I/O and Solair-E

What: Competition for design and fabrication of interactive prototype

Where: Palo Alto, CA & the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA

Team: Ben Flatau, Scott Bezek, Alex Lopez, Thomas Vogel, Tong Zou, Daniel Polk, Collin Wentzien, Gesthimani Roumpani, Teodora Velkova, Iva Monterrubio Langrova, Ana Williamson Architect, Tap Plastics.

Role: Designer

I/O; video courtesy of Scott Bezek

I/O (input/output) was an interactive experience designed to highlight our love/hate relationship with technology as it can act both as an isolating factor, and a uniting platform. To highlight this divide, I/O resembled a physical barrier, where one side featured an "input" wall where visitors manipulate a series of on/off boxes. On the other side of the barrier was an "output" split-flap display wall that updates in real time based on how visitors manipulate the input boxes. Participants on the input side and viewers on the output side together discovered the correct input combination that reveals a hidden message.

After the exhibition was completed, the team revisited the design of I/O and turned it into Solair-E, an interactive AI based artwork that will answer all your questions. Unlike I/O, the input for Solair-E is text based and comes from a terminal across the split flap display. The user enters a question at the terminal and the split flaps respond in real time by generating an answer to the question. Solair-E is exhibited at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

I/O; photo courtesy of Benny Villarreal for the City of Palo Alto
I/O; photo courtesy of Scott Bezek
Solair-E; photo courtesy of Scott Bezek
Solair-E; photo courtesy of Scott Bezek
Solair-E; photo courtesy of Scott Bezek