24. Apr 2015

Reminiscent of Mr. Bean

Installation and photos: Matthew Rosier and Jonathan Chomko

The temporary installation “Shadowing” designed by British architecture student Matthew Rosier and Canadian interaction designer Jonathan Chomko, which was displayed in Bristol/UK in autumn 2014, records the shadow of a passer-by and plays it back to the next pedestrian. The goal of the project was to generate indirect interaction between passers-by and the urban space through light and shadow. The question that inspired the installation was: Who do we share our streets with?!

Infrared cameras were hidden inside the head of eight streetlights, plus a lamp that projected a pool of white light onto the pavement below. Movements and shadows were recorded and processed by a computer to create dark artificial shadows, which were projected back into the pool of light. Passers-by were thus pursued by the shadows of previous pedestrians on the street – some even opted to play or dance with the accompanying shadows. And even when nobody walked through the pool of light recorded shadows began to scamper playfully through it.

“Shadowing” was the winner of the Playable City Awards 2014. The programme pushes boundaries and sits at the intersections of art, society and culture, encouraging creative experimental ideas for the city of the future. An example of a “Shadowing” streetlight can be viewed at the Designs of the Year 2015 exhibition in the Design Museum in London up to 23. August.


2014 Playable City Award: Shadowing from Playable City on Vimeo.

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