I believe Interaction Design involves two main points that gives the idea to invite, us the viewer to get involved and be part of the action by interacting mentally and/or physically:
Is how our movement/actions could possibly control or changes the physical state of the interactive piece. i.e. a one way process between ourselves and the object.
2. Is how the communication is established between the user and the interactive piece. i.e. interacting with a program and receiving feeback from it.
Julian Appelius demonstrates these points effectively in one of his joint projects called the “Lightable”.
“Via the physical principle total reflection, light is transmitted through the glass top and remains invisible for the human eye.
Placing an object, capable to transmit light, on the glass surface, by neglecting the meeting surfaces through complete flush contact, light emits from the glass surface and enlights the object”
In this project Julian shows interactivity within the table. When nothing is placed on the table, to our eyes all we see is a normal transparent table. But when objects are placed on top of the table, light is emitted from the contact points of wherever the object and the surface of the table meet.
What interested me most about this project was obviously how the surface of the table lights up as an object touches it. This would most likely provide a very amusing entertainment to the dining room table and will successfully encourage people to interact with this table more than needed.
But what questioned me was the functionality of the table. As seen in the video, we notice as the objects are lifted off and placed on to other areas of the table that the surface is actually covered in liquid. Though it is definitely entertaining to watch and experiment with the “Lightable” I pause to wonder if this is really suitable to be a suitable everyday household item.
Although I agree that this was a successful project that contains the idea of interactive design behind it and the methods of creating this table interests me widely. I do not think this is designed to be used like any ordinary table and is more of an art work.
Greyworld are composed of a group of artists mostly from around the UK and most often create art for displaying in public areas.
One example of their work that I consider a very well made interactive piece would be the moving statue installed beside the Tate Modern building in London.
“At first glance Monument to the Unknown Artist appears to be a simple bronze statue, dressed in a neck scarf and loose fitting suit. However, the six meter monument seeks inspiration from passers-by, inviting them to strike poses which he copies, continually changing his form in a light-hearted and mischievous way.”
What appears to be a normal everyday statue, is actually an interactive piece whereas the statue moves on its own randomly through time or copies the poses of people who walk or stand near the statue.
I find this a very successful interactive piece as Greyworld has removed the idea of an iconic still statue representing a significant and instead making it a symbolic piece of art for the public domain. By using the same colour as most statues would use, helps maintain the idea that this is indeed a statue. But by making the the clothings out of fabric allows this piece to move successfully and apply the idea that it is alive unlike others. By allowing the statue to copy movements of passer-bys lets people interact with the statue by simply using their own body movement.
Greyworld has created a wide variety of interactive design pieces before and after this statue and each has a very entertaining and interesting motive and if not, quirky ideas behind it.
Belmer Negrillo, is a Brazilian Graphics Designer who studied Masters in Interaction Design.
Belmer designed a candle dimmer for a project during his Masters.
“The Candle Dimmer is a proposal for a domestic product that controls the brightness of lamps in harmony with the states of a candle.”
This design is made to allow users to manipulate the light depending on the flame on the candle. When the flame is still at its highest burning peak (beginning of ignition), the lights in the room will be at the maximum level. As the flame slowly deteriorates the light in the room begins to die down until the flame itself burns out.
I found this project rather simple but sparks an interest. The idea to develop a new way to control the lights in a room for different situations is very unique as it has the combined elements of a candle holder and a light dimmer. It may possibly lack the interactive design side for this project through my own eyes as it seems like a rather simple design.
But I see that it within his website pages it contains a very well portrayed concept idea and the methods of building the structure behind it.
I also think it is highly possible to be used as a normal daily household item considering it requires very few equipments and candles are known to be used for hundreds of years in the past and definitely till now and in our future.
Overall I would think Interaction Design can be in a variety of forms, whether it is displayed as just an art work or even incorporated in to a product that may help us in our everyday uses. In my own views, Interaction Design is a diverse subject that has a main focus of allowing interaction between the object and the user in one way or another, but is developed in to further ideas based around this point to create something unique from the creators mind.
These designers have influenced me to create my ideas whether it is only displayed as an art piece or as a beneficial product to human lives. As long as I get the point of my creation through I believe my projects will be successful.