Interaction Research Studio’s Nature Scenes installations to be exhibited during the London Design Festival

A Nature Scene installation

Nature Scenes installations designed by the Interaction Research Studio will be exhibited as part of Brompton Biotopia during the London Design Festival this September. The installations, a series of simple habitats that incorporate hidden cameras for capturing images of wildlife, are part of the wider MyNatureWatch project.

The My Naturewatch Camera is an open-source design that supports new ways of engaging with both nature and technology, that can be made by anyone, and used in a variety of wildlife situations. The Brompton Biopia habitats are built to attract wildlife, integrating natural materials such as gourds and coconut shells. You can read more about the project in this Dezeen article.

Designers at Goldsmiths create protective ‘sunglasses’ for puffins

What would eyewear for puffins look like, and why would puffins even need it in the first place? Designers from the Interaction Research Studio at Goldsmiths created protective ‘sunglasses’ for this bird species as part of a project that investigates photoluminescence in the bill of the Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica).

In order to study the phenomenon, scientists had to shine ultraviolet (UV) light on the bills of live birds, which made the sunglasses necessary as a way to protect the birds’ eyes from potentially damaging UV light sources. Read more on the Goldsmiths website

How To Become Modern: Time, Work and Infrastructure in Rural Newfoundland

The Centre for Invention and Social Process and the Interaction Research Studio would like to invite you to a talk with Phoebe Sengers from Cornell University, on Tuesday, 22 March. The talk will take place in Room 127 of the Richard Hoggart Building, starting 4 pm; all welcome. Here is an abstract from the speaker:

“In the 1950’s the government of Newfoundland & Labrador began an ambitious project to transform this new Canadian province from an impoverished rural backwater to an industrial economy. Central to this plan was the organized movement of most of its population from isolated fishing villages to centralized settlements allowing easier access to services and infrastructures. Change Islands was one of a few villages that actively resisted this move and insisted instead on modernizing in place. Within a few years, the village was overrun with unfamiliar technologies, including electricity, telephone, television, cars, roads, and running water.

I will use the case of Change Islands to explore how modern ways of being are shaped, sometimes accidentally and sometimes intentionally, through the design of technological infrastructures and centralized forms of governance. Modernization both relies on and produces new cognitive habits, orientations to labor, experiences of time, requirements for accountability, and moral norms, many of which do not match well to the geographical and social requirements of remote, rural communities. Caught up in contradictions, Change Islands is today simultaneously experienced as a dying relic, as a cherished preserve for traditional practices, and as unrecognizably modernized.  Change Islands is a place to recognize and reflect on the hopes invested in becoming modern, the technical mechanisms used to realize those hopes, their consequences, and their political stakes.”

Phoebe Sengers is an Associate Professor at Cornell University in Science & Technology Studies and Information Science, and is currently a Visiting Scholar in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Her work integrates technology design with cultural studies of technology by analyzing the political and social implications of current technologies and designing new technologies based on other alternatives. She has received a US National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award, been a Fulbright Fellow and a fellow of the Cornell Society for the Humanities, had 7 major NSF grants, and led the Cornell campus of the Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing. She received an interdisciplinary PhD in Artificial Intelligence and Cultural Theory in 1998 from Carnegie Mellon University.

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Interaction Research Studio work at Big Bang Data show

There are many reasons to visit Big Bang Data, an exhibition on how data is transforming our world currently on at the Somerset House, but at least one of them is Goldsmiths related: work from the Interaction Research Studio is featured as part of the show.

The Prayer Companion
The Prayer Companion

The Prayer Companion is a device developed by the Interaction Research Studio for a group of Poor Clare Sisters at a monastery in York:Read More »