One of my favourite definitions of design came from our 2011 London Design Festival interview with Wayne Hemingway who described it as being: “just about coming with ideas that make life a little bit more enjoyable, palatable or profitable.”
It would appear to be a vision shared by Cinimod Studio if their two installations at this year’s LDF are anything to go by. Their first piece Walk The Light took over the underground entrance from the station to the V&A and involved rigging up a thermal-responsive light on a running track system similar to those used at sporting events. As people walked through the tunnel, the beam of light would latch onto them and follow their progress, putting them firmly in the spotlight for a few seconds.
The light moved at the same pace as the person, could stop and check back if they did and would choose someone randomly from a crowd if more than one visitor entered at the same time. The installation also illuminated whichever end most people were entering from in red, responding to the changing traffic throughout the day. It’s a simple, silly idea that raised a smile from even the cynical design hacks at the press preview and a great example of technology being harnessed simply to raise a smile.
Cinimod’s other piece at the V&A did likewise. Ice Angel was an interactive piece whereby visitors stood in front of a screen and did the “snow-angel” action only for the screen to chart their movements and digitally display their wingspan. Again it was a piece of cutting-edge craft used in the most joyous, childlike way.