ECAL Students Examine the Selfie Phenomenon with PhotoBooth Exhibition | Yellowtrace


How can one create objects and installations around the theme of portrait in this digital age? What means are available to disseminate these? How can one make visitors interact with the objects and turn viewers into the main actors in the exhibition? Over a semester, 1st year Master Product Design students and 2nd year Bachelor Photography students from ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne pondered these very questions, with the aim to present their findings as part of an interesting exhibition during Milan Design Week 2015.

Under the watchful eye of Vincent Jacquier, Head of the Visual Communication Department, designer Camille Blin and photographer Nicolas Haeni, the students were able to understand, using various approaches, how current–material or virtual–technology alters our traditional relationship with portraits, be they “selfies” or pictures of others.

Using modern media as well as more run-of-the-mill devices, exhibition visitors were invited to directly experiment the processes imagined by the students, allowing them to discover new interactive and fun ways of having their picture taken 3.0 style.



Ecal PhotoBooth MixingFaces Milan Design Week 2015 | Yellowtrace
#MixingFaces by Zoé Aubry, Antoine Foeglé & Dong Kyun Lim. Our smartphones and computers offer a multitude of digital filters to modify the photos we take. This project addresses the contrary. Three gradient mirrors, shifting from perfect mirroring to fully transparent, invite the visitors to merge their faces in an analogue and playful way.


Ecal PhotoBooth FlatFace Milan Design Week 2015 | Yellowtrace
#FlatFace by Gianni Camporota & Nils Ferber. 3D representation of ourselves is a contemporary topic. Thanks to an array of reflecting surfaces in front of which visitors stand, they are able to capture a 180° portrait on their smartphone.


Ecal PhotoBooth Mask Milan Design Week 2015 | Yellowtrace
#Mask by Jaehoon Jung & Purithat Thongphubal is an installation that plays on a reference to the old “trompe-l’œil” set up in photography. By projecting moving eyes and mouths onto a transparent mask, visitors can merge them their own face.


Ecal PhotoBooth LightBox Milan Design Week 2015 | Yellowtrace
#Lightbox by Kodai Iwamoto & Marine Vallotton. The more technology evolves and gets physically smaller, the more the idea of professional photographic material becomes abstract. This installation questions this materiality and process by allowing the visitors to take a self-portrait, itself captured by a picture. The images are automatically published on an online photo stream. More info here.


Ecal PhotoBooth Icons Milan Design Week 2015 | Yellowtrace
#Icons by Jonas Hagenbusch, Gregory Monnerat & Jean-Vincent Simonet, is a tribute to famous deceased designers. By placing a filter on their camera lens, visitors are able to discover iconic hidden details of designers’ work through the portraits.


Ecal PhotoBooth Momento Milan Design Week 2015 | Yellowtrace
#Momento by Tanya Kottler & Nadine Schaub. This installation plays with the representation of oneself through ones shadow. When visitors advance towards the ventilator, their shadow is cast onto the wall, revealing an augmented shadow.


Ecal PhotoBooth TheSelfieProject Milan Design Week 2015 | Yellowtrace
#TheSelfieProject by Kévin Gouriou & Calypso Mahieu. Nowadays users can choose from a multitude of accessories to interact with their smartphone. This project is a series of machines that follows the idea of DIY and open source culture. Off-the-shelf components and a simple construction enable the user to replicate the machines easily. Each machine hacks into and reinterprets the camera function of the smartphone to create interesting and playful images. More info here.


Ecal PhotoBooth Unshape Milan Design Week 2015 | Yellowtrace
#Unshape by Jules Moskovtchenko, Angélique Stehli & Sunil Vallu. A poetic combination of a mirror and a scanner, the installation involves interaction between the viewer’s movement and time. Realistic, distorted self-portraits or exquisite cadavers can be created by interacting with the installation.


Ecal PhotoBooth Selfeed Milan Design Week 2015 | Yellowtrace
#Selfeed by Clément Lambelet & Terkel Skou Steffensen. Over 17 million selfies are posted per week on Instagram. This enormous amount of pictures feeds into an uncontrollable and unstoppable database.
This installation takes the #selfie live feed and prints it on an endless roll of paper. As an interpretation of Instagram the pictures disappear slowly in front of the visitors.



[Images courtesy of ECAL.]


About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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