Interactive Environments Minor students bring the Library's Collection Wall back to life

News - 30 January 2024 - Communication

On 24 and 25 January, the annual exhibition of the Interactive Environments Minor took place in the hall of the Faculty of Industrial Design. This time, the client was TU Delft's Library. "The students are integrating their installation into the existing concept of the Library.”

Nowadays most knowledge is accessible online, and libraries are losing their traditional role of providing access to physical publications. Instead they are reinventing themselves by adding knowledge-related activities, such as helping develop modern skills, providing exhibitions, data and information management, and other social and cultural activities to their core business.

The TU Delft Library is also engaged in this exercise. Students in the Interactive Environments Minor were tasked to think about how to make the Library's Collection Wall engage more with students.

"Our iconic book wall should play a central role in the designs," says Alice Motta Maia Bodanzky of TU Delft Library, the client for this assignment: "The Collection Wall is an eye-catcher, but it is quite static. So visualising and making the growing digital collections tangible is important."

More than books and knowledge

The students came up with installations that have an eye for more than just books and knowledge. Community building, conversations, sharing knowledge and experiences, creating valuable pause moments, dealing with stress, creativity and culture, experimenting with artificial intelligence and poetry and even interacting with nature. You will find it all in the seven installations.

You can see that the students have done more than just think about materials, for example. They have thought about how to make their installation successful in the long term, and how to integrate their installation into the existing concept of the Library.

Aadjan van der Helm

Bea and Merel (SYMBIO): "We are strengthening the bond between the students. By having the students interact with each other through the tree, they also add a bit more knowledge to the Library. We have also added a sustainable component to it. For instance, the leaves on which the QR codes are printed are made from books that would otherwise have been thrown away."

David (DELPHI): "We want to offer people a place of rest. Thus, our installation mainly focuses on touch and colours. This is how we get students away from books and their mobile phones. With colours you choose yourself and generic data like he weather, AI generates a poem for you. And that can be soothing or also just provoke a discussion." 

Mats and Luc (Silhouette Symphonies): "Communication is more than text or books. It's also about contact and interaction. Our installation mainly wants to provoke conversation, and it doesn't always have to be serious. It's also a bit of playing with AI."

And what does the client think? Alice Motta Maia Bodanzky: “I am happy to see how the Interactive Environments Minor semester-long, hands-on explorative process is reflected in this final, inspiring exhibition. From innovative ways of engaging the community in topic conversations or wall co-curation to 'out of the box' solutions that incorporate the natural ambience in the Library space – each of the seven concepts brings a unique perspective on how visitors can discover and interact with the Collection Wall and the adjacent environment.”

“The prototypes allow visitors, especially our Library colleagues, to experience and reflect on the students' ideas, greatly contributing to the Collection Wall project discussions during its exploratory phase.”

Interactive Environments Minor

Interactive Environments is a third-year bachelor’s minor taught by the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. It is open to students from across the university and beyond. “This results in multidisciplinary teams,” says Aadjan van der Helm. “The range of knowledge and skills enables students to tackle design challenges from various perspectives and learn from one another. It will also come in handy for their future careers as they will most likely will work in teams with a great diversity in skills.”