Isabella Hong – Looking Outwards – 12

For my last Looking Outwards post, I will be comparing and discussing the works of interaction designers, Daito Manabe and Caitlin Morris.

Daito Manabe is an artist, programmer, and DJ based in Tokyo, Japan. As a designer, he focuses on the relationship between the body and programming, opting to represent the connections in simple, clean works. He enjoys finding the balance between simple and intricate in his productions and this shows in his work, “Arigato Skating”, a motion graphic made for the opening of the NHK Trophy (a stop on the figure skating grand prix circuit). By using projectors and cameras, Manabe created the illusion that the junior skaters were creating lines of light and flowers with their blades. The full production is beautiful.

Caitlin Morris is an artist and technologist that explores various representations of physical space often through sound and perception. She is constantly crossing the line between digital and physical space, testing where the limit is on both. In November of 2010, Morris did a sound installation on the Brooklyn Bridge that demonstrated this flirtation with digital and physical interaction. She installed contact microphones across the railings of the Brooklyn Bridge. When pedestrians plugged their headphones into the little boxes, they could hear the vibrations of the bridge, indirectly interacting with the bridge’s interaction with water, wind and travelers. It was very cool.

Contact Microphone
A pedestrian listens to the Brooklyn Bridge

Although both Manabe and Morris are interaction designers, their works delve and trigger reactions from different senses. Manabe focuses on the visual and tactile interaction between his art and his audience. Meanwhile, Morris focuses on how her audience can interact with sound. Overall, both artist provoke reaction through their productions, something that I think is crucial when presenting personal work.



– 2008

Barrel Distortion – Philip Rideout – 2011



Chris O Shea’s work emphasizes visualizing fluid motion. Although in this project he primarily focused on car paths, this technique could be applied to many different patterns as well. I really like time lapse as a form of visualization, and I believe that it can provide key insight and allow patterns to form from data that previously might look disoriented. On the flip side, Philip Rideout’s project focused more on the nature of one object. In this case he distorts barrels using vertex based techniques. By applying these techniques he is able to view the barrels under a comprehensive list of conditions and gain more insight into the object’s structure this way.

Although their work appears different, I believe they are actually quite similar in that they both try to explore and gain insight into objects and scenarios. Philip’s work does this with objects while Chris’ work applies to scenarios and larger scale activities. These two stood out to me as I feel that a missed opportunity could be a combination of both cases. I think it would be very interesting to see a project that combines the two aspects and observes an object in certain scenarios and evaluates its form and condition.