Probotron –

Daragh Byrne Associate Teaching Professor
School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University. Courtesy appointment in the School of Design.


Dates 2011 - 2013

Collaborators Aisling Kelliher

A situated experience capture installation to gather time-bounded personal testimony

The Probotron is an experience capture installation which is deployed during an event, conference or symposium. Appearing similar to a photo booth, the installation plays on the familiar to deepen engagement with the prescient topics of the forum. Each visitor to the booth is asked to choose one question from a larger set and record a short one minute response. This offers participants an opportunity to record their account of the proceedings, or provide a reflection on significance of the event as whole.

Deployed during the Emerge workshop at ASU in March 2012 () and during the Emerge Exhibition at the ASU Art Musuem, this installation collected over 600 responses to a variety of questions. These included "What kind of future do you want to make?" , "What is going on in your workshop at the moment?" and "How can innovation be responsible?”

The installation offers a playful approach to garnering important insights. It allows us to consider how individual perspectives of events, themes and topics may be drawn together to provide a collective account and how they may facilitate the documentation and retelling of shared experiences. This research platform compliments several other current research efforts , namely the Emerge documentation project.

Future deployments will see it engage with diverse audiences in situated environments such as curricular environments, e.g. studios, museum exhibitions and in foyers or waiting spaces.

Related Projects

Related Publications

Kelliher, A., & Byrne, D. (2015). Design futures in action: Documenting experiential futures for participatory audiences. Futures, 70, 36-47.