Jussi Ängeslevä is a designer, an artist and an educator. From April 2020 until October 2021 he was Professor for Internet of Things at the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) and the University of the Arts Berlin. Jussi Ängeslevä is involved in the field of new media, working with digital materiality and interaction design.
His professional history is defined by being between fields; Between art and technology and between academia and industry: Creating intuitive interactive spatial experiences for museums and commercial clients and researching the experiential qualities of different interaction technologies. „My work in creating public space media installations require instant and intuitive understanding for “newbie” users”, he says. This often works best when the perceived interface concept tightly couples with the technological sensing system controlling it. The more present the hardware, the better. “As a hacker by heart, I strive for finding opportunities in leveraging the essence of the existing, and expanding it with the new, ideally with minimal effort and maximum effect”, he mentions.
During his research at the ECDF he will explore the Internet of Things primarily focussing on the digitally expanded everyday things – How the things relate to us as individuals and users, how we interact, associate meaning into these objects and weave them to be integral parts of our everyday lives. “Approaching the topic from a design perspective, the experimental, aesthetic and narrative will play a central role in my research”, he says.
From his perspective experimental, iterative design and prototyping can help understand how to design networkedness to everyday artifacts. “Shifting between technical, functional, narrative and aesthetic representations of networked objects, we can speculate on the future possibilities and desirability, or meaningfulness of such things. When objects are augmented with digital behaviour we do not only use them, but have a relationship with them through interaction”, he says. Through design exploration, speculation and creating working prototypes, his work focuses on the meaning making possibilities and strategies of such digital-analogue things.
Instead of looking at the optimization potential of smart cities, smart buildings, or the industrial internet, Jussi Ängeslevä intends to focus on the ways in which networked everyday objects can be designed to not only automate, simplify or optimize our lives, but how the digital behaviour, in short and long term can grow into personal meaning and relationships with the objects.
Jussi Ängeslevä is looking forward to the collaborations with other professors at the ECDF: “The Center provides a fantastic network to work together with the experts of different fields addressing the challenges of designing everyday networked objects.”