Brad Tober /
Experimental Interface Lab


Gwigglerbooth is an interactive, experiential, and real-time social media form creation tool. Developed as an exploration of both interactive computational graphic design processes and the role of emerging technology in graphic design practice, Gwigglerbooth facilitates the synthesis of text and image in the creation of form while also inves­tigating the roles of and the relationship between a system's designer and its user. The name Gwigglerbooth—derived from a combination of the terms Google, Twitter, and photobooth—points to the project’s visual engagement with various social media.

Gwigglerbooth takes the form of an installation consisting of four components: the dashboard, canvas, controller, and active area. A user begins the process of creating a Gwigglerbooth composition at the dashboard, a computer centrally located within the installation space.

Gwigglerbooth overview


At the dashboard, a user enters a term to serve as the basis for a Gwigglerbooth composition. This term functions as a query for both Google Images and Twitter searches, and returns an array of up to eight image / tweet pairs.

  1. Thumbnails of previous users' saved compositions are located above the text field. Clicking on a thumbnail image will enlarge it.
  2. To begin, a user enters a word or phrase into the text field. This will serve as a query for both Google Images and Twitter searches, which supply image and text content for the composition.
  3. The Google Images search results will be predominantly characterized by the color the user chooses. The striped button is the "no specific color" option.
  4. Clicking the Gwiggle button begins the process of acquiring content for the composition.


The canvas is a digital projection of a user's composition. A user may capture the composition at any time by using the controller to upload an image to Flickr for later retrieval.

  1. The background layer of the canvas consists of a solid color.
  2. The Google Images search returns up to eight results. The user then chooses one image at a time to display from those Google Images search results that load successfully.
  3. The user may choose a mask shape that reveals only a particular part of the image.
  4. Each successfully loaded image has a corresponding Twitter text search result.
  5. The user may choose a filter effect to apply to the overall composition.


An Android smartphone acts as a wireless controller for manipulating composition components, such as image rotation angle, text size, filter type, and so on. Shaking the controller at any time cycles through the available image and text content.

  1. The status area identifies the layer and attribute that are being manipulated.
  2. Hold prevents manipulation of the composition.
  3. Choose a layer by selecting its mode button.
  4. Once a layer has been selected, use the volume buttons to choose a layer attribute to manipulate.
  5. The camera button quickly invokes Hold mode.
  6. Tapping the Capture button uploads the current composition to Flickr.

Active area

In addition to using the controller to manipulate many layer attributes, a user’s position within the active area is captured by a Kinect depth sensor and is used as coordinate data for manipulating certain other attributes. When manipulating a position attribute, such as text position, a user’s position within the active area sets the position of the layer on the canvas. When manipulating a color attribute, a user’s position within the active area sets the saturation and brightness of the color. Hue is set using the controller.

Check out Gwigglerbooth's Flickr photostream to view a selection of compositions previously created and captured by Gwigglerbooth users.

Gwigglerbooth was developed as part of a thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies of York University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Design.

Gwigglerbooth demonstration



  • "Gwigglerbooth: Reaping the Rewards of Mobile Internet Development." Materialities and Imaginaries of the Mobile Internet, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada (February 11, 2011).
  • "Gwigglerbooth @ ART&&CODE." Art & Code 3D, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (October 21, 2011).


  • McNamara, Carmel, Merel Kokuis, and Kanae Hasegawa, eds. Masterclass: Graphic Design. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Frame Publishers, 2013.