S.02 – Studio
Interactive Gastronomy
Faculty: Luis FraguadaIgnacio de Juan Creix
Studio Assistant: Irene Ródenas

photo credits by PLAT Institute of Augmented Gastronomy

The Interactive Agents Interaction Studio seeks to imagine our daily life augmented by familiar objects with embedded agency. Agency can be defined in many manners, but generally speaking, we understand agency as the capacity to act or engage. In an interaction context, agency should allow an entity (object, being, space, etc) to reveal its role in a scenario. Taken further, this could mean the capacity to transmit information, with the ultimate goal of enabling novel interaction. Many of the entities in our lives have a sort of ‘default’ and ‘passive’ agency in that they mean something to us, yet they have no capacity to modify that meaning. Interacting with these entities is one-directional, we enforce our agency upon them. While this does allow the entity’s meaning to adapt over time as it is included in experiences, it has no embedded capacity to exert this meaning as an interactive agent. This studio addresses the notion of passive entities by designing interactivity into them.

This line of research does not seek to argue that all aspects of our lives need such a consideration, in fact, one of the challenges of the studio will be to investigate the positive, neutral, and negative consequences of converting a passive entity into an interactive one. The projects developed in the studio should argue for and render the opportunities available in creating interactive entities within our daily lives.

Each MAI researcher will conceive of one or more entities as a case study for designing and deploying a new embedded interactive agency. MAI Researchers will develop one concept utilizing the three Modules of Term 2 as project phases, each exploited in order to develop a particular aspect of the concept. Here the MAI Researcher, together with studio faculty, would decide on a concept to pursue throughout Term 2. During the Virtual Environments Module, one could prototype the manner in which such an interactive entity would affect our daily lives. During the Physical Computing Module, one could prototype the various systems necessary to enable interactive agency in the concept. During the Programming Module, one could develop an interface to visualize information related to the entity being converted.

MAI Researchers will be asked to clarify their approach during the Project Concept stage.

The Studio will conclude with an exhibition at the Corretger 5 Gallery, curated by the MAI Researchers. How do we communicate the consequences of our designs to the general public? How do we make the best use of the space in order to create compelling experiences for the visitors?