Interactive Wallpaper

Lilli and I recently finished our digitally interactive wallpaper and we’re so pleased to hear that the team at Artcodes like it. Since our brief was mostly concerned with the coding methods we needed to demonstrate rather than the context or aesthetic of the design, Lilli and I had to get our thinking caps on to decide these things before we began. We wanted to show that the application of artcodes can be meaningful and, since we both have an interest in wildlife, we started planning a wallpaper that could be used to address environmental and conservation issues, such as the bee population here in Britain, and rather than just provide facts, give people ideas and information about how they can get involved and help to make a difference.

The wallpaper could be installed either in a public environment, such as a museum for educational purposes, or in a private home. We loved the idea of it being in a summer house or a conservatory. Each time someone goes out to do the gardening they could scan the wallpaper with their artcodes app and get tips for making a bee or hedgehog friendly environment, finding out how to have a healthy ecosystem. And there is potential for the information linked to the artcodes to change over time to match the seasons or changes in animal population. It could even link to an animal survey and where to input results.

NotesColour testing

We started drawing different British animals and plants and playing with our composition. Having the different elements on separate sheets of paper meant that we could physically play with the layout. We soon settled on the idea of having four main scannable ‘wreaths’ with additional creatures and leaves trailing and connecting the different features. Once we had made that decision, the next step was to finalise our drawings and start encoding.

Image of designer drawingImage of the Artcodes app reading a design

The project was really challenging because, although at first Lilli and I thought we had very similar styles, we very soon realised that collaborations can really high-light even small differences. Our first two illustrations looked nothing alike and although we had talked about colour we both applied it so differently our work just didn’t gel. We spent a lot of time discussing, drawing, re-drawing, colouring and re-colouring to make sure that the final wallpaper flows naturally and the illustrations sit well with one another.

Early designs showing different styles

As well as a challenge, it’s been an exciting project because since I last worked with Artcodes, the app has been developed even further opening up so many more opportunities for design as well as adding endless possibilities for codes. For example, whereas before the app would always attach the same numerical code to an art code it scanned, it can now read different codes depending on the angle at which an art code is scanned. The perspective alters the way the art code is understood and therefore allows different codes to be read and different experiences depending on where the viewer is standing and the angle they are scanning. This got us really excited…although it did also boggle our brains a little in the process. But we are pleased to say that all of our art codes scan with three different possibilities.

Close-up of design (1)Close-up of design (2)

So what’s next? Well, we have just finished testing different colour variations of the wallpaper to see how it affects scanning and to ensure that we can provide the best user experience possible. Once we have the final wallpaper printed we are hoping that we will be able to find somewhere exciting to install it. Since we have designed the wallpaper with both private and public environments in mind, it would be wonderful if we could find a public space to display it and encourage people to interact with the art codes.

Image of a segment of the interactive wallpaperImage of how the interactive wallpaper might look in the homeImage of how the interactive wallpaper might look in a museumImage of a different segment of the interactive wallpaper

An interactive tile panel

Artcodes have been working with Johnson’s Tiles design team to design an interactive tile panel that explores the domestic implementation of the Artcode technology. A series of design iterations explore the repetition of modern domestic patterns that are both interactive through scanning the artcode designs or purely decorative through use of aesthetically pleasing contemporary designs.

The Artcodes design team followed trend predictions by Johnson’s design teams, relating to colour, pattern and motif to design interior tiles that have a contemporary resonance. User groups explored the possible scenarios and interactions we can build into such an object.

The final collection of tiles describe a future where our domestic interiors enable any number of personal and beautiful interactions. Our prototype tile panel was displayed at the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent in 2015.

BCB tile panel

Image courtesy Clive Martin.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

An interactive coaster for Busaba Eathai

The Artcodes project has been working with the Busaba Eathai chain of restaurants to explore the implementation of Artcodes as a service level interactive device in the dining context. The challenge was to develop a series of decorated objects such as tableware, menus, placemats and coasters to enable the implementation of an interactive service in a sympathetic manner to the primary purpose of the restaurant; to serve food!

Through a series of scenario building workshops with diverse focus groups from designers and marketeers through to managers, waiters and chefs, we explored resonant implementation possibilities inline with Busaba’s 10 stages of service.

The fours coaster presented below are the entry level interactive device, aimed at incentivizing the loyalty element of their existing app. Users will be offered a range of free offers through scanning the coaster.

Busaba Coaster Designs

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Carolan Guitar

Every guitar tells a story, from the tonewoods that form it, to the craft of its making, to the players that own it, to the places it visits, and to the many songs that it sings.

This is the story of a unique guitar; one that has been created with the express purpose of capturing and telling its own life history.

Our guitar is called Carolan in honour of the legendary composer Turlough O’Carolan, the last of the great blind Irish harpers, and an itinerant musician who roamed Ireland at the turn of the 18thcentury, composing and playing beautiful celtic tunes. Like it’s namesake, Carolan is a roving bard; a performer that passes from place to place, learning tunes, songs and stories as it goes and sharing them with the people it encounters along the way. Continue reading