Design Informatics Pavilion

The Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival (4-27 August 2016) is to launch this year as a new face on the Fringe circuit, the festival "presented by Riverside Studios, brings together the worlds of arts, entertainment and technology – to showcase the best of what is happening right now and provoke the conversation about what comes next." The festival will take place on George Square and the Assembly Rooms this August and we are delighted that Design Informatics and the University of Edinburgh, ECA will be taking part.
We will be showing work by Design Informatics researchers and Masters students in a specially commissioned structure by Biomorphis architects. A range of products and experiences will be shown that invite you to live a little further into the future, looking at the theme of Living with Data. Come and get married for 15 minutes with our smart contracting app, have a cuppa from the bitcoin coffee machine and try out intelligent furniture.
The Design Informatics Pavilion has been designed by Pierre Forissier from Edinburgh based, Biomorphis architects and Mark Kobine. Interested in how digital technology could be used to design a modular structure, Pierre wrote an algorithm to generate different cellular divisions to form the surface of the structure. Using a CNC router (Computer Numerical Control) pairs of sheets are assembled to form modular cassettes; the double layered skin constantly changes the view of the interior or exterior as you move. Prefabricated off site, and assembled quickly on site, the final pavilion demonstrates how computer algorithms are helping designers develop parametric architecture which is strong, light weight but evocative to the eye.
Each day we will have a nano-tech talk from each of the artists, check out the chalk board outside the Pavilion (open 11am-6pm) for more information on times.
Snapshot of the work we will be showing includes:
Title: Living with living things
Artists: Anais Moisy, Larissa Pschetz, Shi Hui Tan (Edinburgh Genome Foundry and Design Informatics)
Recent advances in synthetic biology, together with a renewed interest in engaging with living materials, have motivated designers to question traditional ways of carrying out and understanding their practice. We present three concepts, of a) a fabric that evolves according to seasons and human care, b) a knife that is augmented with biological material to support consumption of specific foods and c) a sink that, as a clock, signalises when a particular action is needed. The three concepts reflect on the role of living things for our future lives as a) actively integrated in human routines, b) passive producers of contents for consumption and finally as c) commensal co-habitants of the human environment.
More information here
Title: I Chose to be Watched
Artist: Shi Hui Tan (Advanced MSc design Informatics Student)
The pervasiveness of social media has caused it to evolve from being merely a communication tool to a whole new world of its own – a virtual world. Have you ever noticed people gathered around a table with no conversations going on between them, and everyone is busy scrolling through their social media accounts? This is what I term “living in the virtual world”.  At that moment in time, their time in the physical world has paused and their time in the virtual world has resumed. The virtual world is what one often enters at the expense of their privacies. Despite knowing that the virtual world potentially opens up new ways for others to monitor their lives, they still choose to live in it. So, does accepting someone’s friend request on a social network equate to accepting the condition for them to stalk you?
Title: Totely
Artist: Philip Budny (MSc Design Informatics student)
Totely is a smart tote bag that helps consumers make more ethical decisions by scanning and analyzing products as they are placed inside it. Three arrays of LEDs illuminate information about Totely’s contents, indicating the amount of air miles the food has travelled, its number of calories, and amount of packaging. In this way, consumers develop a deeper understanding of their shopping cart’s contents, allowing them to make more informed choices, while engaging in a social context by simultaneously broadcasting this information to everyone in the grocery store.
More information here
Title: Happily ever after (bitcoin)
Artist: Design Informatics collaboration, code by Hadi Mehroupya
Ever wanted to join your partner in bitcoin matrimony? Or wanted to join another partnership for a short time only? You’ve come to the right place. Record a short-term bitcoin union in the blockchain at our “Living with Data” pavilion. Blessed with a small amount of bitcoin, you can merge and share your wallet for the duration of your nuptials only. By sealing your romantic agreement (and unromantic dissolution) in the blockchain, your temporary wedding will become immutably recorded in an ever growing database of encrypted marriages. This web app prototype was developed in collaboration with James Stewart, Max Dovey and Corina Angheloiu during the Blockchain City workshop at the Citylab conference in Amsterdam. Workshop and concept by Chris Speed, Larissa Pschetz, Dave Murray-Rust, Hadi Mehroupya and Bettina Nissen.
More information here
Title: BitBarista
Artist: Rory Gianni, Ella Tallyn, Mark Kobine, Larissa Pschetz (Design Informatics)
BitBarista is an example of an Internet of Things device, one of a growing number of devices connected to the internet that can collect, exchange and use data. BitBarista uses Bitcoin currency enabling customers to engage with this new form of transaction that can move beyond currency into new types of value exchange.      
BitBarista is a Delonghi home coffee machine that has been enhanced by the addition of a Raspberry Pi computer which interfaces with the coffee machine enabling the computer to control its functions. BitBarista has its own Bitcoin account, so it can accept and make Bitcoin payments.  This means that customers can pay for coffee in Bitcoin, and BitBarista can also make Bitcoin payments to customers in return for maintenance tasks such as refilling the water or cleaning away coffee grinds. The idea is that BitBarista becomes semi-autonomous, trading with customers to take care of its own maintenance requirements.
Title: A Story. A Friend.
Artist: Vanessa Hanschke (MSc Design Informatics student)
When one sits on it, the chair prints a note which invites the participant to contribute to the story. It then follows with another note telling the story of a past visitor, which the participant should then continue. They upload their written continuation along with a matching picture, which is then stored on a blog. The picture can be taken there and then of anything that people find inspiring in their surroundings. The newly written part of the story will then remain in the chair for the next person to unleash as they sit on it. The chair is intended to build bridges among and between visitors and their surroundings.
More information here
Title: Less is more – Smart wardrobe
Artist: Yicheng (Charlotte) Zhang (Advanced MSc design Informatics Student)
Having excessive belongings is a sign of our times, creating additional strains on both the environment and our wallets. This product helps people manage their money, also raising awareness of the belongings’ value, and subsequently prevents people from compulsive shopping. The hanger weighs your clothes and notices changes in weight creating a database of how often you use certain items of clothing. When you try to add a new garment to it, the wardrobe will refuse if the wardrobe capacity has reached the limit. This is meant to encourage you to think whether you need this shopping or would like to donate one of your clothes away by tweeting with the hashtag “LIM_donate” in exchange for the new one. The idea is to focus on the quality not the quantity in your life. Do ask your smart wardrobe before shopping!
More information here
Title: Truth or Belief
Artist: Shun-Yi Chang (MFA Design Informatics Student)
Everything has a value behind them and money is just a unit of measurement we use to assess value. We rely so much on using money to weigh the value of things around us, that we put a price tag to everything ranging from salary, experience to even love. Money simplified how we judge the value of something and because of that, we often overlook the true value of the things we buy. Do we really perceive something to be of better quality just because it is more expensive? In order to wake ourselves from this preconception, we have to challenge our beliefs and reconsider the way we perceive value. I would like you to ask yourself a few questions: Do you believe in astrology or in fortune telling? Have you ever perceived the value of an item because of its monetary retail price? Why not join me in my project to discover your personal values: simply scan a barcode that represents your identity, this device will analyse your personal values and display it in your surroundings through Augmented Reality. Explore your surroundings and reconsider the way you perceive value.   

Title: Personal Data Bazaar
Artist: Masa Morishita (MFA Design Informatics Student)
Personal Data Bazaar is an augmented space where people can exchange their personal data. The project aims to understand how our personal data can be translated as value, and also how we can interact with the data in a user interface. Today, we are producing tons of data in our everyday lives. However, a massive amount of data is generally exploited by the corporations and governments to for their own benefits without us noticing it. The project explores a new way to visualize how much your personal data is worth, by letting people swap their contact information and activity log in a peer-to-peer manner. And it also describes what the future of a personal data marketplace would look like.

Project funded by ECA, University of Edinburgh and in association with the Edinburgh Art Festival.
See what else is taking place during the Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival on their website-

start date: 
Thursday, August 4, 2016
end date: 
Saturday, August 27, 2016
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