Chris McNicholl, a young product designer in Scotland, invented TweetingSeat, the park bench that tweets!
TweetingSeat takes pictures of park-goers and uploads them to a live Twitterfeed.
What is its real attractiveness?
I began to realise that we are all part of numerous communities, many which interlink and often we are unaware of some of the communities we actually participate in. A large amount of us now have some form of online presence, especially in the form of social networking. I wanted to explore the potential for connecting these physical and digital communities and investigate the value in this idea.
Do we need a seat that tweets?
That is an interesting question. This is something that took me a while to get my head around as well. Normally my design process involves identifying a problem, and then solving it or reducing the impact of that problem through a design. TweetingSeat doesn't necessary solve a problem, but it asks a question. With more and more of us happily posting information and uploading photos of ourselves on to the web, I want to ask if objects like this are becoming acceptable in our society, or is it still a step too far for some people?
Do you have concerns that it might intrude on people's privacy (especially people walking by who might be unaware of it)?
Privacy was always going to be a question I get asked with this project, and I'm glad people pick up on it. As I've said, I want TweetingSeat to ask whether objects like these are acceptable, and if it causes people to question it, then that's great! It's starting a conversation.
Where do you take inspiration for your designs from?
I always find this question difficult to answer. I don't tend to idolise any designers in particular. I like to look at a lot of different work from various different people.
Technology is a big part of your designs. Why?
There are always new technologies being developed, and it's exciting to work with these to discover their potential uses and try and make them applicable to consumers.
Have they received attention from the industry in terms of contracts?
I have no other contracts or anything like that, but since the press release of TweetingSeat I have had a number of people enquiring about the availability of the seat or the potential for having one made, which is very exciting.
You're a passionate drum player, have you ever designed something musical (apart from Environmentally Sound)?
It's always something that crosses my mind when you receive a project brief. However, I enjoy learning about new topics or issues and for that reason I often choose another subject area to research and move forward with. As a designer, I think when studying a subject it's quite often a benefit to be looking from the outside in and approach the project with an unbiased view.
This article is contributed by, Vito Panico, and does not represent the views or opinions of the International Business Times.
Vito Panico holds a Master's degree in journalism from The University of Sheffield. He currently lives in the Apulia region in Southeastern Italy where he writes for local and international publications. To contact Mr. Panico by email, please click here.