“Fabuleux/Fabulous” is a 2008 physical interface game that was collaboratively developed between Heather Kelley, Lynn Hughes, Alain Thibault, and Geoffrey Jones, which connects the physical and digital environment. Users use a soft ball, the “squisher”,which can be moved around to find hotspots in the physical space and used to draw on the screen. Over all, I highly admire how this is taking a very out-of-the-box approach, still giving freedom to the user to interact however they want with the interface. The fact that the developers chose to use a wall rather than an app already makes this project stand out from most.
Kelley is an accomplished woman in the gaming and interaction design field. She mainly focuses on gameplay, sound, smell, taste, touch, and other sensory interactions. Additionally, she explores under appreciated fields in aesthetics in environments. In her education, she received her Masters at the University of Texas in Austin. Kelley afterwards was involved in a variety of organizations, including the UNFPA Electronic Game to End Gender Violence in Burlington, Vermont, where she was the creative director.
First off – I really appreciate this as a topic for the Looking Outwards post. Especially in an environment like CMU, I think it’s important we have ask questions and have dialogue about diversity and gender equity in tech fields.
For this post I chose to focus on Heather Dewey-Hagborg’s work, specifically her work with recreating portraits of people based on DNA samples. She first started creating these portraits with the project Stranger Visions . This process uses forensic phenotyping and seeks to question uses of biological surveillance. These portraits were then 3D printed in color. Beyond this project, she also critiques how crime technology is based on biases, seen through her article “Sci Fi Crime Drama with a Strong Black Lead”. I’m particularly interested in this sentence from the article:
“We tend to look at technical systems as neutral black boxes, but if you open them up and look at the component parts, you find that they reflect the assumptions and motivations of their designers. ”
This is especially poignant as I am learning to write code and learning about how technologies are created. We are humans with a unique set of personal experiences that we bring to our work and what we create. Oftentimes we gloss over subjects such as race, class and gender because they can be hard subjects to talk about. But if we choose to ignore these elements, we can create unjust systems, such as using DNA surveillance to reiterate stereotypes of criminals.
A project that caught my interest was the Pure Tension Pavilion made in Spring 2013 by Filipa Valente.
Filipa Valente is a Portuguese architect and interactive artist from Los Angeles. She currently works in Architect SBA, where she utilizes her interactive art skills in architecture. She had been interested in her subject from space that surrounds people. From there, she believed that technology played a crucial part in connecting the said spaces to the surrounding environment. Many of her works were featured in many places and events, like the Architecture + Design Museum or the SKYLINE 2014 Festival.
As an architecture student, I was interested in her Pure Tension Pavilion. The goal was to create a structure that would showcase the V60 hybrid car by Volvo. It requires aesthetics, charging functionality, and portability. She not only applied graphics into shaping the pavilion, but she also did careful research of the relationships between the car and the project.
I enjoyed the combination of form and function working together to create a powerful connection between the architecture and the car. It is exciting to know that there are many ways to link on item to another.
Link by Mimi Son
How it was made:
Mimi Son is a designer, storyteller, professor, curator, and artistic director. She lives in Seoul Korea and studied Digital Media Art & Design and Interaction Design. As a co-founder of Kimchi and Chips, she creates installations that “aim to to depict an intersection of art and technology, material and immaterial, real and virtual, presence and absence.” She tries to articulate space and time from various perspectives.
Her project, Link (2010), is an interactive installation where people record stories into a cityscape of cardboard boxes. It was created for Design Korea as an interpretation of the theme, “Convergence.” They used low, everyday materials to communicate the convergence of complex, fast-moving technologies. The project works by having viewers come up to a kiosk to record memories.
What initially attracted me to the project was the concept. Even before I knew it was based off of the idea of convergence, I liked the way that it showed the individuals that compose a city. I liked the way it is a convergence of micro and macro in this way. Additionally, I admire the patterns and animations generated for the project. Since the project is created through projection mapping, they use light as a key aspect of the installation. Therefore, the patterns which are bright colors pop against the dark background.
Emily Gobeille is an award winning artist and designer, who has done a lot of work in interactive environments and installations. Being the creative director / partner at the firm Design I/O, she merges technology with design to create interactive installations. Among her many projects is funky forest, which is a simulation of an ecosystem, and invites users to participate in creating the design. Users can create trees using their own bodies and channel water towards these trees. A link to her work is:
Please Click here for a link to her work
I admire the breathtaking artwork the most in this creation. It is wondrously detailed, and the depth of colours used is amazing! I also enjoy the novel way in which she invites users to participate in, explore and impact her created environment.