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benjamin dove | interaction design institute ivrea, 2003 - 2005
september - december 2003

(andreea chelaru, ben dove, noel perlas, thomas stovicek)

time - research pics

The Secret Life of Common Objects: We explored the perception of time in everyday interaction. We started by interviewing people to discover and confirm assumptions with regard to what role time plays, the importance of a routine, the sense of lateness and of wasting time.

time - research pics

We then individually looked at some ideas to explore further, to then bring back to the group and see how to proceed.

Ambient clock: I looked at the idea of ambient time, the sense of where you are in the day, subconscious level clues that can enhance your perception of timing and tempo. The ambient clock is an interface concept of using the ambient qualities of light and sound to offer a general sense of the time as opposed to a precise reading.

The clock is made of rings that change from light to dark as a value increases, where earlier is a lower value, later is higher (the digital clock at the bottom is just for reference).

The outer ring = hours
The ring = minutes
The central ring = seconds

time - ambient clock idea sketch

From here we began to think about how people can leave their mark in time, and with the understanding that the final state of the project should be something presentable as an installation we considered ideas of a space that allows people to interact with previous points in time.

time - experience prototype flour pit

We thought about the ways people have done this throughout history: cave paintings and markings, graffiti, messages etc - all intentional defacing of a public space (public purely in the sense that they are shared by more than one person). We thought about unintentional ways people leave marks: footprints, fingerprints... evidence.

time - interactive floor/electronic footprint idea

This lead to the idea of an interactive floor space, where footprints would glow and have a delayed fadeout, to give a recorded state of a space. This could be implemented in a club or exhibition, anywhere where there is use of floor space by many people over time.

The next stage in this project was to think about how we could apply this interactive space concept to an aspect of interaction that is more intentional than leaving footprints, thus moving away from the ambient context and into the soundtrack idea, where a space can capture 'sound prints' through time.

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