Interactive Installation

The Butterfly in the Room

A meditation about more-than-human-centered design

The Butterfly in the Room takes visitors on a journey through the hidden networks of actors that surround us all. It was created with the intention to serve as an object for discourse on more-than-human design, to give designers the opportunity to explore the subject and related consequences of their own design. The project deals with the question of how the invisible networks of actors are influenced by human design and how these consequences and the networks themselves can be made visible. Based on the previous research project, Entangled Interfaces, a network of actors surrounding an unnamed Internet Of Things (IoT) device was explored and analyzed.


Bachelor Project


Maximilian Brandl
Philipp Kaltofen

Supervised by
Prof. Andrea Krajewski, Garrit Schaap, Andreas Schindler and Prof. Tsunemitsu Tanaka


Machine Learning, Unity, CreateML, Installation, Projection, XR/VR, Post Human-Centered

The prototype

Interactive Preview

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic during the Bachelor project, an interactive app-version of the installation was additionally created.

Artifacts of the installation

The Room

The room serves as a spacial boundary and represents the working space of the designer. The design of the room is based on a further consideration of the development of designers into Life System Architects, from the previous research work. Thus, the working title of the room became "Gods-Room" to provocatively represent the designer as a "creator". In order to achieve this, an attempt was made to exaggerate the clichéd minimalist trend associated with design.


The Table

The table, which stands in the middle of the room, is representative of the human-centred design with which we are familiar today. It serves as a juxtaposition to the projection in front of it, which stands for the Post Human-Centered. The view beyond the edge of the table is thus a view beyond the edge of the plate, into a network of actors. The IoT product and a generic persona are projected onto the table in front of the visitors, between these two a relationship will be designed by them.

The fictional
method kit

The fictional method kit is to be understood as a parody of the currently increasing tools and methodologies of human-centered design. Each of the cards corresponds to an exemplary, specific design decision that visitors can make to shape a relationship. By simply placing the card on the table, the relationship and the network in front of them changes.


The Actor-Network

The heart of the installation is the network of actors. The aim is to convey the extent to which the individual, often very different actors are connected. Here, a controller can be used to navigate through the network of actors and to discover the effects of the decisions previously made. Scan the QR Code with your smartphone to explore the room in VR.