Designing Interfaces to Experience Interactive Installations Together


Session Title:

  • Communities: Public Art

Presentation Title:

  • Designing Interfaces to Experience Interactive Installations Together



  • (Long paper)

    Keywords: Interface design; interactive displays; crossmodality; natural user interfaces (NUIs); Social NUIs; public space; urban interventions.

    Researchers at the Making Culture Lab use ethnographic methods to study how interactive technology supports digital practices in diverse cultural environments. This paper reports on how certain design aspects of display systems implemented in public space can induce social encounters and awareness. Field observations made since 2012 show that interface design may be a key factor in structuring such shared experiences. In 2014, HCI researchers introduced the Social Natural User Interfaces (Social NUIs) analytical framework to help HCI practitioners design interfaces that better support collaboration and cooperation in co-located multiuser interaction scenarios. This study describes four interactive media façades deployed in Montréal’s Quartier des Spectacles to suggest that electronic artists intuitively anticipated the Social NUIs relational approach to interface design. Analyses highlight how the artists used crossmodal interfaces – also based on intuitive modes of interaction such as gesture, touch, and speech – to design interactive installations that engage people beyond the ubiquitous single-user “social cocooning” interaction scenario. The aim of this research is to illustrate how artistic architecturalscale digital public display installations has the potential to parallel, drive, and contribute to, socially concerned design thinking.

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