Sam Lawton is an artist, designer, filmmaker, and creative technologist at Google Creative Lab in New York City.
Focused in speculative and empathetic design, his work explores technology and how it interacts with society through a critical and artistic lens.
Through a series of experiments with my own father, the film offers a unique perspective on these complex issues. His candid audio reactions to the altered images can be heard throughout the film, giving a glimpse into the power of memory and the influence of external stimuli on our perception.
The centerpiece of the launch consisted of a 5 minute “table-top” style video showcasing various feats of strength found within the model. This video was concepted, shot, and directed by myself and handful of amazing thinkers at the Creative Lab. It spoke to our vision of what we wanted these ever-nearing interactions with the tech of the future to not only look and sound like, but to feel like as well.
The XR Limb is the result of a year long research project where I explored synesthesia and how it relates to amputees and the phantom pain they often feel in their missing limb. It is first and foremost an XR rehabilitation program built on the foundation of mirror therapy, reimagined into a 3D, immersive environment.
XR Limb was designed to be as lightweight as possible. I identified and removed the most common barriers found within XR and healthcare. The whole system is completely wireless, no added hardware or sensors.
There were multiple realtime elements incorporated throughout the piece. In-engine lighting was manipulated by positional data driven by the dancer's movements. Volume and instrumental stems were tied to specific body actions. A link to the full performance can be found below.
I wanted to point to the absurdity and call attention to this new method of media ingestion. As an experiment, I designed and programmed an AR filter that would be deployed to platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
The design is inherently inclusive, adapting to the users needs. If one chose to sit/sleep/rest, their experience would be entirely self-curated.
The conceptual design process takes inspiration from the innate architectural abilities of slime mold by experimenting with how it will choose to populate the classic Timberland, then replicating that form with flexible recycled TPU. Featured by TIMBERLAND as a winning entry in their CONSTRUCT: 10061 design challenge. The task was to reimagine an icon, their classic 6-Inch Boot. The challenge focused on utilizing natural materials as a means to explore advanced methods of manufacturing.
I acted as the Interactive Designer, having a hand in all aspects of the campaign. From research and marketing, to graphics and branding, promotional content and activations, to copywriting and overall strategy. This work won 2 Gold Addy awards and is currently being judged on the national level.