Not So White Walls
With the idea of reinventing wallpaper by imbuing it with interactive qualities.
The most remarkable element of this interactive wallpaper has been the development of a display that uses heat sensitive ink and a resistor matrix to present large scale pixillated images. These images change slowly, with a refresh rate that can be measured in seconds, and they are made of reflected light, just like normal writing or painting on paper. We consider this to be a signal example of appropriate use of technology, since such an effect would not be obtainable by using other means (such as projections, LEDs or video walls) and because it develops its own poetic qualities of slow and subliminal change. What is perhaps more important is that this display does not add more boxes to our cluttered living landscapes; when it is powered off, it is just a plain wall with no visible technology elements.
Video by Simone Muscolino
The project has gone through four iterations and is now entering the commercial stage . Developing an academic project into one of commercial level feasibility is another step in complexity that shines a particularly strong light on yet another requirement for an interaction designer: social competence . But, as Joachim Sauter reminded us, â€œDesign is easy. Social competence is the most difficult thing to teachâ€.
Interactive wallpaper uses high technology in a peculiar way; the computer disappears as a visible presence â€“ we just get its effect, and technology is used a discreet and effective way.
We can state three reasons for considering discreetness and effectiveness as general conditions of success for the use of technology in design.
The purpose of the project is to prototype and develop a wallpaper interactive display in order to:
- In a first phase, sell the working prototype to a client (PRADA) that requested it to understand the possible use and application of it in their shops.
- In a second phase to implement the work done for PRADA and present the piece to exhibition and, maybe, companies in order to go further with the research and possibly produce it.
The outcome of this research project is a platform on top of which the institute can develop further studies on interactive and non video based display. practically the research project consists in two prototypes: one property of Prada and the other property of the Institute. The prototype developed for the institute is the final result of the research. ideally this pieces can be rented or sold for exhibition porpuses or presented to companies for further development.
The research project was born from a precise request from a famous fashion design brand that, after seeing the prototypes of â€œNot so White Wallsâ€, the interactive wallpaper designed by Dario Buzzini for his thesis master degree, asked to develop one of the prototypes in further detail. The request was oriented to produce a piece that could be installed in the new Prada shop in Los Angeles. The development of the prototype is focused on making an easy, modular and open system to create an interactive wall tapestry that behaves like a slow refresh rate and low resolution display made out of paper and electronics.