece was appraised my me without any (extra) research in preparation for my museum visit.
On my visit to SF MoMA, I estimated each work's value based on five personal criteria:

1. How influential I believed it to be in the history of art
2. The individual work's importance in the artist's body of work
3. The medium
4. How many were produced
5. How much I liked it
The first four are influenced by other's appreciation of the work but was heavily outweighed by my personal level of appreciation. These appraisals are biased by my knowledge of art history, past experiences, and the fact that I am an artist/designer myself. Mapping the perceived value of works, rather than their market value, turns out to reveal patterns about the kind of artist/designer I am, what types of works I have knowledge of and appreciate, and how that compares to the viewer's art awareness and appreciation.

Although we each judge works of art based on different, personal criteria, we do know that "good art" is worth a lot of money.

Download the full writeup (PDF)
Memorial for Pluto
Radio from Earth to Pluto in 4 hrs. 27 min. 6 sec.
2012
Concrete, Acrylic, Metal, Electronics, Letters
Collaboration with Rèal Provencher and Michael Wagman

A call was sent for friends and followers of Fragile Studios to write apology/farewell letters to Pluto in conjunction with a memorial event for the planet. During the event, the letters were translated into Morse code by Rèal Provencher and transmitted via home-made, high frequency radio from the Ladd Observatory at Brown University. With the help of my friend and physicist Michael Wagman, calculations were made for aiming the radio transmissions. The messages were calculated to arrive at Pluto in 4 hrs. 27 min. 6 sec.
I was talking to my friend Rèal Provencher about planets and the moon. He told me Pluto wasn't considered a planet anymore because it was captured by the Sun's gravity instead of breaking apart from the Sun like the other planets in our solar system. I thought that was sad because as a kid, we always grew saying My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas and now there was no pizza. Pluto was always my favorite and I didn't like that it wasn't considered a planet anymore.
I wanted to design some kind of memorial for it.
Since I knew I wanted to make a memorial for Pluto, I had to look up what kinds of forms and materials were typically used in memorials and what kinds of rituals people have around them, and more information about Pluto. I had to figure out its path, when it was going to be visible in the sky, and what kinds of relationships people had with it. For the ceremony, I thought a good way to honor Pluto would be to have people write goodbye letters to it.
I knew the memorial should be made with some kind of stone or concrete (like most memorials are) but it also had to communicate its purpose visually.
Since not everyone could make it to the memorial ceremony, the project also existed in artifacts, anecdotes and, myths about what Memorial For Pluto actually was.
We popped some bottles of champagne while everyone read their goodbye letters aloud and Rèal translated them into Morse code for beaming into space. After each letter was read, we re-calculated and adjusted the launch angle to make sure Pluto would keep receiving our messages as it orbited.
Make It Rain
Fall asleep to the soothing sounds of rainfall.
2011
Acrylic, Electronics, Money
Language: C (Arduino)

Fragile Studios' new sound + sleep therapy system.
For this project, I was trying to find a new concept for a sound + sleep machine for use with rain sounds. In my work, concept usually comes from research, so I dug into the topic of rain and tried to find forms that related to it, but I was pretty stuck for a long time. I could only find obvious things like umbrellas and rain dances.
Eventually, I started to expand my associations with rain beyond the academic and remembered what Lil' Wayne and Fat Joe said:
[Chorus:]
"Yeah I'm in this bitch with the terror
Got a handful of stacks
better grab an umbrella
I make it rain (I make it rain)
I'm in this bitch with the terror
got a handful of stacks
Better grab an umbrella
I make it rain (I make it rain)
I make it rain on them hoes, I make it rain (I make it rain)
I make it rain on them hoes, I make it rain (I make it rain)
I make it rain on them hoes, I make it rain (I make it rain)
I make it rain on them hoes"
I wanted to find a form that followed the concept of rain and money, so I decided to make my machine into a bank as well as a sound/sleep machine. I ended up lasercutting the housing out of clear acrylic do you could see the money you saved and using an arduino and audio shield to control the speaker.
When you push the button, the machine starts playing some stormy audio to help you relax.
It also doubles as a bank, but you have to invest in the pun.
Saturn Wine Glasses
When you get tipsy, these cups won't
2010
Glass

Product design for spill-proof wine glasses.
Check them out on Designboom
In 2010, I spent the summer working at the Corning Museum of Glass in upstate New York as one of their glassblowers. Corning is an incredible glass company and they have a huge glass library that's available to all of their employees. So, on my days off I would go to the library and learn about glass history and its techniques. I found an interesting technique traditionally used for making lids to goblets and reliquaries that I wanted to practice.
I decided to try and use this technique for something new so that I could practice at the same time as making something I was excited about. I decided to ask myself, "how can I re-appropriate the lid making technique for use in the design of a modern vessel."

When I started prototyping, I was actually trying to make the this wine glass, but with a stem on it (seen in the middle top of the previous set of sketches), and I managed to make a few, but not all of them came out right. It was pretty difficult for my skill level at the time, so some of the stems fell off. I was bummed that my glasses didn't come out how I imagined, but the next day, when I accidentally knocked one over, I discovered, the stemless ones got stopped by the ring! I modified my design and went back to the studio.
A few months later, back at RISD, I still had the idea and the prototype, but it was pretty clear to me that I didn't know the proper way to do the lid/saturn ring technique properly since mine were a little lumpy at first. With the help of Chris Taylor, my glassblowing instructor, I figured out a better way to make the glasses more evenly, and more consistently until I reached the final iterations and started making them in limited runs.

Next Steps:
Since I've had to make them by hand so far, I would like to lathe a wooden blow mold to pseudo-mass produce them like they would in a traditional Czech style glass factory to reduce the fabrication time and skill required.
About:

My name is Christopher Yamane. I grew up in Honolulu, I live in San Francisco and I blow glass. I like sushi, climbing rocks, bad puns and I was David Byrne for Halloween. I believe everything man-made has a purpose that needs to be communicated to its users efficiently. My work focuses on doing this by appropriating systems and methodologies from other fields and applying them to art and design.

I find the space between disciplines the most interesting, and that unique approaches lead to unexpected solutions. I make things because I believe we should be emotionally connected to the things we use everyday, and they should be a joy to interact with. I think collaborating with people who aren't artists or designers is fun, and I wish Biggie was still alive.

Email: cyamane@cca.edu
Download Resume