Objects Sandbox

Taken from interview with Brompton Design District for the Showcase at Christie's during London Design Festival:

We’re looking forward to seeing REACT Objects Sandbox in Brompton Design District! Please can you explain a bit about the organisation, how you bring together different disciplines under one umbrella?

REACT funds and supports collaborations between academics and creative businesses. We believe that bringing together a broad range of people to collaborate, makes for better products. In particular we believe that involving people who best understand human behaviour, society and human history in innovation, makes for more considered products. Well that’s what we continue to test and find out – it’s all a bit of an experiment too…

The exhibition displays a range of products that explore the internet of things. Please can you explain a bit more about this? What can we expect?

We have been supporting six collaborations which have been exploring human experiences in the Internet of Things. This was around a 3 month period of R&D and we’re now at a point to show the world the prototypes, the thinking and this approach to innovation.

Each of the 6 projects will be showcased at Christie’s and each is so different from the other. We’ll show an object that reduces stress and anxiety through music, a storyteller that helps pupils learn about the difficult histories of the slave trade and there’ll even be a spot of taxidermy that highlights the Plume Boom and ways in which we can enhance the museum experience.

The resulting products will be exhibited at Christie’s, how do you see the juxtaposition of elegant, classic furniture with prototypes and digital products?

Every great piece of design whether digital or not has been through many iterations and prototypes to get it just right. Objects Sandbox Showcase you could say, is a snapshot into what a working prototype, which has form and is pretty close to a final production material, could look like.

I would also say that we are in a very exciting period of design for physical digital products. The classic design adage – the one we have all heard of relating to product design – of form follows function is no longer applicable to products and digital technology. We can now be pleasantly surprised by form as it’s not dictated by the size of the piece of technology or screen contained within it. I think there is now little reason why timeless elegant simplicity, the type of design we often see elsewhere in Brompton, can’t exist in the world of physical digital product design.
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