Im[press]ion was a project shortlisted for the 2016 Playable City Award, whilst working at Mobile Studio Architects. "Playable City puts people and play at the heart of the future city, re-using city infrastructure and re-appropriating smart city technologies to create connections – person to person, person to city."
Im[press]ion blurs the boundary between the digital and the physical in its romantic venture to make tangible an otherwise inept digital interaction. In questioning the sincerity of edited digital interaction, the project allows people to address the otherwise forgotten impact of their relationships with others and their environment while embarking on a journey.
The project physically manifests itself as two connected pin boards, digitally connected and situated at any two similar locations around the world. The pins will visually draw upon a nostalgic notion of play, where formally it is remnant of the small pin impression toys of the same principle, familiar to most children and adults. Where this project differs, however, is that a real time record of an impression – made by the act of touching or leaning against the pin surface - is digitally transmitted from one board to another, where users at each end will be able to feel the pressure and patterns created by each other as if they were on the other side. 
The technology could be implemented in a variety of mediums, but for this proposal, for several reasons, we have suggested a bus stop/shelter. Firstly, it links the idea with the theme of journeys. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it is a universal scene similar all over the world, and one that would encourage different kinds of interaction – not just active participation but also that of the accidental. For instance, people going about their daily commute would sit or stand and instinctively lean against this surface –the act of doing so would trigger the connected surface in a different location to directly emulate this interaction, creating an identical pin ‘impression’.
The moving pin (1), is attached to a metal baton (2) that passes through a solenoid. The force sensor (3) receives pressure data from the moving pin and sends them to the server. The electromagnet (4), in the form of a solenoid receives data from the server. The Digital Multiplexer (5) acts as the mediator between the control unit (force sensor + electromagnet) and the server. The Server (6), is the means of communication between the two stations. It consists of 1 Look-up table, with two columns, “Station” & “Connected Station”. 
Effectively, it maintains the data loop in action between stations. Whenever a pin is pushed in, the current created 
in the solenoid and the pressure recorded by the force sensor are sent via the multiplexer, to the server. The server then sends the data to the corresponding station where current is created within the solenoid to push the pin due to flux, with a certain pressure according to the data by the force sensor.
The intuitive nature of the installation we believe to be key. Users should feel a connection to each other as opposed to the technology that is facilitating it. Reducing the human impression into a series of moving pins is a deliberate abstraction, asking the user to see beyond the technology and feel instead the intuitive sense of touch and response that is offered not by the pins, but by the other people interacting with them. 
Reducing the human impression into a series of moving pins is a deliberate abstraction, asking the user to see beyond the technology and feel instead the intuitive sense of touch and response that is offered not by the pins, but by the other people interacting with them.

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