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Technology intervention

Summer 2008

“The Two People Phone” is a technology intervention using design research methods to explore the power an object has to connect or disconnect their users and their users' relationship to other people. In this scenario I used a familiar object (a phone), but its behavior/character is new and unfamiliar. Think of it as object alienation, where the separated parts have known functions, but now they operate in completely different capacities. Its parts have been split - the receiver hangs on one wall of a hallway and the phone body on another; micro-controllers are embedded on both objects to have them talk to each other. In order to make this phone function you need two people to interact with it. One person has to listen to the commands and tell the other person which numbers to dial. At the end of the interaction, the person at the receiver is rewarded with a story which he or she can share. There is a constant communication necessary between the two people to make the alien object behave like a phone.



1. Will this object start a conversation between two stranger?

2. Taking something familiar (a phone) and turning it into something unfamiliar - what happens?

3. How attractive does an object's form need to be in order to make people do certain things?

4. How can the skin of an object change out behavior, trick us and provoke our thinking?

5. Does the object need to give a reward at the end?

6. Would a user ask a stranger they don’t know to help them listen to the story?