Information Decoration

Moving data from the screen to the world

Much of the data in our lives comes from square, electronic screens. We get our news from the television, our books from e-readers, transportation schedules from LED screens, and everything else from computers and mobile phones. Nature encodes information in some elegant ways: the fish that changes color when it’s ready to mate, the banana that turns yellow when it’s ripe. ‘Information decoration’ takes its inspiration from old nature to present data in an unobtrusive manner, helping to restore depth of meaning to the built environment.

Essay by Koert van Mensvoort

Information Decoration

Our Environment as an Information Carrier
Picture this: it’s 40,000 years ago, and you are an early Homo sapiens. You are standing on the savanna. Look around you. What do you see? No billboards, no traffic signs, no logos, no text. You might see grassland, a stand of trees, a bank of clouds in the distance.…

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'What information overload? The so-called information society has barely scratched the surface of our human bandwidth!'

Koert van Mensvoort

Augmented (Hyper)Reality

Keiichi Matsuda presents a dystopian vision of a world where augmented reality has created a nightmare of information overload.

Energy Consumption Shown on Power Plant

Information decoration on a city scale. Every night from the 22 to the 29 of February 2008, the vapor emissions of he Salmisaari power plant in Helsinki will be illuminated to show the current levels of electricity consumption by local residents.…

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Squamata headset dances with the Music

Inspired by body language of animals (in particular squamates and porcupines), designer Jop Japenga created a headphone with an adaptive skin that responds to the music played on them – resembling a bird performing a mating dance.

The concept of his headphone was to make an public depiction of one’s frame of mind rather than a set of headphones that just reacted to the hits of every song.…

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Excitement Clothing

The body suit pictured above has LEDs that illuminate according to the wearer’s state of excitement. Skin signals are measured and change light emission through biometric sensing technology.

The suit was conceived in Philips Designs’ SKIN probe project that challenges the notion that our lives are automatically better because they are more digital.…

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