Home » 2005 - Smoke » Installation

The piece was originally displayed at ITP’s 2005 Winter Show, in a Waverley Street display window. Read more for user testing observations.


While no formal user testing took place, there were a few broad themes that revealed themselves and were documented ad hoc during the initial showing:

groups of visitors.


We had hoped that viewers would be able to see the video as they interacted with the piece, but most people chose to stand close to the sensor to activate it, which limited their view and often put them in an awkward position. Placing the sensor in a position that allowed easier viewing of the screen, as well as increasing the sensitivity of the sensor could help, but natural tendencies made it difficult to encourage people to ‘stand back.’

‘Puff Puff Puff’

We had hoped that people would view the piece while in the process of smoking a cigarette, their second-hand smoke triggering the sensor. However, once they learned how the piece worked, viewers tended to interact more enthusiastically than we had anticipated. We found it challenging to strike a balance between letting viewers know what was happening, while also encouraging them to have a more ‘ambient’ experience.

Health Hazards of Smoking

We are aware of the adverse health effects of smoking and do not condone or encourage it in any way. With this project, we hoped to leverage the dynamics of an existing social phenomenon in order to produce a novel interaction. We tried to keep the experience as high-minded and mature as possible, in order to not inadvertently influence children.