Does interactive bear means a friendly bear?! Well…

April 15, 2009

OK, I’m back after short hiatus with my posts. This time I will blog about Swedish/Croatian project ‘Big Five – Concept and Prototypes of Interactive Installations for an Educational Centre‘.

This is a result of Marilyn Lennon and Ivica Mitrovic‘s collaborative project, they both led an international workshop at International Summer School gathered around theme ‘People-centred interaction design in the Convivio tradition’. The school took place in educational centre ‘Big Five’ in the city of Bollnas (northeast of Sweden) in 2007.

bear1.jpgPhoto taken from blog.advancia

Co-authors on the project were students Sigrid Pettersen, Sara Bozanic and Dimitris Makris; jointly with collaborators Peter Ljungstrang and Pelle Ostlin.

The city of Bollnas is trying to increase the level of awareness in the context of cohabitation with the predator mammals, which are autochthonous species in that region; therefore they founded a state institution in the neighborhood of the local Zoo.

t400_large.jpgPhoto: Swedish bear taken from Naturetrek (c)

Such situation evokes all sorts of contrasts between the understanding of animal nature and perception of danger among inhabitants of Bollnas.

Big Five is set up as five installations/ prototypes based on user experience and personal reaction interactivity created within design methodology. All prototypes were exhibited in Big Five and evaluated from users’ perspective and interaction – visitors plugged in designers concept.

bear.jpgPhoto taken from blog.advancia

The project presentation offered several stages of development.

Stand Still is staged as installation which represents the situation when human being is faced with a wild animal in nature. On this level, the project aims to prepare and educate people, sort of a short guide on behavior when being in dangerous situation – stand still, don’t run and similar patterns.

stand3.jpgPhoto taken from blog.advancia

Visitors are invited to approach huge projection canvas with featured sound that imitates bear while attacking and defending his territory. There is one place, geometrically placed in front of the screen, from which could be viewed the whole projection on the canvas. Special sensors are placed in space, capable to detect large-muscle movements, which react with warning flash as indication of fault reaction.

sensors1.jpgPhoto taken from blog.advancia

Hit Like A Bear is intended for getting better perception on how strong a bear punch can be, through game and entertainment approach. This installation is based on beehive model with a sensor included that detects the strength of blow.

hit3.jpgPhoto taken from blog.advancia

Be A Bear involves kids with an aim to make them more interested in Big Five’s activities. Kids are wearing costumes with earphones built in to feel how is like to be a wild bear.

Feed The Animals Correctly is actually a game which is connected with the previous installation. Kidz can listen to various animal soundz via earphones or can feed animals with food that is suitable for them.

standstill.jpgPhoto taken from blog.advancia

Coffee Table Quiz are coffee tables with thermally sensitive tablecloths. Visitors can entertain themselves by moving around coffee cups (yeah, tea also!). The concept of the game is based on identifying the differences between a wolf, wild dog and a domestic dog in a series of images that appear on the table. The Game is playable only in Big Five centre’s bar.

almostbears.jpgPhoto taken from blog.advancia

p.s. this is the very first blog post in the series of posts in which I plan to follow activities of Design and multimedia section on Visual Communications Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in the Mediterranean city of Split…

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