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LUST, graphic design/interface design
Kossmann+de Jong, 3-D design
Jason Laan/VEPON, programmers
VHS, technical lead
Hanneke de Man, curator
Kossman+de Jong/LUST, project design and development
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, client

“WOW! This is what interactive is all about; a wonderful treat and diversion from the ‘typical.’ These interfaces beg exploration and require physical interaction. This is truly the next interactive step.” —juror Craig Swann

“With two main parts, this project offers an innovative approach to museum interactive installations that keep in mind the primary importance of a work of art. DataWall confronts the question of how to relate an interactive experience with real works of art in a way that enhances, but doesn’t obscure the works. And DataCloud turns the act of browsing into a totally immersive experience that highlights relationships between the various pieces.”—juror Allegra Burnette

Overview: This exhibit allows viewers to interact with selected artworks and explore the stories behind them, breaking the barrier between art and museum attendee—normally signaled by a painted line or electronic sensor. Through “touching” the work, one walks away with deeper levels of information.

• Presented in 2 rooms with a total of 6 video screens
• Developed with Macromedia Director, Visual Basic and XML
• Video presented on Priva-lite glass allowing images to “float” on transparent background
• 15 months, 27 people

Comments by LUST:
“Early on in this project, we knew we didn’t want to fall into the common pitfalls of any hyper-technical interactive digital museum kiosk. Realizing that our goal was to design a totally ‘new’ and innovative interactive environment in a fine arts museum setting, we deemed it necessary to set a few rules to help guide us through the design process.

 “The ‘rules’ became what we constantly referred to as the ‘Ten Commandments’:
1. The Art Object is more important than the technology

2. Keep the interface ‘transparent’ no Doom-like navigational console
        no flying, bouncing, rotating navigational element
        no ‘burnished aluminum’ skins
        no beveled buttons

3. Keep the interface and controls easy and intuitive
        touch instead of cursor
        finger instead of mouse

4. User must have direct ‘contact’ with Art Object
        touching a lamp, turns it on

5. No ‘start screen’
        always ‘on’

6. No ‘menu system,’ no buttons, icons, menu bars, pull-downs, pop-ups to select an Object, you just select the Object and not some text that describes that Object to zoom, just pull on the Object, instead of using a zoom slider

7. Use ‘proximity’ as much as possible things turn on because user is close to it

8. Multiple users at any time

9. No monitors, keyboards or mouse

10. Resist using existing metaphors
        clouds, webs, networks, cities
        navigational compass or small overview map

“Finally, during the pre-production phase (mid-2002), we had a full-sized prototype of the touch screens set up in our studio. When people came by, we’d always invite them to try it out. After the initial jaw-drop reaction to the touch interface, they would always ask if we had seen Minority Report. Our standard reply was that we designed this system in 2001, so we could not possibly have known of the movie and that, anyhow, in the movie it’s all CGI—we did it for real.”


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