Graduate Media Design Practices Studio (Pasadena, CA)
When the connection a phone user has with their phone is prioritized over the real human interaction they (could) have with someone right beside them, the phone user is typically viewed as impolite. How can the language of phone use be used to empower the space of the phone user instead of stigmatizing them as being socially dysfunctional?
interFACE was designed to allow the phone user to have complete ownership of their social territory when it comes to “having to” interact with non-phone users during phone use. It continuously makes fun of the non-phone user: when the proximity sensor senses a person, it notifies the phone user via their phone and the phone user can either flip the “BUSY” or “SUP” switch.
The idea was inspired by observing how people using their phones will face other people at a constant 45 degrees angle, signifying with their bodies how they are not completely available but also not completely unavailable. I wanted to push this dynamic to the extreme.