Friday I visited TU Delft’s industrial design department. First of all, I must say I was really impressed with the building’s hall doubling as a student work space. Big, light, tools everywhere, looked great.
The main reason for my visit were the annual final presentations for a course on ‘Interactive Technology Design’. Students presented a wide variety of prototypes of games, persuasive objects and fitness experiences. Lots of soccer-related designs, which wasn’t all that surprising 😉 I was most impressed by a ‘jealous tree’ (can’t remember the project name, unfortunately) . In short, the tree detected when people were interacting with other installations, became jealous and then tried to attract attention from visitors. Conceptually I liked the personality aspects of the tree. Aesthetically, for a first prototype the tree looked clean, but still somewhat mysterious.
The most fun to play with were the “soccer mushrooms”. A strangely addictive game with little mushrooms just begging to be kicked around… The persuasive powers of shower caps and LED’s should never be underestimated, I guess.
I was also very happy to finally see Daniel Saakes’ Skin project. A design tool that supports designers in rapid prototyping and exploring materials, textures and prints for their design prototypes. You choose the objects, pictures, textures, skin projects them on your prototype. Simple idea, very useful results. Daniel has been a well-liked guest speaker for the course I’m teaching in Amsterdam, so it was great to get to play with the tool myself.
And after all that I got to talk to Miguel Bruns Alonso about his work on stress and tangible interaction. Very interesting considering I’m setting up a study into stress-adaptive systems. Miguel’s got the most impressive collection of stress balls ever used in academic research 😉
All in all, interesting afternoon and an inspiring way to start the weekend 🙂