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Exhibitions > Sennep & YOKE

Sennep | Design Studio

Designers Hege Aaby (b. 1973, Norway) and Matt Rice (b. 1977, UK) established Sennep (2003, UK) as a creative studio that would infuse design and technology with beauty and nature. They create experiences for online and physical environments. Their portfolio covers a wide range of projects, from highly illustrated and animated websites to database-driven applications and interactive installations. Sennep have won international design awards including Webby Awards and New York Festivals and have been acknowledged in the UK by the Design Week Awards and D&AD.

Picture on top:
Matt Rice  
After leaving the University of Brighton in 1999 with a first-class degree in Graphic Design Matt joined celebrated digital design agency Digit London. Whilst there he was part of a BAFTA winning design team and developed a passion for interactive art; exhibiting "Typographic Tree' at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2002.
Since co-founding Sennep in 2003 Matt has creatively led an award-winning and expanding team that has attractedrenowned local and global clients. Matt has recently been invited to sit on the panel of prestigious design award juries such as D&AD and the New York Festivals and has lectured and exhibited work internationally.

YOKE | Design Studio


Based in Århus and Copenhagen, YOKE (est. 2008, Denmark)combines interaction design, programming and audio engineering to create responsive installations and experiences. It has created interactive installations for both the Struer Museum and Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark. 
Jakob Mandøe (b. 1978, Denmark)
Jesper Harding (b. 1978, Denmark)
Lars Jessen (b. 1977, Denmark)
Steffen Winther (b. 1978, Denmark)

Picture on the left: Lars Jessen

Dandelion, 2009

This playful installation allows you to blow away the seeds of a dandelion clock using an infrared
light concealed in the hairdryer. It mimics the wind, scattering the seeds until they fall to the grass.

Dandelion was inspired by the childhood memories of blowing a Dandelion clock to tell the time. The intention of the installation was to recreate the simple yet satisfying experience and blow it up to giant proportions. The result is a playfulexperience that utilizes the latest in 3D gaming software (to create the huge Dandelion) and a common household hairdryer (as the blowing device) to create the very natural but slightly surreal interaction.

Users can accurately shave-off the delicate seeds by aiming the hairdryer at the fluffy Dandelion head. The seeds drift off into the evening sky until the head is bare,at which point it magically reforms to create an everlasting floral toy. To add to the immersive environment a speaker in the hairdryer plays an adaptive fan sound and speakers in front of the screen play a soundscape that responds the users interactions.

Pick up the hairdryer to begin.

Hairdryer, infrared light, infrared camera, projector, computer, speakers, and software (Processing, Unity 3D, Open Sound Control, Max/MSP, Maya and Blender)
Courtesy of the artist

Design Museum Website questionnaire with Matt Rice

When did you realize you wanted to be a designer?

I started Art college thinking I was going to be a fine artist but discovered graphic design. I realized that I'd always been interested in typography and problem solving and that playing with visual expression did not have to be restricted to drawing and painting but could be applied to many different and exciting mediums.

How would you define your design style?

Tactile and playful

What would you do if you were not a designer?

A baker of artisan breads

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I draw ideas and inspiration from people; what they say, how they react to things and how they express themselves. At the end of the day we design for people I'm interested in how you can create something that is emotionally engaging and not just aesthetically appealing. I also find that nature more than anything else is a constant and consistently awe-inspiring source of inspiration.

Who do you consult about works?

My creative partner at Sennep (and the mother of my beautiful girls): Hege Aaby. I don't always get the feedback that I want but it almost always ends in a much better result.

Which of your projects do you consider a success?

Nothing ever feels like a complete success. When you finish a project you are so close to it that there are always things you would do differently or felt like you could do better, even if the feedback is good. I'm sure when I look back there will be many that I could consider successes but right now they just feel like stepping stones towards creating something better.

Which of your projects do you consider a failure?

One early interactive project we designed required you to stand very still for the piece to work. Inky characters grew out of your silhouette (mirrored on a digital display). I consider it a failure as, whilst it worked, it completely misjudged the audience (a group of inebriated students). However, it was a lesson learnt and never made again!

What is the first design work you can recall?

The first thing I actually remember ‘designing' was a multi-coloured pattern on an Easter egg at primary school. It's a really vivid memory and looking back I was completely immersed in it and very proud of the result.

To what extent do you believe that design should be functional?

I believe design and function is equally important and that one should not overshadow the other.

Name a colleague you admire.

I wouldn't like to single out one person as I work with a group of talented people each bringing different skills and viewpoints into to the mix.

What have you learnt about design yourself?

I've learnt that through experimentation and play wonderful things can happen.

What in your opinion is the greatest design invention in recent years?

The dishwasher.

With which personality from the past would you like to have coffee?

Roald Dahl. I grew up reading all his children's books; they were dark and fun and sparked my imagination as a child.

Which materials interest you most?

In our world of digital design we don't work much with materials but I'm fascinated with nanotechnology and the development of new materials and products that create new creative possibilities.

What advice would you give a designer at the start of his career or what advice would you have liked to receive at the start of your career?

Don't try and be too broad in your skill set and specialize in the area you enjoy the most. Don't be afraid to ask for help from people who are more experienced you; Sometimes it's good to learn from other peoples mistakes/successes and not just your own.

What are your future projects?

Talking trainers, multi-touch game for tablets and new interactive installation involving bubbles.

Other works by the Artists

Sennep & YOKE
From the Exhibition: Dandelion, 2009
Beneath the Mediterranean Sky
Maya Frenkel Tene
The sun is with us and our children wherever we go, throughout the day, virtually all year round. When walking to school or waiting at the bus stop, driving a car or riding a bus,
Read More »
In Praise of Ignorance
Michal Benzvi-Spiegel & Amnon Zilber
All the pieces created by interaction artist and designer Daniel Rozin over the past fifteen years are mirrors that reflect the images of people standing in front of them.
Read More »
Echoes of the Past | Graduates 2015
Adi Hamer
In an era of technological inundation, it was nice to remember that until not so long ago there was a likable and essential object in use called "the scarecrow"
Read More »
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