Collective Works is the project of Vienna-based mischer'traxler, headed by Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler, who wanted to explore the idea of a truly "collaborative" design piece. Their piece consists of a simple basket-weaving machine--with a twist that turns innocent human bystanders into collaborators in the process, whether they know it or not.
TheIn most aspects, the machine functions just like any basket-making device. A wooden strip of veneer is passed through glue and slowly wound around a base on a platform that gradually lowers itself, forming the walls of the basket. But due to sensors embedded in the frame of the basket-weaving machine, Collective Works can detect how many people are standing near the platform. When the area is empty, the machine pauses. When one person is watching, the machine starts back up. When a second person joins the first, a light color is added to the veneer. And depending on how many people are observing the process, the basket's design becomes more and more complex, adding up to four colors in increasing gradients.