The objects of our everyday lives have a backstory, as well as a continuously emerging history, that we might never discover without doing a bit of research. Each object contains a concept, a designer, a fabricator, and materials from which it is made, but the owner/user of that object rarely knows what the story of that object is. At the same time, once objects are acquired and put into use, they take on a life of their own in which they might have experiences and interactions with both people and other objects. These experiences and interactions can be embedded within the object, creating an ongoing contextual history, until the product is finally dismantled, recycled, or repurposed… at which point, it begins this cycle again. Ubiquitous computing technologies provide the tools for embedding information within objects as well as communicating that information to the personal, mobile devices we carry with us every day.
The StoryObjects project investigates the potential for new forms of storytelling between people and everyday objects. The current phase of this project consists of a custom-designed table for the new School of Cinematic Arts Lucas Building. The table is sustainably constructed using reclaimed materials from both the old George Lucas Instructional Building and the old MGM Studios Sound Stage 28. This table is embedded with images and information that is accessible when building inhabitants who are using the Million Story Building iPhone application come within bluetooth proximity of the table. The embedded information is transmitted to a users mobile phone, with more pieces of the story becoming available as the user spends more time with the object.
StoryObjects was exhibited at the Intel Student Design Expo, September 21-22 2009.
[Concept/Design: Jen Stein; Technical Implementation: Will Carter and Peter Preuss; Fabrication: Urban Woods Studio]