Anatomy of a brooch

Interactive Projection / 2018 10 /
MA, Information Experience Design / Seminar
Royal College of Art, London


Inspired by Michael Kane, 1974
Jewelery-Section V&A
This installation shows an interactive stop-motion sketch of a brooch by Michael Kane from 1974, which is projected onto a wall. By means of a controller, the viewer has the opportunity to spatially rotate the brooch and to switch between different stages of the drawing process. Graphically, the drawings are kept very simple in order to focus on the movement and to explain the complex mechanical structure of the object.


The brief of the project was, to design a work on the topic of information based on a visit in the Victoria & Albert Museum. My personal aspiration was, to find an exhibit containing hidden information that I can make accessible to the viewer through my work.

The choice finally fell on a brooch, about 10 cm in size, in the jewelry department of the museum, which consists of three nested rings. Since the piece of jewelery was only presented in a static state behind glass, that actually fascinating information; consisting in its construction and range of motion; was hidden.

In order to make this tangible and lead the viewer away from the materiality of the object, towards its construction, I decided on a graphically simple representation of the movement in the style of a construction drawing. By being able to control the movement itself and its level of detail, the viewer is invited to engage with the initially inconspicuous acting object and to experience its hidden information in an interactive way.

In order to find a suitable object I studied the behavior of the visitors in interaction with the presentation of the pieces. Especially in the jewelry section many people tried to get very close to the object and find views from different angles, which was often denied by the glazing of the showcases.

After selecting the object, I made several sketches to understand its function, which I then transferred to Cinema 4D. In the 3D program it was possible to move the object freely and to look at it from every angle. Since that was precisely what was missing, this freedom and possibility of movement represented the core element for the final development.
Since the materiality of the object is not in the focus as mentioned above, the simple drawings also provided a good basis for the final implementation.

To do this, several tests had to be done around stop-motion animations and perspectives . The individual images were then produced on the basis of the created 3D model and made tangible through dynamic textures using Unity 3D. The user has the possibility of two buttons on the one hand to turn the virtual brooch and to switch between the various stages of drawing work.

The installation should be placed close to the actual object to provide a permanent reference to it. In addition, it turned out that the entire drawing style was a bit coarse and perhaps too abstract. This could be achieved through finer and more detailed drawings.

To optimize the elaborate production of the individual drawings, the development of a shader used in Unity 3D would be possible. This would allow a completely free movement of the object and would provide a dynamic workflow in the elaboration of the graphic style.