Andrew Hirniak, Durrell Bishop
Interaction design, including interface, installations, products and ‘Some Web-based stuff. We exist on this fringe of doing slightly weird stuff.’
Routes to Itch
Hirniak: Graphic design, Computer Related Design at the Royal College of Art, interactive design with various companies on the west coast of the US; Bishop: Product design, CRD at RCA, Ideo, Apple, RCA researcher and lecturer. ‘When the RCA set up its computer-related design department there was nothing like it here in the UK. It took people from many different disciplines and put us together in a really interesting environment. It also had great links with the forward-thinking West Coast companies that don’t exist here. There’s more good research here now, but it still isn’t successfully being married with good design.’
Define your work and output
‘Inventive; a different slant on how interaction melds with products and installation. We could have gone down the route of website design but we chose not to. We like to play with things and try things out a lot.’
‘Defines and builds things that do things.’
The typewronger sound application, party photo booths (in association with Vamp), DiskTRactions CD-ROM (in association with CRD at the RCA), Comic Strip Maker, Alien Automat for Jam at the Barbican in London.
What work will you be showing at Digital Solutions?
LED dot matrix display clothing, some past projects and a portfolio of ideas.
Where does your work fit into current interaction design?
‘It’s hard to say exactly. Because the way we work is playful and experimental, I think our work’s very relevant now and will continue to be so. But we tend to use something and move on, so it’s hard to say how it fits in with future ideas.’
‘For the past year we’ve been implementing two ideas for the Science Museum and its Wellcome Wing; including a game-based interactive piece incorporating huge, projected tables that deal with dilemmas around science and technology.’
Client vs creative needs
‘Clients approach us having an idea of what we do, in fact, they come to us because of what we do, so with nearly all of them we get involved early on in the ideas stages.’
Which pieces are you particularly happy with?
‘We like the less obvious work we do for clients; for example the telephone answering machine that we came up with to explain how something that’s over-complicated is still very simple at heart. It’s a comment on the nature of networks.’
Work or play?
‘When we’re not working on paid projects we like to play with technologies, like the LED dot matrix display clothing and mobile phones interfaces.’