Sentience is about knowing through feeling. Our process and our projects all intend to create impact through emotional human experiences, because emotional experiences are what people remember. Emotional experiences bond people to both places and other people. The following four values guide the creation of interactive installations to cultivate this emotional experience.
See our Works page for examples of these values in practice.
ATTACHMENT TO PLACE
Our projects stand out while remaining relevant to their context. People notice them from a distance, and, as they approach, our installations reveal details intended to enchant and invite the visitor to interact. Interactives create a sense of wonder and investment in the physical world around them.
These interactions further create pro-social outcomes, people engaging people in ways they would not have without our installation. These human interactions heighten emotional experiences creating attachment to both physical and social place.
Our design and development process have evolved from a traditional architecture practice to a social practice. Physical objects are only as successful as the people emotionally invested in them. This investment starts before ground is broken.
Our design and prototyping process is uniquely crafted to help all stakeholders -- including community members, municipal agencies, designers, funders and developers -- build a common language to better understand each other's needs and desires, while simultaneously exploring mutually fruitful work pathways.
The above two values are augmented by self-directed discovery. This informal approach to education is largely inspired by our work with the Exploratorium. A sense of wonder and enchantment is enhanced when visitors are invited to discover the world around them, both the natural and the social. These discoveries create a feeling of investment and connection.
An important aspect of this educational strategy is known as S.T.E.M for science, technology, engineering and math. Many add the A for art, because the discipline of art can seamlessly integrate the first two values above with educational goals in a mutually beneficial relationship. Art emphasizes the emotional response; facts have more impact when they feel meaningful. Art reminds us not to impose a preconceived solution. Successful art is about multiple interpretations of an experience. How an increasing number of diverse interpretations can co-exist, through both process and implementation, is our creative practice.
Being invested in the full life cycle of each project is the foundation of a sustainable creative practice, from building relationships before design begins to high quality implementation on to a project's maintenance. The eventual performance of an installation must be assessed and fed back into each stakeholder's larger process. To facilitate this, we incorporate embedded sensing, IoT, AI and blockchain technologies into our installations.
These embedded technologies not only add to the educational STE(A)M goals, it also provides anonymous information about how a space is engaged by visitors. And, based on this information, the installation will 1) autonomously evolve its on-going interactive behavior, via lights and sounds, to augment the emotional experience of visitors in real-time, and 2) be a research tool exploring how a community based process, interactive installations and digital technologies integrate to help us understand our own sentience and the complex social dynamics that emerge from it.