QR Codes for Digital Nomads (2011)
Golan Levin and Asa Foster III, for F.A.T. Lab
Recorded at the 2012 Eyeo Festival Ignite Talk Series
QR Codes for Digital Nomads: QR_STENCILER and QR_HOBO_CODES are homebrew "infoviz graffiti" tools, intended for civic markup and in-situ information display. QR_STENCILER is a free, open-source, fully automated software utility that converts QR codes into vector-based stencil patterns suitable for laser cutting. The QR_STENCILER software was used to create the QR_HOBO_CODES, a collection of 100 stencil designs which, deployed in urban spaces, may be used to warn people about danger or clue them into good situations. Inspired by 19th Century "hobo symbols", these stencils can be understood as a covert markup scheme for urban spaces — providing directions, information, and warnings to digital nomads.
This project was developed by Golan Levin and Asa Foster III at the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at CMU, with generous support from Ponoko.com. QR_STENCILER and QR_HOBO_CODES appeared in "Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good", an exhibition organized by the Institute for Urban Design to represent the United States at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale.