All posts by aisencc

Hello! I'm Aisen Caro Chacin, my curiosity led me to research the intersecting fields of art, science, and technology driven by conceptual forms of inquiry and design thinking resulting in functional prototypes. I'm looking forward to seeing your ideas materialize. My inbox is always open.. so say "Hello!".

Straw+polypropylene 3D printing fillament


Designed by a Chinese company called Jinghe, the material is made by grinding up various dried crops like wheat, rice, and cotton, which in China is typically burned to get dispose of. The sawdust is then mixed with additives like polypropylene, silane coupling agent, and ethylene bis(stearamide). It is then extruded into a pellets of uniform size to allow for easier processing. From there it can be used for injection molding (melting temperature between 160-180°C), or further extruded into filament form.



DrawdioRemix-copy DrawdioRemix

The Drawdio was originally created by Jay Silver, from the MIT Media Lab in 2008. This is a remixed version that I created for you to play with. This uses a 9V battery and a 555 timer circuit. It generates sound based on a variable resistor that can be a pencil or another conductive material, such as a banana.






Genspace Fungal Cultivation Workshop with Phil Ros


6:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Thursday, April 10

Location: Genspace
Organizers: Nurit Bar-Shai

When: Thursday April 10, 2014, 6-9pm 

Where: Genspace, The MEx Building
33 Flatbush Avenue, 7th Fl.
Brooklyn NY 11217

* members and student discount

For questions contact us at

Next Thursday at  Genspace there is an exciting introductory workshop to fungal cultivation with artist Phil Ross. Learn the tricks and treats of how to grow your own biomaterial structures.

In this workshop Phil Ross will present a conceptual and practical introduction to cultivating wood decomposing fungi. Phil will demonstrate some of the materials and methods that can be used in fungal propagation as well as hands-on projects and experiments. People taking this workshop will use the laboratory equipment native to GenSpace, while also  learn  informal and inexpensive means for culturing tissue and expanding its volume. To better understand these laboratory practices Mr. Ross will present and discuss a history of ideas that have informed microbiology, physical technique and in-vitro space.

*As suggested by the artists, please come to this workshop freshly bathed and wearing clean clothing.

Intimate Science Exhibit

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 12.08.54 AM


Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery

February 6 – April 15, 2014

Opening reception: Thursday, February 6, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
with a curator’s talk by Andrea Grover at 5:30 p.m. in the gallery.

The most recent manifestation of artists working at the intersection of art, science, and technology demonstrates a distinctly autodidactic, heuristic approach to understanding the physical and natural world. Intimate Science features artists who are engaged in non-disciplinary inquiry; they aren’t allied to the customs of any single field, and therefore have license to reach beyond conventions. This kind of practice hinges on up-close observation, experiential learning, and inventing new ways for the public to participate in the process. And through their engagement with “intimate science,” a more knowledgeable public might well be able to influence what research is supported and adopted by the larger culture, and the walls of science can become more transparent.

Exhibition artists: BCL (Tokyo), Center for PostNatural History (Pittsburgh), Markus Kayser (London), Allison Kudla (Seattle), Machine Project (Los Angeles), and Philip Ross(San Francisco).

Casting References and Supplies

Next week we will be casting the weights for our Structural Strength competition. We are going to cast items that you bring into class with the casting method you choose. The method will also be largely informed by the object that you would like to cast.

The most simple way of casting is to cast the negative space of an object directly, this can be a latex glove, ballon, bag, cup, or any type of container that is hollow. Keep in mind that you will have to remove the casted mass from the object, so you might want to use something disposable and easily breakable.



Another simple method to cast is to create a low relief impression of an object on a plastic material such as clay or play dough. This is a fairly low cost method to cast simple objects that have a flat surface.




Another material that is good for casting in this method is alginate. This is essentially an algae compound that becomes a gel fairly quickly when exposed to water. This material is used in the dental industry to make impressions of patient’s mouths, some of you might have experienced this method before. This compound is great for getting a very detailed mold and it’s completely safe for using on the body. However, it is much more expensive than clay.




Molds of whole objects can be made with rubber epoxy mixtures, such as Smooth-On products. Epoxy means that it has two parts, a resin and a hardener which is a catalyst and makes the solution harden into place. These are also more expensive than clay, but you can get some very detailed results from all angles. For this method you might also want to bring a knife and some rubber bands to hold the mold together while you pour your substrate and wait for it to cure.




More complicated molds take a long time to make, because there is a lot of waiting time for the materials to cure. I would recommend that you pay attention to the amount of time that the mixtures need to fully cure. Keep in mind that we have 3 hours to make the mold and let the plaster set.

The mold below has various layers, the green material is a flexible silicone that takes a detailed impression of the object. Flexible casting materials are very handy because they be bent to remove the cast object. This also makes it less complicated to cast intricate shapes with overhangs.



Make sure that you bring:

  • A container to mix your materials, this can be a plastic bucket or something smaller.
  • An object of your choice
  • A casting material of your choice, e.g. plaster, concrete, resin, jello
  • An impression material, e.g. clay, play dough, alginate, fast curing silicone or rubber epoxies.
  • Other optional materials that will depend on the method that you choose to embark on could be: a knife, rubber bands, cardboard, tape, a mixing stick, etc.


Here are some places where you can find these supplies:

  • Home Depot
  • Most Art Supplies stores
  • The Compleat Sculptor in Manhattan, this is my top choice because they have a wealth of casting materials of different varieties and a very helpful and informed staff.

Email me if you have any questions.

Blogging Etiquette


Here are some guidelines for posting to the blog:

  • Always include images, or embed videos to which you are linking.
  • Write a brief description of what you are posting.
  • Categorize you posts (Currents: News, Events; References: Inspirational Projects; Resources: Libraries, Forums, Communities, Books, Supplies, Stores;  Projects: All assignments) *If there is not a category, please make your own tag.
  • When posting about your projects you must include a few images, a video, your code (which you can add a tag for in “Text” view format of the post, not “Visual”)
  • Always credit the examples you followed to create your project. This is very important to follow for academic integrity, and also to keep our community informed of resources.