Becca Rose | Phone Book

A designer with a fascination for electronics, Becca Rose works in the hinterland between education, technology and craft. She turned to MV Works to support the development of an ambitious passion project with astonishing crossover potential in the fields of app creation, book publishing, and children’s education: PhoneBook.

Intended to recapture the magic of interacting with our hands that the proliferation of smartphones threatens to deaden, Phonebook is a digital/paper hybrid book that gives kids the power to create and influence stories. By blending the experiential nature of books with the functionality of screens, Becca is creating a new platform for learning and storytelling, turning passive consumption into active involvement.

To function, Phonebook enables intricately cutout pages of a pop-up book to trigger responses in smartphones or tablets through the use of sensors and a web-based app, changing as the paper is manipulated. The physical ‘opening’ of a door can conjure the appearance of a character behind it; the pulling of a tab can kickstart an animation or launch a sound effect; a paper tree can be covered with digital leaves…

MV Works has given Becca an opportunity to develop the technical skills required to support the project, which demands proficiencies in multiple disciplines that are rarely brought together, including bookbinding, pop-up mechanisms, micro control and image-mapping. While experimenting with circuitry and sensor networks, Becca has also conducted research into how children imaginatively respond to interaction and their approach to story-making.

When complete, Phonebook will be a unique story-crafting kit, an evolution away from both the linearity of book narratives and a departure from one-dimensional screen entertainment. It celebrates the joyful tactility of paper and the unlimited imaginative scope of the digital sphere in a way that has never been attempted before.

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