A visual experimentation of color through dance.

I was inspired by the works of John Cage’s improvisational music composition and dance performances, as well as the visual color theory experiments by Josef Albers. I wanted to give dancers a platform to create visual performances simultaneously to their physical performances. The garment is a standard black leotard with (4) flex sensors positioned at the hips and elbows. For future iterations i would like to explore new wearable sensor materials, more dynamic visual translation, and possibly creating the garment myself.

For more info click here

John Cage Precedence click Here

Josef Albers Precedence click Here

Blog | Website | Final Paper












Please provide comments and suggestions (always appreciated)

Movement and Sounds

Screen shot 2010-12-17 at 9.25.04 AM
First prototype

Old circuit

The Circuit

The flex sensors are connected to the ground and voltage. There is a 10k resistor between ground and the flex sensor. The sensors are then connected to the analog in pins. 

The Harness

In order to get optimal flex output data, I chose to attach the sensors to thin plastic. This allows for me to have the most control in the direction of the bend and the placement and security of the  sensors. 

The Visuals

I have attached the Arduino data output to OpenFrameworks using the Firmata library. This allows for direct communication between the Arduino and my sketch, without any Arduino / Procession software running. For this first step I have connected the flex sensor to a basic circle graphic. The scale of the circle is determined by the flex data input. I have also mapped the data for smoother transition as well as added a xeno code to get rid of some of the glitches. 


Esra : Arabic Helvetica

Challenge: To create a modern Perso/Arabic typeface that is inspired by the western cult favorite, Helvetica.


In the west, designers take for granted the convenience of having more than a hundred different typefaces to choose from, many of which are more than decades old. Typefaces such as Badoni, Baskerville, Century and Garamond have stood the test of time and are still very popular today. Among them, Helvetica, a celebrity typeface, has become ubiquitous in western culture. In contrast, typefaces in the East, particularly the Arab world, have limited number of modern typefaces to choose from. Many designers have attempted and collaborated with German type designers to create more typefaces that like Helvetica, are beautiful, modern and legible.

Is the lack of modern typefaces in the Arab world an issue that is deeply rooted in the culture? Does the fact that Arabic/Persian languages are glyph characters contribute to the ability to creating a solution? What challenges have other designers had at attempting to produce a Helvetica Arabic typeface? Has there been any success? Arabic speaking countries and Iran have long history of gorgeous calligraphy, why has that passion not yet translated to the youth through modern typefaces?



The original typeface was called Neue Haas Grotesk, and was designed in 1957 by Max Miedinger for the Haas’sche Schriftgiesserei (Haas Type Foundry) in Switzerland. In 1960 the name was changed to Helvetica (an adaptation of “Helvetia”, the Latin name for Switzerland).

Over the years, the original Helvetica family was expanded to include many different weights, but these were not as well coordinated with each other as they might have been. In 1983, D. Stempel AG and Linotype re-designed and digitized Neue Helvetica and updated it into a cohesive font family. At the beginning of the 21st Century, Linotype again released an updated design of Helvetica, the Helvetica World typeface family. This family is much smaller in terms of its number of fonts, but each font makes up for this in terms of language support. Helvetica World supports a number of languages and writing systems from all over the globe. (

Arabic (In depth look into the Arabic Alphabet : 29 Letters)

The second most widely used alphabet writing systems in the world. Unlike western alphabets, Arabic/Perso script is written from the right to the left. The letters also have contextual changes based on where in the word the character falls. The language also has vowels and nunation values. The typefaces that are often compared to Helvetica are; Tahoma-Arabic , Neue Helvetica® Arabic Light by Nadine Chahine, Insan by Ihsan Hammouri and many others.

Click here to check out some gorgeous examples of modern Arabic Typography.

Before beginning my sketches I wanted to look closely at the details of Helvetica. The acenders and decenders, the curves and line weight.

Helvetica has a very distinguishable characteristics that helped me stay true when designing the new typeface. The strokes are very bold and angular. The curved letters have a continuous line weight that allow them to remain relevant to the angular letters.

My initial sketches helped me decide on some important characteristics that the typeface would have. For example, characters such as jiim and ayn, have decenders that are different from meem and raa.

Below is an example of the typeface being using in a design.

Below is my first full iteration of the typeface.

LED iphone/itouch Lamp

From Dome to Modern Box Lamp

When given this assignment, I was interested in creating an ambient lamp that was aesthetically more than a simple ikea lamp. That week in Design for this Century we were looking into the life and works of Buckminster Fuller/Victoria Vesna and I was inspired by his Pentagon dome and later that week I saw a ring in a magazine (as you can see below)…


I thought, it must be it, I should use this structure and possibly cut copper using the schools laser cutter and create this gorgeous dome. Unfortunately, we can not cut copper.

So I went back to the drawing board and after some online browsing and being inspired by a lot of neon phrases written in florecent bulbs, I wanted to get something in a similar feel. Something inspiration. Something that I could maybe write secret messages to someone and they wont know what it says till they turn the light on. So I sketched my prototype and went looking for the parts.

Sketch Meanwhile, I wanted to continue my code and get my Arduino working properly.

We got the switch and the sensor assignments to help us prototype with this project but I wanted more of a convenient way to turn this lamp on and off. Maybe in a way that would play on the idea that I didn’t want it to be visible until its on. So I researched how I would go about making this lamp accessible by iphone/itouch app  and found an app called Touch OSC to help me with make that happen.

I also found great code help from some forum and rigged my Arduino with three LEDs, Red, Green and Blue. I later received my RGB multi color leds but realized that I would not be able to any more than one and figured it would cover enough of the space inside to make the impact that I wanted. So in the end I kept with my original code of fading the multi colors on and off.

If I were to continue I would want to make it so the there would be multiple different buttons on the app that would make the lights fade between colors and change speed etc.

Here are some more images of the work in progress and the final piece in video form.

DSC_0066 DSC_0076 DSC_0086 DSC_0089

You can also click on the link below for my processing/arduino code.

Download Ambient Lamp by Naz

Makers Faire 2010 NYC


MAKERS FAIRE 2010 was an extravaganza of all things technology and design. Exactly what us DT students here at parsons are interested in. There were so many different projects that really got my attention, of course the i-writer by Zackary Lieberman and many other cool project. One of my random favorites was the egg bot, which was an arduino kit robot that you can build at home and program to create different patterns on your easter eggs. Which reminded me of my child hood and making those eggs with my mom.

The link above is a slide show of the images I took while I was at the Maker Faire and you can see me testing out the iwriter. As well as a video of the Rubics Cube robot, which was this huge LED rigged robot that these kids were so amazed by.

The image is of course of me testing the i-writer by Zachary Leiberman.


Lastly, we wanted to create an interactive experience with our new Pangea➁ language. So I thought it would be a great opportunity to make a tangible learning game with wood cut pieces so that our users can play and interact with the characters. Alternate to the characters are iconic images of what we assumed would translate best to the meaning of the character. The puzzle pieces were cut in a unique way for each pair to help associate the two pieces together with out needing to know what the needing to understand the characters.

The second part of the project, our group decided to animate the individual characters to experiment with the possibilities of understanding the characters through sounds and motion rather than literal explanation.


This was a group project that was given to the class about four weeks prior to this posting. We were assigned into grouped based on our CV’s and our Artist statements. I was paired with Roussina, A Bulgarian, multi-lingual student who had once worked as a designer for a linguistics firm. Naturally, this was a good match. I was really excited to see that someone else was as intrigued by language as I am. The more we chatted about my inspirations for this project and my interest in translation softwares etc, the more Roussina became interested in working with me on it.

Once we were in our groups and situated, I presented Roussina with this idea of integrating elements of different languages to come to a sort of “Pangea” language. Were confusion and misinterpretation when communicating with people from other nations can be brought to a minimum if everyone would learn a simple “language” or form of communication. However, after doing some research we came to realize that developing a new language would be much more of a challenge then we had anticipated. And so we agreed that we should do phrases or (like mandarin chinese) use character sets to represent particular objects or phrases. We were also interested in seeing the different solutions we would both come up with. In this blog, you will see mostly my work. We also came to an agreement of doing opposites sets. So I would do, Goodbye/I Hate You, and she would do, Hello/I Love You etc.

When I went home, I printed out my phrases in multiple different languages. From Arabic to Mandarin, I was interested in all of the non- latin alphabet languages. I loved seeing all of the differences and similarities between the different languages. The first line that I created was just different letters of different languages placed together to make a new, unique word. I wanted to see how they looked laying next to each other and what the aesthetic quality of each were.

The second line is a little more deliberate. I took letters from other languages that most resembled the latin letter that corresponded with the word that I wanted to express, in this case “I Hate You”.

What I have learned

I learned through this process that by doing this most people were able to decipher my second interpretation because of the similarities it possesses in relation to the English language. I also learned that most languages are difficult to combine in this way, mainly because of the distinguishable characteristics of each language and its historical background.

This blog post is by Behnaz Babazadeh