This project was based on a brief by London design studio BERG.
In Part One: Death to Fiction, our challenge was to individually take a cheap mass-produced object and to break it down until we understood everything about it. In Part Two: Forbidden Monsters we got into groups to combinine our knowledge towards a design outcome. Our team started off with a diverse set comprised of toilet paper, chewing gum, train tickets, ballpoint pens and printers. We spent much time exploring these objects and undertook many experiments attempting to hybridise or develop their properties.
We successfully created magnetic papers, plastics and inks. Unfortunately, we were unable to make a pen containing flammable inks that we could draw fuses with, but you can’t win them all. We also looked at a lot of mechanical properties of our objects including how we could make pens into projectiles and what we could do with printer components.
The movement of the feeder elements of the printer inspired a game somewhat like a virtual tug of war. By hacking it (with Processing and Arduino) to move forward and backward at the appropriate moments in the game, it becomes the centerpiece for a simple competitive bout. The old-skool arcade theme we developed matched the hacked-and-handmade quality of our project.
The aim of the game was ultimately to provoke an emotional response in the players, generating a sense of excitement and extreme competition. Upon presentation to Matt Jones, Director of BERG, the crowd went wild as he played against our programme tutor, and his sense of victory when he won the game could be felt in the entire room.
This is one-on-one competition at its purest, however this prototype could be expanded to a variety of further developments.