LCC’s MA Interaction Design Communication students were recently selected to exhibit their work at the ThingsCon conference in Berlin on Thursday 7 – Friday 8 May 2015.

ThingsCon is a leading European conference about the future of hardware, connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), and includes talks, workshops and an international line-up of speakers, this year including LCC Lecturer in Design for Interaction and Physical Computing, Nicolas Marechal.

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Nicolas Marechal gives a presentation on social objects at ThingsCon 2015

Nicolas’s presentation about his students’ work, ‘A design approach to IoT: the social objects’, outlined the MA course’s interest in exploring the use of technology. With the IoT currently led by technology rather than design, LCC students are encouraged to look at the role of design in shaping the future of objects.

This year each student was asked to find, define, refine and make a social object. Nicolas explains that social objects “are transactional as they facilitate exchanges, they connect the people who create, own, use, critique, or consume them”.

The resulting objects created by the students tackle the subjects of paranoia, sustainability, domestic violence, social addiction, haptics, disobedience, history and many other topics.

Four students secured job or project offers during the conference and exhibition, and some will be applying to Casa Jasmina, a project announced at the conference by sci-fi writer Bruce Sterling.

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Qiaozhi Zhao’s ‘The Mood Cactus’ uses the cactus as a metaphor for resisting or dreading intimacy within relationships.

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‘Personal colour’ by Xuanjia Ren aims to engage people in communication using colour. Participants choose their glasses according to their favourite colour, and when people toast with each other the colours change.

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‘Nomo-Wearable’ by Eric Lin aims to shift people’s concentration back from the virtual world to physical reality. A wearable device is strapped to a user’s arm and applies negative feedback when it detects mobile wireless connection usage.

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‘Social Circuits’ by Kalypso Kaplani is a participatory artwork that encourages people to make tags, signatures and shapes by creating circuits on the canvas.

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Anan Huo’s ‘For Her’ is designed to help victims of domestic abuse. Users wear it beneath their clothes, and if they are physically attacked it triggers an alarm to friends or family.

Read more about MA Interaction Design Communication