People+

Brand enhancement through physical interaction

Key words : Brand enhancement, installation design, mobile devices

Skills used: Physical prototyping, interaction design

Team members: Erez Kikin-Gil, Ruth Kikin-Gil


“In an electronically nomadicized world I have become a two legged terminal, an ambulatory IP address, maybe even a wireless router in an ad-hoc mobile network. I am inscribed not within a single Vitruvian circle, but within radiating electromagnetic wavefronts”

William Mitchell, Me++ http://www.tiltool.com/images/fjord8.movGoals
Modern lives are increasingly becoming more flexible, connected and mobile. We were asked to create an installation for the Fjord’s office space that will communicate the themes of mobility and its influence on people’s lives. Fjord is a leading developer of digital products and services for people on the move.

PEOPLE+ installation exposes flows of communication, and stresses the fact that mobile communication expands the boundaries of a person and augments the distances one can reach.

A company = people + communication

Visual elements

The installation uses the human figure symbol and the Plus {+} sign as a vehicle to tell a story. And the story is simple: connect one human being to another, and you have a network, and mobile communication is all about networks. It is some kind of emotional math if you will.

Interaction

A cloud made of the human figures and plus sign is hanging from the ceiling, and reacting to mobile phone activities (like a phone call, SMS etc) in its vicinity. When this happens, the cloud comes alive with streams of light flowing between the objects. The objects glow and dim; a human figure, a plus sign, another human figure, another plus sign and so on. An imaginary line is created, portraying a trajectory of a phone call.

PEOPLE+ XO figurine design was inspired by square calligraphy.

“Technological change is not additive; it is ecological. A new technology does not merely add something; it changes everything”

Neil Postmen, “Ten Principles of Technology”

Background

Mobile communication has introduced new concepts to our lives and altered previous ways of thinking and operating. It has caused a change in social behaviors and values: multiple presence and multi-tasking, definition of personal boundaries, privacy issues, “always-on” society and the list goes on.

In our view the shift in the perceptions of time and space has relevance to the business environment.

In the past, when having an appointment with someone, being late was considered rude. It still is, but the notion of “late” has changed. You don’t actually have to be in a certain place on a specific time. It is good enough if you call from the road saying when you will be there, and if that changes, you can just call (or message) again, and it will be acceptable.

What is considered a rude behavior is not answering a call, or not replying to a text message in time. The importance of “where” has shifted to “when”.

Time became elastic, a material to play with.

The perception of the work space and its boundaries has changed as well. Offices stretch well beyond the confined space which was specified in the lease contract. The office exists wherever a company representative is, and is present everywhere where communication is, which means any place with phone connectivity or an internet access. The physical space has lost its dominant role in the business structure.

A company = people + communication.

How do the physical space, the augmented virtual space and the absence of space interrelate with each other and create a new type of space, which is different than the one we knew before.

Another interesting issue is that communication in itself has become a status symbol and an indication for one’s worth. People fake talking on the phone in order to look more important in front of their colleagues; others swap their phones to brag about their social relationships, text messages are considered to be digital valuables. Exposing communication and communication types is becoming a very interesting thing to look at.

In the business environment social = capital.

As mobile culture changes our perception of time and space it drives us to adapt new social patterns we asked ourselves how can this inspire us in the creation of this installation? What would this new time look like? How can it be represented? How can this new space be reflected as an installation? How can we express this transformation in their meaning which affects our everyday life?

Users

Clients: When clients come to the office they should be intrigued and impressed by the installation. It could be a conversation piece, a way by which broader topics of mobility can arise naturally when a dialog is happening between a Fjord employee and a client.

Office workers: For those who work in the office, the installation is part of the space. It should have a long life span, and should be an item they can live with and maybe even surprised by occasionally.

Done with Wiring

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