Humanizing Video Meetings

Project Duration: 1 year

Project Types: Graduate

Professors: Sean Donahue, Dr. Mariana Amatullo, Mike Milley

Software: C

Hardware: Particle Photon, 3D printed casing & hinging, elastic, brass

Role: Choreographer, Industrial Designer, Programmer

Interlocutor is an exploration of long-distance collaboration facilitated by wearable devices. Stemming from experiences on film and fashion location shoots, trans-continental development for the D_Coder mobile application, and graduate work between the UNICEF Innovation Lab in Kampala, Uganda and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.,Interlocutor surfaces and tries to mitigate the reality of technology and of distributed teams. That is, despite our ability to communicate instantly, people who are not co-located are not, and will never be, in the same space.

When working across any large geography our current technological narrative, underpinned by services such as Skype, Google Hangouts, and WhatsApp, encourages us to believe that immediate communication equals immediate collaboration. This idea is neither fully wrong, i.e., instant communication can help collaboration, nor fully right, i.e., instant communication does not create instant collaboration. To attempt an answer to this problem, Interlocutor breaks with the current visual and vocal paradigms of long-distance collaboration, exploring instead the possibilities of movement and sonic information to aid in the collaborative process.

Research: On Collaboration & Heirarchy

My research included watching three distinct groups collaborate to create their own gestural lexicons.

Starting with breathing exercises, then standing movements, and the seated movements, the collaborators watched each other in order to cue off of one another's choices.

This created a symbiotic relationship in which leadership of the movement or transition from one shape to another was organically traded, as one of the two collaborators would have an idea, signal it through movement, and the other would either choose to follow that idea, build off of it, or continue their own idea.

These groups included two long-time collaborators, two sometime collaborators, and two strangers who have experience in collaboration.

Product Development: On Diplomacy, Paradigms of Productivity, and Movement