The NETLab Toolkit is a system for integrating tangible interaction and media. Designed for project sketching and production, the toolkit enables novices and experts to integrate hardware, media and interactive behaviors for products, installations, and research.
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.
I’m very interested in how tangible objects can be used in interesting ways to interact with information on screens. This video collects together a series of experiments on the use of a range of object prototypes. In making these, I imagined a screen in front of me (in some cases a standard size screen, in other cases a wall sized screen), and manipulated the various objects as if I was controlling and interacting with content on the screen. It was more an experiment in the affordance of the objects in relation to screens than thinking of specific applications.
View Video (95meg)
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.