Designer: POTION - Phillip R. Tiongson, Principal
Location: New York City, New York, USA
Award: Professional Winner
Bell Labs Global Whiteboard
This large-scale interactive whiteboard presents every paper and patent published by Bell Labs. It showcases the lab's legacy of innovations and recent inventions. It reveals connections between their past innovations, including the telephone and fiber optic cable and newer innovations like advances in green energy and cell phone technology.
There were two challenging aspects of this project. The first was providing access to a wide breadth of the content, including photos, descriptive text, illustrative diagrams, videos, presentations and scans of original papers. To show the depth of the content, we built a custom tag system that included not only the general properties of each invention (creators, year, lab, and more) but also the higher level properties that related to the fundamental goals of the research, such as 'optimization' or 'greenification.'
The second challenge was to show the depth of detailed information (like scholarly articles and videos) generated by the Lab. The extra large screen gave us the opportunity to showcase the Lab's breath, depth, and history in an instantly reconfigurable, linked, dynamic visualization.
Core77: What's the latest news or development with your project?
Alcatel-Lucent has expanded the installation to a 2nd location, with lots of interest from their international offices to bring it to even more locations.
What inspired your project?
While brainstorming, we imagined what if all of white boards in all of Bell Labs throughout their entire history were in one place, and you could see all the scientists and researchers drawing out their ideas on one whiteboard. That idea led us to the design of the Global Whiteboard. We even asked researchers to send in photos and drawings of their actual graphs and figures, which we traced and used as a background element. When you are at the whiteboard, you faintly see graphs, and drawings being drawn in the distance by invisible hands, all created by real Bell Labs researchers.
Read on for full details on this project and jury comments.