Living Innovation Zone Sketch Sessions
by Shawn Lani • September 13, 2013
Living Innovation Zone Prototypes
We’ve generated a lot of ideas from our Sketch-In event and from our meetings with our project partners who have been coming by the Exploratorium for afternoon sketch sessions. We’re itchy to start building and testing prototypes, so we’re working on a few ideas you can come by and try out later.
Listening Vessels We’ve mentioned this one before, and it’s still a front runner for being one of our anchor installations. A piece originally designed and build by one of the Exploratorium’s foundational artists, Doug Hollis, Two 8’ tall parabolic dishes focus sound from a person setting in two dishes. Facing each other across a 50’ walkway of people and street noise, users can talk or even whisper easily and have a private moment together…actually, not that private, anyone walking through the sound stream will get a mildly surprising burst of amplified voices.
Body Language We found this research on-line and have since contacted and partnered with Dr. Niko Troje of Queens University located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Troje is an expert in biological motion perception and has developed a fascinating tool that allows users to replicate the body language of others in real time. Using just 15 dots, his team isolated the body language characteristics for happy people, relaxed people, anxious people, sad people, males and females and created a kind of shorthand tool for recreating the way these types of people characteristically carry themselves. We’ll feature more about Dr. Troje’s work, but for now, take a look at their wonderful demo on-line.
Height Equalizer This is a simple idea we want to try out in front of the museum. Blocks are stacked up at 1” increments in an array such that people of varying heights are encouraged to array themselves so that they see eye to eye. There’s a lot of height variation in our daily lives, what happens to the interpersonal dynamic when everyone is the same height? This might be too simple, but it’s so easy to try we’re going to, well, try it.
Personal Space We’ve been experimenting with a Personal Space exhibit for years. It’s intriguing because the way we navigate social spaces is very much a part of our own individual cultures and upbringing. Examining the issues of personal space by playing with the layout of benches, or perhaps a map of a bus painted on the ground at scale, allows us to instrument our observations and figure out why no one looks each other in the eye on Muni (hint, none of us can really stand being that close to each other).