PUBLIC INTERACTIVES is a research-design project led by Dr. Anne BalsamoThe term Public Interactives names the broad category of mediated experiences that are now on offer in communal and public spaces.

  • Public Interactives are technological devices that serve as the stage for digitally mediated conversations with audiences members in communal spaces such as museums, theme parks, tradeshows, outdoor entertainment plazas, and urban streets.
  • Public Interactives include works of public art that evoke new experiences and perceptions through experiments with scale, mobility, built space, and modes of human engagement in public spaces;
  • Public Interactives are a mode of public communication designed to engage people through the use of digital media in conversations for the purposes of information exchange, education, entertainment, and cultural reproduction.

A compelling example of a Public Interactive was British Airway’s The Magic of Flying advertising campaign situated in London, England, United Kingdom – 2013 by Ogilvy & Mather UK. Photo from


Members of the Public Interactives Research Team include SMS Head of Creative Technologies Dale MacDonald, SMS Associate Professor Diane Mitchell, Sarah Lawrence College faculty member Angela Ferraiolo, and students from various New School programs.

The team’s current research design projects include:

  • The AIDS Quilt Touch Digital Experience – funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Microsoft Research, and The New School. The team recently presented the project at SIGGRAPH 2015 in Los Angeles.
  • Development of an Online Gallery of Public Interactives.
  • Prototyping Experimental Embodied Interfaces.
  • Exploring Interactivity in the Wild.

The team always welcomes new members. For more information please contact research assistant David Wilson at wilsd575 at


Sunny Sale, a sundial QR code developed by E-mart, is another interesting example of a Public Interactive situated in Seoul, South Korea – 2012. Photo from


Featured Image – The BCP Affinity, Banco de Crédito Building located in the San Isidro District of Lima, Peru is an example of a Public Interactive as a large media facade. The facade’s LED display is controllable by the public via a large touchscreen. Photo from