When Things Speak: Giving Voice to Objects
Ryo Hanmura’s short story Cardboard Box is told from the perspective of a cardboard box. In the box’s own words, it shares its painful journey from factory, to use, and finally to being discarded. Along the way, we find ourselves empathizing with the box’s character, leading us to question our role as consumers. We might question how we “treat” the objects, products and technologies we encounter everyday. This may lead to other questions about objects or technologies that have (or have been given) character, personality, or even autonomy through voice or other anthropomorphic characteristics. What happens when we treat objects like people, or people like objects? As designers, artists, creators, when is it appropriate to give our creations human characteristics and what are the benefits and risks of doing so?
In this hands-on creative code and speculative design workshop, we will investigate what our world might be like if the objects around us (including products, clothing, etc.) could speak. Participants will learn how to create their own interactive art objects, inventions, and wearables that can speak words, produce melodies, and make other sounds. We will also investigate some of the above questions about creating technologies with “personality.” Students will use the Adafruit Circuit Playground: a microcontroller prototyping board that comes with many sensors and built-in sound capabilities to explore these questions in conjunction with re-imagining the objects around them, sketching new speculative objects, or incorporating technology into their previously constructed works.
Date/Time: 2. March 2021 from 15-18 (online event)
Workshop led by Mirabelle Jones.