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The Spatialized Digital Milieu: An Infrastructure Approach to the Design of Responsive Environments | Matt Gorbet

  • 29 May 2024
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Online


  • Current TorCHI members

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Major technical advances in materials science and computation are unlocking a world of potential in the design of objects and environments. It is suddenly realistic to imagine everyday objects and structures with dynamic, controllable behaviours: shape, texture, sound, light and other attributes that can vary in time. This has profound implications for architecture, robotics, product design, entertainment and more. But how will we control and meaningfully interact with these new surroundings? To make such emergent expressivity practical, a new way of imagining technical infrastructure for responsive environments is required.

This talk introduces a new framework for thinking about the control and design of expressive objects in our built environment. The Spatialized Digital Milieu (SDM) blurs the distinction between physical ‘objects’ and digital ‘devices.’ It overlays physical space with a persistent, spatially-anchored volume of data that can be sensed and influenced by active objects. Like a digital breeze, influences within this algorithmic space shape the behaviour of physical objects in a spatially coordinated, computationally distributed fashion, creating the potential for expressive poetics that enrich our environments and affect our emotions.

Photo credit: Ryan Leung  |  Installation credit:  Philip Beesley / Living Architecture Systems Group

Matt Gorbet twists technology to create the unexpected, bringing to life unconventional objects and experiences in public spaces worldwide. He has worked with art+technology for over 25 years, creating artwork and installation projects that have been exhibited internationally and installed permanently in retail, hospitality and educational environments. Among the first graduates of Hiroshi Ishii's Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab, Matt went on to become a member of research staff at Xerox PARC in the 1990s, in a multidisciplinary team pursuing speculative design of new document genres. This led to decades of work creating art+technology experiences, and more recently a deep collaboration with Philip Beesley's Living Architecture Systems Group. Matt holds several patents on novel interaction technologies, and a D.Des. in Architecture and Technology.


6:50 - The web meeting waiting room opens

7:00  - Presentation via ZOOM

8:00 to 8:30 - Networking on ZOOM

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Meeting ID: 860 9305 1502

Passcode: 123456

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