Yale University Installation Features Balloons That Glow In Response To Online Status Updates

The piece by Synoptic Offices at the Graphic Design school gives digital conversations a physical, reactive presence.

We may spend a lot of our time in the digital realm these days but the experience can still feel somewhat fleeting and impermanent. Without a corollary to the real world many of our conversations and interactions via messaging services and social networks disappear into the ether soon after they have been concluded.

A new project by Synoptic Office in the atrium of the Paul Rand Center for Graphic Design at the Yale University School of Art playfully gives students’ online interactions a new physical presence. Called Project Roger, it is a bunch of balloons that are mapped to the status information of students in the graphic design program on the second floor of the building. The balloons will glow intermittently according to the status information of the students via their iChat or AIM interactions.

The balloons’ presence in the atrium provides a physical analog for interactions that occur strictly online. It becomes a meaningful way to utilize typically fleeting moments of online communication to light up a room that people will be traveling through daily.

Take a look at the video below to see the balloons in action:

Synoptic Office