Shruti Ramiah

Knock Knock

February 2010

Tangible User Interface Design

CIID
Copenhagen, Denmark

Knock Knock are pairs of networked woodpeckers.

When you physically make one woodpecker knock on the wall, its connected pair, wherever it is located, automagically knocks as well. This simple and playful action and reaction allows people to develop and improvise their own ways of communicating.

People’s varied uses of doorbells, phone-rings, and other one-bit forms of communication inspired us to design something that was open enough to allow patterns of behavior between users to emerge over time.

The behaviour, mechanical function and physical form were designed iteratively and in parallel, with each aspect influencing and at times defining another. Using sketching, illustrations, clay sculpting, and CAD modeling we played with different abstractions of the woodpecker’s shape to arrive at a form that is evocative and communicative.

Cardboard was chosen as the primary material for both functional reasons – it’s lightweight – and emotive ones – it’s a warm material, inviting touch, and the visual effect of the end-grain echoes the complex patterns of feathers. Custom electronics housed inside the birds ensure that the technology is kept invisible and that it is the behaviour and interaction that is at the fore.

Collaboration with:

Mayo Nissen

Knock Knock
Knock Knock
Knock Knock
Knock Knock
Knock Knock
Knock Knock
Knock Knock
Knock Knock
Knock Knock

CONTACT
hello@shrutiramiah.com