Tom-Tombino

This interactive object was designed and created specifically for the Design+ Expo in Rome, Italy. I was truly fascinated with the Roman
sewer grate and I believe it is a fantastic example of Italian Design. With this installation, I wanted to give this old architectural element
a voice.Thanks to four infrared sensors and a micro-controller, it is possible to detect distance and control clusters of LEDs, or audio files,
images, and videos when accompanied by a laptop and LCD screens. Roman sewer grates tend to get clogged with leaves during the fall
season,flooding the narrow streets of Rome by poorly draining rain. I have always considered them a landmark and decided to give them
a new purpose so that people would pay them the attention they deserve. A few sewer grates would in fact display stickers with tool free
phone numbers, to re-invent them as a tool to navigate such a vast and exciting city like Rome. A menu will greet the caller and instruct
him/her on how to use the automated service, which provides information such as how to get to the closest attractions, taxi stands, bus
or subway stops, restaurants and nearby bars recommended by true Roman residents!

For videos and more information on this project check out my ITP blog and the Flickr album from opening night in Rome.

Collaborators:
Realized in collaboration with Raphael Zollinger.

2007.