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Calascere: a Modular Electronic Tile

Calescere is a culmination of ideas and projects Majenta and Erika have been developing over the last couple of years. When Erika was asked to develop a concept for an interactive audio recording studio lobby, she and Majenta envisioned a space ripe with passive and active synchronized interfaces, these would seamlessly be integrated into the lobby’s furniture, floors, and walls, and they would control the ambient audio experience in the space. Imagine walking into a lobby where the ambient music is controlled by the footsteps of the people around you, the nervous tapping of the person waiting in the chair, the excited swaying of the artist leaning against the wall. More recently, at CES 2020 Majenta and Maddy, Loomia Founder, discussed how heated furniture has the potential to be a more sustainable strategy for heating in homes.

We’ve seen through individualization of personal electronics (an app for everything evolving into now a device for every app), the appreciation of glowing aroma diffusers (sometimes combined with audio experiences), and through the design style of Google home and other products, that people are interested in interactive hardware experiences that go beyond the same rectangular touch screens over and over. People enjoy connected visual and audio feedback, and are looking for softer, less abrasive interactions with technology. We intend to address this through designing tech that inspires a return to the core sensations of touch, light, heat, and sound.

We’re not sure exactly what we will discover, but we would like to use this residency as an opportunity to explore the creation of modular electronic tiles that are soft, have a Tempurpedic sort of pushback, can warm up, have a diffused light element, and a framework that can integrate these tiles with musical compositions and a circular (ideally kinetic) energy system, that will be programmable but come with a default setting.

With the isolation caused by the current pandemic, we’ve personally found the desire for warmth and touch is more pertinent than ever. Calescere would never hope to replace the warmth we get from the sun on our skin, or from a loving embrace, we just hope we can supplement these experiences when there might be some time before we get our next hug.”

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