Overall, I feel I successfully created a piece of interactive information design for the shared public space, which intends to elucidate/explain an idea or concept. I am happy with my final piece and felt that it worked well with the target audience (see users interacting with piece). I have learnt a lot by doing this project, both the programming side as well as following an iterative design process. The concept that my piece applies to is Surrealism, this concept interests me and looking at various surreal art work and photography really inspired me for my piece. I have used surrealist techniques in my piece such as the juxtaposition of falling objects, repetition of shapes, as well as ideas relating to the blurring boundaries between the real and imaginary. Throughout my blog, I have linked the theory modules that I have studied to my practice (media and history, and consumer culture) as I feel that this is important; it has developed my understandings and allowed me to use more theoretical analysis. I used an iterative design process to produce my piece, which allowed me to constantly gain feedback, and make improvements that have helped to make my end piece more successful. The iterative design processes that I followed were:

– Requirements Gathering
– Analysis
– Design
– User Testing

To view blog posts related to each iteration, then click on the individual categories. Throughout my blog you can clearly see the development of my piece: from learning the basics of programming, to watching tutorials, analysing existing examples, experimenting with various ideas, improving the piece, and finally to users interacting with my final piece.

Processing Experiments

Over the holidays, I have been working on my interactive idea, developing the code and experimenting with different objects. Using Shiffmans brightness thresholding example, I then used existing knowledge of object orientated programming to create different classes (a blueprint that allows us to create an object), where each class contains data, constructors and methods. The methods I used for the different classes were all fairly similar:
void display () – displays the class (ellipse, rect, img etc.)
void descend () – descends to bottom of sketch (y+yspeed)
void bottom () – when they reach bottom, the start back at top of sketch (if (y > height){y=0;})

One idea is to have various brightly coloured shapes, here is an example:

I like the simplicity of this idea, and think the various shapes could work well. It makes the piece appeal like a game, which will hopefully encourage users to interact. I like the bright colours and this is something I would definitely use, no matter what objects I decide to use. The colours really stand out on the black and white video capture and I think it’ll look good when I go program it so the black pixels obstruct them from falling. I think the shapes would be a simple, yet effective objects to incorporate into the piece.

Another idea is to have ‘raining men’, here is an example:

golcondaThis idea links back to Magrittes’ surreal art work (image to right). I like the fact it looks quite unusual, and think it strongly relates to my concept of surrealism. I would have to program it so when the bottom of the ‘raining men’ figures reaches a black pixels then it moves up to a white. Again, I really like the bright colours and think they help make the piece stand out and look more appealing. The disadvantage is that it may be slightly harder to program using figures but I am willing to experiment further.

From this idea, I could incorporate various stick man doing different activities, in order to make it more varied and interesting. For example, I could have figures carrying out different sporting activities. Each figure could be a different bright colour, helping it to stand out and make it more visually appealing. Sport is something I enjoy and thus this will make my piece more personal. This can also relate back to my previous post regarding Slinkachu and his intriguing street photography of tiny people.


Another idea inspired by Cerise Doucède photography is to have falling objects that relate to the public space. Due to my interactive installation being in the Media School this idea could work well and users can relate to the various objects, here are some examples: social media 1 | black2012051003csicons-02

From experimenting with my interactive piece, I have learnt that the brightness thresholding example works best when the background is clear. Also, it depends on the lighting of the space and the set threshold number as to how silhouette like figures will be. I need to test these example in the space to see if it will work. I may find that the background may be a problem due to the walls having various photographs and posters on them. So, I will have to test on various public displays to see which one would work best and alter the thresholding accordingly. If needed, I may have to put up a white screen in the public space and set it up so users stand in front of the screen.

Next I will go on to add a class method:
void obstruct () – descend when on white pixel and ascend when on black pixel.
I plan to do this using previous knowledge of conditional statements and gaining help in workshop if required. Then, I will begin to test my piece both in the public space and with the target audience, to gain feedback and further follow the iterative design process.

Silhouette Photography

A silhouette is…

“a two-dimensional representation of the outline of an object, as cutout or configurational drawing, uniformly filled in with black…” (Dictionary.com, 2014)

For my idea, I would like to capture people as silhouettes rather than in full detail. I feel this would help to encourage people to interact, as some won’t like being on camera. If the public space is busy, I feel that people may be embarrassed to interact with the piece so due to it not capturing full details of the person this could resolve this problem. I decided to briefly have a look at some silhouette photography and here are some that stood out to me…



I think that in each of the photos, the silhouette really stands out, being very bold and clear, of which I aim for mine to be like. I especially like the bottom photo as it relates to the concept of surrealism. In the photo, the people have puzzle pieces as faces, this blurs the boundaries between reality and the imagination. They are hand-cut paper silhouettes, being held as if they are positioned on top of buildings and the pieces of the puzzle fit together, imitating people kissing. For my piece, I plan to have a white background, video capturing black silhouettes interacting with various brightly coloured falling objects. Next, I will go on to develop my idea by further experimenting with processing to develop my code.

1stWebDesigner, 2012. 60 Beautiful & Stunning Examples of Silhouette Photography [online]. Available from: http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/silhouette-photography/ [Accessed 13 December 2014].

Dictionary.com, 2014. Dictionary [online]. Available from: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/silhouette [Accessed 13 December 2014].

TrendHunter, 2012. Surreal Silhouette Papercrafts [online]. Available from: http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/dreampapercut-by-dmytro-and-iuliia [Accessed 13 December 2014].

Brightness Thresholding Images

I analysed Daniel Shiffmans brightness threshold example and edited the code to create a piece inspired by the surreal photography I have been looking at. Here is the code…Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 19.24.28

I feel confident in being able to re-work this code as it uses all previous knowledge I have learnt in processing workshops with the addition of threshold. It require the size setup, loading of an image and its pixels, for loop and a conditional statement so that if it is greater than the threshold it is white and black if less than. Here is the edited result:

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 19.43.12
I really like the brightness threshold effect and I may incorporate it into my interactive piece. Inspired by Cerise Doucède’s photography, I added floating tennis balls to the piece. Next, I will explore some video effect examples and further develop my idea.

Surreal Photography

I have explored the concept of surrealism further by researching some surreal photography pieces. Here are some pieces that stood out most to me, I will analyse what I like about each one and relate them to my idea for my interactive piece.

photo surrealThis piece is by Ronen Goldman, it features a man obstructing apples that are flying towards him with an open umbrella. Goldman turns fantasies into works of art – ‘photo-dreams’. This piece was in fact inspired by Magrittes’ paintings, after Goldman went and visited the Magritte Museum in Belgium. I like the simplicity of this idea, and it has highlighted to me how simple ideas can be just as effective. It has quite a humorous effect and is very eye catching. The surreal element of the addition of the flying apples really helps to make viewers look deeper into the image, in order to understand what it being represented.


This piece is by Slinkachu, it stood out to me as it is very unique and unusual. It features miniature people having a ‘Tug Of War’ with a £10 note. The use of tiny people in his photography really helps to blur the boundaries between the real and the imaginary, hence show surrealism. This idea is again quite simple, but it has a strong effect, of which engages viewers deeper into his street photography. Slinachu uses everyday objects that are found in the streets and incorporates tiny people to create imagined scenes/stories, for example, skating on orange peel, shooting a bee etc.

EgarementsThis piece is by Cerise Doucède, her photography features flying objects that relate to the scene.Cerise says in her photography, ‘The imagination takes precedence over reality, the invisible becomes visible.’ In this piece, the couple are having breakfast in bed and there are various flying plates, mugs, cutlery and foods. I really like her photography as again it is very unique and interesting. It relates really well to my piece as likewise, I plan to have flying objects. The surreal element of the flying objects undoubtedly make the piece more intriguing and engaging.

From looking at surreal photography, it has really helped to inspire me for my piece. It has given me more ideas as to the objects that I could include in my piece. From looking at Ronen Goldman’s photography, I could incorporate animals or foods as the gravitating object in my piece. From looking at Slinkachu, I could include tiny people in my piece, which also relates back to Margrittes surreal artwork. I could have the people carrying out different activities, whether it be different sports or different activities relating to the media school (on laptop/filming/radio presenting). Finally, by looking at Cerise Doucède, I could relate the falling objects to the public space and have objects such as phones, laptops, cameras etc, or could relate the objects specifically to Digital Media Design and have objects the relate to the course, such as mac and adobe icons. By exploring surreal photography, it has made me realise more about how I could use surrealism in my piece. I have learnt that the piece doesn’t need to be highly complex as these pieces all show how simple ideas/concepts can be very interesting and engaging. Each piece is very unusual and unique, of which I want my piece to be. This will hopefully help it to stand out in the public space and encourage users to explore deeper into the piece and interact with it.


Goldman, R, 2014. Ronen Goldman [online]. Available from: http://www.ronengoldman.com/?gallery=surrealistic-pillow-project-gallery [Accessed 9 Dec].

Slinkachu, 2014. Slinkachu [online]. Available from: http://slinkachu.com/home [Accessed 9 Dec].

Doucède, C, 2013. Cerise D [online]. Available from: http://cerisedoucede.fr/portfolio/egarements-4/ [Accessed 9 Dec].