“Chatroulette (IRL)” was a collaboration with Arabia school’s 4th year students as part of Helsinki Design Week. Together we explored the festival’s theme of Trust with the design emerging based on the pupils research and suggestions.
The piece is inspired by the online chat website Chatroulette that pairs random users for web-cam based conversations. During the conversation, either user may leave by initiating another random connection. The aim of the installation, like the original Chatroulette, is to encourage communication between strangers.
The installation is composed of a series of shell like structures, each of which can be occupied by one or many users. All of the shells are interconnected with a network of viewing tubes. Once inside, the user can rotate a section with a circular window that allows a view into the tubes. When two shell users are looking down the same tube, the users can see each other and may interact. This continues until one use decides to rotate the inside again. Through this simple activity, the artwork creates countless new interactions between strangers that otherwise would not have taken place. These interactions will create a new sense of trust between the participants.