In order to understand what mediation does to material properties Diffus Design arranged a range of test setup where different materials were exposed to a group of students at IT-University of Copenhagen, to participants in a workshop at the Turkish Design Association and to a group of students at Fashion and Innovation at Donghua University in Shanghai.
The materials consisted of two kits where each kit came in two different modes. One mode where the materials were introduced ‘raw’ and the other mode where the same materials were embedded in transparent silicone.
Material Research Project
2. Dynamic properties
With the language of properties fresh in mind, the students were asked to work with dynamic properties. They were given small samples with different material changing possibilities. Again there were four groups that each got one out of the four following changing possibilities: Color change, shape change, light pattern and movement.
In the following pages the characteristics the students gave the different dynamic properties are listed. We gave them a pre-printed circular scale with two sets of property suggestions (Smooth versus staccato and slow versus fast). The rest of the properties and the placement in the scale is the students work. With the exercise we tried to develop a vocabulary for describing changes in the material.
The test with the dynamic properties were difficult to conduct. Firstly because the students had some trouble with distinguishing between static aesthetic properties and dynamic aesthetic properties. Secondly because even though we tried to work with dynamic properties that are useful and make sense in relation to many of our projects there were very specific circumstances with the chosen samples that might not be able to transform into a more general level. The students had a lot of fun and were exited about the dynamic and active samples, but focused much more on how the appearance of the samples were rather than how they changed. The exercise will probably gain from being repeated, and with project targeted dynamic properties it will help a great deal.
3. Interactive properties
In this test we wanted to investigate three different situations that was relevant to our project Light.Touch.Matters: Inviting interaction, playful interaction and rewarding interaction. We divided the test group into three different smaller groups and gave one of the interactive situations to each group and then let them discuss the following questions in relation to a generic interactive experience:
We also planned to give them interaction bricks developed by Diffus in order to suggest different basic interactive elements. These bricks were ment to come into play after they discussed more in general at first.
We have done the first test before and therefore the outcome of this test was very nice and useful. The two other teste needs to be conducted again in order to know if we can gain from them. Dynamic and interactive properties are crucial to LTM and the closer we come to final products the easier it will be to test actual properties. Still the insight from the tests are useful in order to keep focusing on how to take care of and emphasize dynamic and interactive properties.
Design and concept: Hanne-Louise Johannesen and Michel Guglielmi