zero-th

association for space & time

architecture,responsivity,geometry,dynamics,sociality

space-time design

We are an independent art + research organization developing projects, concepts, and investigations related to the spatio-temporal structure, ecologies, and dynamics of the multidimensional fabrics of our surroundings, together with the presence and condition of their inhabitants.

Our work is interdisciplinary, manifesting in architecture, urban interventions, interactive digital art and design, critical theory, science and engineering. Particular interests include non-visual sensuality -- notably, sound and haptics.

Zero-th Association is based in Pula, Croatia, Zurich, and Montreal. It is directed by Karmen Franinovic and Yon Visell. Learn more about who we are, news about current projects under development, documentation of past projects, or just contact us.

Our institutional collaborators include the Shared Reality Environments Lab at McGill University, and the Interaction Design Program and ICS at the Zurich University of the Arts. Recent research has been supported in part through European initiatives CLOSED (EU-FP6-NEST, 2006-2009), Sonic Interaction Design (ESF-COST-ICT, 2007-2011), and Natural Interactive Walking (EU-FP7-FET, 2008-2011).

See also the news section, below!

Featured Project

Flo)(ps, Interactive glasses, 2008

Flo)(ps is a series of interactive glasses that, when filled, touched and manipulated, enable flows of sound and light between them. Each artifact takes on a distinct identity, through its multifaceted and evolving behavioral qualities. Its sonic and luminous responses are continuously coupled to movement and actions performed with it. When more Flo)(ps are in use, they affect each other's behavior. Through variety of gestures, visitors can enable sound and light relations between the glasses. As they negotiate respective movements, secret connections between people and objects are revealed and a new atmosphere is collaboratively created.

Flo)(ps explores the intimate relation between us and things we touch, which is often overshadowed by functionality. It reminds us of that intimacy, animating it and extending it through social conduits. Using our own customary behaviors and gestures, the project engenders new connections between everyday things and people using them.


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Flo)(ps project was commissioned by Interstices group and exhibitied at Amplified Intimacies exhibition at Oboro gallery in Montreal, 13 September - 18 October 2008. Additional support came from the CLOSED project.
Press release.
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More Flops page.

Featured Event

Exploring Sonic Interaction with Artefacts in Everyday Contexts , 2008

Karmen Franinovic together with Lalya Gaye and Frauke Behrendt conducted a hands-on workshop at Ircam (Paris) as a part of 14th International Conference on Auditory Display, and sponsored by the Sonic Interacton Design Action.

Read the proposal for the workshop (includes the structure of the workshop).


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See related blog that includes documents and results of the workshop .
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Photographs from the event.

Featured Project

Hinge Dimension, Reconfigurable architecture, with Alexander Wilson, 2007

Dead-end streets do not exist! The city's architecture is in your hands: move its boundaries, walk through walls, connect and split zones of intensity, redistribute inertia! Lost in the labyrinth? Rearrange it! Where you were no longer exists. You must constantly adapt, challenged by this continuously rearranged space. Nothing you create is permanent ... The topological transformation is collective.

Rather than supporting the idea of built architectures as immutable structures, the project enables citizens to modify established uses of the space and create their own experience of it. No motion is automatic, but each is echoed by the responsive environment. The movements of boundaries not only enclose or open the space, they enable sounds, lights, colors and shadows that intensify space and produce new atmospheres. Each hinge-screen is an articulation of potential movement, but its rotation also modulates light and video media projected into the spatial arrangement of the labyrinth, accentuating expansions and contractions of the collaboratively built spatial experience.


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Interactive labyrinth, commissioned for the festival Enter: Unknown Territories
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See original competition proposal. Interview at e.Dance Spring07.
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More Hinge_Dimension documentation

Featured Project

Skyhooks, Balloon as interface, 2006

The sensation of bodies looming overhead, bigger and more active than strings and rubber-and-air balloons alone, an unseen landscape, vortex of ... what, exactly? Empty and full, smooth and striated, floating - resonators of unknown material. Grab on with Skyhooks, take a drag on the texture of the upside-down. Skyscape revealed, the handle clutched in your fist rubs against the invisible, and the rhythms of your feet are translated into movement through the air, orchestrated into the physics of hidden levitating forms, surfaces and structures. The balloon is your instrument. It is excited and guided by the secret bodies it lights upon.

Balloon as interface excites invisible forms overhead (and other balloons), heard (through the physically-modelled sounds of of balloon-form interactions), felt (from haptic feedback supplied by the balloon's handle), seen (the ballet of balloons illuminated dynamically from the inside at night)


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Interactive sound installation, Kortrijk, Belgium, Sept/Oct 2006
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Commissioned for the festival Happy New Ears
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Skyhooks webpage

Featured Event

Architecture and Situated Technologies, NYC, October 2006

Karmen Franinovic represented Zero-Th in an invited presentation for the symposium Architecture and Situated Technologies, sponsored by the Architectural League of New York, as part of the League's 125th anniversary celebration. She and co-presenters O. Khan, N. Jeremijenko, S. Kennedy, U. Haque and J. Brucker-Cohen also collaborated in the City Encounters workshop hosted by Eyebeam Gallery. The outcome included a participatory mobile phone performance entitled Mobile A-Life.

The Architecture and Situated Technologies Symposium was organized by Omar Khan, Trebor Scholz, and Mark Shepard, and co-produced by the Center for Virtual Architecture, The Institute for Distributed Creativity, and the Architectural League of New York.


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Karmen's presentation: Transforming behaviours through Interactive Urban Art.
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Photographs from the event.

Featured Project

Kontakt, Collaborative touch installation, with boutiquevizique, 2003-present

Kontakt is an interactive collaborative installation directed toward the use of human touch as an interface for activating media. Visitors use their bodies to form chains between active poles in the space in order to animate space with new movement, sound, and visual sequences. These interactions invite people to collectively move through and to explore the spaces in which the installation is sited (a tall stairwell, a newly discovered house, an urban temporary space, a church) and the touch experiences it encourages. The extended interaction is social: a singular visitor is unable to make Kontakt. The human skin and body, mobile and unpredictable, become sensors and the actuators of this active space.

My role in this project: conception, design, programming, electronics, construction and coordination.

Exhibited at V2 Institute for Instable Media for DEAF 2003, Rotterdam, NL, Garage-G festival, Straslund, Germany, Audioframes3 festival in Kortrijk, Belgium.

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See the Kontakt feature at the website of sponsor MakingThings
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See more Kontakt documentation
on this CD..

Featured Project

Lyta. Remote touch interface, with FoAM

Lyta is a unique artistic installation commissioned by the city of Wolfsburg, Germany for the new science center Phaeno, designed by Zaha Hadid architects, and newly opened on 25 November 2005 in the center of Wolfsburg. It is a system for interactive, body-scale space-time architecture: two kinetically-charged surfaces, separated in space, are linked telematically so that deformations induced by touching each one are transmitted to the other interactively.

The result is a networked, modular, and interactive behavioral sculpture which haptically connects people at distant locations. It is based on a novel biomimetic haptic displacement transmission network developed in collaboration with Merlin Systems, a robotics firm based in Plymouth, UK.


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More images and Lyta website.

recent news and events

CURRENT EVENTS

For current events and project please visit http://iad.zhdk.ch/ and http://www.cim.mcgill.ca/~yon/

PAST EVENTS

Flo)(ps interactive installation is going to St-Etienne Biennale Internationale Design, as a part of curated exhibition Demain, c'est aujourd'hui, 15 - 30 November, 2008.

Flo)(ps interactive installation is a part of Amplified Intimacies exhibition curated by Interstices group. At Oboro gallery, Montreal, 13 September - 18 October, 2008. Press release.

Exploring Sonic Interaction with Artefacts in Everyday Contexts - Hands-on workshop by Karmen Franinovic, Lalya Gaye and Frauke Behrendt. At ICAD'08, Paris, 23 June, 2008.

Strategies for Sonic Interaction Design: From Context to Basic Design, paper in ICAD'08, Paris, 24-27 June, 2008.

Amplified Movements: An Enactive Approach to Sound in Interaction Design. The Planetary Collegium 9th Intl. Conference. New Realities: Being Syncretic. Vienna, 3-5 July 2008.

Architectures of Play: The Will to Act. International Symposium on Electronic Art ISEA08. Singapore, 23 July - 3 August 2008.

Karmen Franinovic is invited participant to Mini-summit on New Media Arts Policy & Practice. Singapore, 24 July - 26 July 2008.

A Vibrotactile Device for Display of Virtual Ground Materials in Walking. Eurohaptics 2008 conference. Madrid, 11-13 June 2008.

Basic Interaction Design for Sonic Artifacts in Context. Swiss Design Network Symposium: Focused - projects and methods of current design research. Bern, 30-31 May 2008.

Sonic Interaction Design: Sound, Information, and Experience workshop, at CHI 2008 conference Firenze, 5. April 2008.

From Tangible to Intangible and Back Again, workshop at Oboro Montreal, 14-17 Feb. 2008. Download Press Release. Deadline: Feb. 1 2008


2007

Adaptive Bottle. 21th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems. Vancouver, B.C., Canada. 2007.

Hinge Dimension: An Exploration of Enaction in Architecture, 4th International Conference on Enactive Interfaces, Grenoble, Nov. 19-22, 2007.

EcoTile: An Architectural Platform for Audio-Haptic Simulation in Walking, 4th International Conference on Enactive Interfaces, Grenoble, Nov. 19-22, 2007.

Brown Bag talk, at Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, University of Zurich 30 Oct.2007.

The Playful Technocultures Unconference, invited participation to a symposium about the intersections between play and technology. Montreal. 10. Oct 2007.

Summer School in Sound and Music Computing, CLOSED workshop for school's mini projects, Stockholm, 2-5 July 2007.

Sonic Interaction Design (SID) Action, COST: European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research, 2007-2011.

Sound Embodied: A Report on Sonic Interaction Design in Everyday Artifacts, paper in ICAD'07, Montreal, 26-29 June, 2007.

Modeling and Continuous Sonification of Affordances for Gesture Based Interfaces, paper in ICAD'07, Montreal, 26-29 June, 2007.

Zero-Th, at first Pecha Kucha Night in Montreal, SAT, June 14, 2007.

New Musical Interfaces in Context: Sonic Interaction Design in the Urban Setting, paper at NIME Conference, New York, 6-10 June, 2007.

Hinge_Dimension, an interactive labyrinth, commissioned by Enter Unknown Territories Festival, with Alexander Wilson, Cambridge (UK), April 25-29, 2007. Press release.

Participation in Urban Artworks: Democracy or Spectacle?, talk at The First Summit Meeting of the Planetary Collegium, Montreal, Canada, April 19-22, 2007.




2006

The Sensual Move: Gesture Learning and Sensory Motor Interaction Design, at ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces, Banff, Alberta, Nov. 2-4, 2006.

Transforming behaviours through Interactive Urban Art, talk at Architecture and Situated Technologies Symposium, The Urban Center and Eyebeam Gallery, New York, Oct. 19-21, 2006.

Cell Phone A-Life, participatory exercise, with Usman Haque and Jonah Brucker-Cohen. Architecture and Situated Technologies Symposium workshop, Eyebeam Gallery, New York, Oct. 2006.

Unfamiliar Moves and Anomalous Artifacts, talk at Event X, Studio XX 10th anniversary commemoration. Monument-National, Montreal. Oct 5-6 2006.

Skyhooks, Interactive sound installation, in festival Happy New Ears, Kortrijk, Belgium. Sept. 23 -Oct. 8, 2006.

Closing the Loop of Sound Evaluation and Design, paper presented at the ISCA Workshop on Perceptual Quality of Systems, Berlin, Germany, 4-6 Sept. 2006.

Active Architecture: from digital to relational, talk at Centro Nacional de las Artes, Fundacion del Centro Historico, Mexico City, Aug 19, 2006.

Review: Placing Words: Symbols, Space and the City, by W.J. Mitchell, Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2006.

CLOSED, part of the EC's New and Emerging Science and Technology initiative Measuring the Impossible. Work being undertaken with the HGKZ (Zurich) and other European research partners. From July 2006-2009.

Enactive Encounters in the City, talk at Subtle Technologies 2006, Toronto, June 2, 2006.

Occupying social and urban spaces with science, technology. Panel and round table discussion, Canadian Communication Association Annual Conference, York University, Toronto, June 3, 2006.

Charged Space, with Freida Abtan. New installation for touch and movement, at Dancing the Virtual, Society for Arts and Technology Montreal, May 13-15, 2006, organized by the Sense Lab and the Workshop in Radical Empiricism.

Invited talk (slides in PDF format) hosted by the HCI course of Jeremy Cooperstock, in the department of electrical and computer engineering at McGill University, March 9, 2006.

Invited talk hosted by the Advanced Digital Sound course of Owen Chapman, in the department of communication at Concordia University, February 10, 2006.




2005

Modulating Urban Atmospheres: Opportunity, Flow, Adaptation, in Ubicomp 2005, Tokyo, Sept. 10-14, 2005.

Designing Interaction Landscapes, invited talk in the Dipartimento di Informatica, at the University of Verona, June 8, 2005, sponsored by the EC Future and Emerging Technologies coordination action Sound to Sense, Sense to Sound.

Activating Space: From Representation to Being, invited talk at RIXC International symposium on Space and Perception, Riga, Latvia, May 19-22, 2005.

The Behavioural Space, article in: Theater, Dans, Etcetera magazine no. 96, April 2005, Belgium.

StopKontakt, installation in touring festival Spinrag: Provinciaal Centrum Dommelhof Neerpelt, Feb. 19, 2005, and Predikherenkerk (13th cent. church!), Cultuurcentrum Leuven Feb. 26-27, 2005, sponsored by Musica. With boutiquevizique.

Broadcast feature and interview in Strumenti Immaginari per Spazi Interattivi on Cult TV's N.E.R.D. (Nuove Esperienze di Ricombinazione Digitale), Sky Channel 142, December 1-8, 2004, and online.

Recycled Soundscapes, remixare l'intorno acustico, featured at the online magazine Neural.it, November 23, 2004.

x-med-k Workshop on responsive environments, conducted with FoAM at FoAM lab, Brussels, November 15-28, 2004.

AutoGrill Monument, in Monument Recall: Improbable Monuments, an online exhibition of SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA, Oct. 26 - Nov. 24 2004, with Luther Thie, Ivar Lyngve. Design for a sublime monument to motorists killed on the Italian Autostrada.

Recycled Soundscapes, public sound installation for Ircam Resonances festival, Place Igor Stravinsky, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Oct. 13-18, 2004.

More EVENTS..

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