Scenes Unseen

Exhibition at the London Design Festival

At London Design Fair 2016, Takram welcomed visitors to SCENES UNSEEN, an experimental test lab where we challenged assumptions about product conventions, functional narratives and the meaning of purpose.

A playful blend of theatre and test lab, we aimed to inspire curiosity and conversation about design methods, practices and approaches; and invited participation, interaction and speculation.

A mix of commercial and original projects product, big data, VR, experimental and concept design were displayed and tested throughout the installation as product prototypes, interactive experiments, simulations and video studies.

Data Real

Imagine physically experiencing data diving into a data flow, grasping chunks of information, sensing their correlations, patterns or trends. In the future, this capability will completely transform the way we interact with information, enabling a subjective feeling across data sets.

Wanting to move beyond the constraints of a screen based interface, Takram sought to create an intuitive visual analysis tool that builds on its pioneering Theodolite 3D geographical data visualization platform and the advances made in Virtual Reality and gesture control interface technology.

The Data Real prototype is an immersive data environment that helps the user to visualize and engage with large complex data streams naturally and intuitively. helping the user to recognise and work with relationships and patterns.

On The Fly

Blending the best of traditional and state of the art technology, Takrams infotainment system has been designed to surprise and delight.

On The Fly uses high precision image recognition technology to immediately and accurately project text and video onto a blank paper card, tracking to synch with the papers location. Ideal for interactive exhibitions, story telling and immersive media spaces, On The Fly demonstrates the harmony of old and new technology.

Playful Hands

The barriers to uptake of myoelectric prosthetic arms for children are largely about affordability, access and perception. Takram sought to design a robust yet playful alternative that uses low cost construction, sensors and actuators.

The three prototypes experiment with a range of gripping functions that balance manual and automatic operations. The aim is to provide children with a fun yet controllable hand that can support optimal development during early stages and lead to more advanced alternatives as they grow.

Future applications include adding AI functionality, and incorporating automatic operations to existing prosthetic products and educational toys.

Inspired by Finch: Three-fingered functional prosthesis for forearm amputees

Haptic Sympathy

As robotics technology advances, the desire for more intuitive communication between man and machine inspired Takram to propose haptic synchronisation as a new type of interface.

The installation is based on a haptic test rig designed to interpret and reflect the most subtle degrees of physically applied stress and force, such as a light finger stroke, or sharp prod. An interactive exhibit, as visitors push an object, they trigger a haptic sensor that prompts the machine to react by pushing back with same stress.

A haptic link, clearly expressed and felt through touch, can be thought as a potential man machine interface or new type of communication between human and machine, like skinship between people.

Omotenashi Mask

Inspired by Japans current emphasis on encouraging its citizens to become conversant in English by the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Omotenashi Mask proposes an alternative vision of communication across language barriers.

Rather than aiming for perfect communication between two languages, these prototypes capture and translate the more complex and subtle non-verbal cues that are expressed in face-to-face communication.

Using readily available technological interventions such as accent transfer and facial reenactment, the project stages a conversation between a Japanese taxi driver and a foreign tourist. In the conversation, various algorithms are employed to mediate the communication between the two, expanding our imagination of what communication could mean in an extreme, yet familiar future.

As a communications technology, it can be installed in controlled environments such as taxi, store counters and border control.

Focus I/O

The relationship between seeing and hearing is deeply ingrained in humans.

When designing the new generation of Tamron professional camera lenses, we wanted to explore alternative ways to achieve optimal focus, and our interest in sensory input led us to see if audio frequency can help people to perceive lens performance.

In this experimental display, the sound of Focus I/O is generated as a result of image analysis and the experience is designed to give us simpler and closer awareness of the relationship between visual and audio. This perspective can be adapted to all kinds of outputs, such as art installation, mobile application - looking at the interaction of clear and blurred environments and states of being.


Is our perception of plant intelligence limiting our understanding of their potential? This was a question we asked ourselves as we considered alternative forms of intelligence.

Research suggests that plants have great capabilities to adapt, to survive in extreme environments and to compete with other plants. We challenged this intelligence to sense a great variety of parameters that impact growth and species success, putting these skills to the test in a variety of playful Olympic experiments.

And, as technological research increasingly looks to new forms of artificial, machine and bio-intelligence, is it possible that plant adaptations can provide insights that can contribute to the development of these fields..?

With Or Without Colour

Colour is dangerous. It is a drug, a loss of consciousness, a kind of blindness at least for a moment. David Batchelor

Colour originally meant the less-than-true and the not-quite-real, hiding and concealing the truth. It is when the colour is removed that the alternative value of an object is exposed and we start recognising an object from a different perspective.

With or Without Colour? Is an artistic installation that enables us to transcend the border between two worlds - the world with and without colour, creating a space where the meaning and the value of objects transform into one after another.


A room without sound.
Worn, grey synthetic carpets.
Stairs to nowhere.
Warning test in progress.

In their efforts to represent the physical conditions of a product's lifecycle, test facilities create a strange version of reality - a kind of pragmatic, mechanical, magic realism.

Scenes is a series of computer visualisations of a product testing facility. Based loosely on imagined test scenarios for the projects in the exhibition, the scenes explore the abstract and unworldly stagecraft of test facilities.


Data Real:
Kinya Tagawa, Minoru Sakurai,

Cedric Caremel (ex-Takram)

, Satoru Osawa
On The Fly:
Hisato Ogata, Keisuke Kambara
Playful Hands:
Minoru Ito, Satoru Osawa,

Noam Kollmann (ex-Takram)

Haptic Sympathy:
Seitaro Taniguchi,

Leslie Nooteboom (ex-Takram)

Omotenashi Mask:
Yosuke Ushigome (ex-Takram),

Michel Erler (ex-Takram)

Focus I/O:
Keisuke Oyama,

Yuki Shinohara (ex-Takram)

, Shota Matsuda
Seitaro Taniguchi, Taro Yumiba,

Renee Verhoeven (ex-Takram)

, Yosuke Ushigome (ex-Takram),

Larissa Kunstel (ex-Takram)

, Keisuke Oyama, Terushige Enatsu
With Or Without Colour:
Hisato Ogata,

Leslie Nooteboom (ex-Takram)


Kotaro Abe (ex-Takram)


Lukas Franciszkiewicz (ex-Takram)


Owen Wells (ex-Takram)


Sam Campbell


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