Working on the concept

Ok the beginning of this day was terrible – my partner did not want to work with the game anymore, and we were informed that we could not work with shock, because it is considered dangerous… Ok then! Back to scratch… and the divergence process continues – we try to come up with a new concept – we got valuable help from the teacher and he gives us some suggestions on how to make ideas come and flow. Awesome, we can go back on track then. She comes up with a concept called hug giver – with a heat pad in your shirt representing a hug. But what about the negative experience?

Then she just vanishes! Everybody working in pairs, and I was left on my own, without knowing what was going on… So I started talking to the teacher that I wished I was working on my own instead…but he said some wise words and tried to help me with the concept. Then she came back, and we discussed the concept further and I told her what the teacher suggested us to do.

So now, when we have a clearer idea on what we were going to work with, we were ready for some convergence to take place – what is the best way to execute our concept, what are our best possibilities? When I explained what we needed to make the concept work – money and time, in form of a modified Peltier device. Besides, the idea with hug for me sounded somewhat silly and pointless. So we have decided to make a similar and more fun version of it with sound as output, using a piezo buzzer: Creepy dude approaching you gets alarm sound, someone you like approaching you gets romantic, sweet tune.   And the input would be the distance measured by the ultrasonic range detector. So we decided to work with this concept, and started coding and hooking up our Arduino in the same day.  Was I happy with this choice? Not even close! I found it over-simplistic and “lazy”, two of the words I hate the most.


Sketching the concept





Introducing the topic

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.