About - MenuClient work - MenuArticles - Menu
| Practice Based Research Index | Sushi |

Client: Interval Research Corporation, San Francisco

The Sushi project was originally conceived and developed in the (Interval Research Group funded) Computer Related Design Research Studio at the Royal College of Art, London. Sushi was developed as a new way of sharing information between people in small groups and networks within the Royal College of Art.

Role: Project co-creator, User interface design, Information architecture, Design direction
Academic Institution: Royal College of Art, London



The Sushi Project, explores the very nature of the computing medium itself, how a system can be represented, how the system appears to people using it, ways people can interact with the system and what qualities it suggests.

Based on the idea of a notice or bulletin board, the system extended its original use by exploring the possibilities of networked screens to represent relationships between public and private, and real and virtual, drawing on ideas of both montage and the narrative of the city.

Sushi represents a small-scale community, and all the associated interactions that take place in such an interpersonal space

    Cafe, Royal College of Art, London
Public projected version of the Sushi notice board


Early development/Visual language
Sushi is a visual-spatial environment for creating, manipulating and viewing information.

Sushi's look and feel evolved from a desire to create a visual-spatial environment that offered an alternative to prevailing user interface standards and conventions prevalent in Macintosh/Windows operating systems and applications.

There is a body of work developed in the CRD/Interaction design programme at the RCA, focussing on the relationship between interface metaphors, narrative, the screen and operating systems.

Please click here to view images from projects that influenced the development of Sushi >

    Image from Pinboard by Durrant, Knaggs & Locker, 1997


Software, authoring web pages
The application includes a simple authoring environment in which people can easily create their own notices and icons, and link in their own pages.

Media and information are represented as themselves (non-iconic).

Layered images and interface elements express the content and tasks that need to be completed.

Sushi fuses the language and syntax of tools and digital time-based media embedding features and functionality within the narrative space of the application.

    Image from the authoring screen


The belt in a social context
Based on the metaphor of a Sushi bar conveyor belt, tiny images, text or animated icons are pushed along a virtual conveyor belt connecting everyone working at their machine at the same time.

The result is a textured environment, more akin to moving through a city, where browsing is like wandering down a street; a place of fleeting imagery, fragments of conversations, and chance encounters.

    The sushi belt in the Japenese inspired sushi bar, 'Yo Sushi', London


Software, the sushi belt
The icons are little tasters of what lays behind them, for example, links to internet-based events, notices and websites.

    Image of a notice and the information belt


Sushi as an networked, projected information system
Sushi was developed as an information system for the show 'This Appliance Must Be Earthed', the work of the Computer Related Design Research Studio, the Royal College of Art. Curated by Claire Catterall and Giles Lane, November 1999.
at the Royal College of Art in 1999.

Please click here to view images from the show >

    Image from the 'Appliance Must Be Earthed' Show, Royal College of Art, 1999