Streetlight

Is it possible to have an emotional connection with a streetlight?

The concept
In the centre of Amsterdam, near the touristic Waterlooplein, lies a square that no tourist will ever find. A place filled with planter boxes, where cycle paths are ignored and where rules no longer apply. In the middle of this square a streetlamp will come to life and turn this area into the animated place that it could be.
By looking at how emotions are shown in nature, we’ve programmed our streetlamp to show different emotions by the use of movement, the colour/intensity of light and sound.
Our streetlamp is an interactive object and its emotions are based on the activity around the square and on online data from Twitter and Instagram. If you come across a sad streetlamp, you might make him happier by coming a little closer…

The visitors experience
You don’t often see a streetlamp moving its head around, so our intention is to catch the visitors attention and to persuade him to visit this square. We’re hoping to create interaction between visitor and streetlamp, in which the visitor realises his influence on the streetlamps behaviour and provokes different emotional reactions from the streetlamp. When the streetlamp gets no input from its environment, it analyses data from Twitter and Instagram and bases its emotion on the amount of hash tags it gets. 

Answer to the brief
A big difference between technology and nature is that people and animals show emotions, and a lamp, for instance, doesn’t. What we are trying to project on our streetlamp are the different expressions that we recognize as emotions, but we “translated” them into the way a streetlight could express itself. Instead of using spoken language, or tears and laughter, it will express itself in its movements and light intensity/colour.

About
This project is a collaboration of The Citizen Data Lab and ArtechLAB Amsterdam. In this project students Francois Bisschop and Matthijs van Hest work from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences together with students Hanna Betsema, Teun de Boer and Verena Hall from the Academy of Fine Arts in Education from the Amsterdam University of the Arts.

 

  • Michiel Koelink

    Labcoördinator
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