Jan 24, 2016 | By Tess
Every single day we are inundated with notifications, whether it’s Likes on Facebook, Retweets, or emails, we have become accustomed to little red tags and bleeps punctuating our daily routines, as they have even become a part of them. While for most of us, these social media notifications pass by without much consideration, one French design artist, Pierre-Felix So, has decided to explore the impact of notifications in our lives by rethinking how they actually notify us.
Pierre-Felix So is a recent graduate in Product Design from the DSAA LAAB in Rennes, France who has used his knowledge of new technologies such as 3D printing and Arduino to create projects that interrogate our relationships with media, and technological objects. For his graduation project called Push Revolution!, Pierre-Felix So has explored and even altered how we respond to social media notifications by creating three objects which turn the virtual notification into a material thing.
The first of the three objects, which Pierre-Felix So has aptly called “Ego,” deals explicitly with standard, and what he dubs “superficial” notifications, such as likes and tweets, but instead of alerting the social media user with sounds like our smartphones do, the device emits soap bubbles when a notification is received. As notifications are fleeting, so are the bubbles, which materialize only for a few brief moments before popping. Pierre-Felix So explains that he used bubbles precisely for this reason, to make the user aware of the number of notifications through a material quantifiable presence while also making that presence a fleeting and inconsequential one.
The object, which bears a monolithic and imposing shape that counters the frivolity and lightness of the bubbles it emits, is made from Corian, a material typically used for countertops. On the object’s front facing side, there is also a dial which allows its user to choose which social media platform they want to receive bubble notifications from - of course there is also the option of choosing all of them if you’re expecting a solid stream of bubbles. In designing the object, Pierre-Felix So went through many different designs and prototypes which were made using 3D printing.
The second object, which was also prototyped using 3D printing technologies, is called “Wow” and it deals with more personal notifications such as messages, photos, and emails. For Wow, Pierre-Felix So wanted to represent the different emotional impact that these types of notifications have compared to Likes or tags.
The piece consists of a small white stand that has a balloon attached to it that inflates every time you receive a notification. With it, the designer wanted to enhance the excitement of receiving a message by using a balloon, an object associated with happiness, excitement, and fun.
The third object, called “TacPad” is meant to help get rid of and manage your notifications by creating a more cathartic experience than simply clicking them away with a mouse or trackpad. The object resembles a small key pad that can be connected to your computer, though the buttons are unmarked and when pressed they resemble the feeling of popping bubble wrap. Pierre-Felix So, who is concerned with pleasure and especially guilty pleasures, thought bubble wrap would be the perfect way to turn the deleting of notifications into a liberating, even cleansing process. To mimic the feeling of bubble wrap, Pierre-Felix So used silicone layers in making the “TacPad.”
Push Revolution! is a conceptual project that could for many people make receiving and deleting notifications a more fun and notable experience. Luckily for us, Pierre-Felix So has made while whole project open source, so anyone can create and 3D print parts of their very own “Ego,” “Wow” or “TacPads”.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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