PHORM is a speculative design project. It focuses on how to close the gap between the physical and digital worlds. The project exists to challenge the way we interact with the physical and digital worlds, as we move forward into the future with design.
The high-level summary of PHORM is that it allows someone to interact physically and digitally at the same time. However, the challenge with such a lofty goal is the difficulty inherent in accurately representing this concept using the materials and mental models that exist today. One critical challenge was the need for the final product to be malleable. After all, how can someone make meaningful interactions with rigid material or rigid software? I knew it had to be visibly malleable, and the most recognizable way to demonstrate an object’s malleability is to physically mold it, to literally change its shape, akin to a kind of Natural User Interface which provides the user with certain clear affordances. It is from this premise that PHORM emerged as both a tool or a use case, but also, fundamentally, as a representation of what it means for something to be both physical and digital.
For the product video I created, I decided to focus on the simplest and most natural interactions someone could use with PHORM. To begin, the user is physically forming a sphere and the video shows how the shape slowly evolves and matures. Throughout the video, the camera always pans back to the visual display to help reinforce the connection between the physical and digital for the user. Despite the shape changes in the video, the tactile process of iterating it doesn’t: one simply uses one’s hands to change its shape.