Quantified Body Language: Design Informatics Pavilion 2018

In the third of our series looking at exhibits you can find in the Design Informatics Pavilion designer Mark Williams explains the concepts behind ‘Quantified Body Language.’ 


We often envision a future where artificial beings have their own distinct intelligences. Robots of the modern day are, however, not so much robots as they are networks.  These networks take in a wide source of inputs from various data sources and start to build up complex models of the built environment. These data sources can be completely invisible to the human inhabitants.

So we will probably not be communicating with individual, instead a network of objects will be working together to interpret us.  Much research has already been done into understanding humans visibly and audibly, with the ultimate goal of being able to interpret the emotional states of the person.  Adding touch as another useable data stream seems like the next logical step in terms of the human senses we use to experience the world; and it adds a physical intimacy that is missing from the current schema.

I worked with pressure sensitive fabric and built up a system to capture, visualise, and interpret the data as body postures.  I then hid this technology in a innocuous dining chair as it is the furthest thing from a robot that I could conceive of.

Sponsored by HITEK Electronic Materials Ltd

To learn more about the project’s design and conception you can read an interview with Mark on the Edinburgh College of Art website HERE