CHOREOGRAPHING ATTENTION IN WORKPLACE DESIGN
Increasingly, attention is something that is fragmented and marginalised. The prevalence of ‘always on’ communication technologies contributes to difficulties in sustaining focus on a particular task. This culture of distraction is exacerbated in open-plan workplaces. We propose the moiré as a way to counteract this.
The moiré is used to choreograph attention during group activities. It allows a level of privacy by creating a dazzling effect for those moving past, and for relatively stationary users inside it provides visual stimulus. The aim is to facilitate conditions of ‘flow’ in the meeting space. Flow is a state where a task’s complexity and researchers’ skills are brought together in a positive feedback loop. This is what flow researchers describe as the “intrinsic rewards that encourage persistence.”
Boredom also plays a significant role in creativity. When bored, your brain operates on different levels, allowing creative approaches to emerge. Observing movement, outside and at the edges of the meeting space, helps stimulate this positive state of non-doing.
RESEARCH + INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS
The textile is lightweight and a site for ongoing research and testing. Future iterations of this material will be developed as collaborative research projects that involve RMIT staff from Architecture + Design, the Centre for Advanced Materials and Performance Textiles, the Functional Materials and Microsystems group, as well as potential industry partnerships. Research projects will investigate the potentials of intelligent facade systems by embedding lighting, digital image displays and acoustic control systems.
We have identified a number of local textile and mesh manufacturers and will look to partner with them for the fabrication stage of the project. A more ambitious partnership involves approaching Missoni, an Italian fashion label best known for its innovative woven and knitted garments. In recent years Missoni has begun to expand its brand into areas of textile research. A.ジュド 6 provides an opportunity to partner with Missoni to develop smart textiles for architectural and wearable applications.
Moiré-like effects are also utilised as part of the acoustic strategy. Background masking noise is projected into the environment immediately around the meeting space. By using highly directional speakers an acoustic wall is created, which partly conceals the sounds within. Inside, a combination of acoustically absorbent curtain and tuned acoustic reflectors reduce sound leakage and emphasise speech frequencies.
Prior to the intensive production phase, a series of prototypes will be made to test the textile system. These will include knitted fibre-optics, braided metal mesh, and screenprinted translucent plastics.
A distraction-free environment can be created within the pavilion by enclosing it with an electromagnetic fabric. Drawing this fabric around the space effectively creates a Faraday cage, and blocks Wifi and cellular connectivity. This layer provides an additional filter to the meeting space, directing attention to the issues that are immediately present.
Freya Robinson Recent graduate, RMIT Interior Design.
Vivienne La Recent graduate, RMIT Interior Design.
Nick Rebstadt Recent graduate, RMIT Interior Design.
Lijing Wang Associate Professor, RMIT Fashion and Textiles.