Tangible Parameters

Parameters surround us, yet we rarely reflect on their meanings. Through the use of a set of physical controls and the visualisation of a mathematical function, this project provides a tangible and immediate way to explore the concept of parameter.

The user is presented with a box featuring a slider, a selector, and a switch. On the screen, a rotating 3D shape (known as “super-shape”) is shown. Each of the controls is connected to a specific parameter of the visual representation: the slider controls the size, the selector controls the number of vertices, and the switch controls the fill of the whole shape. Moreover the controls embody three categories of parameters: the slider governs a continuous parameter, the selector controls a discrete parameter, and the switch governs a binary parameter.

The idea is to strip away almost any meaning from the parameters and present them in a simple and almost raw way. The focus on the informative purpose of the project is also pursued through the aesthetics of the box, which makes the physical controls become the center of attention.

Tangible parameters was exhibited in Copenhagen on February 25th, 2011.