Mash Notes

several people standing around an interactive, digital table

The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) conceived a project to get people talking about the city’s architecture and built future. A controversial topic that always sparks lively debate among its citizens, MASH NOTES: This Is Not An Architectural Speaker’s Series provided an outlet for their voices to be heard.

For the final instalment of the series, MOV wanted to make the discussion interactive and joined forces with Tangible. We responded with ‘Voice it’, an integrated opinion system that took the debate out onto the streets, online and back to the museum again.

Voice it Kiosks:
Three kiosks, each posing a different, provocative question about Vancouver’s architectural environment were installed throughout the city in high traffic, street level locations. The opportunity for the public was purposefully simple: choose one of two polar opposite answers by pressing a corresponding button on the kiosk. Equipped with an Arduino and GSM shield, the kiosks tapped into the wireless phone network. All the answer data was sent live to a central location - Tangible HUB - then interpreted for display on Voice It Visualizer stations at the MOV.

Voice it Visualizers:
Three Live Data Visualizations apps were created to show live entries from the Voice it Kiosks. Projected on Voice it Visualizer stations in the main MOV gallery space, blobs and sprites grew generatively in size and form with every answer cast by the public. A corner screen counter kept a number record.

Voice it SMS:
Not to be left out, MOV visitors could also voice their point of view by simply texting an answer from a mobile phone. Like the Kiosks, a wireless network was used to send data to the HUB and then to the Voice it stations for visualization.

Voice it Table:
Also at the Museum, Tangible installed a large, interactive table with three ceiling mounted projectors and a Kinect. A more open ended, themed question was posed on a recessed LCD screen. Visitors typed their answer, saw it immediately appear as a floating card on the table top and could interact with it and others through gestural control. To ensure answers were fit for public viewing, every entry was sent to HUB for prior approval.

Voice it Buttons:
For the online community, Tangible created a set of simple question and answer buttons. Placed on sites including the MASH NOTES project home page, the buttons communicate with HUB and the votes again were interpreted live at MOV on the Voice it Visualizer stations.

Tangible HUB:
A key application, HUB sits on Tangible’s server and collects, approves and distributes data, in this case to the Voice It Visualizer stations and Voice It Table.

two screens portray data from a public survey

Two screens portraying data from Tangible Interaction's MASH NOTES installation in the Vancouver Art Gallery

two screens portray data from a public survey and a sign explaining a project

A section of Tangible Interaction's MASH NOTES installation in the Vancouver Art Gallery

A single digital, interactive table with someones hand touching it

An interactive table part of Tangible Interaction's MASH NOTES installation in the Vancouver Art Gallery

A young female interacting with a digital table

Another shot of someone engaging with Tangible Interaction's MASH NOTES installation in the Vancouver Art Gallery

three red and white public survey booths

The three public opinion booths Tangible Interaction used for their MASH NOTES installation in the Vancouver Art Gallery