Projects

5TH DIMENSIONAL CAMERA

Commissioner
EPSRC, RCA Design Interactions, Nesta
Year
2005
Partners
Prof. Andrew Briggs, Prof. John Rarity, Dr. Simon Benjamin
Acknowledgments
Fiona Raby, Arya Architects, Ujwal Panchal

5dcamera_lowres

‘With their evocative multidimensional camera, the designers have attempted to embody Hugh Everett’s many-worlds theory in an object that adds to the cinematic tradition of The Matrix(1999), Lost (2004-10), Fringe (2008-ongoing), and Source Code (2011), to name just a few.’

— Paola Antonelli, ‘Talk to Me‘, MoMA 2011

With researchers working to harness the the peculiar workings of our subatomic world, we, as designers, were given an opportunity to explore the implications of one of its more concrete and immediate applications: quantum computing.

Working with EPSRC, NESTA, the RCA, and a group of scientists from the Quantum Information Processing Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (QIPIRC), the 5th Dimensional Camera was produced for the 2010 IMPACT! exhibition as a metaphorical representation of quantum computation – a fictional device capable of capturing glimpses of parallel universes.

Dr. Simon Benjamin, one of our collaborating scientists from QIPIRC, explains the concept behind the 5th Dimensional Camera:

 

THE STORIES OF THREE CHARACTERS BRINGING THE CAMERA BACK TO LIFE

 

1. One in Six

Benedict is a scientist and mathematician. He was closely involved in making of the 5th Dimensional Camera. It was during the testing phase of the Camera project that Benedict’s relationship with the device – and the worlds it revealed  began to take an unhealthy twist.

Initial experiments with dice, designed to test the range of possible outcomes captured by the camera, soon led to ‘testing’ horse racing results. But when it became clear that one could find evidence of a world where any bet was a winner, his experiments slid into obsession.

He raised the stakes by betting large amounts of money on small odds, then searching through images to find the world where he had just won a fortune. Soon, the vicarious thrill of benevolence to his other parallel selves turns to bitterness. Despair and jealousy leads him to experiment with games that aim to end the lives of these other selves… and ultimately his own?

 

 

2. A Day in the Life

Molly is 27. She works as an administrator for the Housing Department. Most of her days are spent sitting behind a desk answering calls from angry citizens, thinking about her boyfriend, and planning for the weekend.

When a colleague tells her about the 5th Dimensional Camera and the possibility of being photographed as part of a study, she decides to participate “for a laugh”. The scientists bring the camera and place it in her bedroom. They set the timer for seven thirty the next evening and instruct her to write down the most memorable event of her day on the board provided. She must sit facing the camera when it fires. 

Acting more out of curiosity than cooperation, she follows the strange instructions, and waits.

camera_scenario_w

woman_o

 

3. Saturday Night In

Nolan is 70. He lives in a small flat by himself in north-west London. He spends his time reading, reflecting on the world outside his window and solving crosswords in the evening paper. 

One evening a small advert in the corner of the newspaper catches his attention. A group of scientists were looking for participants to live with a ‘5th Dimensional Camera’ for a few months. He reaches for his phone and soon the camera is standing awkwardly in his living room. 

Nolan starts by taking photographs of the empty corridor outside his flat. Over time, his attention turns from reflecting on the world outside his window to a fascination with the images of the many worlds revealed outside his front door.

camera_scenario2

man_o

 

Public engagement was ankey part of the brief, forcing us to think about design as communication, and what it might mean to create artifacts for a much broader audience.

The final exhibition was a huge success, attended by over 1200 individual visitors, including stakeholders, academics, students, and members of the general public.

 

Last seen being loaded into the back of a lorry, in 2011, the 5th Dimensional Camera was shipped across the Atlantic, where it featured in MoMA’s interaction design exhibition, ‘Talk to Me‘.

SUPERFLUX

Somerset House Studios, London UK
hello@superflux.in
All rights reserved © 2017. No. 6601242

Web Design > SONIA DOMINGUEZ
Development > TOUTENPIXEL

We'd love to hear from you

New projects
Internships
General enquiries

Studio M48,
Somerset House Studios,
New Wing, Somerset House,
Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Title By Date
Studio News: TED, Mapping, Food Computers, and the Future of Work. Jake Autonomous systemsCity & InfrastructureClimate ChangeIoT, Data & Civics 21.04.2017
BACK TO THE FUTURE: WHAT WE DID IN 2016 Jake Autonomous systemsCity & InfrastructureIoT, Data & Civics 31.01.2017
REALITY CHECK: PRESENTING AT UNDP SUMMIT Jon IoT, Data & Civics 06.12.2016
MITIGATION OF SHOCK JOURNAL Jon Autonomous systemsBiotechClimate Change 12.07.2016
STUDIO HAPPENINGS Anab Autonomous systemsClimate ChangeIoT, Data & Civics 04.07.2016
PROFESSORSHIP AT THE UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED ARTS VIENNA Anab 28.06.2016
HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2015 Anab Autonomous systemsCity & InfrastructureIoT, Data & Civics 30.12.2015
SUPERFLUX MAGAZINE, ISSUE 1. Anab Autonomous systems 21.04.2015
THE DRONE AVIARY JOURNAL Anab Autonomous systems 09.04.2015
IOT, DRONES AND SPACE PROBES: ALTERNATE NARRATIVES Anab Autonomous systemsIoT, Data & Civics 01.03.2015
AUTUMN NEWS Jon City & InfrastructureClimate ChangeIoT, Data & Civics 08.11.2014
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND DESIGN: AN INTERVIEW WITH SARA HENDREN Anab 07.11.2014
A QUARTERLY UPDATE FROM THE STUDIO Anab Autonomous systemsBiotechCity & InfrastructureIoT, Data & Civics 11.05.2014
IN THE LOOP: DESIGNING CONVERSATION WITH ALGORITHMS Alexis Autonomous systems 04.04.2014
IOTA WINS NOMINET TRUST FUNDING Jon IoT, Data & Civics 25.10.2013
SAILING THE SEAS OF SUPERDENSITY: GUEST POST BY SCOTT SMITH Scott City & Infrastructure 19.10.2013
DNA STORIES: GUEST POST BY CHRISTINA AGAPAKIS Christina BiotechClimate Change 30.09.2013
PRESS RELEASE: DYNAMIC GENETICS VS. MANN Jon Biotech 01.08.2013
AN INTRODUCTION TO INFRASTRUCTURE FICTION: GUEST POST BY PAUL GRAHAM RAVEN Paul City & Infrastructure 24.06.2013
SUPERNEWS, VOL 1. Jon 08.04.2013