BERG: Google

2011-2012

Role: Principal

The studio started work with Google Creative Lab in 2011, with a wide-ranging brief to examine near-future experiences of Google and its products.

During our discussions with them, a strong theme emerged. We were both curious about how it would feel to have Google in the world with us, rather than on a screen. If Google wasn’t trapped behind glass, what would it do?

This led to a pair of product explorations: Lamps and Connbox.

This was a large, multi-project piece of work that occupied not only the entire studio for most of its run, but also outside collaborators – notably Tom Hulbert and Durrell Bishop of the invention partnership Luckybite.

My role on both projects was as ‘second principal’ generally helping steer the overall program of work and the client relationship, with the project creative direction and technical exploration being led by Jack Schulze.

Jack Schulze of BERG and Chris Lauritzen, then of Google Creative Lab

Lamps

▶︎ The Lamps project is described in depth in this blog post on the archived BERG site.

“We looked at computer-vision and projection in a close relationship – almost as one ‘material’. That material being a bound-together expression of the computer’s understanding of the world around it and its agency or influence in that environment.”

http://berglondon.com/blog/2012/12/19/lamps/
Early project concept sketch by Jack Schulze
Early whiteboard sketch exploring interactions
Exploration of ‘control objects’ for smart-light enabled search – from “24 rules for smart light” film
‘Dumb things, smart light’ – conceptual music player object animated by ‘smart light’

Connbox

▶︎ The Connbox project is described in depth in this blog post on the archived BERG site.

“What are the materials that make up video? They are more traditional components and aspects of film such as lenses, screens, projectors, field-of-view as well as newer opportunities in the domains of facial recognition and computer vision.”

http://berglondon.com/blog/2013/02/26/connbox/
Part of the initial pitch to Google Creative Lab, 2011
‘Presence Pollution’ – video sketch by Timo Arnall and Jack Schulze exploring the field of view of an always-on video camera in a private space.
Initial works-like prototype of the ‘Polarbear’ iteration of Connbox by Andy Huntingdon
‘Living with Polarbear’ – video document of the Polarbear prototype iteration of Connbox
Initial sketches of the ‘Domino’ iteration of Connbox, by Durrell Bishop
Initial sketches of the ‘Domino’ iteration of Connbox, by Durrell Bishop
Initial works-like prototype of the ‘Domino’ iteration of Connbox
Video sketch of legible physical/digital interactions of the finished Connbox concept – feat. Durrell Bishop

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