By Ksenia Newton
Peiqi Su is an artist, an interaction designer and a maker. She believes that good interaction design depends in the harmony between people, objects and environment.
Ksenia Newton: How did you end up doing interactive media?
Peiqi Su: I was a user experience designer before studying in Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU Tisch. ITP is a magic place that opened my eyes and changed my mind. In the first semester, I learned what is physical computing – it’s "an approach to learning how humans communicate through computers that starts by considering how humans express themselves physically." I immediately fell in love with interactive media when Professor Tom Igoe during our first physical computing class explained that interaction is different from reaction. Interaction required "a cyclic process between two or more active agents in which each agent alternately listens, thinks, and speaks." (Chris Crawford, On Interactive Storytelling, 2005, p. 29) It perfectly expresses my passion to study interaction between human and other agent and keep the cycle loop.
KN: What inspired artwork you are currently showcasing at the Creative Tech Week, specifically The Penis Wall?
PS: This goes back to when I was a UX designer; I was always interested in one question: what is the most intuitive and intriguing interaction for human? Until I learned physical computing and started to think about interactions besides electronic devices, I realized penis is the oldest and probably the most attractive interface that humans interact with. The penis is so different!
This is my initial motivation behind creating a project with interactive penises.
KN: What do you wish someone would have told you before joining the creative tech industry?
PS: How the creative tech connects to business and connects to art, and what are the differences between these two models. (I still haven’t figured out the answer.)
KN: What would you recommend to those who, just like you, have a passion for technology and art but have yet to make the step forward toward their dreams?
PS: Start to build/prototype one of your small ideas. Even to just light up one LED would encourage you to keep on going. Thanks to tech, nowadays we don't need an electronic degree to play with electronics, nor do we need a computer science degree to learn coding. Arduino, Processing and other start-level creative platforms are great choices. Also, for interaction design, I recommend Chris Crawford's book The Art of Interactive Design.
KN: What is the Next Big Thing for you?
PS: Finish building the Gold Penis, made with gold plated stainless steel.
KN: What do you hope to learn more about at the CTW conference?
PS: I hope the discussion on creative tech, and how it permeates other fields such as advertisement, architecture, and art could keep going. In the future Creative Tech Week, besides hubs, I hope there's a central place to hold talks and exhibitions so that it would be even more convenient for people in different fields of creative tech to meet each other.
About The Penis Wall:
The Penis Wall is made up of 81 self-designed 3D-printed penises that each has six segments driven by a servo motor. All the servo motors are controlled by self-designed circuit boards which will send each motor signals according to stock market data, or other datasource, for example, the note of a piece of music. Moreover, equipped with an ultrasonic distance sensor, each penis can also respond to a viewer’s movements.
At Creative Tech Week, it served as a 3D data visualization of stock market ticker symbols – up representing up and down representing down.
Ksenia Newton is a digital marketing and social media specialist who works on various aspects of the industry including strategy, content marketing, marketing analysis and web optimization. She can be reached at @ksenia_newton.