CIID, Design playground, Thoughts

Tangible User Interfaces – ‘Escapism’

A 4 week Investigation into Tangible user Interfaces , guided by Vinay Venkataraman , David Gauthier , Richard Shed.

Guest instuctors : Durell Bishop (LuckyBite) , Tetsuya Kaida (Toyota Motor corp)

Collaborators: Daim Yoon , Wanting Liao

Escapism : ‘A new way of things’ are a set of joyful objects that attempts to help working professionals obtain a moment of escape, or to get a sense of inspiration from mundane and stressful tasks, by generating unobtrusive ambient sounds from small interactions through unconscious behavior around people’s work desk area.

" A new way of things "

" A new way of things "

The inspiration behind this experimental work came from the initial research the team undertook with working professionals where we found, among many insights, that an escape from the routine is important in maintaining a healthy state of mind. After some initial brainstorming , we decided to focus on the small interactions people engage in as a starting point to provide this sense of escape.

We engage our bodies in these interactions unconsciously, when we play by clicking on a pen,tapping on our knees, playing with objects on a table etc. For the purpose of testing whether we could actually succeed in using this behaviour for our exploration, we decided to concentrate on three of these interactions around the workspace of professionals :
1. The tapping of fingers on the table
2. Swivelling a chair
3. Movements of the leg

Finger tapping on the table

We then attempted to sense and gather data from these movements by iterative experiments  with capacitive sensing, accelerometers, piezo sensors and rotary encoders. This data is further used to trigger sounds, which are selected and played for specific motion. We chose sound as a feedback as we wanted to engage the auditory senses through motion of the body.

Thus unconscious bodily movements would then be made conscious & playful interactions , possibly resulting in a momentary sense of escape, after which getting back to work could become a pleasure .

Thanks to our instructors Vinay , David and Richard , who pushed us to the limits of our learning and capacities with their thoughts, knowledge and wisdom.

Special thanks to Durrell Bishop whose critical  and razor sharp opinions made us think and helped shape a major portion of the investigation.

Chair swivel and Leg tap

Prototyping with the chair

In the exhibition

Process : Ideation


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