Project Interface Design/New Media
Summer Semester 2010

Olia Lialina

Beautiful Zeros and Ugly Ones II

Aesthetics of Being Online

Two ideas occupy minds of new media designers already for several  decades: humanization of computers and materialization of digital phenomenas. Their development goes in parallel to each other, but in different directions.

The first process is about making life with computers comfortable, and computers themselves invisible. Users' relations with them should be "intuitive". That means that the interaction is not distinguishable from "natural" experiences and the computer should fade in the row of pre-digital objects.

Another process is driven by the idea to show zeros and ones in all their glory. Inspired designers and artists are looking for ways to transfer immaterial matters to tangible objects, to show the beauty of algorithms, to contextualize artifacts of every day digital culture and emphasize their significance. Both paradigms have great influence on contemporary aesthetics and design practice. This semester we will look closely at them, analyze the roots of different approaches and works of key computer scientists, artists, designers and information architects.

This semester we will focus on the online aspects of the Two Directions:


The aim is to create designs, art objects (medium and form of your choice), events or publications that work with the tension in between the Two Directions, and are useful and inspiring for generations to come.

07.04.10 Planning 1#Trailblazers! surfing event

09.04.10 Propaganda

12.04.10 Modifying the browsers for better surfing experience

13.04.10 Getting into the right mood

14.04.10 The Big Day

01.07.10 Planning Future Events