I am a Designer and Engineer originally from Barcelona, now based in Tokyo, after a few lovely years in London. I design and produce technology-related things, across a wide spectrum of digital and physical fields.
My most personal work consists of "speculative" devices through which I research progress and people as social entities.
I also create online tools to connect reality through the cloud, interactive experiences, gadgets, games and toys.
Scroll down to see some of the stuff I have been up to recently. I am always looking for interesting projects to work on. If there is anything I can help with, please get in touch!

Current Projects

Double Drop - game / sound experience for the iPad

"double drop" is a minimalist looking, fast paced arcade game, inspired by the long nights out, wandering around Tokyo's multi-story, eye-catching, ear-killing, game centers and pachinko buildings.
The game features single, and same-device-multiplayer modes; The game is already available for the iPad, and a phone version is in the makings.

More info here: - doubledrop -

Bento Showcase - Web application // Under Development

Bento is an online tool to create and curate your very own showcase of games, and bandcamp albums, to insert into your iOS game ( so far ).

The main aim of this project is to promote good work.
Did an independent composer help you with your game's soundtrack? Show his latest albums to those who play your game. Is there any game that inspired you when creating your game? Those who play your game might also like it. Are there any games you really love and can't stop playing? Show them to those who play your game. They might also enjoy them.

Bento showcase is still being developed. More updates soon.

Shirokuma - Web application // Under Development

This application is in a very early stage of development, but it serves me as an excuse to dig into Japanese grammar in an enjoyable way.
This application aims to be a tool to help people learn any language, without giving any translation, but highlighting the role of elements within sentences, and cross-referencing them within a given book, to quickly find different contexts in which the word might be used.
This application is especially useful as a companion to comic books, where the text is reinforced by the visual hints provided by the original work.

Shirokuma means Polar bear, and it is called after the manga series Shirokuma café. Which I use as initial test.

Devices for Mindless Communication

This design work is the result and follow up on the practice undertaken while in the Royal College of Art's Design Interactions department. This is the main outcome of my continuous research on human behaviour within an arbitrarily structured society.

I like to think that these projects "provide near future scenarios with dystopian and uncomfortable consequences of the choices we make today" - quoting Paola Antonelli -, as well as question whether Present, as we know it, is the optimum outcome for the choices our ancestors encountered.
Or rather, things we give for granted now, are result of questionable decision-making modern society went through during its establishment, and they don't apply universally to all possible social paradigms.

As new communication technologies give us the opportunity to redefine human interactions, these can teach us about flaws in the current rules of engagement. It is up to us to interpret what is valuable, and what we want to embrace in a future in which most social interactions will be technology-mediated.

Reiterative Communication Aid

Most of the conversations we have through our life are redundant. This fact clashes with modern praise of time efficiency and real time data consumption. This device tracks conversations you have throughout your entire life, analysing your patterns of communication. Eventually, when a repeated pattern is detected, the device is able to replace you in that conversation, allowing you a freedom to explore anything and everything else.

film credits

  • Actor: Terry Perkins
  • Directors: Gerard Rallo, Ludwig Zeller
  • Script: J. Paul Neeley, Gerard Rallo
  • Camera: Ludwig Zeller
  • Video Editting: Milan Matthey
  • Sound Recording: Milan Matthey
  • Sound Effects: Ludwig Zeller
  • Video Effects: Gerard Rallo

  • Music: My Serenade by Django Reinhardt
  • Personal Advisor for Reintegration

    Sporadic, banal conversations with no aim behind them are at risk of disappearing, no longer a learned or common behavior of future generations. This device tracks conversations, giving hints about open questions, accepted comments, answers, and expressions. It brings the awkward pleasure of small talk back to those who no longer interact with others for no reason.

    film credits

  • Actress: Lauren Godfrey
  • Directors: Gerard Rallo, Ludwig Zeller
  • Script: J. Paul Neeley, Gerard Rallo
  • Camera: Ludwig Zeller
  • Video Editting: Milan Matthey
  • Sound Recording: Milan Matthey
  • Conversation Challenger

    The possible success of conversational technologies with access to all-knowledgeable semantic networks might lead to a massive disinterest in regular human beings. This device listens to one half of a conversation, and competes for your attention with related content streamed from the net. It allows you to choose where to direct your attention; towards the speaker, or the device. In this situation, the individual speaking does his or her best to pull attention away from the device and back to themselves, but is it really possible for someone be more interesting than everything else?

    film credits

  • Actor: J. Paul Neeley
  • Directors: Gerard Rallo, Ludwig Zeller
  • Script: J. Paul Neeley, Gerard Rallo
  • Camera: Ludwig Zeller
  • Video Editting: Milan Matthey
  • Sound Recording: Milan Matthey
  • Expressions Dispatcher v1, v2 & v3

    Many decisions made in our everyday lives are influenced by expert advice, from hairstyles to insurance policies. Yet, millions of decisions are made on a daily basis and instantly expressed through our own facial expressions without any preconceived external reassurance. We continuously strive to project a desired physical self image of ourselves, sometimes requiring most of our cognitive resources, and paradoxically, this daily challenge has a big impact on our lives. Expressions Dispatcher is designed to help people in their quest for expressiveness. In using the device we can shift expressive responsibility and place it in the hands of an expert. This life coach will follow the wearer, analysing the context they are in, and digitally take control as to how the wearer should be perceived.

    Work in Progress Pictures

    I am very happy and proud with the reception of these projects. Devices for Mindless Communication have been exhibited internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
    They have been included in a couple of beautiful publications alongside some of the best design work recently produced, and they have also been featured in some of the most interesting online spots.

    Online



    Exhibitions


    2013
      "The Dream Team" Biennale Internationale, Saint-Etienne. France
    2011
      "Design Faction" Lodz Design Festival, Lodz. Poland
      "Talk to Me" MOMA, New York. USA
    2010
      "Designed Disorder" CUBE Gallery, Manchester. UK
      “Show Two" Royal College of Art, London. UK
      "MODE:DEMO” Lift10, Geneva. Switzerland
    2009
      "Intel Design Expo" IDF, San Francisco. USA

    Books

    Interactive Installations & Physical Works

    While undertaking my studies in Computer Science and Multimedia Engineering ( in 2006 ), I started developing comercial interactive work for a very small studio in Barcelona - Emotique SL -.
    Since then, physical, interactive installations, and r&d projects of all kind, have been one of my main occupations. You can find some of the projects I have been involved in, below.

    Bloomberg Connects,
    Tate Modern
    - Software Development

    I was involved in the development of video players with remote playlists controllers and secondary screens displaying synchronized related content.
    *Images extracted from the project's presentation video. Watch it in full - here -

    Aerial Dynamics,
    CocaCola BeatBox
    - Software Development and Installation

    I worked with the Jason Bruges team on this installation for the CocaCola pavillion at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
    The project consisted of 200 custom motorized nodes, which would be mechanically animated based on a Kinect based tracking application.
    I was in charge of writting the code that would move the motors at different speeds and predefined patterns ( with a proprietary programming language ). To do so, I developed a tool that allowed to generate the animations in a visual way, export the assembly code, and upload automatically to all the nodes in the network. For more information visit the Jason Bruge site. - here -

    Photographs by James Medcraft

    Kinect Table, La Rioja
    - Design and Development

    Kinect powered interactive panel installed in La Rioja (Spain), developed with Sitraka Rakotoniaina and Andrew Friend.
    It is believed this was the first interactive installation ever shown in the land of best wines.
    The futuristic surface, designed as a single self-contained device, was used to navigate through a map of the city, and explore its cultural spots.
    The surface didn't need to be touched in order to control the projection, but gave people a reference and strong entrance point, to jump in, and start controlling the installation with more confidence than when they need to explore the possibilities freely, performing gestures in the air.

    Light Outfits,
    Black Eyed Peas
    - Technical Assistance

    I worked as a technical assistant on these three suits used by The Black Eyed Peas on their - The Beginning Tour 2011 -
    They allowed for full color animations to be controlled wirelessly.
    The project was carried out for Philips Lighting under the directorship of the lighting designer Rogier van der Heide. The technical team was led by Benjamin Males, and the Design team by the designer Nancy Tilbury.

    Photos by Philips Communications

    Light Headphones,
    Stoli vodka
    - Design and Development

    I joined Benjamin Males and the Studio XO once more to produce this remotely controled set of headphones used in a Stolichnaya Vodka add.
    I modeled the 0.2mm see-through 3D printed shell, as well as the framework that held the electronics in place. Also put together the electronics that light it up, and developed a small piece of software to create the final animations being triggered in real time.

    You can have a better look of it in action - here -

    Inverted Field
    Wallpaper Magazine
    - Design Assistance and Technical Development

    Together with Sitraka Rakotoniaina, we joined Richard Pearce and Alex Griffin from Partizan to create this interactive piece.
    An inverted field with fans that create an air flow through it that maps people flowing through the space. It was displayed in London, in Summer 2011 on a private event held by Wallpaper Magazine and Reebook.

    UAL, Design your Future
    - Design & Development

    YCN designed and built a colorful and playful stand for the University of the Arts London. I helped them by building the interactive installation in the core of the stand.
    The installation consisted of a green screen style photobooth, in which people could picture themselves within a picturesque future, by pressing a big custom green button. The picture taken would automatically be added to a grid of pictures displayed in the stand. This display would also be used as interface by the staff to delete unwanted pictures, or publish them to the YourUALFuture Facebook page.
    You can visit it here: www.facebook.com/YourUALFuture

    Saudi Arabia Pavillion,
    Expo Zaragoza 2008
    - Production, Design & Development @ Emotique

    This project consisted of three multitouch tables developed for the Saudi Arabia Pavillion. These were the most sophisticated multitouch table I developed while in Emotique. They used double partially overlaped rear projections, IR based motion tracking and really advanced planotech projection screen technology. I was responisble for the execution of the project, and the hardware design and production. I developed the final aplication, and the core libraries for the management of multitouch events, which were used on other multitouch aplications as well.

    Qatar Stand,
    Int Petroleum Conference
    - Development @ Emotique

    Another multitouch table developed in 2008. In this case, the table was used as an advanced navigation panel to access multimedia information about the main petrol companies in Qatar. The media was displayed in a big LED screen.

    Football game
    - Developer @ Emotique

    A double projection, motion based, football game for the Toyota’s stand in the Barcelona International Motor Show developed in Eotique.

    Location-based web projects

    I also get often involved in some web projects every now and then. I specially love working on location-based projects, connecting real spaces through the network, and giving them extra meaning.
    I spend most of 2011 working on a hyperlocal social tool at Wieden + Kennedy London, we called Walls. It is a "Facebook for local communities". The project is in stand by at the moment. More on this below. Plus a couple of small related projects.

    Walls, Wieden + Kennedy - Self-initiated project. Design and development

    Walls is a hyperlocal social tool to help people re-engage with their surroundings.
    I started this project while researching the future of culture and social engagement in Wieden + Kennedy Platform, thanks to Samantha Brookes support.
    After working on few iterations of the tool with James Gilpin, we gathered information, experience and knowledge that allow us to understand how useful this tool can be for local communities.
    Further development of the current version is on hold while we work on new iterations. Meanwhile, the current site can still be accessed here: www.walls.im

    Bank Area Consultation Site, The City of London
    - Design and Development

    A simple blog-style consultation site used by the City of London to ask people how they would change the area to make it more suitable to their needs based on the use they make of it.
    The consultation is now closed, but some of the comments are still available here: www.bankarea.co.uk

    Local Listings Live, We Made That
    - Design and Development

    This is a small site I made for my friends at We Made That.
    The project consisted of a series of workshops to cellebrate and share local knowledge, in the North Kensington area.
    Participants would physically place tag markers on the streets and share them online via instagram and/or twitter. These were automatically collected and shared through the site.
    More info on the project - here -

    More Projects and Experiments

    E, U and their inner life

    Based on real neural networks, E and U, are two electronic monkey toys designed solely to find inner neural happiness. To achieve such a goal, they perceive their environment (their owner, and their partner) and themselves. Depending on their own personality they balance the importance of each entity depending on the happiness they bring to them, they modify their inner structure in order to adapt themselves to their perceptions, and at the same time, modify the way their environment interacts with them. As a result of this chaotic system, we can find and interpret infinite behaviors and relationships; stable, with ups and downs, unstable, uni and bidirectional dependency, independence, bullying, chronic depression,… All their interactions and states are offered up for people interpretation, represented in a barely decipherable pattern on the LED panels on their chests.

    Visions of a post Olympics London. Wenlock-shaped mini buildings for the MI5

    This project is the result of a series of round tables discussing pre and post London Olimpics security, survillance and paranoia, with James Bridle, Sitraka Rakotoniaina and Andrew Friend.

    Ultimaker

    David Benque and I have been putting together an Ultimaker 3D printer.
    We start now, our journey towards the holly grail, the slick 0.02mm layers. You can follow our disadventures here: arcsalv-ultimaker.tumblr.com

    MMO Co-op Super Mario Land @ W+K Platform

    For the Internet Week, and Mario's 25th Anniversary we decided to bring the two of them together. We dismantled an old Game Boy, connected it to an Arduino, live streamed Super Mario Land via Ustream, and allowed people to choose Mario's movements via twiter collectively.
    It wasn't a massive success in terms of beating the game ( or even teh first level ), but a fun experiment nevertheless.
    More info - here -

    Photographs by Karl Sadler.

    Contact

    gerard@gerardrallo.net

    The Architectural Salvage Studios
    30-32 Stamford Rd
    London, N1 4JL

    Bullet point CV

    Selected Exhibitions


    2013 (Mar) | “Expressions Dispatcher” @ Biennale Internationale, Saint-Etienne. France 2011 (Oct) | “Devices for Mindless Communication” @ Lodz Design Festival, Lodz. Poland 2011 (Jul-Nov) | “Devices for Mindless Communication” @ MOMA, New York. USA 2011 (Jul-Nov) | “Expressions Dispatcher” @ MOMA, New York. USA 2010 | “Hello” (GOOD ONE!) @ Design Event, Newcastle. UK 2010 | “Post-digital” @ Designed Disorder, CUBE Gallery, Manchester. UK 2010 | “Post-digital” @ Show Two, Royal College of Art, London. UK 2010 | “Devices for Mindless Communication” @ Lift10, Geneva. Switzerland 2009 | “Expressions Dispatcher” @ IDF Design Expo, San Francisco. USA

    Lectures


    2009 | “Expressions Dispatcher” @ IDF Design Expo, San Francisco. USA

    Experience


    2010 – Ongoing | Independent Technologist, Designer, Consultant and Researcher, London 2010 – 11 | Future of Culture and Social Engagement R&D @ Wieden + Kennedy, London 2007 – 08 | Interactive Surfaces R&D and Project Manager @ Emotique SL, Barcelona 2007 | Software Architect and Project Manager @ Emotique SL, Barcelona 2006 – 07 | Multimedia Engineer R&D @ Emotique SL, Barcelona 2005 – 06 | Interactive Technologies R&D @ FUNITEC La Salle, Barcelona

    Main Education


    2010 | MA(RCA) Design Interactions @ Royal College of Art, London 2008 | Bsc Computer Science @ Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona 2007 | Bsc Multimedia Engineering @ Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona

    Other Education


    2010 (Jul) | Synthetic Biology Crash Course @ Cambridge University, Cambridge 2006 (Mar) | Production of Multimedia Events @ Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona 2002 | Advanced Computer Graphics. Autodesk official course @ CIO, Vic 2001 | Introduction to Computer Graphics @ CIO, Vic