One of the highlights of the “Designing for the Future” Competition over the past couple of years has been seeing the project’s alumni continuing to explore the themes from the Competition into their final year. Last year, Joshua Barnes entered the “Designing for the Future” Competiton with his Memory Decanter. This year Josh’s digital quilts were the stars of Brighton’s Faculty of Arts Graduate Show.
For many years digital experiences and physical objects have been regarded as separate entities, each restricted by their own limitations. Josh’s work looks to marry together these two realms into hybrid forms of expression, meaning and usefulness by exploring situations in which the image-recognition software ‘Augmented Reality’ can be applied to physical objects. Using the technology to create intimate moments of communication and self-reflection, he aims to look beyond its more conventional uses in marketing and advertising.
The Communication Quilt is designed for children spending long periods of time in hospitals, as a means to negate any separation issues that may occur. The quilt is made up of 13 animal illustrations, each one representing a real life friend or family member assigned by the child. The selected people can then record messages, and ‘attach’ them to their respective symbol on the quilt. Much like with how a
QR code works, the child uses an Augmented Reality app on her smart-device to scan the quilt and release the message. By merging together the tactile and physical meanings a quilt embodies, with the communication capabilities of Augmented Reality, the child is literally wrapped in a greater sense comfort and being in touch with their loved ones.