How To Reimagine Everyday Human Interaction

Interaction Designer Momo Miyazaki, a Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design graduate student, is known for her playful creations that solve everyday problems people face. One of a series of interviews brought to you by the Heineken Ideas Brewery.

PSFK spoke to Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design graduate student Momo Miyazaki about her work, which reimagines how humans interact with their environment. Inspired by Heineken’s new challenge to reinvent the Draught Beer Experience, PSFK.com has interviewed change-making creatives who are constantly reinventing the world around them. Momo incorporates a variety of design disciplines to create informed solutions to everyday problems that people face.  She also explores the specific emotional responses that people have to her work.

How does your work strive to re-imagine everyday human interaction?

I think as of right now I’m still kind of exploring the different types of interaction and the ways people interact with other people, environments, and objects. So since I’m in the exploratory phase I’m still looking at the beauty of it.

It comes from looking at everyday things from a different perspective. By combining two things that you never thought would be connected to each other – and looking at the different ways that they could interact with each other. Two different types of perception.

The common theme in my work is a lot of “what if” scenarios.

I’m trained as what people would traditionally call a “craftsman” – someone who works with their hands to create objects, you know, kind of in a I’m-a-blacksmith-with-a-leather-apron type of way. But I think that a “craftsman” can also refer to someone who understands how and why their chosen medium responds to shaping. What I’m doing at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design is exactly that, except instead of a tangible medium like wood or marble, my material is human interaction. Right now I’m exploring the properties and characteristics of human interaction by reimagining them!

You’ve created Human Tetris, an app that tracks and notifies friends to return shared items, paper clothes with their own spine, and an even audible color project where sound is generated based on color detected by an ordinary camera. What other interactive projects are you currently working on?

Most recently it was WTPH? (What the Phonics?). Andrew Spitz and myself were tasked with taking a look at city structures and making an intervention on the city that improved the quality of life. We’ve (20 students) lived in Denmark 6-7 months and you think you would pick up the language, but we couldn’t grasp it. We created an installation with street signs. Street signs in Denmark are attached to buildings so we connected speakers to street signs that would pronounce street names properly and slowly. We thought it was important as foreigners to pronounce words correctly, which created a sense of pride from being a little bit closer to the culture you live in because then you know bits of language and things that the locals know.

Why is play at the heart of many of your designs?

Play is at the heart of my work because play is at the heart of me! I think that whatever you create as an artist or designer has a piece of your personality in it because it’s something that you crafted with your mind and hands. It’s unavoidable. I’m an informal person and I find humor a good way to deal with things.

If you’re working on design projects it’s important to have fun while you’re doing it, whether in the process or the outcome. Being playful makes it more approachable.

How can we transform the body’s interaction with everyday life?

1. Gaining inspiration into what’s happening and how people are interacting right now. Don’t assume things. You can’t assume how everyone else interacts; you never know until you talk to people or observe how they behave.

2. Taking insights and observations and looking at them from a different perspective. See the potential in what something could be and discover the difference in this interaction.

3. The details and little quirks you don’t notice about people in their interactions and relationships with the environment – that’s where my inspiration from comes from. That’s where my work is heading.

Thanks Momo! 

About Heineken’s Challenge To Reinvent The Draught Beer Experience

In a rather audacious move, Heineken are asking people from certain countries around the world to come up with new ideas tied to the draught beer experience. Over at the Heineken Ideas Brewery site, creative minds can offer a new vision to the drinks company.

Heineken say that draught beer is enjoyed the world-over, but it has not changed much over the years and Heineken sees the potential to take inspiration from technological advances and the development of other industries to create an exciting new era in draught beer.

Submit your new draught experience concepts at Heineken Ideas Brewery.

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