Tom Gerhardt is an internationally recognized artist and designer who works across a broad range of disciplines; and is one-half of Studio Neat
. As a hardware and software developer at Potion, Tom helped create interactive installations for some of the Nation's most prestigious museums and retail spaces. As an artist, Tom's work seeks to reconcile modern man's dual citizenship in the physical and digital worlds through projects like The Mud Tub: an organic interface that allows people to control a computer while playing in the mud. Most recently, Tom and his design partner Dan Provost, created the Glif: one of the world's first crowd-funded commercial products and subsequently founded Studio Neat, a design practice dedicated to making things simple and making simple things.
The MudTub is an experimental organic interface that allows people to control a computer while playing in the mud. By sloshing, squishing, pulling, punching, etc, in a tub of mud (yes, wet dirt), users control games, simulators, and expressive tools. Born out of a motivation to close the gap between our bodies and the digital world, the Mud Tub frees the traditional computer interaction model of its rigidity, allowing humans to use their highly developed sense of touch and gesture in a more natural way.
The Stone Mouse transforms any stone into a fully-functional computer mouse. Custom electronics embedded inside a slender ring enable a user to click, drag, and navigate as they would with any standard mouse. The Stone Mouse uses a stone–an organic, hyper-specific object–as a replacement for one of the most ubiquitous of computer peripherals, challenging accepted notions of sterility and universality in mass produced digital products.
FireLight is a lighting system controlled by a candle's flame. Taking the position of 'hearth' in the modern home, FireLight can be used as an accent or main light source while still providing the organic qualities of a candle flame. When the FireLight Candle Module is lit, the FireLight lamp immediately turns on, subtly responds to the candle flame's flickering, and switches off when the candle is blown out.
Morgen is an interface that uses the connections between people to make waking up a more dynamic and meaningful experience. Via a Facebook application, friends and family vie for the job of waking up the Morgen user on a particular day by leaving a personal message. This message is transmitted wirelessly to Morgen each morning, and if the user does not wake up in time to get the message, Morgen reports this back out to the user's social network. Morgen uses personal relationships to create something worth getting up for every morning, and consequences for those who don’t.
Tresling is a custom controller and game mechanic that combines the popular video game Tetris with the physical challenge of arm wrestling. Passive, quiet, exacting Tetris is transformed into a sweaty, aggressive, and strenuous activity that requires both mental and physical agility. The Tresling controller proposes a new breed of ‘antagonistic gaming’ where the game and game controller are physically combative to the gamer.