Kerry Jia Yi Lin with her experimental project “hermit” blurs the space between the public and private by offering individuals a personal refuge in a communal environment. Designed specifically for use at a public table, Hermit is a kinetic shell that provides the user temporary privacy and the ability to nap. The shell’s design, constructed from felt, is inspired from the nautilus. Wearable arm bands embedded with RFID sensors and tags trigger the shell to open and close when the user crosses his arms. The shell is also designed with an ambient warning system that alerts passersby whether or not the individual wants to be disrupted: a red light indicates “do not disturb” while the green light is a permission for interaction. The design process is well documented on Lin’s site so take a look. I appreciate the complexity of the project although I feel that the particular use of RFID technology as a simple switching mechanism is a bit of overkill and not the most appropriate use of the capabilities of RFID. The kinetic shell mechanism is impressive. Check out the construction process here.