As part of this year's London Design Festival, we explored new communication technologies and aesthetics. Titled “8h ahead,” our exhibition showcased a series of communication experiments created to both overcome and embrace the geographical and cultural challenges between Takram's teams in London and Tokyo. Each experimental concept explores one aspect of separation –physical, emotional, ambient and temporal– to bring the teams closer together.
KNOCK KNOCK: Long distance physical notifications
The knocking gesture is deeply embedded in our cultures –it seeks to reach someone through sound and physical contact. We built a device that brings the knocking gesture to our digital working environments that are ever-changing and often in remote locations.
As a result of a Takram Tokyo-London workshop several months ago, we introduced knocking or tapping gestures to physically contact someone over a long distance from our desktops or laptops. Introducing the sense of physical contact to virtual communication, it creates a single connected global workplace that can eventually support a nomadic work style.
Gestures like a simple knock are very useful and discreet communication methods that can be read and placed in various products around us. In this setup, you can see the working prototype of the Knock Knock triggering several imagined feedbacks.
WORLD CLOCK: Perception of time difference
Pragmatic but essential within Takram is the act of keeping track of each other's time (zones). Born out of the need for a good/nice tool to plan intercontinental video calls between Tokyo, London and third parties, we built a tool that enables users to slide through time: a clock that displays time more sensibly and intuitively as colors of the sky.
Although existing tools already have the ability to simultaneously display the hours in different time zones, this world clock merges the experience of time across all locations. The result is a far more intuitive feeling of time.
NOISE AESTHETICS: On the potential of communication imperfections
Where will our continuing search for a noiseless communication channel lead us? Noise Aesthetics is a series of hypothetical devices that interfere with electronic communication channels to provoke unpredicted and unexpected outcomes.
Glitches, noise, and feedback artifacts are usually considered negative and accidental. Moving away from traditional values of efficiency and perfection, this image series tries to emphasize the generative potential of noise. Here, imperfections generated by noise do not deteriorate meaning, but can reveal new potentials –a spark of creativity that indicates that something new is about to be created.
To introduce these intentional flaws, scientific experiments related to randomness and probability are used as a source of unpredictability.
Visually, these devices are presented as impossible objects that exist in an imagined space. Melting the familiar and the strange, these images celebrate their artificial and alternative nature.
TYPE FACE: Cultural and emotional interpretation of written text
A font is an important source of information found on the surface of a written text. It can even alter a text's meaning. As some text only lives digitally and is never intended to be printed, there is potential for exploiting this digital nature of the font to achieve emotional enhancement.
Type Face is an experiment that seeks to incorporate facial expressions into font design. Most facial expressions are read similarly throughout cultures. By using this universal language, we aim to facilitate a more informative and emotional conversation.
This project consists of a video exploring the application of emotions to a font in a dialogue, and an application that reads several facial expressions and translates them into different fonts, which are then applied to a chosen text. This application was created with FaceOSC.
Project lead & Art direction: Renee Verhoeven (Takram London)
Coding: Yuri Klebanov (ex-Takram London)
Concept Development & Design: Lukas Franciszkiewicz (Takram London)