Dynamic3: Interactive Physics and Physicality in Three Dimensions

In this study, two physical cubes control a malleable, hierarchical data structure represented as abstract objects on a virtual stage. The external appearance of the physical cubes mimic the simple geometrical forms on the screen. By using interactive particle physics, virtual objects react in ways that correspond to our existing assumptions about our physical world.

By variably weighting various data objects, a new paradigm is introduced by which the dynamic/motive reaction of information structures gives usuble cues as to the contents of the object. Through repeated exploration, the user is able to feel differences in reactivity and modulate his or her decisions accordingly, without sacrificing aesthetic or metaphorical continuity.

A firm gesture towards the rear of the virtual stage allows the user to view more detailed information about the contents of the abstract data objects. The camera tracks and pans to a position behind the translucent rear stage. From this vantage, the objects' shadows transform into projections of the information structure within each object.

In the Dynamic3 project, interface mechanics and interface design are united as a single process. The physical underpinnings of the interface architecture allow for the possibility of functionally and aesthetically graceful interaction.

This work was presented as a part of the Art & Design Sketches at Siggraph'97 and published in the visual proceedings.

In the following video we first see a series of interactive studies I made which then lead up to the Dynamic3 project.