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Press Review

press release
16 May 2005

Touch Me

Design and Sensation
16 June � 29 August 2005
A V&A and Wellcome Trust Exhibition
Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road

Interaction Design Institute Ivrea has been invited to show its work at the forthcoming exhibition Touch Me at the Victoria & Albert Museum London. Touch Me explores the pleasures and sensations of touch, looking at the designed world around us now and what the future holds.

Interaction-Ivrea will present five installations, each showcasing near future scenarios of how interactive environments and products can enhance our tactile experience. From Tune Me an ellipse-shaped structure in which one can listen to radio waves in a constantly changing scenario of light, mood and visual experience to the Message Table, a working desk that transforms itself into a answering machine, Interaction-Ivrea�s work displays a mesmerising vision of design that fuses play, functionality, form and technology.

Touch Me features work by a diverse range of international furniture, product, fashion and interaction designers including Hella Jongerius, IDEO, Karim Rashid, Marcel Wanders, Matali Crasset, Paul Cocksedge, Gitta Gschwendtner, Tokujin Yoshioka, Naomi Filmer and Shelley Fox. The exhibition will also showcases a range of innovative designs for the future from the Royal College of Art, Central Saints Martins, and MIT Medialab.

Touch Me explores the social, scientific, emotional and personal aspects of how we relate through touch and raises a series of questions about the future. Do we live in a touch-starved society? Can �virtual� touch interaction ever be a substitute for real touch? What are designers doing to improve the quality of how we touch and use products of all kinds? Can our sense of touch help us develop stronger emotional and social relationships with each other?

The Interaction Design Institute Ivrea installations have been curated by Line Ulrika Christiansen.

Touch Me is curated by Hugh Aldersey-Williams and Lauren Parker.
Lauren Parker is a curator of Contemporary Programmes at the V&A, specialising in new media and audio. She has curated several exhibitions including the V&A�s first ever audio exhibition, Shhh� (V&A, 2004). She is the author of Interplay: Interactive Design (V&A Publication, 2004).
Hugh Aldersey-Williams is a freelance writer and curator with interests in science, design and architecture. He curated Zoomorphic: New Animal Architecture at the V&A in 2003. His most recent book is Findings: Hidden Stories in First-hand Accounts of Scientific Discovery.

List of Interaction-Ivrea projects

Designers: Jennifer Bove, Simone Pia and Nathan Waterhouse
Prototype: Edoardo Brambilla
Electronic consultant: Massimo Banzi
StudioApe: Gianluca Alessio and Francesco Zannier

Collabolla is the first videogame where you have to sit astride a big inflatable ball (like the "Spacehopper" balls that were popular in the '70s) to send commands to the computer through your body movements. Another novelty is that the two players don't play against each other but have to join forces and co-ordinate with each other to combat a common enemy. That's how it gets its name �Collabolla� - expressing a spirit of collaboration rather than competition.

Message Table
Designers: Shawn Bonkowski and Dana Gordon
Design advisors: Massimo Banzi, Dario Buzzini, Heather Martin, Yaniv Steiner and Reto Wettach.
Prototype; Edoardo Brambilla
Electronics: Massimo Banzi, Gianluca Martino, Yaniv Steiner
Video: Simone Muscolino

Message Table is an interactive piece of furniture: a desk merged with an answering machine, which receives, plays and stores phone messages. When a message is left, a box representing that message slowly rises from the desk. When you return home you quickly scan the tabletop to see how many messages have arrived. Opening a box�s lid enables you to hear the message. Pushing that box back down into the desk deletes the message forever.

Designer: Michal Rinott
Prototype: Edoardo Brambilla
Electronics: Massimo Banzi and Yaniv Steiner
StudioApe: Gianluca Alessio and Francesco Zannier

SonicTexting is a way of writing text - "texting" - using touch and sound. Like with musical instruments and with everyday mechanical objects, sound in SonicTexting is synchronous and responsive to gestures. SonicTexting proposes that through touch and sound, interacting with digital devices can become an experience on the borders between a functional task, a musical instrument and a game.

Designers: Hayat Benchenaa and Garikoitz Iruretagoiena
Design advisors: Massimo Banzi, Dario Buzzini, Heather Martin, Yaniv Steiner and Reto Wettach
Prototype: Edoardo Brambilla
Electronics: Massimo Banzi, Gianluca Martino, Yaniv Steiner
Video: Hayat Benchenaa, Garikoitz Iruretagoiena and Simone Muscolino

The Sfera is a radio alarm clock which hangs above your bed and wakes you in the morning by forcing you physically to get out of bed. When you set the alarm, the glowing Sfera gradually dims and the music gently fades out as you drift off to sleep. When the alarm chimes in the morning, the only way to silence it is to reach up and gently tap the Sfera. This action initiates the snooze function, but it also makes the Sfera rise above your head towards the ceiling. As it slowly rises away from your reach, you must stretch higher each time to gain another ten minutes of snooze. When it reaches the ceiling, you have no option but to reach for it and drag it back down to your bed � an action which switches off the alarm and forces you finally to get up.

Tune Me
Designers: Line Ulrika Christiansen, Stefano Mirti and Stefano Testa (with Daniele Mancini and Francesca Sassaroli)
StudioApe: Gianluca Alessio and Francesco Zannier
Soundscapes: Raphael Monzini
Electronic consultant: Massimo Banzi

Tune Me is an immersive conceptual radio based upon tactile features. The sound (as well as the visual) is triggered by a number of 'touchy' interfaces. The visitors enter the ellipse-shaped space, immersing themselves in a new world where to listen to the radio waves. In this extent Tune Me is a representation of the ambient radio of the near future. As well as the sound, each channel provides light features as well as vibrating and pulsing experience. When choosing the different FM stations, the overall space changes, defining different moods upon the nature of the different content. News, sport, classical music and international pop. Each of them triggers a different visual experiences, the space vibrates, pulses and interacts with the visitors.

Press Office

For Interaction-Ivrea Sara Manuelli
[email protected]
0125 422 148
335 1035604

For V&A Helen Beeckmans
[email protected]
020 7942 2503

Touch Me
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