4th wall is finally installed

Thanks Shaun Rance for sending me the images of ‘4th Wall‘ project that finally installed at Second Stage Theater, Broadway, New York.

FourthWall is an interactive video installation that will be fixed in an heavily trafficked hallway in Manhattan’s Second Stage Theatre. Utilizing computer vision and Flash animation, FourthWall aims to solve several of Second Stage’s design problems by providing the passive user with a stimulating atmosphere and the active user with a fun and informative experience.

This installation employs a video projector to display information on the right facing wall of Second Stage’s entryway. Because this wall is directly underneath the only trapdoor the theatre has to transport set-pieces to and from the stage area, it is consistently in harm’s way. This provided us with one of our original design problem, solved by the use of overhanging projection.

FourthWall is essentially a projected grid of orange bubbles, adapted directly from Second Stage’s circular brand logo, that expand and display theatre history in response to users entering their space in the installation. The interaction between user and installation is involuntary as its space occupies the entire section of hallway laying in between Second Stage’s inner doorway and the theatre entrance. Theatre patrons are therefore required to occupy the installation space simply by virtue of the building’s design. This forced recognition of presence creates the sense of place out of what was originally utilitarian space, thus solving another design problem.

A creative method of displaying of Second Stage’s broad repertoire of plays was an additional design problem, and it is precisely the user’s presence in the installation, and the subsequent response to interaction, that provides this historical information. A typical scenario would involve a user entering the space between motion sensors and the projection wall, thus causing the projected bubbles to expand around the user’s silhouette. In each bubble would appear information pertinent to a pre-specified theatre season, including still images from past plays and Playbills, and textual information about cast and crew.

When the user is satisfied with the experience and decides to exit, the bubbles that had been expanded would now contract as she exits the space.

(Edited by David Schwittek )

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About Nattapol Suphawong

Nattapol (Joe) Suphawong, Parsons 2006 MFADT (M.F.A. in Design and Technology) valedictorian, integrates knowledge derived from his study and experiences in New York for continue working on experimental interaction design projects in Thailand. Trained as an architect, interaction designer--specializing in computer vision and electronics; Nattapol's recent projects represent an evolution of his interests in interactive architecture, augmented reality, and physical computing as a means to create responsive/playful environments--the unique characteristics of HeadButt works. Nattapol is currently teaching at School of Architecture, Assumption University, Thailand.

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