Maarten Lamers

leiden university
the netherlands

I am an assistant professor within the LIACS computer science institute of Leiden University (since 2002). My work mainly relates to the Media Technology MSc program, of which I am a board member. The program stimulates students to deal with science in creative, playful and innovative ways, in which personal inspiration and curiosity are leading. We aim to deliver creative scientists that are capable of finding new, interesting and unexpected area's of research.

I studied computer science at Utrecht University, completing my master research in image processing and neural networks (1993). My PhD diploma was obtained from Leiden University (2001) after researching neural network techniques for data analysis in environmental epidemiology, by assignment of the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

I design lasergame technology for the LaserMaxx international lasergame brand, which I co-founded with a good friend (1993). One day per week I still develop game technology at LaserMaxx.

Prior employments include being technical coordinator of the CMG University Class (1999-2000) and inventor within a very large insurance firm (2000-2002).

I live in Utrecht and was born in January 1968.

Here's how you can contact me.

These are some of the courses and lectures that I taught.

See the Media Technology program calendar for all the program's classes and events.

2012/2013

  • Workshop Speelse Wetenschap (Playful Science), April 2013 (together with Bas Haring)
  • Lecture This is Arduino, within the course Challenges in Computer Science, March 2013
  • Course Research Seminar: Artificial Intelligence, Spring 2013
  • Lecture This is Arduino, within the course Hardware & Physical Computing, February 2013
  • Lecture Research and HBO, Haagse Hogeschool, January 2013
  • Course Creative Research, fall 2012 (together with Ionica Smeets)
  • Worskhop Doing Science your Boss May Not Endorse, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), November 2012
  • Lecture Hybrid Bio-Digital Games, Leiden Honour Students Community, November 2012
  • Lecture Creative Science, Faculty of Science Masterdag, November 2012
  • Course Creative Science & Computation, Furtwangen University (DE), October 2012
  • Course Perceptualization, fall 2012 (together with Edwin van der Heide)
  • Lecture Creative Science, Leiden Hounours College, October 2012

2010/2011

  • Course Onderzoek doen: er is meer speelruimte dan je denkt for HBO-teachers (together with Bas Haring)
  • Course Perceptualization, fall 2010 (together with Edwin van der Heide)
  • Course Creative Research, fall 2010 (together with Bas Haring)
  • Lecture Creative Research, Hogeschool Utrecht, September 2010
  • Lecture Asking Questions, ICT in Business program, October 2010
  • Workshop Creative Research, Furtwangen University (DE), January 2011
  • Lecture Animals and Computers, Furtwangen University (DE), January 2011
  • Lecture This is Wiring and Arduino, Furtwangen University (DE), January 2011
  • Course Artificial Intelligence Research Seminar, Spring 2011
  • Guest research colloquium Animals and Computers, ICT in Business program, Februari 2011
  • Lecture This is Wiring and Arduino, within the Hardware & Physical Computing course, February 2011
  • Lecture Creative Research, Hogeschool Utrecht, March 2011
  • Course Introduction to Science, Royal Academy of Art, Den Haag, Spring 2011 (together with Bas Haring)

2009/2010

  • Course Perceptualization, fall 2009 (together with Edwin van der Heide)
  • Course Creative Research, fall 2009 (together with Bas Haring)
  • Lecture What I find interesting about Artificial Intelligence, Prometheus Student Organization, Leiden, November 2009
  • Course Artificial Intelligence Research Seminar, spring 2010
  • Lecture This is Wiring, within the Hardware & Physical Computing course, February 2010
  • Lecture Creative Research, Hogeschool Utrecht, March 2010
  • Moderator of Utrecht New Media Event on Brain-Machine Interfaces, Impakt Foundation, Utrecht, March 2010
  • Workshop Warping Time and Space: Spatiotemporal Disruptive Imaging, spring 2010 (together with Bart Thomée)
  • Lecture Do Research and Be Creative, Wetenschapscongres Leiden University, June 2010

2008/2009

  • Course Creative Research, fall 2008 (together with Bas Haring)
  • Course Perceptualization, fall 2008 (together with Edwin van der Heide)
  • Course Artificial Intelligence Research Seminar, spring 2009
  • Lecture This is Wiring, within the Hardware & Physical Computing course, March 2009
  • Masterclass Creative Research, April 2009 (together with Wubbo Ockels and Bas Haring)

2007/2008

2006/2007

2005/2006

  • Course Introduction to Programming, fall 2005
  • Course Creative Research, winter 2005/2006 (together with Bas Haring)
  • Course Web Technology, spring 2006
  • Workshop Documenting your Art Installation for the ArtScience program, April 2006

2004/2005

  • Course Science Practice, fall 2004
  • Course Web Technology, winter 2004/2005

2003/2004

  • Course Science Practice, fall 2003
  • Course Web Technology, spring 2004
  • Course Philosophy and Film, spring 2004 (together with Bas Haring)
  • Course Web Technology for the ICT in Business master-program, spring 2004

These are completed master theses that I supervised. Such projects take approximately 6 months full-time work from start to finish.

  • Colour your Language: An Educational Method for Learning Grammar Through Colour, Barbera Bourne (2013). Surprisingly, at least to me, the use of colour in grammar education is a little-studied area. In her experiments, Barbera tested the effect of using colour in grammar tests on both parsing speed and accuracy.
  • Room Racers: Design and Evaluation of a Mixed Reality Game Prototype, Lieven van Velthoven (2012). Room Racers is a projector-based augmented reality car-racing game, in which objects in the real world interfere in real-time with virtual cars. Lieven's precise and non-compromising design and development skills led to his multi-award winning game. The project shows how careful design and evaluation can co-generate a much-loved product.
  • Cinemetric Analysis of Acts in Motion Pictures: Finding Narrative Structures in Film Form, Chris Heydra (2012). Cinemetrics describe film form in numbers: shot durations, shot width, actors in shot, etcetera. Film-lover Chris wondered if from a cinemetric film discription, the classic three-act narrative structure can be deduced algorithmically. This simple question led him onto a difficult path of cinemetric film analysis, statistics, and forced him to develop his own methodology.
  • Is this Real? Reviewing & Rebuilding Subjective Maps, Erik Jansen (2012). Maps need not always show objective data, nor need they map data onto geographically correct spatial representations. Erik reviewed and categorized many map-based data visualization projects, and found that subjective data was not mapped onto subjective mappings. Through two proof-of-concept project, he illustrates the possibilities.
  • Finding News in a Haystack: Event Based Clustering with Social Media Based Ranking, Martin Weber (2012). Daily thousands and thousands of news items appear on the web, many pertaining to the same events, many not. Martin developed an algorithm for semantically clustering online news items by the event that they describe, whilst ranking the within-cluster items according to social media metrics.
  • A Modern Approach to the Transcription of Vintage Literature using Mobile Technology and Cloud Services, Patrick Heneise (2011). Vintage literature was never digitally produced, and therefore often available online as images only. To make it accessible as text, it must be transcribed first and annotated. Patrick investigated and produced tools to do this, that match current technological standards. He even improved the most important existing transcription and annotation standard into his new "TEI-JSON".
  • Experiments with Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation in Daily Activities, Antal Ruhl (2011). Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) is a method to stimulate the human balance (vestibular) organ. GVS was applied in science to study the human balance system, and by artists for designing new experiences. Antal studied its suitability for HCI application, by researching effects of GVS in various daily activities.
  • Pleasure Reading with Soundscapes in a Sound Rich Environment, Joey van der Bie (2011). For pleasurable reading, you want to block out as much ambient noise as possible. Joey studied whether reading performance in a noisy environment could be changed by using soundscapes.
  • Normative Social Influence in Persuasive Technology; Intensity versus Effectiveness, Thijs Waardenburg and Robbert Winkel (2011). Normative social influence, or peer-pressure, is known to be communicable via technology. However, whether variations in influence intensity change its effectivity when technologically mediated was unknown. This is what Robbert and Thijs investigated via a cleverly designed FaceBook experiment.
  • Abstract Affective Robotics, Alwin de Rooij (2010, joint supervision with Joost Broekens, TU Delft). Affective robots are always modelled on human or animal morphology — how else could we communicate emotions and affect from them? Or could an abstract-form robot also be affective? Drawing on his artistic background and knowledge, in particular that of artistic abstraction, Alwin formed theory and proposed design guidelines for abstract affective robots. This may very well become a research field in its own right.
  • Subtle Posture Changes Can Affect Emotional Intensity While Watching Movies, Marie de Vos (2010). Through a well-designed experiment, Marie conclusively demonstrated that subtle changes in posture while watching a movie can influence your perception of it. Actually, while sitting upright, as opposed to slouched, subjects experienced the movie significantly more happy.
  • Changing Typographic Elements of eBooks Without Disturbing the Reader's Experience; the Basis for a Richer Story, Thijs de Boer (2010). EBooks, iPads, tablets, they will offer us a much richer reading experience, according to many. However, before we can develop interactive reading presentations, we need to know how they influence the reader's experience. This is what Thijs researched in an experimental setup.
  • Tearing Down the Walls: Towards an Activity-Centered Applicationless Desktop Interface, Jeroen Jillissen (2010). Our current computer desktop is very much application-centered. For each goal we set ourselves, we need first to choose an application to work with. Jeroen investigated the requirements for an activity-centered desktop, in which applications no longer a required, or even exist. Based on his research, he proposes a route to follow.
  • Multitasking versus Co-operation, Pieter Jordaan (2010). Pieter investigated for a selection of computer tasks, whether it is faster and/or more efficient to perform them by one individual (who multitasks), or by two individuals (who need to co-operate).
  • A Semantic Centrality Measure for Finding the Most Trustworthy Account, Myriam Traub (2010, joint supervision with Wilhelm Walter, Furtwangen University). An event that happens is often described by multiple eye-witnesses and news agencies. Is it possible to algorithmically order these accounts by their likeliness to best describe the event? This is the question for which Myriam proposed and implemented a solution. Application includes crime-solving, historical research, and news aggregation.
  • Effects of Shading, Texture, Movement, Noise and Scenery on the Hollow-Face Visual Illusion, Dunya Kirkali (2009). In the hollow-face illusion, a hollow (concave) mask of a face appears convex and to follow the observer. Dunya researched how different visual presentation conditions of the hollow face affect the strength of the illusion. For this, he made a 3D scan of his own face, from which a 3D mask was created. Onto this mask, he projected the studied visual conditions.
  • Aiding Virtual Maze Traversal Tasks by Subliminal Priming, Wilco Tomassen (2009). In folk culture, subliminal priming is attributed much power over humans. Suggested applications, however, have always been in advertising. Wilco studied if it is possible to guide people unknowingly through a maze by way of subliminal priming.
  • Communicating Science to a Larger Audience: Writing an Accessible Book on Perception, Bastiaan Terhorst and Casper Schipper (2009). Bastiaan and Casper wrote a book about the relativity of perception, presenting perception from both biological and philosophical perspectives in a way that should appeal to high school students. By doing so, they learned and studied issues in translating complex scientific stuff into something that is enjoyable for a broad audience — an issue that could be more central in scientific work.
  • Cross-modal Integration of Auditory and Visual Apparent Motion Signals: Not a Robust Process, David van Paesschen (2009, joint supervision with Maarten van der Smagt, Utrecht University). It is well known that sound can influence our perception of images. David investigated if sound could influence the percieved direction of movement for on-screen stimuli. He found that it did not happen under the circumstances of his well-performed and detailed experiments.
  • Globe4D as Tool for Scientific Data Visualization and Exploration, Rick Companje (2009). Rick investigated to what extent the Globe4D installation, a product of prior research, is suitable for visualizing scientific data with the aim of exploring it. He undertook a user survey among scientists working with data to uncover the possibilites. Following this, he chose one specific study within which to apply the Globe4D for visualization of scientific data.
  • Doe kaa wee-naa oe-nai boo: Assessing Children's Experiences with Active and Passive Artificial Companions, Danica Mast (2009). Danica's interest in children's thoughts and artificial companionship merged fluently in her graduation study. She investigated children's responses to playing with active companions, such as Furby dolls, and passive pluche animals. For this she gained access to 4 primary school groups.
  • Passive, Non ID-based, Individual Narrowcasting, Bart Carels (2009). Setting out to investigate the loosely defined fields of narrowcasting and digital signage, Bart created his own taxonomy of narrowcasting applications. Noticing that one of the branches of his taxonomy was unfilled, he created his own example of passive (no user action required), non id-based (no user identification required), individual (specifically targeted) narrowcasting.
  • Landmarks and Time-pressure in Virtual Navigation: Towards Designing Gender-neutral Virtual Environments, Elena Gavrielidou (2008). Differences in navigation between men and women are known to exist: among other differences, female navigation relies stronger on landmarks. But does this effect transfer to virtual environments (traditionally without landmarks), and do male/female differences disappear when landmarks are introduced into virtual environments? Elena's study and experiments (significantly) show that this is indeed the case.
  • The Influence of Interactivity on Immersion in Literature, Alex Reuneker (2008, joint supervision with Yasco Horsman, Faculty of Arts). Alex studied the influence of interactivity in literature on immersion. Through experiment he compares the immersive experience of the reader of both linear and non-linear (interactive) fiction. The results indicate that interactivity has no direct influence on the immersive experience of the reader, but that it does stimulate the reader tp think about alternative endings of a story.
  • The Human Processor: Extending Human-based Computation to the Logic Level, Joris Slob (2008). Joris explored the feasibility of creating a computationally complete Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU, the core of any processor) using human actions instead of electronic components. For this conceptual work, he created a setup in which unaware humans functioned as the crucial component in actual computer calculations. His results are a proof-of-concept for extending human-based computation to the logic level, whilst hypothising the consequences of human fallibility.
  • Continuous Physical Prototyping in Generative Design: A LEGO-based Architecture Approach, Erik Hekman and Michiel Stade (2008). Many results of generative design and generative architecture remain only as virtual models. In cases where virtual models were made physical, feedback from this exercise is not included into the generative design process itself. Erik and Michiel suggest that continuous feedback from physical prototyping can (and should) be intergrated into the core processes of generative design. As a proof-of-concept they demonstrate their principle using generative LEGO architecture.
  • The Fantasy of Added Immersion Through Interactivity, Peter Remmerswaal (2008). Many people are convinced that increased interactivity in an application leads to higher levels of immersion for the user — Peter is not. His driving-simulator-based studies show no significant increase in users' situational awareness, a proxy measure for immersion. In other words, whether you drive yourself or are driven around does not affect your awareness of relevant virtual surroundings.
  • The Cyclotactor: Towards a Tactile Platform for Musical Interaction, Staas de Jong (2008). This project was an extension of earlier work by Staas from 2005. It deals with creating a high-precision finger-based tactile i/o device for musical interaction. Basically, you can control the instrument by finger motion, but the instrument can also control the motion of your finger! This cyclical (closed loop) relationship enables new methods of haptic control. As an example, Staas showed how to use if for adding a new dimension to tactile interaction, namely by extracting the finger's rigidity from the original signal.
  • Detecting BDD Patients via Behavioural Symptoms, Yuan Lee and Alexander Geilenkirchen (2007). Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a serious affliction that can disrupt sufferers lives, as a result of unrealistic concerns about their appearance. BDD is traditionally diagnosed through questionnaires and psychological interviews. Yuan and Alex used techniques from the field of affective computing (computationaly dealing with emotions) to develop a support tool for BDD diagnosis. Their tool monitors several behavioural symptoms associated with BDD, and reports those for diagnostic support to experts.
  • Adaptive Stimulation in Creativity Enhancing Tools: using biofeedback to control divergence of stimuli, Robin Mesman (2006). Robin investigated the relation between creative thinking and stress, and found parallels between brain activity under stress and the so-called "convergent thinking mode". Based on this, he integrated biofeedback indications of stress into a brainstorming support tool, making the association strength of stimuli dependent on observed stress levels in the user. Being a creative researcher himself, Robin used the biofeedback device from the game The Wild Divine for his own scientific study.
  • Provocative Tactics in the Museum Territory, Amalia Kallergi (2006). This study investigated the possibilities of disrupting visitors' museum experiences as a method for promoting a more critical approach to the visit. It started with an excellent in-depth theoretical study of the relations between authority, disruption and critical thinking in the museum environment. From this the Word-of-Mouth installation was proposed, that confronts visitors with the unmediated expressions of previous visitors. The proposed system was evaluated in cooperation with the Naturalis Museum of Natural History. Interestingly, as an intermediate research result the social audio tour was proposed, a concept that seems highly interesting in its own right.
  • Commons Design: Open Source Graphic Design, Tim van den Bosch (2006). Building on his experience with Web 2.0 and graphic design, Tim researched the criteria for graphic designers to benefit from open source collaboration. Drawing from other research and his own experiments he proposed and implemented the first online environment for open source collaborative graphic design.
  • LoveGlow: Intimate Communication in a Simple Way, Maarten Bennis (2006). This study explored the possibilities of creating intimacy between two people over a distance, focussing on solutions that use a minimal form of communication. Based on the results of this study, Maarten developed the LoveGlow: jewelry that communicates a feeling of intimacy to a tele-connected identical piece, by using heat as a medium.
  • Animal Controlled Computer Games: Playing Pac-Man Against Real Crickets, Wim van Eck (2006). Wim explored the possibilities of replacing behavior-generating code in computer games by real-time behavior of live animals, and investigated the question of whether one can play computer games against animals. This resulted in a PacMan computer game that you can play against real live crickets, a publication at the International Conference on Entertainment Computing, September 2006, and much attention from national and international magazines, radio and television.
  • Converting Impulse Buying into Impulse Giving: The Donating Machine, Bert Rutjens (2006). After investigating the triggers for both donating behavior and impulse buying, Bert proposed and built a "donation vending machine" to be placed in public spaces. An article describing this work was accepted for the International Conference on Persuasive Technology for Human Well-Being, May 2006.
  • Language Education Through an Affective Gaming Environment, Kemal Kumru (2005). This work contains an extensive research into different theories and applications of affective learning environments: learning tools that look like fun but secretly teach you something anyway. From this literary review, Kemal created a shortlist of recommendations. He also proposed a contemporary learning game that lets the player piece together bits of the target language, just so he (apparently male players are assumed) can score with a virtual chick named Amber. An article describing this work was submitted to the International Conference on Persuasive Technology for Human Well-Being, May 2006.
  • Get Organized! From Media Technology to a Human Organ, Joachim Rotteveel (2005). In the accompanying paper, Joachim put forward his view of media-technological art, which he considers too user centered. As an example media-technological Gesamtkunstwerk he developed the Human Organ: a setup resembling a classic Dutch street organ (draaiorgel), in which the artist, instrument and audience are integrated into one.
  • Heart Rate Sensitive Soundtrack, Anonymous (2005). Student investigated the possibility of using a viewer's heart rate biofeedback for dynamically changing the soundtrack of a movie.
  • PingPongPixel, a New Non-luminescent Dynamic Display Device, Jonathan den Breejen & Marenka Deenstra (2005). Imagine a 12-foot high wall of grey-toned ping-pong balls, 8100 in total, that together form a large dynamic image display. Look on their website for some spectacular photo's. The resulting installation was demonstrated on the 2006 Ars Electronica festival.
  • Lost in the Funhouse: Postmodern Meta-Reflections in Videogames, Jelle van der Ster (2005, joint supervision with Yasco Horsman, Faculty of Arts). Drawing from his longstanding interest in both literature and videogames, Jelle researched the role of meta-reflections in postmodern literature to apply its principles to videogames. Interjecting ideas from John Barth's novel "Lost in the Funhouse" into popular game title "Max Payne 2", he created the first videogame containing postmodernist meta-reflections. Check out the paper on his website.
  • InSituScript, Aiko Talens (2005). Aiko researched and developed an alternative text-reading system in which characters replace and follow each other in situ (on the same spot). Addressing issues such as eye fixation, parafoveal vision, etcetera, he hopes that his system will enable less-tiring and faster reading. Moreover, it should enable virtually unlimited scaling of text in size, thereby accommodating the visually impaired.
  • VQ: a Speech Recognition based Quran Search System, Qurrat-ul-ain Mubarak (2005, joint supervision with Ernst Lindoorn). The ability to search through texts of Quran (Koran) books by way of speech can add value to many applications. For example aiding study of Quran texts, providing fast-access to the texts, or enabling access by computer-illiterates. Issues of Quran translations are important in this, and also different user-interfaces are explored.
  • RSS Feed Filtering Through Hybrid Rating: An Evolving Newsreader, Arjen Gosman (2005). Internet knows many channels through which one can follow news and current events. Triggered by a growing number of news feeds built on RSS technology, Arjen set out to battle their main downside: information overload. He designed and built a web-based newsreader for you and me, that offers a dynamic selection of news feeds, shielding us from drowning in to much news. Obviously, the selection scheme is one of its core assets.
  • Application of Mobile Computing Systems in Educational Settings, Roelof Schram (2005, work for TNO). Together with TNO Human Factors (Technische Menskunde), Roelof researched the applicability of mobile computing devices (PDA's, cell phones) in learning systems. His work focused mainly around an extensive structured literature review. A prototype system was built that enables educators to transform a student's learning profile directly to a custom mobile learning application.
  • Electronic Augmentation of Traditional Board Games, Clim de Boer (2004). Clim did extensive research on what the board-game-playing public and manufacturers want/expect when it comes to electronically enhancing family board games. Based on his conclusions from this work, he set out on a case-study to actually electronically enhance a classic board game namely the popular Settlers of Catan. His work was published at the International Conference on Entertainment Computing, September 2004.
  • Real Life Adventure Game, Jeroen van de Merwe (2003). A handheld engine for adventure games was created, together with its own language for creating new adventure games. The handheld aspect became important through the incorporation of worldwide GPS (Global Positioning System) in the system, making the physical location of the player leading in the games. In other words, the player must go places to play the game and for example solve a crime.
  • Triox, Mira Gleisberg (2003). It is a breathtaking experience to see the Triox 3-dimensional projection machine in action. Its huge circular projection screen rotates at 7 rotations per second while two beamers project synchronized images which form 3D volumetric shapes that you can admire from any angle. The complexity of synchronizing its powerful motor to the electronic beamers was mastered by the students with innovative research and solutions. A latter version of the Triox software enables real-time projection of complex 3D wire-models. Overall, this is an innovative idea combining technical hardware and visual perception. It has already been featured at many arts-related festivals and occasions.
  • Monkey See, Monkey Do, Jill van der Pas (2003). Based on research from Leiden’s Computer Science department that attempts to recognize emotions from facial images of humans, this project was done in cooperation with De Apenheul (monkey zoo in The Netherlands). A visually appealing machine teaches children that emotional expressions in monkeys may differ from those in humans. It does this by way of a mimicking-game in which children should mimic monkey expressions in front of a camera.
  • CarComm, Daan van Kempen (2003). Building on recent American research which suggests that inter-vehicular communication reduces road-accidents, a led-based text panel was extended with voice recognition capabilities to accommodate car drivers to vent their feelings towards other drivers.
  • Digital Pin Display, Jan-Peter van der Wenden (2003). The first finished graduation project in our program. An ambitious project that transformed the common ‘pin art’ office toy (many pins in a box to make imprints of objects) into a challenging visual computer output device. In short, it displays grey-scale images from the internet in depth patterns by mechanically shifting many, many aluminum pins in- and outward.

Here is a list of semester projects that I supervised. Such projects are mandatory for Media Technology students and are performed in groups of generally 3 students. All projects lead to some working end-product, which are exhibited in an annual public exhibition.

  • Phishies (2007). The project aims to see if this simulation of crowd behaviour would be distinguishable from the real behaviour. To achieve this, an aquarium filled with real zebra fish is tracked by means of a web cam. After digital image processing each frame is represented on a computer screen, where each detected fish is drawn as a pulsating orange/black oval. The end result was an installation of three small pillars, containing two monitors and a fish tank. Visitors were challenged to tell apart the real and simulated movements.
  • Harmonoise (2006). Everyone strives to maintain his/her personal harmony. Unfortunaly, this peaceful state of being is continuously disrupted by factors beyond your control, but if you fight those, they may turn against you. As a result, collective harmony can only exist if you are willing to give up part of your personal harmony. Harmonoise demonstrates this idea by letting multiple users simultaneously compose harmonic music. Their actions not only influence what they themselves hear, but also what the other users experience.
  • Shame on You! (2006). In Asian cultures, swearing makes not only the swearer to shame, but also the onlookers. This installation reflects swearwords spoken by the user visually onto his/her own body, thus exposing them to the rudeness of their actions. It so comments on who should really be shamed by swearing, adopting the Western view towards this phenomenon.
  • Have-A-Seat (2005). This team approached their theme of "public space" as a collection of private spaces. They researched theories of proxemics (preferred interpersonal physical distances) and its application in new media artworks, concluding that most are aimed at bringing people closer together. From this they developed a sofa that, when sat upon by two people, slowly splits into two halves, creating a more pleasant interpersonal distance according to theories of proxemics.
  • Worldview (2005). Using eye-movement as a subconscious indicator of personal and cultural preferences, the team created a (conceptually) very simple viewing device that lets you stare into the world. They visualize the differences between everyone's eye-movements as an indicator of personal and cultural difference, thereby relying on recent scientific results that show how cultural background influences our eye-movement patterns.
  • TrashPet (2004). Does trash on the streets make you emotional? Well, it does so for TrashPet, the emotional trash can with an attitude. Based on existing models for both emotional behavior and personality, and modeled after an existing homeless person from Den Haag, this trash can needs your affection, care, and garbage. Using the effective method of emotional communication it will talk you into keeping the streets clean. But treat it right, or you may regret it...
  • PASAS (2004). Given the assignment to do a project related to Care and Safety, this group created a multiplayer children's interaction game with individual game boards and cuddly avatars. The game teaches up to 4 kids aged 3-5 years to interact socially in a playful and fun manner. Extensive research was done as groundwork for its development. The resulting product is of very high quality, appears indestructible, and tested favorably by a highly critical target group of toddlers.
  • P (2003). Through this project a standard was developed for a small portable device that holds the owner’s personal preferences with regards to electrical and electronics equipment, for example TV settings, lighting settings, etcetera. This resulted in a technical white-paper and working demonstration for which the students had mastered electronics design on their own initiative.
  • Or&-k&l (oracle) (2003). In this project, physical actions of a user are combined with virtual consequences, but also ancient I-Ching methodology with modern computational methods. The user is invited to perform several classic physical rituals (such as washing hands in water) that result in a prediction by the virtual oracle. A prediction for each user is derived from the user’s exact actions through the logic of I-Ching. The end-product was introduced successfully at the ‘Cultuurnacht Den Haag’ where it turned out a major point of interest from visitors.
  • Matrixmower 3000 (2003). Lo and behold, for the first lawnmower that can mow any text you want onto your lawn. This is done by the tiny onboard computer controlling 16 individual mower-heads. When pushing the mower forward over the grass, this machine serially cuts the grass into text; much like an old-fashioned matrix-printer would distribute its ink onto paper. This is a highly innovative project in which students succeeded in mastering the tough problem of cutting grass, designing electronics, and programming it all together.
  • Neep-Neep (2002). A Fisherprice children’s activity table was fitted with electronic components to make it a computer input-device. Using this intuitive and playful communication method, a highly visual computer application was developed to serve as a ‘meeting-point’ attention drawer. The resulting work balances on the boundary between artwork and functional pleasantry.
  • Avatar (2002). A video game was created that can be called from a normal mobile phone, which then acts as a wireless joystick for the player. This form of telephone usage is completely novel, enabling shared playing of games in a public space. Also, a new gaming concept of using ‘avatars’ (stand-in personalities with their own specific characteristics) was developed in this project.