(photographed by Mark Smith)
In CML, and especially Sendev, we do a lot of work on tangible computing and surface computing. Sometimes this involves combining touch screens with tangible objects. This combination begs many questions: what computer interactions are better done with physical objects rather than screen based ones; what interactions work best with both; etc? A few weeks ago Dave Kirk, one of the social scientists in our group, led a discussion about just these issues. Dave’s working on a framework to help us and others think through those tangible vs. screen based decisions. The discussion moved between the practical and the philosophical, the serious and the humorous. One of the interesting lighthearted moments was a discussion of wool objects. Things made of wool look and feel cosy, and Dave pondered why this was and set us all a challenge – to find something wool that was genuinely scary. Mie Nørgaard and I had already had a fun email exchange about edgy or extreme knitting which led to a blog post from me and a blog post from Mie. However using wool to subvert an existing idea and add a cosy edge (as Marianne Jørgensen did in the "Tank Cosy" at the head of this post) isn’t the same as scaring someone.
Stuart and Mie came up with some interesting tactics. They tried pictures of an angora rabbit (a shocked looking angora rabbit) and some killer sheep. But that’s cheating – it’s not really wool yet. Here are my suggestions.
N.B Glasgow School of Art took this too far with their knitted phallus sex-toy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anarchistsarepretty/89030841/ (this one is *not* work safe)
The story isn’t over though. Dave claims that the scary part of Andricongirl‘s "Lab test bunny" is the eyes – and they aren’t wool! So if you have come across anything scary made out of wool do let me know, I’ve an argument to win 😉