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An interactive experience created in a short time project with the American University of Sharjah


In times where global connectivity increases everyday, the bond and cooperation between individuals can lag behind. The intention of Symbiosis is to allow for two human beings – separated by distance and without the ability to talk – to reinforce their connection by experiencing a calming journey together.

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Symbiosis consists of two mirrored labyrinths, which are controlled with movements performed by two cooperating individuals. The positions of the participants are indicated through a ring of light, that surrounds the cover plates. The labyrinth will only tilt, if both participants stand on the exact same spot relative to the artifacts. The end of the labyrinth can only be reached, if both work together and move in perfect synchronization around the labyrinth.

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The current prototype uses circular aligned ultrasonic sensors to detect the participants position. Multiple Arduinos process the incomming data and calculate the necessary rotation of two stepper motors, which are used to tilt the plate on top in the right direction.

The idea for this project came to existence through a collaborative semester of the University of Applied Science Osnabrück and the American University of Sharjah. The ambition of this cooperation was to research and test possible ways to transfer and heighten emotional connection over distances. The cooperation led to a ten days workshop in the United Arab Emirates, where the ideas were refined once more and assembled in a first prototype.

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Symbiosis was build in the year 2016 together with Lennart Bramlage and John Moss and was so far exhibited at the Open house 2016 in Osnabrück and the DMY 2016 Design Festival in Berlin, where it was part of the collective that won the DMY Education Award 2016.