Sommersemester 2023, BA/MA Produkt-Design eLab , Exzellenzcluster , Produkt_Startseite

elastic time - embodiment of time-based information

»elastic time« explores the ways in which time and processes can be physically

represented and interacted with. There we address the challenge of communicating multidimensional data in physical space and designing physical interfaces that allow users to explore complex temporal relationships. With the goal of developing novel ideas and concepts within the field of information physicalization, we aim to bring new aspects, links, and visions into play.


The focus of this studio project was on data and information visualization and exploring ways to transmit and interact with information in multimodal physical space. We used the theme of time and time-based processes as a rather loose framework and concept. Our approach to this topic was experimental and design-research driven. Starting from a very simple question: How can we perceive time and temporal processes by means of our senses? And then explore how we can transmit and interact with information in physical space.


We started our project with a series of experimental workshops addressing different dimensions and levels of complexity. The first stage concentrated on straightforward data collection and experiments. Afterward, we proceeded to a 2D data visualization workshop and progress further to 3D visualization, concluding with the addition of interactivity. The exploratory workshops were accompanied by a dive into different related topics. e.g. time perception and the representation of time-based information.


The goal of the studio project was to design physical objects that represent, visualize, or/and interact with time-based processes. Thereby we will focus on not just the display of information but designing meaningful relationships between information, context, and user. In addition to the application scenarios and conceptual designs, the main objective of the course was the design and realization of prototypes and functional models, to be able to experience the intended interaction and the associated experience as well as possible.


During the semester we had additional workshops and inputs. For example, Prof. Till Nagel (Professor of Visual Analytics at the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences) held an input at the beginning of the course. In addition, Simon von Schmude (head of the eLab in weißensee) supported us with a physical computing workshop and also supervised final interactive prototypes. Yolanda Leask supervised the articulation of the individual concept texts. Georg Klöck did a workshop on User Flows. And Felix Rasehorn and Robin Hoske (Wint Design Lab) did a workshop on video prototyping and video documentation at the end of the term.


A project by the MOA design research studio Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity«


Summer Term 2023

Project categorySemester Project Project subjects BA/MA Produkt-Design