A tool for the design of AI
We are entering an age of pervasive machine intelligence, and there is an urgent need to develop strategies for the design of these new ecologies. The Delft AI Toolkit is a platform to easily create working AI prototypes that intelligently behave – see, hear, process, manipulate data, move, and speak.
In Spring 2011, the New Ecology of Things course in the Media Design Program had the theme of animism, and explored how interaction design can utilize the natural tendency to imagine that inanimate objects and spaces have motivation, intention and/or consciousness. I encouraged my students to design the project behaviors to indicate animism through kinetic expression. They created working, interactive projects with rich materiality, sensors, motors, and light.
I just wrapped up my The New Ecology of Things class at Art Center’s Media Design Program. The class addressed the design of ubiquitous, massively networked systems – i.e. emerging ecologies of things. Our topic this term was “anti-homogenous” and we looked at heterogeneous alternatives to the mouse, keyboard, screen for specific work and play activities.
Update, September 2017: I recently watched this after many years, because I randomly came across a SlideShare from a workshop that David Sherwin and Aaron Rincover ran back in 2010. The workshop was called “Prototyping Interaction with Video Scenarios,” and it references my video as an example of rough prototyping and interaction (slide 16).
When I made the video I was thinking about how to use tangible objects as a way to interact with screens. But what struck me watching it in 2017 is how relevant this kind of interaction is for AR and VR.
The New Ecology of Things is a research initiative to explore emerging forms of interactive communication brought about by pervasive networks, low cost sensors, and computational capabilities in every object and space. The project began as a studio class hosted by Graduate Media Design, and has evolved into a conceptual model, a forum for discussion, and ongoing series of projects and courses, technological inventions, new issues for pedagogy, and a publication.
I continue working on a series of design sketches that explore the ideas expressed in my essay, Productive Interaction. The main idea is that Interaction Designers should create interactive systems that allow users to create their own meaning space rather than designing scripted experiences. These experimental sketches are sometimes very rough, and other times more refined. They help me as I pursue new ways of interacting, driven by my writing as well as feeding new writing in an ongoing cycle of thinking and making.
Physical Music is a series of projects that explore new kinds of tangible interaction through the idea of enabling non-musicians to play with music. Starting in the late 1990’s, these projects have been a way for me to move from screen interaction design to physical interaction design, as well as learn how to prototype interactive objects and spaces.