Kahaniyo ka Pitara
Kahaniyo ka pitara is a magical box of stories which works in two modes, listening and recording. You can either listen to a curated collection of stories categorized according to the genre and are played on fixed channels which you can tune in by rotating the knob, or you can switch to the recording mode where you can record your own stories, and push it to the collection which later is mixed with other stories and randomly served to other listeners who are tuned in online from a different place on their own box. The name is inspired from a radio show 'Pitara', meaning a box full of surprises.
The idea is to create a slow and meaningful story telling and sharing experience by crafting a playful interaction which reinforces the idea of being receptive, listening and to evoke an aesthetic of wait. Contrary to the idea of how smart objects and media interactions are designed today, filled with enormous amount of information of all sorts, multi-functional and demanding micro-interactions, it tries to make the user more focused, delicate and more importantly not to go very mechanical with it.
The Pitara is designed in such a way, that if you interact with it too much, it stops functioning and start playing a noise until you tune it properly. There is a little play between the tuning of different channels; at any given time there are options of listing to maximum of seven stories and one recording, as you open the box/start it, a fair chance of listening to all the seven stories of different genre is given, which you can tune in one by one and listen from the beginning, before deciding on which one you want to listen to. There is a time threshold in which you can decide which story you want to listen today, and once you cross the time, you either only get to listen to the current story you are on or you get all the stories in between hence losing on bits of stories which you can fill up with your own imagination. Although, If you finish any one story from start to finish, you get a chance to listen to all the stories from start to finish on all the seven channels and also to push one of your own story to the collection, which later others can will get a chance to listen and enjoy.
The project is an exploration in the re-mediation of stories, and playful interaction to creates an aesthetic of wait, where the act of listening takes the listener into silence and teller into the joy of expression. Through this project I try to understand the playful behavior of technology, and if subtle forms of play be created with mechanics very different from those generally seen in action packed video games, and other playful media.
Research & Design: Swapnesh Samaiya
Project Guide: Shekhar Bhattacharjee
Images: Kirti Shah
Fabrication: Workshop, NID Gandhinagar