Fabrica, is Benetton’s communication research centre in Villorba, Treviso, Italy.
Fabrica is actually not a school, advertising agency or any university. It is an applied creativity laboratory, a studio of sorts in which young, modern artists come from all over the world to develop innovative projects and explore new directions in avenues of communication, design, music, film, photography, publishing and interaction design.
So me and my colleague Sures Kumar was invited there in Oct 2011 for a trail in the department of interaction design. The experience was very enriching both form personal and professional front.
The first day we met Oriol, the head of interaction department. He introduced us to all the wonderful people, who works in different departments and showed us the kind of work generally they are into. I must say the works were amazing.
Mostly we had two options to work on during this period of time. Either we can do something with Benetton’s window project or do something on our own, which interests us. Now Benetton’s window project is nothing but a type of interactive installations installed in different showrooms of United Colors of Benetton like colors movement. One is located in Milan, which I actually saw latter in my trip to Milan.
Now in the initial two to three days we were involved in generating ideas for the window installations as well as try doing something that kind of excites us. We came up with different ideas for the window. Oriol listened and discussed all the ideas and gave us directions in which we can work on.
So we decided to do some kind of fun game in the space which is available in Fabrica. The whole architecture of Fabrica is built with stones slabs and these slabs has holes on all the four corners. (as shown in the figure).
So we decided to do a box and dots game where these holes on the slab can be represented as the dots for the game. Now the next question in mind is how will one point out which dot/ hole we are pointing. Lazer light came to the rescue. We used OpenCV and Porcessing 1.5. OpenCV blob was used to detect the red light form the lazer. And since OpenCV gives us a lot of advantage, we limited the blob count to only 1, which helped us detect the light movement and hence play the game.
The box and dots game:
After showing this to Oriol and Lizze, we discussed and came up with a new kind of play- connecting the dots. Do you remember in papers, we use to get these picture games where by joining the numbers in order, the picture would reveal itself into a mickey mouse or some cartoon character. This was a very similar to it.
Connecting the dots:
So these were few of the things we tried our hands on while we were at Fabrica. The experience and people at Fabrica were very helping, friendly and warm which made my experience even more better than I hoped.