Graduate Thesis Project, Fall 2009
Media Design Program, Art Center College of Design
Curious Displays is a piece of speculative design fiction envisioning the implications of a new future product, a fully integrated ubiquitous display technology that interacts with every aspect of our physical and digital lives.
The project explores our relationship with devices and technology by examining the multi-dimensionality of communication, social behavior, and technological tolerance as the assimilation of media into daily life continues.
In its essence, Curious Displays speculates on the fluctuating nature of our present engagement with media technology and provides futurist imaginings of other ways of being.
Curious Displays (2009) is a product proposal for a new platform for display technology. Instead of a fixed form factor screen, the display surface is instead broken up into hundreds of ½ inch display blocks. Each block operates independently as a self-contained unit, and has full mobility, allowing movement across any physical surface. The blocks operate independently of one another, but are aware of the position and role relative to the rest of the system. With this awareness, the blocks are able to coordinate with the other blocks to reconfigure their positioning to form larger display surfaces and forms depending on purpose and function. In this way, the blocks become a physical embodiment of digital media, and act as a vehicle for the physical manifestation in daily life, what typically exists only in the virtual space of the screen.
Curious Display "blocks" are tangible and tactile. They occupy and move through physical space, and are thus subject to the same spatial rules and limitations faced by any other physical objects. These constraints lend themselves to potentially interesting outcomes in terms of interactivity and negotiation. An abundance of questions quickly begin to surface--how do they move? How do they behave? Does this movement and behavior begin to allude to the development of a type of personality? How does one communicate with them? Where do they go when you're not using them? What if they malfunction? What role do they take on in our daily lives?
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