Andrew Friends "Fantastics" offers interaction design with uncanny experiences in everyday media ecologies.

Instant accessibility and self-gratification come to define the media landscape of the Internet. So, in the quest for bigger and better ideas, we often have to break through a cultural malaise whereby everything is accessible and seems slightly familiar. So, how do we get to a “magical” moment that feels new and awe-inspiring? The answer for interaction designer Andrew Friend may lie in the phenomena that already surrounds us. How to create and interface is then the question.

Recently, Friend unveiled his Fantastics project at the Royal College of Art’s annual show. While his projects include experiencing lightning and drowning, perhaps the safest and most easily relatable interface is the Device for Experiencing the Invisible, whereby invisible radio waves and electrical activity that transverse our bodies are made palpable. So, here, in the age of the iPhone, iPad, laptop, GPS signals, television, and satellite, the media environments themselves invoke these magical experience by thinking outside their utilitarianism.

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