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The Table: Childhood
max dean (leads, 1949)
raffaello d’andrea (pordenone 1967)

is a professor at cornell university specializing in control of complex systems, he is also the manager and supervisor of the cornell robocup team…
featured at the 2001 Venice Biennale

“a fully autonomous robotic table selects a viewer to attempt a relationship with that person, the table will not interact with everyone who comes into the room; it will choose only one viewer. the artwork and not the viewer is in the position of choice. this focusses the attention of other viewers on one particular visitor, making the person the ‘object’ of attention.”

watch the table in action



The office furniture design company, Herman Miller, challenged a number of different designers to reinterpret the Charles and Ray Eames chair in honor of Charles Eames’ 100th birthday. A project that emerged from this pursuit was the Opportunity Chair. For the gallery installation, the seat and back were removed from the chair to make the statement that the world is in need and to solve these problems one should stand rather than sit. On-line, the chair is virtually divided into puzzle pieces representing current world issues such as Zero Waste, Food Supply, and Gender Equality. When you click on the puzzle pieces that make up the chair you are then presented with YouTube videos where participants pledge to work to change this world issue. This project takes away the comfort of the chair to call attention to the uncomfortable realities of problems that need to be solved today.

This project uses the construct of the chair to motivate change, interaction, and mobilization. In addition, the project links the physical chair with the ideas gathered from the Powers of Ten video to YouTube home video pledges.

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The Museum of Lost Interactions put together this exhibit, Forgotten Chairs, that move beyond design for necessity into a more creative realm. “Our exhibition of ten interactive chairs illuminates the genre beyond its familiar archetypes of rocking chairs, video arcade games and ejector seats. Once again we are grateful to a group studying Interactive Media Design who, informed by meticulous research and archive film, lovingly restored each chair to working order.” – Graham Pullin

This project as a whole acts as a history of the interactive chair to support our project and each of the individual chairs can inform our own. One project, the Phantasmagoria Chair, acted as a medium to the beyond as its creator had, as well:

“Between 1857 and 1908 Flora Cooke was a well-known name amongst the British followers of Spiritualism. Her demonstrations drew great crowds who witnessed her communications with the spirit Katie King. The turn of the century saw a decline in attendance and it is believed that Cooke crafted a tool to allow private demonstrations at her residence. Recently a derelict building in West London has uncovered this very tool: a chair. Documents discovered have given researchers an insight into the usage of the piece, named by Cooke as the Phantasmagoria Chair. Under Cooke’s guidance a member of the gathered circle would attempt to communicate with a spirit using the chair. They would be prompted to place their hands and feet on the metal conductors thus completing a theoretical electrical circuit, meant to collect the participant’s energy to power a spiritual connection and, in turn, allow the gathered group to contact the dead. The spirit would communicate by making words appear on the paper in front of the participant, which they would then read out, to the rest of the group.”

below: Phantasmagoria Chair

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What’s an interactive LED coffee table? (Funny you should ask….) It’s a coffee table that has hundreds of LEDs in the top surface that respond to motion above the table.

The complete tables are for sale from Because We Can, our partners in design on this project. There are presently two models, The Ripple (left) and The Wave(right):


Since we first showed these off, we have had a lot of inquiries about how you can make your own table like this. We are now producing (very large) electronic soldering kits so that you indeed can make your own.

Our kits include the giant printed circuit boards, components, instructions, regulated power supply, and all other parts needed to build the electronic portion of the table tops. Constructed, you end up with what essentially amounts to a single extra-ginormous circuit board that can sit underneath the clear or frosted glass (or plastic) top of your own table. Interesting in getting a kit? Click here to read the details!

This new creation is a piece of furniture that interacts with what you wear changing the atmosphere and space around it. A sensor in the back of the chair reads the colour of the clothing and projects it on to the surface behind using LED lighting. This gives the individual sitting on it their own halo of light, evoking images of religious icons and kings.

The shape of his new chair evokes the design of medieval thrones. Whomever sits in the chair becomes the focus of attention, as they are surrounded by a projection of light, as if it was emulating their personal aura. The holes in the chair gradually increase in size, paradoxically making the design seem solid while also insubstantial, as though it might dissolve into the air.

This chair design proves again the versatility of Corian. Many thanks to Dupont for their support of this project.



An invisible force is a desk that tells fortunes by Crispin Jones.  Exhibited at Ars Electronica 2002.  The desk answers the users questions through lasercut pieces of wood that make up the surface of the desk.  These tiles raise and lower to spell out the answers while also recreating the audio of a train station departures board.  As the user is waiting for the answer to the question that they have inserted into the metal slot, the temperature of this slot begins to rise so that the user must endure a certain level of pain to get have their question answered.

First of all, Jones was true to the aesthetic of the desk through and through which is something we should take into account in our own project.   Also, whereas this desk requires the user to experience pain (even if mild) to get the answers, we will require our user to ask for the help of others for theirs, risking ridicule.

walkthrough  in pictures


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is this

interactivity : project proposals

rabia malik
valeria pivovarova
catherine lewis


precedent 1

New York City Map (2000)
by Marketa Bankova


precedent 2

Sound Seeker

precedent 3

Soundscape of China
by PBS

precedent 4

NIU World Instrument Collection

precedent 5

drawn (2006)
by Zack Lieberman
An installation for hands and ink

project description

  • Interactive map of the world
  • The map has a photographic facade that is not only visually pleasing to the eye but in fact the images portray specific locations on the map
  • The map responds to touch or motion
  • As a person waves their hand over a certain location on the map they get to hear sounds associated with that location.
  • The idea is to let any passerby create a symphony of the world’s music, sounds or simply hear spoken word from a specific location.
  • This map can be placed indoors or outdoors.
  • Since its a map of the world along with sounds of the world, we believe the United Nations building would be an ideal location to test our prototype.

user scenario

Ideally we would like to make this map a multi-touch interaction between a few people, but for starters we plan to make it a single user experience.

Example User:

  • Sara Jones, 15 years old and its her first time at the UN building along with her 10th grade high school class on a field trip.
  • Sara comes across our Map and at first she’s intrigued by the rich images on the map.
  • As she gets closer to the map and raises her left hand to touch a picture over Africa, Sara realizes that African music starts to play. She raises her right hand and moves it over the part of the map where Thailand sits and realizes that she hears music associated with Thailand.
  • Slowly Sara realizes that this map is more than just beautiful images but in fact it’s a canvas full of sounds from around the world and she can combine those sounds to create a new an unique melody or simply hear some beautiful spoken word as she touches different parts of the world.

technical review

Proposing to use temperature-sensitive surface or buttons with Processing



project 2

precedent 1

Fortune cookies: Both Baked & Online
The Fortune Cookie is a crisp cookie made from flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk which is baked around a fortune, a piece of paper with words of faux wisdom or vague prophecy.

Interactive Online Fortune Cookie


precedent 2

Vintage Coin Operated Fortune Tellers And Arcade Games


precedent 3

Fortune telling services that use SMS technology

“Text your lover’s name to XXX-XXX-XXXX to see if you’re a match”

precedent 4


project description

User sits down on pressure-sensored seat
Image and/or text (scraped from internet) is generated on the screen / wall
Everybody laughs at the “fated” match between the person and the “prophecy”

user scenario

John, 23, and his friends check out a gallery opening on a Friday night.
Many of the works of art took themselves pretty seriously, but John and his friends then happened upon this seat and screen combo.
As he sat down on the seat, he noticed the changes in expression of all of his friends as they burst out laughing.
John realized that the screen proposed a rather hilarious prediction for his future with image and text from the web.
Although he and his friends all recognized that the connection between John and the prophecy was entirely arbitrary, his friends continued to joke about it just as John did about the prophecies of his friends.

technical review

Page scraping (Processing, Python)
Projection / video output
Pressure sensor



July 2018
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