Separate Togetherness – a lamp, a mirror and a textile – is the the result of Penny Webb research into augmented digital environments and ubiquitous computing.
Penny Webb’s graduation project Separate Togetherness looks at the role technology plays in long-distance communication, and provides an alternative for attention-heavy devices that exist in a digital environment, instead providing a means of communication within surrounding environments.
The collection consist of a lamp, a mirror and a textile that all respond by colour change to a variety of distant interactions; movements in a room, a breath, and stroking of an object.
Each product proposes different forms of interactions than those we are used to with current devices, and aim to provide a subtle, somewhat subconscious change of appearance over time that communicate a distant presence.
With Separate Togetherness, Webb wanted to escape as much as possible from what we perceive as ‘technological objects”, so she used combinations of smart materials to create the changing effect.
Each product is made with a combination of smart materials and base materials, for instance the mirror is made of thermochromic pigment mixed with epoxy resin cast on a copper plate, the ring lamp is made of polyurethane resin mixed with phosphorescent pigment and small UV LEDs cast inside, and the textile uses thermochromic pigment mixed with base inks screen printed onto the surface. The colour changes happen as a result of different stimuli, either heat or UV light. All of the objects are connected by Wifi, so the pieces can be completely separate from each other and when one piece is triggered the other piece will react somewhere else.
All of the colour changes happen slowly over a period of time so that you don’t necessarily see the change happening immediately but more the result of the change. The idea is that it is not a way for people to contact you directly via your environment, but simply a way to suggest a presence through your peripheral awareness.
Design: Penny Webb
Electrical Engineering: Sami Sabik