Mobile and Environmental Media Lab

2014
Mobile and Environmental Media Lab 2014 feature image

MEML is a lab run by Scott Fisher and Jen Stein. The lab provides a great context to conceptualize and design a a variety of experiences related to pervasive computing and mobile media.

The lab has increasingly shifted towards speculative design videos, taking advantage of its relationship to the cinema school and the imaginative possibilities of fictional storytelling. Additionally, MEML has provided great opportunities for working with corporate sponsors and clients.

In 2014, I directed a speculative design fiction video for the MEML lab. It was focused on prototyping pervasive computing and responsive environments in future office buildings.

I had worked on earlier conceptualizations in 2013. So the video was a final concretization of a year-worth of ideation and paper prototyping.

Memory Cellars is an augmented tour of the new Cinema building. The tour is constructed of binaural sound and voice acting to build a speculative future in which the building is a distributed archive and research headquarters for the MemCel company.

The fictional characters give competing stories of the mysterious ongoings of the company’s research and its foundation. So it’s up to the participant to traverse the building in order to find different narrative clues and put the pieces together. In addition, each story ends with a prompt in which the participant can record their own memories or ideas and thus collectively author the archive. In addition to working with MEML, the building app was a collaboration with Andreas Kratky’s Living Building Project.