“Made you look: crossing visual attention with computational design to create motion-based visual distractions” presented by Sousa, Rodrigues, Machado and Coelho


Session Title:

  • Human Nonhuman Encounters and Distractions

Presentation Title:

  • Made you look: crossing visual attention with computational design to create motion-based visual distractions




  • Urban spaces are rich in environmental stimuli. This high represents a challenge when creating visual communication objects that address the public’s attention. However, the presence of digital screens turns this into an opportunity to explore new resources for the creation of visual strategies and address the contemporary context of urban spaces.
    Since attention is a limited resource, each person has to be selective when deciding where to focus on. This selection envolves attend to determined stimuli while rejecting others. To address this issue, we identified the need to understand how the brain processes visual stimuli and chooses where to focus its attention as much as how to create visual stimuli that activates these brain functions.
    We cross findings in Cognition and Computational Design to support our research and the development of prototypes that explore the dynamic triggering of a selected set of visual stimuli in a visual composition. The findings regarding Visual Stimuli guided the collection of promising visual stimuli to use, either individually or in combination, in the situation we are addressing — contexts where the audience is goal-oriented to other tasks. Also, the knowledge of Computational Design allows the development of dynamic and adaptive systems, which application can be particularly interesting in less predictive and evolving environments such as urban public spaces.
    In the present research we demonstrate the potential of this approach in addressing the issue raised. Through preliminary results we assign levels of efficiency to a collection of visual stimuli. Additionally, we propose a set of solutions for address the less efficient approaches while identifying new needs that shall be further tested. In sum, we aim to establish a research basis for the development of dynamic systems and consequent generation of graphic stimuli in visually competitive environments.