Convivial Studio is an experimental design studio focused on creating ‘emotionally engaging experiences with an element of wonder.’ Co-founded by creative technologist Paul Ferragut and designer Ann-Kristin Abel, the London-based studio works across the platforms of design, technology, fashion, and art. Much of the work that comes out of the studio deals with the ‘phygital’ – a term that fuses both the physical and digital worlds. As the co-founders explain, human nature still requires an ‘anchor point in the real world’ in order to delve into the abstraction and immateriality of the digital sphere.
The team hence uses physical installations along with digitized programs to convey the digital experience, or even complex scientific theories such as quantum physics, as seen in The Probable Universe installation. Made up of a projector mounted on a robot that roams through space, the installation demonstrates the idea that the universe is probable, not certain, and therefore there are multiple outcomes for every reality that only materialize once observed. The robot’s projections, spanning a room filled with other physical objects, serve as a point in our perceivable universe and give us a glimpse into how many other possibilities are potentially observable. In the Generative Scarves project, Farragut and Able created an app that generates unique patterns by adjusting a series of parameters set by algorithms.
These patterns are then printed on a silk scarf. Anyone who uses the app can step into the role of designer, or ‘evolve from just being a consumer, to becoming a co-creator,’ as Farragut told Fast Company magazine. At Convivial Project, the sister company to Convivial Studio, consumers can co-create and purchase these Generative Scarves. Each piece is as individual as its owner. Augmented Book is another example of the phygital; the project seeks to create an augmented reality within the confines of a physical book. Augmented Book, available via the Instructables website, lets users bring their own augmented reality to life on the page in front of them. Combining the centuries-old Japanese stab bookbinding technique with the new technology of Xbox 360 Kinect, a code recognizes the movement of the pages and generates content to fill the empty spaces, creating a seamless marriage between the traditional and the high-tech.