Prayer Companion by Goldsmiths, University of London 04.08.11

Prayer Companion edit rt

Prayer has always been an essential part of life for the Poor Clares, an order of nuns. But now for nine Poor Clares based in York, that duty has a 21st-century edge thanks to the Prayer Companion, an electronic device design by the interaction research studio at Goldsmiths, University of London. The companion, called "Goldie" by the nuns, picks up headlines from RSS feeds of global and local news sites and emotional statements from the website wefeelfine.org, supplying a steady stream of people who might need a prayer said on their behalf.

"We thought we could bring some of the power of the internet into the monastery in a way that would be appropriate for them," says Bill Gaver, professor of design at Goldsmiths. The object is designed to avoid disruption of this closed, peaceful world – the upwards-facing display, for instance, means that the headline feed cannot be seen from a distance, and will not distract. "The nuns all greeted it enthusiastically and they keep telling us how lovely it is within their environment," says Gaver.

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Words

William Wiles

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We thought we could bring some of the power of the internet into the monastery in a way that would be appropriate for them

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