Today’s lecture focused on wearability and on its social aspect. Several examples on how to achieve a social interactive experience through wearables were presented in order to inspire us.
Today we were also presented to the assignment guidelines more in depth.
I thought I was going to work on my own, and I had already some clue on what I was going to do, until someone came to me and asked if she could work with me… but of course…Now we start from zero again. So the divergence process starts – we together try to define and delimit the problem, what we should focus on. We started brainstorming a little having two texts as starting point – one about rich experiences, i.e. how to turn a negative experience into positive; and the other about wearability – where on the body wearables should be worn. We discussed that from our own perspective – what kind of positive and negative experiences we feel most drawn to, and where on our body it would be comfortable to wear whatever we come up with. We both disagree with the text on wearability and think it has a very masculine perspective – it uses the manly body as reference for which body parts are optimal for wearables and which are not.
I came up with some ideas that were quickly dismissed by my partner. She was not even that interested in listening to me and my ideas , and she would take my jokes and sarcasm seriously…We have also sort of misunderstood a little bit the assignment – we thought that we were going to create something that leads to a rich experience, but instead it was to create something that leads to negative experience and to positive experience – it could be the same design but used in different contexts or it could be two distinct designs.
So some of our ideas turned out to be irrelevant or not really appropriate. So we had to start thinking again and brainstorming. She did not give me much…was she confused? I do not know, but it felt like I would have done it better on my own than with someone who does not really show interest.
In the end of this divergence session we were thinking about creating a reaction game that entails both reward and punishment. The idea was to make a 2-play reaction game – the slowest to press a button would get a shock or something similar, and the winner, some warmth in the hand. The prototype would be attached to an armband. It would be the upgrade of a project I have made earlier.
She was however hesitating, not really fond of the idea – but the thing is she did not have any other better idea either… so we decided to call it a day and we would have the whole weekend to think about the concept or to come up with something new.
The day started with a lecture, in which Dimitrios introduced himself to us and the module. We would be working this time with focus on experiences – positive and negative. When it comes to the material part, we were allowed to use basically anything that can be hooked up on Arduino.
In order to help our designing process he introduced to us some important concepts, namely divergence, transformation and convergence. In the beginning of a creative process you have divergence, which means that you will have to define the design problem – what needs to be done or improved? Anything we can develop further? Once you know what the problem is, the transformation process takes place, which is also called ideation – process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas – it can be in form of brainstorming, bodystorming, Thinking hats etc. And finally we have convergence, which takes place when we evaluate, refine and choose the best possibilities we have come up with.
Besides the lecture, we had text seminar around three texts: one dealing with designing for wearability, another about rich interactive experiences and finally a third that tackled tangibility. With that in mind we would have a good starting point to work on module 02 – skin-to-skin interaction and wearables.
The seminar and the day’s lecture were fruitful and helped me to come up with some ideas of my own. Now I was left with an almost impossible mission – find a partner – this time the teachers opted for self-assigned pairs, and I knew that most of my classmates had already chosen someone. But I was quite okay with the idea of working on my own – I had plenty of ideas, and quite nice set of skills.
This week we started working with the idea of space, and from that we are supposed to come up with an idea using bluetooth that somehow makes us aware of spatiality. The first step was to brainstorm about the notion of space, and feelings involved.
My partner and I agreed that too small or too crowded spaces make you feel claustrophobic – it is too “dense “ and too hard too breathe – well, not literally, but you feel suffocated and without the privacy you want or need. On the other hand, too empty spaces make you feel lonely, isolated from the rest of the world – yes some type of alienation. Some examples were living in a small apartment or when you live where there are many apartments per floor – and the opposite – living in a big house or in a apartment where there is just one per floor and good sound insulation.
Besides this aspect of space, we also discussed about height and the vertigo effect – from the top of a very tall building it feels like you are going to fall. We did not give this aspect too much attention though, since we have decided to focus on the aforementioned aspect of space : crowdedness vs emptiness.