Above is an image i created for the initial presentation for the media in public module… the idea was a simple one… creating a “batphone” style system that would increase awareness of artworks in the city centre and aid navigation to said artworks. The basic premise is that members of the public would encounter some trigger mechanism at a given point in the city, for instance a phone on a stand or a big red button… when the phone is picked up or button pressed a bright spotlight would illuminate next to an artwork in the city. Ideally this would be visible form the trigger point and from a large surrounding area, thus drawing peoples attention to the lit up part of the city. As i have said this is a simple idea, but I like it, and from my preliminary questioning of some night-time users of the city, it seems the system would be a welcome feature in the city.
I would now like to list areas of development within the project for my own benefit and for feedback and suggestions from blog readers (your thoughts are greatly appreciated!)
Important features of this system.
- Areas of engagement for artworks are multiplied and spread over the city.
- Allows the public to be connected to artworks.
- Acts as a navigational device.
- Location (busy? quiet? visual line of sight? relationship with illuminated artwork? …what is important?)
- Information at trigger – audio information through phone “by picking up this phone you have illuminated [artwork] and increased its visibility” or “Thankyou for your interest in [artwork]” “This phone has been picked up [number] times.” etc.written information by phone (instructions? directions? purpose?.
- Object – i like the phone… familiar to people, existing affordances, red phone (playful)
- Wireless. (arduino to arduino communication – Bluetooth/Xbee/Wifi (Bluetooth solution seems simplest and most effective and cheapest WIN)
- Distance – technical limitations and line of sight limitations, directly affects trigger location (blessing in disguise?)
- Cost of powerful light? (£10,000 budget do-able surely…?)
- Alternatives – lasers (research needed) – LED beacons?
- Spotlight most aesthetically pleasing – sketch picture but too much but flood lights could be effective.
Aims for the immediate future (before the presentation)
- Make a working example of batphone system (phone/switch/bluetooth/light on…. sounds almost too easy!)
- Technical sketch diagram of example and scaled up project.
- Identify locations of artworks and triggers and plot on map with photos (night).
- User test of trigger.
- (that sounds like enough fro the time being.)