Finger Follows Function

The principle of “form follows function” seems to be increasingly challenged by modern industrial design. Indeed, almost all of our smartphones and laptops are now shaped as rectangular boxes with a glass screen. Using long-exposure photography, we set out to reveal the functionality of these devices to the naked eye by capturing the interactions of a person doing ordinary tasks.

A red LED is attached to the someone’s finger, and the shutter is held open while they execute a common task like scrolling through a Facebook feed or typing up an e-mail. By keeping the camera’s shutter open, we capture the trace of the movement, revealing both the flow and density of their gestures.

As a result of this experiment, we are now better informed about the different factors involved in long-exposure photography. This allows us to take more control over the camera, which will prove helpful in future projects.

We presented this work along with “Beaming it Right” at the end of the class. Throughout the week, we also explored DSLR manipulation, high-speed photography, stop-motion animation, time slicing and post-processing video effects.