Building With a Memory

Building with a Memory is a subtle responsive intervention that aims to provide cohesion and community awareness in a distributed workplace through the use of light and color. Physically distant workspaces present recognized challenges in many organizations in terms of cohesion, knowledge transfer and community spirit. Our response attempts to provide an aesthetic workplace intervention that provokes contemplation of group action. Our approach brings together both communications technology and design aesthetics to promote community cohesion through activity awareness. While prior work uses a similar interactive approach, we attempt to do so in a non-invasive, ambient fashion designed to be mindful of individual privacy concerns.

Collage showing the light panels. The installation delivers thought-provoking information by capturing, analyzing and rendering real-time and archived human activity in a workplace setting. The installation senses movement in the space through an IR camera and computer vision techniques. Two custom lighting fixtures and a video monitor render the aggregated movements and provide immediate feedback. People in the space observe their own movements in the form of variations in the hue and saturation of two physical "pixels", and an abstracted visual representation. Networked variants of the installation depict activity both over time and across space by mirroring portions of the feedback between locations.


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