space-time association


Karmen Franinovic : Projects

Design | Architecture | Interaction | Arts

Projects : Karmen Franinovic

More information can be obtained from the website of my studio, Zero-Th (Pula, Croatia).

Projects may be viewed by category: Responsive Spaces, Interaction Design, Architecture, Selected projects, and All projects.
You are now viewing: Selected projects.

Note: Certain links reference external sites. In project descriptions, my role is not stated when I was the only person involved in a 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 nolonger exists. You must constantly adapt, challenged by this continuously rearranged space. Nothing that you create is permanent ... The topological transformation is collective.

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

Interactive labyrinth, commissioned for the festival Enter: Unknown Territories
Cambridge, UK. Opening 25 April 2007. Press release. Interview at e.Dance Spring07.
Hinge_Dimension webpage


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)

Interactive sound installation, Kortrijk, Belgium as part of the festival Happy New Ears, 2006.
Skyhooks webpage

Transient Embrace

Inflatable metabolic modules design for public space, 2006-

Transient Embrace is a temporary architecture of passage composed of kinetic inflatable modules connected by an excitable nervous system. Its movements adapt to those passing through. Visitors are empowered to shape an urban area's soft spatial arrangements, or to generate temporary spaces that embrace those entering within, opening space for group activity, intimacy, play. When modes of physical contact are established between people and architecture, the space's networked sensory apparatus comes alive with recomposed sounds and colors of those having visited it, creating a shifting atmosphere linked to the memory of the location over time.

More about Transient Embrace

Recycled Soundscapes

Interactive public sound installation, with Yon Visell, 2004

Recycled Soundscape is designed as a system through which to explore and engage with auditory aspects of experience in the city, and to provide the possibliity of relief, through sound and relational design, from the prevailing and often stressful urban flow.

The result is an interactive system for the public orchestration of an urban sound ecology. It consists of a set of kinetic, human-scale interfaces which seek to create diversions and concentrations of attention within the sonic context of a location, by facilitating reflective activity in the public sphere, in the course of which an acoustic landscape may be augmented, modified, and performed. It offers the possibility to listen to and to record noises - human, natural, machine - which are otherwise difficult to take notice of, and which nonetheless contribute to the characteristic of a place over time, composing its evolving memory in sound.

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

At Resonances, Ircam/Centre Pompidou, Paris, and ACM Designing Interactive Systems, Boston.

Recycled Soundscape webpage

on this CD..

Architecture of Subtraction

Master's thesis, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, 2004

Architecture of Subtraction is concerned with the ways in which the technology can offer relief from the hectic urban flow. This relief is created by engaging people with new playful interactions within and concerning surrounding urban contexts, rather then by creating a separation from them. One is given an alternative audio-visual experience of the urban space. The created interactive spaces, such as Recycled Soundscapes and Televator showed that the technologically enhanced interaction between humans and environment can impact our perception of place and social interaction in the city.

The more general aim of this research was to explore how and why interactive space might become an essential part of the urban fabric.

Lecture at INCITE Approaching the City conference , University of Surrey, London, January 2004.

Exhibition at IDII Annual Event 2004 : When lightning strikes, Ivrea, June 2004.

Featured at SlowLab

Architecture of Subtraction project site


Extreme scenarios: The car as theater - political systems inside the community car, with Belmer Negrillo, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, 2003

Politicomobil is an exploration of systems of power inside the car's constrained environment. Using political systems as a metaphor for the community and its relations in a constrained space, Politicomobil questions decision-making and issues of property within a collective car community, as well as the concept of the community car itself. We transformed the space of the car into a theater for the playing out of a political system. Two extreme, historically specific examples were applied to the car space, and represented in videos: fascism in Italy, and the current political system in USA. The invisible relations inside of the community can be either hidden or expressed through the design of the car. Here, we exhibit them on the surface in order to better understand their use as a design tool.

My role in this project: conception, design, scenography, direction and editing.

More on the Collective car Applied Dreams website

Fascism video

on this CD..

Bush video

on this CD..

AutoGrill Monument

a sublime monument and real time death display, with Ivar Lyngve, Luther Thie, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, 2003

In the near future, when the Autostrada and the AutoGrill are co-owned and co-managed, there will be a seamless integration of traffic data and roadside rest stop. Not unlike the accident fetishists who haunt highway scenes, drivers are both fascinated and dismayed by highway accidents. AutoGrill Monument offers a sublime ambient display of real-time highway fatalities integrated into the popular Italian roadside restaurant. The designers have pushed the concept to the fore with an integrated alert system which causes a jet of blue liquid to be shot 20 meters high, saturating a water-filled column that pierces the building. AutoGrill Monument is a sublime, if improbable, display of highway fatality. It inspires awe and terror through its beauty and by the representation and direct reference to an immediate eclipse of life.

My role in this project: conception, design, 3d digital modelling and video editing.

Autogrill Monument, was a part of Monument Recall: Improbable Monuments, an online exhibition of SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA, Oct. 26 - Nov. 24 2004.


collaborative interactive installation, with boutiquevizique, Rotterdam, 2003

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 the space with new movement, sound, and visual sequences. These interactions invite people to collectively move through and explore the installation's spaces (a tall stairwell, a newly discovered house, an urban temporary space, a church) and the experiences it encourages (holding hands, kissing, using differently conductive objects to modulate output results). Thus, 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, and Audioframes3 festival in Kortrijk, Belgium. Forthcoming: Feb. 2005. StopKontakt in a church!

See the Kontakt feature at MakingThings. View Kontakt webpage

more documentation on this CD..

Syncoptic: Unstable Reality

responsive environment, with Yon Visell and Evelina Kusaite, FoAM Brussels, 2003

An augmented space made of sound and space gaps, loci of light and darkness, invites players to interact with the each other through light dynamics and spatial sound, and to discover a space articulated by a multiplicity of constellations, in an innocent game. The floor on which the players walk, a surface stretched across a thick body of water, lends a critical instability to the boundaries of the physical space which, together with the low visibility, slows down every movement. This apparent space of nothing incorporates the player into its expanding and solidifying reality. A luminous transitional tube is extended from the gallery into the surrounding urban space, effecting a region of transformation of the private into the public.

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

Exhibited as part of the Illumine series at FoAM, Brussels, Belgium. FoAM event website.

Syncoptic project site

More documentation on this CD..

Dance first

interactive club system, with Hernando Barragan, David Lu, Tarun Rawat, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, 2003

Discotheques are intensively immersive spaces. Ones senses are overwhelmed in such places - particularly the sense of hearing; the music is loud and penetrating, making verbal communication difficult. How does the does this social exposure/immersion affect identity? How do we deal with anarchy and order in collective creations/events? Can the image be as pervasive as sound?

Dance First is a system composed of 'tokens' and 'faces' that explores this questions. Through a combination of video ethnography and interviews, we recorded the movements, ideas, and the behaviours of dancers at the disco. We defined areas of varying intensity with regard to social and sensorial immersion and we decided to merge these two experiences into one large interactive system with a set of smaller sub-systems. The most exciting and successful ideas were tested and evaluated.

My role in this project included conception, design, prototyping and presentation.

Dance First webpage

More documentation on this CD..

Inflatable Modular Interactive Space

with Stefano Mirti and Edoardo Brambilla, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, 2003

The modular inflatable was designed to integrate electronics and interactive behaviours into inflatable, to create a teaching interactive space platform and to have a flexible space composition. The project was developed at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea and was used for teaching 'Life without objects' class in 2003-2004. The inflatable is composed of several modules: the top module, the air input module, the entrance module and the various in-between modules. These can be rearranged in different combinations according to the needs of the project and the context. In addition, the conduits which would hide the wiring of the interactive inflatable space or would be used to curve the inflatable tube were designed.

The interactive modular inflatable was first exhibited in Brussels at the FoAM event Surface Tension, where in response to the presence of the people the inflatable would wiggle, moved by strings attached to three motors. At the Intimacy, Beyond Media festival in Firenze, the Ciccio group presented the new teaching platform showing the examples of interactive light and sound space.

Surface Tension at FoAM lab

Inflatable Modular webpage

More documentation on this CD..

Light as matter

interactive lamps, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, 2003

Can light grow, be folded, compressed or poured? Upon physical interaction with the form of the object, light behaves as matter in a flexible, liquid, or gaseous state. This creates a play with the user's intention: for example, the form of an accordion-shaped lamp invites the action of compression, but once force is applied, it is the light which deforms rather then the form of the lamp.

Light as matter webpage

Tactile Traces

wearable design, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, 2003

An active bracelet for the two extremes, literature and touch, enables tactile and silent telecommunication. Rationality and sensation melt on the surface, on the skin.

The intense squeeze invites us to communicate and gives the possibility to recognize the other's touch. The received tactile sensation can be experienced only at the moment of communication (there is no tactile memory), but personal writings or drawings are automatically stored. An array of pins moving in sequence, creates the feeling of touch, but is also displayed visually. The bracelet can be used to send tactile messages, for silent communication, and the storage of ideas through drawings.

Tactile Traces project site

Sound Invaders

computer game, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, 2002

In the "Sound Invaders" game, written in Python, the invasion is geometrical, as well as auditory. If you don't catch the Sound Carriers they will invade you with noise, through the accumulation of the sound of each invader you've missed. At the beginning there is almost no light, but as the game develops, environmental lighting increases, making the game grow easier over time, rather than harder. Once collected, the accumulated sound persists. One has then to decide between playing on and adapting to its noise, or starting the game over again.

Love boxes

kinesthetic exploration, with Hernando Barragan, David Lu and Soeren Pors, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, 2002

Loves boxes is a project exploring how abstract objects, such as boxes, can have behaviour or communicate emotions. One of these objects, the Tactile box, offers more or less intuitive interfaces, sensing kinesthetic interactions, such as pressure, humidification or the movement of its parts. It communicates with three other boxes that express their 'emotions' through various actions: jumping and spinning, creating shadow play or approaching. The detailed behaviour of these active boxes depends on the way one interacts with the Tactile box.

My role in this project included conception, design, electronics and programming.

Part 1 with Hernando
Part 2 with David
Part 3 with Soeren


collaboration on design by ArchA architects, with Arata Isozaki and Arup, Torino, 2002

This competition project for the new high speed train station in Florence was developed within the Isozaki and ArchA studios, and involved a large number of experts. The station to be built will be the main transit node of both the city and the region, and will be connected to the Santa Maria Novella station and to the old town centre by new metro lines. This organic design won the second prize in the competition.

My role in this project was to develop digital drawings and 3d models
of the building.

(Photo and the model by Arata Isozaki studio.)


urban reuse project, with Andrea Borri, Berlin, MutePlateau_Lab, 2002

The line of the Earth - the zero level - is the starting point around which the Invercity gravitates. It remains, in its integrity, an open public horizon. The city is revolved about this line, and constructed upside-down. The public urban surface is a complex system of soft-attractors, crossed by bike and foot-paths. It is fragmented so as to recreate familiar human spaces, grounded in the necessity to meet the other. Railway connections to other ex-industrial areas, some already transformed into research centers, forms the basis of a knowledge-sharing system using the physical network which transports people or equipment. The container box is itself converted into habitable space: The Room. It can be moved by train, or rented for periods. The system is thus flexible, in both local and international scale.

Poster 1

on this CD..

Poster 2
on this CD..


collaboration on design by ArchA architects, with Arata Isozaki and Arup, Torino, 2002

The structure, under construction for the Olympic winter games, Torino 2006, will host Olympic hockey matches attended by more than 12000 spectators.

My role in this project was to develop digital drawings and 3d models
of the building.


Amnioptic Surface

urban boundary, with Bruno Juricic, Venezia, MutePlateau_Lab, 2000-2002

What if no road leads to home? What occurs as our conceptual view fixes words such as "hospitality, proximity, and stranger"? For a moment we perceive these things: otherness, strangeness. However, our habitus of thought and memory soon assimilate the concepts into their familiar landscapes, with the question: "Where do you come from?" This is the negation of hospitality, and refuses to permit the establishment of the correspondences: Xeno-Xenia / Stranger-Alliance.

My role in this project was conception, design, writing and digital modelling.

Amnio(p)tic surface project site


collaboration on design by ArchA architects, Torino, 2001

The light and elegant metal structure was developed as a response to heavy and underdesigned highway toll booths.

My role in the project included digital modelling, discussions and design revision, under supervision of Arch. Ercolani and in collaboration with Arch. Brizzio.

La città e l'architettura digitale

Laurea thesis, Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia , Venezia/Torino, 2001

A study of real and virtual in architecture, the plurality of their possible forms, and modes of material expression.

The thesis explored the influence of computational media on design and on the gap between the virtual (in the philosophical sense), digital design and built architecture. It noted problems associated to some of the following practices in contemporary architectural design: the freezing of continuous morphing as an act of design, contemporary design as organic architecture clothed in new materials, and the impossibility of faithfully representing or building the virtual. These questions were explored through a serious of practices, such as physical and digital representation techniques, around one architectural design project, the world theatre in Prague.

La città e l'architettura digitale webpage

More documentation on this CD..


collaboration on design by ArchA architects, with Arata Isozaki and Arup, Torino, 2001

The Santhia outlet complex is based on the concept of the shopping street, rather then a commercial centre. It is the main part of a larger commercial area, The Fashion District, located on the route between Milan and Turin.

Although familiar inside, the entrance of the Outlet Santhia is marked with unusual glass and metal structures. The central street is covered by less than one hundred large glass panels, bringing the light to the centre of the building. A kindergarten designed by Sotssass and a sculptural object at the entrance by Isozaki are not represented in the following images. The rest of the building was developed by ArchA in collaboration with Arup Italia.

My role in this project was to develop drawings and digital models of the building, to collaborate on structural issues with ArchA and Arup Italia and to present the project to the clients.

Santhia Outlet webpage

More documentation on this CD..


tactile urban surface, with Sciatto Produzie and Bruno Juricic, Roma, MutePlateau_Lab, 2001

Instant housing or temporary housing: dwellings that are not only stages of passage, but that are capable of hosting, of welcoming those who move speedily, who cross and become part of the metropolitan flow. A stream of displacements that is not simple movement of pleasure, but instead an energy, a plurality of crossings for which the stay becomes welcoming, interaction, sharing, narration.

My role in this project included its conception, design and digital modelling.

Francesca Iovino discussing one part of the project...

Haus für Kunst

museum design, with Bruno Juricic, Technische Universität Berlin, MutePlateau_Lab, 1999-2000

Haus für Kunst is a project which was developed at TU Berlin during the course of research into the integration of the virtual and physical part of an art museum. The permanent exhibition occupies a central space, and is organized in a linear way, representing the timeline of history. The temporary exhibitions are organized around this central area, in a way that is dependent upon the affinities between past artwork and the artist who is temporarily exhibiting. The surface covering the whole is an interface to digital information about the art pieces and related works. The design methodology applied studies how local physical flows on one side, and informational media flow on the other, can be allowed to affect the process of designing a building.

Presentation (pdf)

on this CD..


design collaboration with architect Dirk Alten, AltenArchitekten studio, Berlin, 1999

This project began its life as a design for a palliative clinic with a church and winter garden as integral parts of the building. Our main intention was to create spiritual space throughout the whole building. Parts of the building have changed in function, and have been now designated as a senior center, but the design has remained the same.

My role in this project was, as its project designer, to propose various designs, create physical and digital models and present them to the main architect, who would participate in choosing the best to pursue.

The photos are by AltenArchitekten studio.

The Angel's Angle

video, Technische Universität Berlin, 1999

The video was a result of research on the architecture in Germany of the 1930's, especially the ideas of Paul Klee and Mies van der Rohe.

Angoli Angelici, 'macchine astratte' pronte ad orientarci nella convessità della città la cui logica spaziale è una continua rifrazione di ogni slancio di penetrazione, di ogni richiesta di maternità: un meccanismo impercettibile che traccia sul nostro corpo, incidendone la superficie, La Sentenza. Ang(e)l è ancora chiuso nella gabbia semantica dei tre assi cartesiani, che lui stesso ha creato ed evoluto, è un relitto concettuale-strutturale vagante all'interno di un'architettura fredda e inospitale. Ang(e)l non vuole più essere protetto, ma ospitato dall'Architettura. E il tutto per poter accedere al luogo dove Ang(e)l non si rifà nel suo doppio Angolo, lì dove le sue ali sviscerano la consistenza della memoria della città, dove l'Inscrizione non sarà più traccia, dove il Respiro si fa' spazio sacro dell'Attesa, lì dove la concavità materna chiamata Cielo offre l'ospitalità offrendogli la Tessitura della nuova città.

Presented in Image Festival 2000, The future and the city.

Angel's Angle video

on this CD..

World theatre, Prague

5th OISTAT theatre competition, Venezia, MutePlateau_Lab, 1999

The urban gaps are the forgotten emptiness, the sound of silence in the contemporary city.

The location of this project, adjacent to an ex-industrial area, passed by the metro conduit, was to be added to the axis which connect the theatres and cinemas with the new metro station. The need to pass through the area and at the same time to stand in isolation is used to create a new urban logic: a city of slow spaces and transit tubes, contrasting an infrastructure whose rhizomatic quality causes the user to flow through the city, without any particular aim, with a slow space of removal from function and from place (through smell, sound, touch..) whose form is a projection of the immaterial extension of the atmosphere of the city.