Lunchtime Talk: Mixing Medium Meanings

Where: Pervasive Media Studio, Watershed, 1 Canon's Road, Bristol, BS1 5TX

When: 22 November 2013 1:00pm to 2:00pm

For this talk we will be joined by the Pervasive Media Studio's newest resident, designer Joshua Barnes who tells us:

Quilts have always played a role in my family's life. Every child was given one at birth, and they can still be found on all our beds. Travelling with us throughout our lives these objects have been witness to all the changes we've been through. As an object it means a great deal to me, not only does it remind me of family but - as is tradition with quilts - its very fabric tells stories within the quilt itself. What does a physical object mean to someone? This is a question that has always been of interest to me, and will inherently provoke a subjective answer. Meanings can vary from person to person and culture to culture, but ultimately it is down to whatever semantic associations an individual imbues upon the object that decides this. Of course these opinions are flexible and can change over time.

Similarly, many of us have grown up witnesses to the 'digital boom' and we now find ourselves in an age of communication, one hard to ignore when objects start to do seemingly magical things. People are contacted almost instantaneously, and data crunched at the click of a button. Yet despite interactions being done quicker and more efficiently, what ways can we make them more meaningful? Inspired by the technology 'Augmented Reality' my work looks to apply its capabilities to scenarios outside its generic uses in advertising and marketing in order to create personal interactions between people.

As a means to combat separation issues experienced by children undergoing long stays in hospital, the 'Communication Quilt' gives the opportunity for friends and family of a child to 'augment' digital messages to them, thus providing an alternative platform for interaction of which the fun and magical nature of the technology particularly appeals to the child. Simultaneously the object itself provides a physical sense of comfort to them.
Inspired by a 'Post-Digital' design thinking the Communication Quilt is a project that looks to forge new hybrid meanings in an object for its user by synthesising together the digital with the physical in novel ways, and borrowing what is meaningful from eras both past and present.

This Lunchtime Talk is part of Open Studio Friday, which takes place at the Studio every week.

Do you want to find out what is going on at the Pervasive Media Studio? Are you interested in meeting our residents, talking about a specific project or curious about pervasive media? Why not pack a sandwich and join us for one of our Lunchtime Talks and Open Studio Friday.

Lunchtime Talks are informal presentations by Studio residents and associates. They normally take place at 1pm on Friday, are free and open to everybody who's interested in what we do.

After the Talk, we also invite you to stay with us for the afternoon to continue the conversation or work on your own projects. We provide chairs, tables, wireless and a great space. You bring what you need to work with (laptop/mobile). Our open afternoons close at 5pm.

Let us know if you'd like a tour of the space and we'll be happy to show you around. Send an email to

Entry Cost: Free

Posted by: Verity McIntosh | 05-11-2013

Contact the event organiser: