Photo Wall

Dad’s art - hackster instructions

A flexible, modular, beautiful way to display photographs. My dad does a lot of photography, and I wanted a way to display the hundreds of photographs he gave me for Christmas!

I love collaborative art projects that invite people in. These 135 photographs are attached to the frame by magnetic strips, which makes them easy to snap on and off. My goal was both to display my father’s photography, and create interactive art furniture, in the theme of refrigerator poetry. I found that:

  • Most people don’t even realize the photographs are movable, and even with gentle nudging won’t try and rearrange them. The scale really seems to matter. I think there’s a stronger taboo about moving something that’s this size (feels more like furniture) compared with rearranging the magnetic poetry (very low barrier to interaction).
  • Rearranging pictures is a much more abstract activity and it’s less obvious WHY someone would want to interact with it. There’s really nothing about the photographs that seems like it would benefit from human intervention. I liked the abstract nature of it, but it does make the interaction a little less intuitive.
  • There’s also not a comfortable way to touch the pictures. You have to grab them directly, and I think most people feel uncomfortable about directly touching displayed artwork. To make this work, I’d really have to make the interaction mechanism much more obvious (handles? sliding rather than lifting off?) and consider providing a goal for the user.

© 2023 / Molly Jane Nicholas / email

© 2023 / Molly Jane Nicholas / email