In 2012 I was asked to attend the TEDx conference in Baghdad, Iraq, to create interactive installations for the audience. These installations were meant to entertain the audience and show new technology that related to the rebuilding of Baghdad an Iraq, as the conference was there to explore the future of this country.
Having experience with interactive programming through Microsoft’s Kinect, I accepted the challenge and built five interactive installations throughout the conference building. This meant writing different five pieces of software (using the Java-based language Processing and suitable OpenNI Kinect drivers), and setting up all these programs on the different installations with their own computers, Kinect sensors and beamers. The operation was in joint execution with my fellow design student Josef Al Abdeli.
This journey was an almost unrealistic travel experience. I met dozens of interesting people from all over the world, sharing interest on all kinds of fields like technology, innovation, design and politics. It was most interesting to see Baghdad, a city normally so far away from Dutch society, and its people surviving in complicated circumstances. Being there gave me a unique insight in an area formerly controlled by war, trying to crawl out of practical boundaries like devastation and corruption by envisioning a better Iraqi society. A truly meaningful lesson.