Gestural Language and The Library of Lost Books

Last week I heard my application to be part of The Library of Lost Books project had been accepted.

The project aims to take old, discarded books from the Birmingham Library and rework them to create an exhibition of books for the opening of the new Library of Birmingham in 2013.

I’m delighted – in fact, dead chuffed – to be taking part in this project.

For a while, I’ve been learning and making stuff with LilyPad Arduino and had planned out a couple of projects combining physical books with Arduino (one of which I created here), when I heard about the Library of Lost Books project.

It felt like the perfect match.

The project I’m going to submit for The Library of Lost Books will explore gestural language. In my day job, I work with iPads and iPhones and have been thinking a lot about the gestural language used to navigate and interact with the devices.

The gestures can both surprise and delight people – old and young – using the devices: from swipe to unlock, to pinch / zoom.

So at the heart of my project is a question: “What happens if you give a gestural language to a thing?

My project is called PleaseReadMe. I’ll be updating more on this project as I go and documenting the failures, successes and what I learn through the process. I plan to share all the code created to make this project happen. In the meantime, I’m keeping a close watch on the letterbox. A very old, discarded book is about to arrive.