Object Animism PROJECT: Tangible Interaction TEAM: Rag Kandala, Sarah Foley, Rachel Ng, Dixon Lo PUBLICATION: TEI 2016 Conference:
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Publication of this project can be found on the ACM digital library: here

This project is an initial exploration into whether things can have their own intent, and how they would work in a system that includes humans. The objects we design all have the ability to act on their own behalf. They include - (1) a bookshelf that wants to learn about taste, (2) a radio that determines mood, and (3) a window that augments visual reality. The purpose of the exercise is to investigate whether such a system could be built, and still be useful to humans. If so, in what way would the system be different from one where objects are merely servants of human intent.

From left to right: Radio, Bookshelf, Window blind pulley

Three working protytpes were created. A bookshelf which sets taste profiles of the room depending on books placed on it. A radio which changes song depending on the taste profile of the bookshelf, and depending on the mood of the room, and a window which vandalises reality at different levels, according to how far its blinds are pulled. To investigate the effects of multiple human and non-human actors interacting with self-interest in mind, we deliberately designed each object with distinct needs and values that complement human behavior when placed in a shared office space. The resultant system of interactions involves cascading relations between object-object, human-object and object-human.

This project was done with the team: Rag Kandala, Sarah Foley, Rachel Ng, Dixon Lo. My responsibilities were in concept generation and physical/video prototyping.