Physical and the digital – inspiration while in Europe at the ECSITE 13 conference

So, a thread that, here at the studio, we believe is ripe for an explosion of innovation in both design and experience is

how we bring together the physical and digital worlds.

Many of our former blogs postings focus on this interplay. Since many of us who are part of the studio have science, design or engineering degrees, it makes some sense that we’d be intrigued by connections between the physical and the digital and how those connections might apply to a variety of future projects. Here are two new examples:

The first is Murmur created by Chevalvert2RoqsPolygraphik and Splank.






What is interesting here is the physical connection between the visitor’s sound and the representation on the screen. The literalness and physicality of this connection create a strong response between the experience and the digital display. Additionally, visitors manipulate a digital display of information via a physical interface that is not one of the expected devices normally used (screen, mouse, keyboard, knob etc.).


This week’s second inspiration piece is the projection on the Museum of Art and History in Geneva created by Onionlab. This production is called Evolució


While projecting on a building is not new, what this projection does is actually use the surface, the museum, as the star of the show. The physical world makes the projection “sing.” Too often in exhibition design attention is paid only to the digital content being projected. Perhaps, instead, we should start from the other way around:

“Here we have a special physical object. How could a projection added to it create something new and transformative?”

What do you think? Where have you seen interesting interplay between the physical and digital worlds?


Posted in: Experiences and Museums

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses


  1. Peter Wachter
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing the uplifting eye candy. Environmental art with environment as star. What a concept! I can see this done at a smaller scale, let’s say museum, with building models, flora and fauna, statuary pieces. Imagine telling the Lincoln story on the facade of the (real or scaled) Lincoln Memorial, or democracy on the faces of Mt. Rushmore. What would Gutzon Borglum think?

    As a product designer I envision this enhancing noble, altruistic crusades like water conservation (Hoover Dam, Niagara, giant tap?) , energy conservation (classic light bulb, nuclear plant, 1962 Lincoln Continental) The Henry Form might offer up a plethora of artifacts. Have you seen their Oscar Mayer Wiener Wagon? We’ve seen similar things in CGI in ads and promos but never really playing off the attributes of the “screen”.

    I’ll keep my eyes peeled for examples of the analog/digital interplay and interface. I like your work. You clearly have the vision and talent to amp this concept up. Regards, Peter

    PS: If you keep an e-mail database, I hope you’ll add me.

  2. Posted June 7, 2013 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    Hi Wayne,
    I enjoy your weekly inspiration emails…This week’s was particularly thought provoking as it brought to mind an old component I built for BCM back in 1986 where we made a mechanical model of the inner ear that was actuated by the sounds the visitors made….The output from the microphone was amplified with an off the shelf PA amp and then rectified to drive a small dc motor that moved the bones…There was a similar satisfaction of “seeing” the sounds you made, with an added conceptual lesson about physiology (even though the amplitude/frequency issue was all off!)…Interesting.
    Hope all is well,

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