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The slides for the presentation by Nicolas Henchoz, director of EPFL+ECAL and David Carroll, director of MFA Design and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design, LazyBytes is an exhibition of …
The slides for the presentation by Nicolas Henchoz, director of EPFL+ECAL and David Carroll, director of MFA Design and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design, LazyBytes is an exhibition of TV remote control concepts developed across workshops at EPFL+ECAL, the RCA, ENSCI-Les Ateliers, and PARSONS. The talk summarized the project objectives and outcomes with special attention paid to the concepts submitted from PARSONS.
Rethinking the television remote? The topic is a surprising one. Why focus on an object that has so little value in the home? What interest does it generate, beyond changing channels and controlling some functions? Paradoxically, the very act of posing these questions legitimates the topic. In brief: why would a chair, a vase, or a plate become an object loaded with value, emotion, and cultural history, while the remote control, situated at the heart of domestic activity in the living room, is generally devoid of meaning? Now that television is digital, this observation deserves even more investigation. The remote control is at the heart of our relationship to the world of digital media. The Lazy Bytes project and resulting conference are part of a research theme at the global EPFL + ECAL Lab that aims precisely to renew our relationship with digital technology. This relationship is subject to performance and competition: increasing the number of functions while reducing the cost. But this performance race, embodied by the almost infinite number of controls, excludes a large proportion of users, such as the elderly and those indifferent to mastering the technology. The television remote is also an icon of our physical relationship to the digital world; it accompanies us in our real world to enable us to act in the digital world. However, as an object, it has acquired neither status nor value. Lazy Bytes does not seek to replace the latest generation of the most sophisticated remote controls, but rather to offer an alternative – a new experience which renews our cultural relationship to the digital realm. Four top design schools responded to this challenge: ENSCI-Les Ateliers in Paris, the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London, Parsons The New School for Design in New York, and the ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne, a founding partner of the Laboratory. The Kudelski Group, a global leader in direct access television, has applied its skill and expertise to significantly increase the relevance of the work. Under the leadership of Thierry Dagaeff, designers confronted the reality on the ground with unbridled creativity. Finally, in response to the need to improve digital access, the Leenaards Foundation and the Loterie Romande provided crucial support to this project of extensive benefit to
society at large.