Interview of David Kousemaker and Tim Olden
from Blendid http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2006/05/-you-set-up-a.php

I've met several talented interaction designers and new media artists who have to accept jobs they are not exactly thrilled about in order to be able to "work on their own stuff" in their leisure time. Fortunately i've also met creative practionners who were brave enough to set up their own practice and do not look back. David Kousemaker, Thomas de Bruin and Tim Olden from the interaction design collective Blendid are three of them. They met at the HKU (Utrecht School of the Arts) and over the past few years they have cooperated on a number of projects about experimental interfaces.
我见过一些有才华的交互式多媒体设计师和新媒体艺术家,他们接受自己并不感冒的工作,只求能在空余时间干自己的事情。但也有一些实干者,他们勇于实践而绝不回头。互动设计团队Blendid的David Kousemaker,Thomas de Bruin和Tim Olden就是一例。他们在乌得勒支艺术与技术学院(Utrecht School of the Arts)相识。在其后几年合作了一些实验性多媒体界面的项目。

Among the works of the Amsterdam-based studio is Demor, an immersive outdoor game experience for visually impaired children; Robotract, an augmented reality game; TouchMe, an interactive installation that allows the public to leave a personal imprint in the public space. Experimenting with the whole body of a dancer as an input device they also created the Mocap Performance.
基于阿姆斯特丹的项目中的Demor,是一个为视障儿童设计的大型户外体验型游戏。Robotract,是一个增扩实境游戏。TouchMe是一个允许人们在公众地方留下个人印记的互动装置。而Mocap Performance是以一个舞蹈演员的全身为输入设备的实验装置,就是他们的。

You set up a company right after having graduated. That's a very bold move. Did you do it because you felt there was a need on the market for the works you develop or was it because there wasn't much alternative: you think you wouldn't have found a job interesting enough?
你一毕业就创办了公司,这是个大胆的举动。你是因为觉得你的作品有市场,还是因为太少选择:你找不到有意思的工作?

In our graduation year we considered our future options, it seemed pretty hard to imagine landing a job out in the real world that would allow for the kind of experimentation we value. Because of our shared interest in connecting the digital with the everyday reality it seemed like a good idea to combine our skills. We figured that Blendid would help us to develop our own ideas and that this format would allow us to work in both commercial and autonomous contexts.
毕业的时候我们考虑过未来,想得到我们所重视的那种允许有所实验性的工作似乎很难。因为对于将数码世界与日常现实相结合的共同兴趣,我们觉得把技术和创意结合会是不错的想法。我们觉得创办Blendid能帮助我们发挥创意,而这一模式令我们能兼顾商业性和独立性。

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Mocap Performance
Any advice for young creative who would like to start their own business right after school?
对毕业后想创业的年轻创作者有什么建议?

It is very tempting to set up a business after you graduate as it seems like a good way to live of your creativity without having to deal with someone who tells you what to do. For some this might be exactly how it turns out but there are some drawbacks to be aware of too. Starting a business means spending a lot of time on non creative stuff. Getting to know rules and regulations that you, as a creative person, might not have any interest in.
毕业后直接创业是诱人的,因为这么一来你似乎能随心所欲而不是听人指点。对一些人来说,他们的目的达到了,但有一些弊端也得注意。创业意味着要在非创造性的事情上花费大量时间,要学习那些创造家从不感兴趣的游戏规则。

Having to deal with finding customers and setting up an office can be a drag sometimes, but in the end, if this is what enables you to do the kind of work you enjoy, it is definitely worth it.
找客户和建立办公室有时是很麻烦的,但如果最后它使你能从事喜欢的工作,那就是值得的。

How many opportunities does The Netherlands offer to young creatives? Do you feel limited by the size of your country? Or does it make it easier to get noticed?
荷兰给予年轻创作者的机会多不多?你会感到国家的大小对你有限制吗?或者它使你更容易冒头?

The Netherlands currently has quite a few initiatives to stimulate the creative industry. So far these initiatives haven’t yet translated into any concrete support for Blendid but we hope that will change. Right now we are noticing a growing interest for our expertise from the commercial sector that should lead to some interesting projects. Size wise, Holland might be small, but so far this has not been a limiting factor. We try to make our message as international as possible anyway.
目前荷兰对刺激创意工业有不多的一些举动。但这些都未能对Blendid产生实质的支持作用,但我们希望这会转变。目前我们发现商业部门对我们的产品越来越有兴趣,这将会带来一些有趣的项目。国土面积来说,荷兰的确是小,但这不是制约因素。我们希望能国际化。

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Robotract
As you write in your "about us" page, so far your "approach has led to a diverse collection of work that cannot easily be boxed into a single category." What drives such variety: do you get bored with one technology once you've explored it, are you just too curious and want to try everything or is it because you are/were two individuals which each have their own interest?
你在“简介”中写到,目前你的“这样的方式已经形成了一种不能被轻易分类的多样化产品”。是什么造成了这种多样性:是你在研究一项技术后就生厌了,还是你天生好奇想尝试所有事情,或者你们是二人团队而兴趣不同?

The main reason for the diverse nature of our work has to be our wide interest.
We just really enjoy investigating new and different topics when they come on our path. Also, when we encounter new technologies, we always get excited by the cloud of possibilities and potential they can have for new projects, when we take them apart, or combine them in unusual ways. Our different projects do have something in common, because at the core of all our work, there is a vision of a more natural interaction between people and computing technology.
主因是我们的兴趣广泛。我们对不同的新鲜问题很有兴趣去研究。当我们发现一些新技术,我们为它们创造性的结合及分散能给新项目带来的潜力而兴奋。我们的项目有一个共同点,用更自然的多媒体界面将人类和计算机技术完美地结合是我们工作的核心。

Which new technologies or social aspect would you like to explore next?
下一步你要探索的新技术或者社会问题是什么?

At the moment we have a growing interest in flocks, meshes and clusters. It seems that we, as people, will have to start understanding more about how our individual actions connect to the whole community. Technology, specifically when networked can possibly be a very effective tool to support insights in this area. To keep our technological toolbox up-to-date we do a lot of (online) research and try to attend relevant workshops, like for instance the RFID & the Internet of Things workshop at Mediamatic we went to recently.
目前我们对族群、网状空间和团簇十分有兴趣。我们需要了解更多关于人类自身的个体行动和社区整体之间连接的问题。技术,尤其是被网络化地结合之后,可以为这个领域的研究提供有效的工具支持。为了使我们的技术工具与时俱进,我们在网上做了许多调查研究,并试图加入相关的工作室,例如我们最近访问的一家工作室,就是集于Mediamatic(荷兰实验艺术网站)的RFID & the Internet of Things workshop(无线射频识别(RFID)与互联网项目的工作室)。

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MoCap Lab
You're also teaching, how do you keep the balance between your "duties" as a teachers and your creative practice?
你也是老师,你是如何平衡教学职责和创作实践的?

Our job at the HKU (Utrecht School of the Arts: Faculty of Art, Media & Technology) mainly consists of tutoring both bachelor and master students in their graduation year. Being around young talent is creatively stimulating as we get introduced to, and made to think about, a range of topics that might have otherwise escaped our attention.
我们在乌德勒支艺术学院的艺术、媒体和技术学院HKU (Utrecht School of the Arts: Faculty of Art, Media & Technology) 的工作主要是在毕业前的最后一年辅导大本和硕士学生。被年轻的人才包围是很有启发性的,我们踏足并思考许多话题,而这些往往是我们平常所忽视的。

Next to the half day a week we spend tutoring the students, we also give seminars that allow us to communicate much more of Blendid’s design perspective. In this context, one of our older projects, a motion capture performance experiment has grown into a reoccurring series of MoCap Lab seminars.
除了每周半日的辅导,我们还设立研讨会以便探讨更多Blendid的设计理念。在这个前提下,我们早期项目中的一个动态捕捉实验,已成长为一个新型的MoCap Lab系列研讨会。

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Demor
Demor has been designed for the blind as sighted players. How difficult was it to work for the blind? Did the experience influence successive works? Did you have to refine/redesign the project after the first user tests?
Demor是将盲人当作有视力的人而设计的游戏。为盲人设计游戏的难度大吗?这种经验有影响到后续的作品吗?你在首次玩家测试后有没有重新调整该项目?

Although each group of users always has particular limitations that should be considered when designing any application for them, in the case of visually impaired people, this limitation seems more challenging. This was in fact not the case with Demor, as the blind teens where a perfect audience for an augmented audio environment.
虽然任何群体都有其自身的局限,这是我们在设计过程中都得考虑的因素,但为盲人设计,这个局限变得更具挑战性。它不是Demor遇到的困难,因为盲童对增扩声音环境的接受能力是很好的。

The user testing we did during the early stages of development turned out to be very helpful in the process of making design decisions. In the end of the project we only had limited time for iterations, but thankfully there wasn’t any necessity for major redesigns. The basic principle of the game worked very well, as most of the players really enjoyed making their way through the first level and were remarkably successful at doing so.
在设计初期进行的测试对之后的决策过程起到的作用很大。到最后我们已经没有多少时间再重复了,幸好我们无需作重大的调整。游戏基本原理行得通,因为首先多数玩家都很享受其中的挑战,而最后他们都成功地做到了。

It was incredibly rewarding to see how naturally our target audience played the game, often doing better then we did during our own practice runs. At the time this really helped crystallize our thoughts on how invisible and direct we would like any interface to be. Finding these types of natural ways to directly augment our everyday world with digital information has remained one of our key ambitions.
当我们看到目标客户玩得比测试环节还好的时候,是很有回报感的。同时它也对我们在多媒体界面的不可见性和直接性方面的研究很有帮助。寻找这种直接用数字信号补充现实世界的自然方法,仍然是我们的主要目标之一。

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TouchMe
Would you feel confident to permanently install TouchMe in a public space like an airport or a train station? would it imply constant maintenance? How reliable/robust is the technology?
有没有信心把TouchMe 项目变作一个像机场和火车站般永久的公众装置?它能否保持下去?技术足够过硬?有多可靠?

It would be great to see TouchMe set up permanently in the kind of public space the piece was originally designed for!
如果TouchMe真的能在那种它所归属的公众空间生存下去那就太棒了!

The technology behind the installation is definitely solid enough to run without hitches for extended periods of time. However, we would probably build a moderation tool for periodically removing less interesting contributions.
技术是足以维持长时间无故障运行的。但我们还应该造一个调整工具,定期地淘汰一些不再有趣的部件。

During the STRP festival last March, the installation ran for 3 days in a row capturing more than 2000 imprints of different people. This indicates that people really enjoy interacting with the piece and underscores to us the premise the piece was build on.
去年3月的STRP festival(欧洲最大的艺术、技术、音乐节),它连续工作3天,接纳了2000人以上。这显示了人们真的有兴趣参与互动,也强化了我们建造它的初衷。

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TouchMe
Your work is very playful: games, installations that I'm sure kids must love, etc. Is that playfulness an essential component of your work?
你的游戏和互动装置作品都很好玩,我相信小孩是很喜欢的。游戏是不是你作品的要素?

Games are great platforms to get users involved with any type of mediated experience. In the case of Demor, where we choose to build a new interface around a generic FPS concept, it became clear to us that the ‘flow’ of a simple game really help the user to focus on a task while ‘forgetting’ about the interface.
游戏是使用户参与任何媒介体验的优质平台。像Demor,我们想针对FPS(第一人称射击游戏)的基本概念,建造一个新的多媒体界面,我们看到游戏的这种“持续性”的确能帮助玩家专注于任务而“忘记”界面的存在。

That playfulness is a reoccurring component in our work is more of a collateral phenomenon than a premeditated design goal. We always aim to construct the kind of interfaces that require a very direct manner of interaction of the user. This usually means we try avoiding menu structures and other types of abstract GUI’s, but rather focus on interaction modalities that borrow their behavior from unmediated, real-world tasks. That such types of interactions turn out to feel very playful to most users is often just an added bonus.
作为我们产品中重复出现的特点,游戏性是一种附属产品,而不是我们事先定下的设计目标。我们向来致力于建造与用户直接互动的多媒体界面。这意味着我们会避免使用菜单和其他抽象的用户指南,相反我们研究如何无预设地利用现实世界中的任务来作为互动手段。最后这种交互式多媒体变得好玩就变成一个附加值了。

What are you working on now?
你现在在干什么?

At the moment we are working on a couple different projects about which we can’t disclose much for now. For one of those projects our designs have to contribute to an enjoyable ‘experience’ with tangible and interactive aspects, another project involves an installation for a more commercial setting.
目前我们还在进行一些项目,但不方便透露太多。其中一个项目的设计,走的是可触式和互动的路线,另一个是较商业化的装置设计。

Next to these and other projects that we do for third parties we are trying to do some autonomous work with a project to make what we call ‘Wixels’. In the academic context we are involved with helping to shape the curriculum for the new studies of Ambient Experience Design at the HKU.
之后我们会进行一些独立性的工作,比如“Wixels”项目。在学院方面,我们参与编排一个乌德勒支艺术与技术学院(HKU)的环境体验设计的新课程内容。

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Demor
Which place do you think your practice should take in society? How do you see your "role"?
你认为你的实践应该对社会有什么影响?你怎样看待你的“角色”?

As interaction designers it will always be our task to build bridges between people and technology. For most interaction designers this might have mainly consisted of the design of interfaces for websites and software or for devices like mobile phones. With the arrival of pervasive computing new layers of functionality can be added to everyday objects and environments. This promises to be a fascinated domain for those who share our interests, but can potentially also be somewhat of a nightmare for those who are less adept when it comes to technology. As can be seen in many of the projects on display at WMMNA, the best designs don’t simply add buttons to object to access this new level of functionality but utilize a broader set of tools to find the most suitable interaction modality.
作为交互式多媒体设计师,为人类和科技搭建桥梁是要务。对某些设计师来说,这意味着为网站这样的媒体设计界面,以及为像手机这样的设备设计软件。随着计算机技术的普及,新型的功能也能被添加到日常生活的物件和环境中去。这对于和我们有共同兴趣的人来说是很诱人的,但对于不通技术的人也许是灾难。像WMMNA网站上(http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/)展现的许多好作品一样,它们不仅仅是添加一些通往这些新功能的按钮,而是利用更多的工具,寻找最适合互动的方式。

Can you point us to some Dutch interaction designers, artists or other creatives we should keep our eyes on?
你可以推介一些荷兰的交互式多媒体设计师、艺术家或其他我们应该关注的创造家吗?

There are a few Dutch designers and artists we like to keep track of ourselves.
有这么一些我们关注的荷兰设计师和艺术家:

Although she only graduated last year, Lotte Meijer already has an interesting collection of small sparkly interaction design projects to her name.
虽然只是去年毕业,Lotte Meijer已经拥有好些出色的小作品,那是以她名字命名的交互式多媒体设计项目。

The guys of grrr don’t only have a cool name, they also manage to be consistent when it comes to the high quality of their mostly web-based interaction design work.
grrr 的一群人不单有个酷名字,他们在网站互动设计上保持高水准。

We love Live Cinema, and are always impressed with the work of both Telcosystems and the brothers Brecht and Boris Debackere .
我们喜欢Live Cinema,一直都对Telcosystems 和Brecht and Boris Debackere 兄弟印象深刻。

It is hard not to be stunned by the work of Marnix de Nijs who is obviously one of the frontrunners when it comes to (Dutch) interactive art.
提到荷兰互动艺术,怎能不提 Marnix de Nijs?

Last but not least, we much enjoy PIPS:lab , a group that incorporates experimental interaction design in extremely entertaining theatre.
在这个不完全名单的最后,PIPS:lab ,旨在将实验性互动设计置入娱乐剧场的团队。

Thanks a lot Tim and David! 非常感谢Tim和David!
Comments(4) | Trackbacks(0) | Reads(5676)
Michelle
2009/02/02 12:03
What have we done?
我们做过什么?

So far this approach has led to a diverse collection of work that cannot easily be boxed into a single category. Sometimes our efforts result in a product prototype, other times they result in interactive art pieces or performances.

迄今为止,这样的方式已经形成了一种不能被轻易分类的多样化产品。我们的努力不仅创造了一些产品原型,也促成了一些交互式多媒体艺术作品和展览。

In the last few years we collaborated on Demor (2003/ 2004) that set out to create an immersive game experience for visually impaired children. We took into account that this particular user group is very adapt when it comes to navigating on sound. Taking advantage of this strength we created an outdoor game that layered virtual sounds over a realworld field. This approach proofed highly successful. We also created Robotract (2004), a tangible augmented reality game, which merges virtual and realworld elements and allows the players to interact with the game by handling realworld objects. TouchMe (2004) is an interactive installation that allows for the public to leave a personal imprint in the public space. Here the environment of the piece, the public space, was an important design consideration. Experimenting with the whole body of a dancer as an input device we created the Mocap Performance (2002). This performance was shown at two Dutch electronic art festivals.

在过去的几年里,我们在Demor项目(2003/2004)中合作,旨在为视障儿童创造一种身临其境的游戏体验。我们考虑到,这个独特的用户群对于听觉导航拥有强大的适应能力。利用该优势,我们创建了一个将虚拟声效置于实际场地的户外游戏。这种做法被证明是非常成功的。我们还创建了Robotract项目(2004年),这是一款可触性较强的现实游戏,它融合了虚拟世界与现实世界的元素,让玩家通过掌控实际物件与游戏进行互动。TouchMe项目(2004年)是一个交互式多媒体装置,使人们能在公共空间留下一种个性化的印记。在这里,个人环境和公共空间是重要的设计考虑。以一名舞蹈演员的全身作为实验的输入设备,我们创造了Moca Performance项目(2002年)。这个展览在两届荷兰电子艺术节上都展出过。

What can we do for you?
我们能为你做什么?

We hope to be able to continue designing and building these kinds of experimental interfaces in the future. If you believe you could benefit from our skills, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us, as we are always on the look out for interesting projects and collaborations.

我们希望未来能够继续设计和创建这样的实验性多媒体界面。如果你认为我们的技能可以为你带来效益,请直接联系我们,因为我们总是在寻找感兴趣的项目和协作。
Michelle
2009/02/02 11:58
Blendid Projects:
http://www.blendid.nl/index.php?id=3

- Swarm (2008)
- Wixel Cloud (2008)
- Wixel Play (2007)
- Wixels (2007)
- TouchMe (2004)
- Robotract (2004)
- Demor: location-based 3d audiogame (2004)
- Jalaani (2003)
- MoCap Performance (2002)
Michelle
2009/02/02 11:55
Wixel Play
Blendid, David Kousemaker, Tim Olden
2007, 7 +
Never before have children had to run so much in a computer game. Tens of glowing balls (Wixels), lighting up in a range of different colours, create a playing field in which children can play on their own, with other children or against them. In a number of different games.
http://www3.cinekid.nl/p/professionalinfo/newmedia/installations
http://www3.cinekid.nl/images/upload2/Catalogus%202.pdf
Michelle
2009/02/02 11:55
Blendid ID
http://www.ifimadeuptherules.com/CART451/blendID.pdf
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