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“The biggest thing that we are going to see the next 20-30 years is that the technology will become invisible. No longer will we rely on screens to be able to interact with the internet”, believes Prof. John Barrett, Head of Academic Studies at Nimbus Centre.

If that was to be true, in which way will we observe technology and its influences in the future? Will it's presence simply be forgotten, dissolve into an almost divine ubiquity? Or will we rather design new appearances and palpable fusions of digital- and physical realms?

► read more

  •  

    Indeed, prevalent visions for hybrid spaces aim to render technology as invisible and immaterial as possible.

    The project “Within Touching Distance” wants to challenge this seamless approach. It's growing body of works explores the relevance of materialized phenomena and of perceivable technological presence.

    Treating cyberspace as purely cognitive matter descends from the plain old dualistic picture of the relation between human beings and the world, the doctrine of treating mind and body separately. But what if an app had a texture? An impact on the appearance of your room? Or even a fixed place at your very shelf?

    Striving for a sensible digitality means to design considering (human) senses. It means to acknowledge these natural stimuli and the environment from which they emanate as the basis of our conscious self, our “Being-in-the-World”. It means to re-think the ways in which technology is taking shape in order to make it accessible for a more holistic perception.

designing
a
sensible

digitality

Design Works

<installation space>

For the time being our digital companions still linger in a world of phantoms – impalpable and distant.

But what will happen when digitality emerges from the screens? When our very surroundings start gushing with new forms of phygical presence? How will we deal with this new range of synthetic encounters –  programmed and yet caring and enchanting?

In this interactive installation, visitors are invited to get to know a technological environment which communicates through its changing spatial configuration, its immersive materiality and caressing motions.

► VIDEO

A Home of Caring Materials

<material study>

Today's forms of technology do not offer much to human senses: They mostly feel hard, flat or even elude our perception completely.

But with AI embarking into ever more complex and potentially emotive human-machine interaction, the need to materialize this new presence differently is growing too.

Exceeding clichés of humanoid machines, this material study takes inspiration from advances in soft-robotics and bio-mimicry, exploring various possible incarnations of the virtual.

The New Presence

<design research>

Reaching out to your friend at the other end of the world might soon be as easy and seamless as to walk into another room of your house. Already today, social media has made the boundaries to our private spaces porous, raising the question of how to deal with a vast amount of virtual visitors.

“My Dear Object” is a social experiment using technologically enhanced tableware, rugs, curtains, etc. as proxies for far distant friends. With those new bodies, different perspectives and ways of intimacy arise from peoples remote interaction.

► VIDEO

My Dear Object

 <short film>

 A woman modifies her smart fridge so that instead of an AI, her mother may be with her in her house.

This new relationship between mother and daughter develops and undergoes some crisis as the caring fridge begins to articulate truly motherly concerns.

How emotive do we wish the interaction to domestic systems to become? How much of our independence are we willing to give up for this “good care”?

► VIDEO

<experiment>

What if the artist becomes the pen itself? The remote brush-stoke is created through a whole body movement. The human immerses himself further into the tool by merging his eye-vision with it. The result is a visual protocol of human movements, transmitted via WiFi and acted out by a pen-dragging-machine.

“It is impossible to create a clear picture. As I am drawing,I am moving and my previous movements shaped the world through which I navigate. My thinking is completely occupied by phenomena of speed, rotation and direction: I am thinking with a remote body “

Sensing Remotely

Mrs Fridge

► VIDEO

<prototype>

While our world is becoming more and more digitally connected, personal relations suffer from physical absence of loved ones. Instead of your partner’s arms, there may only be an empty wall. But what if one could transfer his desperation, affection or lust through this wall to the missed person? And what if it could respond?

This full-body-communication-device connects two people at different places in a tangible way. Users can push, lean in the wall or pull out certain areas and the action is mirrored in the corresponding space. Each interaction will leave behind a different topography at the wall.

A Responsive Wall

<experiment>

We live in times of great replicability. But can an intimate bodily gesture like a hug be ever reproduced? Developing a setup that measures certain parameters of a person's movement, designers Vivienne Tauchmann, Sun Lee and Jonas Althaus seek to find out.

As a first step, the sensory read-out distils the embrace and instantly creates a physical medium, milled into a wooden board, to save the information for re-play.

The Touch

Protocol

Writings

image: <The ‘Infinite Jest Project’ by Corrie Baldauf > PD Rearck

This novel by David Foster Wallace is a key inspiration of my thesis.

obscure

reader

<thesis>

Reaching out to your friend at the other end of the world might soon be as easy and seamless as to walk into another room of your house. With the dawning merge of digital and physical realm, the channels of communication which already today have become essential for staying in touch with loved people will continuously grow, become more complex and might eventually reach every last corner of ones habitat.

 

Already today the boundaries to our private selves and spaces have become porous, raising the question how to deal with a vast amount of virtual visitors. By viewing our communication through the lens of the public/private space, can we see whom we would allow to enter and to what degree?

 

This thesis  embarks into the future of a post-ubiquitous society, reviewing fictional writings that act as key witnesses for the rise of an opaque counter-movement, of users who manage to withdraw from self-exploitative and quantifiable communication, while staying in touch at a soothing distance.

► download thesis

a real

visit

<short story>

I hate it when my lawyer wakes me up at night.

I know he does not know better - his decency settings are limited due to the outdated script his personality is based on. I could switch him to silent. But as things are, I have every reason to stay in touch with my him:

I am constantly residing at cell 6112, Qibli Penitentiary, Al-Qibliyah, 17°30'24.1"N 56°20'27.7"E, a small island 390 km off the coast of Oman, Arabic Sea. The distance between me and Paris, my place of birth, is 5947 km. Before I was brought to Al-Qibliyah I had never left Paris. And although my public defender-bot is processing international law binaries day and night in order to bring me back, I like to think that I am still there. In a tiny apartment in Paris with my girlfriend and daughter.

 

► read more

© 2018 Jonas Althaus

“The biggest thing that we are going to see the next 20-30 years is that the technology will become invisible. No longer will we rely on screens to be able to interact with the internet”, believes Prof. John Barrett, Head of Academic Studies at Nimbus Centre.

 

If that was to be true, in which way will we observe technology and its influences in the future? Will it's presence simply be forgotten, dissolve into an almost divine ubiquity? Or will we rather design new appearances and palpable fusions of digital- and physical realms?

     ► more

  •  

    Indeed, prevalent visions for hybrid spaces aim to render technology as invisible and immaterial as possible.

    The project “Within Touching Distance” wants to challenge this seamless approach. It's growing body of works explores the relevance of materialized phenomena and of perceivable technological presence.

    Treating cyberspace as purely cognitive matter descends from the plain old dualistic picture of the relation between human beings and the world, the doctrine of treating mind and body separately. But what if an app had a texture? An impact on the appearance of your room? Or even a fixed place at your very shelf?

    Striving for a sensible digitality means to design considering (human) senses. It means to acknowledge these natural stimuli and the environment from which they emanate as the basis of our conscious self, our “Being-in-the-World”. It means to re-think the ways in which technology is taking shape in order to make it accessible for a more holistic perception.

designing
a
sensible

digitality

For the time being our digital companions linger in a world of phantoms – impalpable and distant. But what will happen when digitality emerges from screens?

In this installation space, visitors are invited to get to know a technological environment which communicates through its changing spatial configuration, its immersive materiality and caressing motions.

With AI embarking into ever more complex and potentially emotive human-machine interaction, the need to materialize this new presence in a suitable way is growing too.

Exceeding clichés of humanoid machines, this material study takes inspiration from advances in soft-robotics and bio-mimicry, exploring various possible incarnations of the virtual.

Already today, social media has made the boundaries to our private spaces porous, raising the question of how to deal with a vast amount of virtual visitors.

“My Dear Object” is a social experiment using technologically enhanced tableware, rugs, curtains, etc. as proxies for far distant friends. With those new bodies, different perspectives and ways of intimacy arise from peoples remote interaction.

What if the artist becomes the pen itself? The remote brush-stoke is created through a whole body movement. The human immerses himself further into the tool by merging his eye-vision with it. The result is a visual protocol of human movements, transmitted via WiFi and acted out by a pen-dragging-machine.

While our world is becoming more and more digitally connected, personal relations suffer from physical absence of loved ones.

This full-body-communication-device connects two people at different places in a tangible way. Users can push, lean in the wall or pull out certain areas and the action is mirrored in the corresponding space. Each interaction will leave behind a different topography at the wall.

Can an intimate bodily gesture like a hug be ever reproduced? Developing a setup that measures certain parameters of a person's movement, designers Vivienne Tauchmann, Sun Lee and Jonas Althaus seek to find out.

As a first step, the sensory read-out distils the embrace and instantly creates a physical medium, milled into a wooden board, to save the information for re-play.