I like to dedicate part of my time to venturing into different disciplines as a means of opening myself up to alternative ways of thinking. This process allows me to deepen my understanding of how I might be able to craft more meaningful and interesting experiences for other people. Part of this process has involved engaging with Arduino. Arduino is an open - source electronic prototyping platform that helps facilitate the creation of interactive objects and environments. I am fascinated by its use in art, design and architecture based projects, allowing us to experience some of our most ‘everyday’ products and services in new and often charming ways. A couple of the most delightful experiences have been created at the intersection of art and Science, including work by Studio Daan Roosegaarde, Studio Kram/Weishaar and Carlo Ratti.
This week I have worked on two micro experiments with Arduino, the 'Motorised Pinwheel' and the 'Crystal Ball.' The Crystal Ball project aims at ‘predicting the future’, generating a series of answers based on moving a tilt switch to replicate the ‘shaking of a ball.’ The Motorised Pinwheel project allows you to make a coloured pinwheel turn. Besides my more serious learnings on the intricacies of how motors and transistors work, amusingly my main take home was to triple check I put the components in the right place!
It is interesting to consider the possibilities there could be with this, with physical products like our luxury accessories or furniture and even entire environments, exploring the ways in which interactivity can be used to enhance our quality of life and our quality of experience. How could interactivity be used to improve customer service? How can it be used to make objects more humane and elicit more emotion so our objects become less disposable and more meaningful, items to be treasured and less transient?