Dutch Design Week 2014: An exploration of landscapes of connectivity

21 : 10 : 2014 DDW14 : Awakening Tech : Living Architecture

Eindhoven – Will the Internet of Things change the way we communicate? Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Penny Webb asks this question with her project Separate Togetherness, presented at Dutch Design Week.

Separate Togetherness by Penny Webb Separate Togetherness by Penny Webb
Separate Togetherness by Penny Webb Separate Togetherness by Penny Webb
Separate Togetherness by Penny Webb Separate Togetherness by Penny Webb
Separate Togetherness by Penny Webb Separate Togetherness by Penny Webb
Separate Togetherness by Penny Webb Separate Togetherness by Penny Webb

In Separate Togetherness, Webb translates the feeling of ambient connection and closeness into smart architectural elements – a series of responsive objects that connect distant environments by responding to movements and actions.

‘What we describe as communication is really about two layers of information – it’s either direct retrieval of data or peripheral awareness,’ Webb tells LS:N Global. ‘In my work I use the latter to create a feeling of togetherness.’

In the first set of objects, a textile panel changes colour in response to applying pressure to a tactile membrane. Another pair is a lamp made with polyester resin and phosphorescent pigment that changes its glow to reflect the levels of light detected by sensors placed in a distant environment. The final object is a mirror coated with epoxy resin and thermochromic pigment that changes colour triggered by a distant breath.

‘I imagine the objects as ingrained into architecture, communicating a remote presence and bringing the urban landscape to life,’ says the designer.

To find out more about how designers are integrating smart technologies into architectural settings, read our Awakening Tech macrotrend. For more on Dutch Design Week, read our show preview.

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