Aristotle's Office

Nine objects and an interface
Answer machine, bin, fan, filing cabinets, lamp, plant, telephone, watercooler.

2007 Tom Keene and Kypros Kyprianou
An Argus Building commission Lighthouse, Brighton.

Opening times
10-5 Monday-Friday
June 29th to December 1st 2007

"Changes brought about by the internet will be dwarfed by those prompted by the networking of everyday objects" Report by the International Telecommunications Union released at the UN net summit in Tunis 2005.

Throughout an increasingly wired and wireless world, objects are being embedded with communicating technologies, and are increasingly drawn into networked behavior where previously they were independent. Objects are no longer passive receivers of one-sided instruction. The machines talk amongst themselves.

Nine objects and an interface playfully makes visible the underlying software and hardware structures between networked objects.

Using office furniture, the work explores Aristotlean concepts of the ‘essence of things’ in the coming age of the ‘internet of things’.

Each object has the ability to detect changes in the physical status of the objects they are plugged into, and, using simple rules, react accordingly.

The objects, which include a light, a fan, a filing cabinet, and an office plant can be plugged into each other via a patch-bay, and this sets off different relationships dependent on the signals sent and received by each object.

We aim to investigate potential relationships between objects using simple universal rules. How will the office plant respond to the advances of the fan? How does a water-cooler behave with an office light?

We are in control of which objects are connected to each other, but who knows what these object are saying and how our relationships with them evolve as they slowly begin to talk.

"Clearly this will eventually lead somewhere more interesting than the Ray Bradbury inspired MIT House of the Future where your fridge starts giving you diet tips."
Bruce Sterling 2006.

Physical computing, tabeltop interface