It was very fun to see how appreciated my gifts for the speakers were this year at the Internet Days. Cory Doctrow spontaneously coined the term ”the bomb” on stage, which quickly gained a foothold on Twitter and in front of Sougwen Chung, Anne-Marie called me an ”artist.” One could be flattered for less.
Last year our theme at the office was the 3D printer, so I fixed Niklas up with an artist who 3D printed a unique work of art for our keynote speakers. So when Niklas told me three weeks ago in the corridor that he still had not come up with the speaker gifts, the maker in me was inspired. I asked what his budget was and quickly sketched a proposal.
The idea was to try to create a gift in an outrageously short time that would somehow put our work with the internet in perspective. I secured ITU’s estimate of how many people are now connected to the internet. Could this be a theme? Maybe a piece where this number was constantly updated, so that all the speakers who inspired us at the Internet Days could have a memory to remind them every day of potentially how many people that are moved by their work. Wouldn’t this be the perfect gift for our keynote speakers?
Today there are almost 3 billion people connected to the internet, that’s 40% of the world’s population and a bit staggering when you think about it. I get a good feeling working with the internet every day that my job can affect so many people.
Niklas, who by now was becoming a bit stressed, gave me the go-ahead and I ordered everything I needed from Adafruit LINK: https://www.adafruit.com – a reliable supplier of everything maker related, and with help of DHL everything was in place just a few days later. I created the box in Illustrator and with glowing support from Carl at daBoss in Årsta, after three prototypes and round trips; I finally had a design that I thought would work.
The idea was that with the help of nine layers of laser cut acrylic, a box could be created where a Raspberry PI, three displays, a clock module and a battery could coexist – and of course an illuminated button to turn the whole thing off and on. After some samples from the supplier of acrylic plastic, I chose to go for a tinted acrylic for the middle parts and a clear acrylic for the front and back. The thought was that one could look in and see all the components while at the same time having enough contrast for the parts to pop out.
After many late nights and an entire working weekend, it was finally finished. If I could change anything it would be to find a dust-free room for mounting. It seems that acrylic becomes static when you peel off the protective film, which means that most of the dust in our apartment now resides in the speakers’ gifts. It’s not such a big deal, but if one is an ”artist”, one can be a bit pedantic.
Below you have a few more pictures. If you have any questions, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to me on twitter @rdahlstrand