i n v e s t i g a t o r s :
Keith Evan Green (PI)
Design & Mech. Eng., Cornell
Gilly Leshed

Information Science, Cornell
Trevor Pinch
Science & Tech Studies, Cornell
Jon McKenzie
English, Cornell
Camille Andrews
Mann Library, Cornell

s t u d e n t   t e a m :
Carlos Araujo de Aguiar
PhD Design Student., Cornell

Alex Bernard
M.Eng, Mech E., Cornell

Kevin Guo
M.Eng, Mech E., Cornell

Cayla Hamann
BS, Info Sci, Cornell

Genna Haddad
BS, Info Sci, Cornell

p a r t n e r s :
• History Center Tompkins Co.
• Tompkins County Public Library
• Dryden High School
• The Physics Bus
• Cornell Mann Library


o v e r v i e w :
transFORM is a room-scaled, kirigami-inspired robotic environment for public spaces – indoors and outdoors. We envision this interactive environment creating inviting and meaningful forms of interaction among people in unstructured, social gathering places. We have already developed a digital prototype characterized in a MATLAB script that models the device’s internal forces and visualizes transFORM in any physical configuration. This initial effort informed our fabrication of an early, functioning, full-scale, physical prototype. The design and kinematics efforts were reported at IEEE CASE 2018. We are now iterating the digital and physical prototypes informed by codesign studies, and thereafter we will conduct studies involving participants from targeted user groups, and continue iterating the prototype as informed (in part) by the user studies.

i n t e l l e c t u a l   m e r i t :
We are investigating how people use transFORM in public places to access, generate, and present information, and the role this cyber-physical environment plays within a larger library system, community, and ecosystem of library tools and resources. Co-design and in-situ evaluation of transFORM seek to explore affordances and challenges to the delivery of library content, and how cyber-physical tools impact place attachment and social interaction. Efficacy studies will involve teens and seniors, at-risk popoulations, and refugees.The transFORM research will probe unexplored opportunities in public places for human-machine interaction at large physical scale, and will provide a deeper understanding of how people perceive and interact with each other in such places.

p r a c t i c a l l y :
transFORM is a series of hinged, responsive panels with embedded lighting, audio, and displays that transform according to needs. While McLuhan characterized information as non-spatial, transFORM claims the cyber-physical - a technologically-rich, reconfigurable, spatial form. The objective is to embed technology into the built environment to, in W. Mitchells words, create fresh urban relationships, processes, and patterns.

b a c k g r o u n d :
Libraries have long served as civic anchors to communities, as recognized by Andrew Carnegie who built 1,689 of them. Similarly, public spaces lie at the heart of civil society. But when Carnegies are few, and when public spaces are being supplanted by social networks and apps, our team from design, information science, media arts, and library science, partnering with a library and local government, proposes transFORM, a cyber-physical library environment at room scale, installed in underused public spaces.

Our early paper for IEEE CASE 2018 on models (kinematics, internal forces):
Bernard, A., de Aguiar, C. Green, K. E. 2018. “Model for a Rigid, 3D Mechanism Inspired by Pop-Up Origami, and its Application to a Re-configurable, Physical Environment.” In Proceedings of IEEE CASE 2018: the 14th Conference on Automation Science and Engineering, August 20-24, Munich, Germany.

Our early paper for (ACM) DIS 2018 introducing the transFORM concept:
Aguiar, C. and Green, K. E. 2018. transFORM - A Cyber-Physical Environment Increasing Social Interaction and Place Attachment in Underused, Public Spaces. In Proceedings of the 2018 ACM Conference Companion Publication on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS '18 Companion). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 231-236. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3197391.3205441

Technical report on the transFORM digtal model:
Bernard, Alex. Masters of Engineering report.