Q & A with the Birdly team

Birdly was invented by the (IAD) Interaction Design team from Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). The inventors of Birdly bring their brainchild to Bangalore and Chennai to showcase it to the public. Besides opening Birdly for people to try out, the inventors will also be giving talks about achieving their dreams of flying. Birdly is supported by swissnex India, Pro Helvetia, Buhler, and Swiss International Air Lines.

Thomas Tobler & Ron Lux (scientific assistant) from the Birdly team are accompanying Birdly to India. Before arriving here, Tobler and the team try to satisfy our curiosity about their motivation for creating Birdly.

Why Birdly, what inspired you?
The topic “flying” has been intriguing us for several years. We received a lot of interest for our research in design from the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Through the collaboration with Birdlife Centre in Zurich, the opportunity to create a concrete project arose and it was a perfect combination of our research interests. It is not the “flying” but the “flying like a bird” that motivated us. This has been a dream of mankind for a long time.

When did you start working on this project?
The project started in November 2013. The first exhibition was an early version of Birdly, which was showcased in spring 2014. Every one of our core team member is still highly involved in enhancing Birdly.

How do you see the future of Birdly?
We are currently preparing for a spin-off to commercially distribute Birdly. We will see how high the bird can fly…

What kind of feedback did you receive from people who had the opportunity to test Birdly?
It is always astonishing to see the emotional reactions triggered by Birdly on the people who try it out. On an intellectual level, the concept of the project is easily explained, but most people are surprised by the engaging and immersive nature of the experience. In hindsight, many people talk about their experience in a very emotional and personal manner.