Posts Tagged ‘social’

The Social Spotlight

// November 4th, 2009 // No Comments » // Physical Computing

social spotlight

The Social Spotlight was created in collaboration with Boris Klompus and Miriam Simun for our physical computing midterm. The project, consisting of a bench and three spotlights, sets the stage for social experimentation. Imagine how the setting would influence these experiments if it were to be installed in such places as subway platforms.

As a user approaches the bench the spotlight above the left seat is lit, enticing the user to sit there. This is sort of stage one of the experiment. Would people want to sit in the spotlight or feel they are supposed to? Would they be too shy and sit in one of other seats or avoid the bench all together. Once someone sits in the spotlight, that light turns off and the middle light turns on. As the etiquette of social norms in this type of situation may suggest, one would normally leave a seat in between empty before sitting down. With the middle spotlight turning on, the bench suggests otherwise. With the middle seat taken, the last spotlight lights up. Once the bench is fully occupied, the light above the first person to sit down turns back on again. This leads to new observations. Does the person under the spotlight feel awkward in this situation? Do they feel as though they are meant to get up? How do others sitting on the bench respond? The interest in how the answers to these questions change from user to user and location to location was one of the biggest factors in leading us to develop the project.

Here are a few more photos and a video below to demo how it functions.