R & D connected lamp
After a study trip to North Carolina which included visiting the oncology department of Duke University Hospital, as well as interviewing cancer patients, survivors, family and friends of patients, I was tasked, by a light manufacturer, to design a lamp capable of conveying an intangible emotional connection between patients at the hospital and their family and close friends. I also led couple of workshops that help identify the right circumstances and uses for this connected object.
Interestingly what came out of these various interviews and workshop sessions, was first and foremost the social awkwardness created by the illness. Where the patient may not want to be seen by, or talk to, their visitors because of their their medical conditions, or the family not having the right words, or simply not knowing what to say anymore, for comforting and supporting the patient.
Eventually, the goal of creating an abstract connection between them was as important for the patient as it was for the family. The patients not necessarily interested in the content of a message, was comforted by the idea that someone thought of them, whilst the family and friends may sometimes use this opportunity like a 'confessional'.
The final approach led us to create an object connected to a phone app, whereby the family can send drawings and images to the patient's private lamp which will interpret the content of these messages into a generative 'light show'. The actual sent messages were not to be stored whilst the abstract animations would only suggest their content, leaving the interpretation to the patient's imagination regarding who and what, and enabling some form of escapism (patients may stay in their hospital bedroom for months).
produced by Nexus Interactive Arts