Designing Interactions

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Bill Gaver

Bill Gaver is interviewed in Chapter 8 – Multisensory and Multimedia. In the mid eighties, he developed auditory icons with Joy Mountford. He also worked with Gillian Crampton Smith, Tony Dunne and Fiona Raby at the Royal College of Art in London.

Bill Gaver is interested in broad issues of mediated social behavior. His work at the Royal College of Art in London explored the use of technologies to make aesthetic, social, and cultural interventions. He was one of the founders of the Equator Project, a six-year Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), to investigate the integration of the physical and digital worlds by developing innovative systems. The initial research involved design driven research techniques called Cultural Probes to uncover people’s values and activities. In 2005 he was appointed professor of design at Goldsmiths College, London.

Bill gives three examples of experimental designs that use weight and force sensors to enable designs with subtle interactive sensitivities. The Drift Table has a window in the center displaying slowly moving satellite images; the Key Table indicates the mood of people in a house, and the History Tablecloth illuminates around objects that are placed on it.

Bill Gaver with the History Tablecloth.