Final Project Proposal

  1. What can be done to help sports fans and viewers visualize and understand concussions and other serious injuries that occur in games
  2. The method I will engage is Speculative Design because I will be discussing the future of sports broadcasting and viewership. This could also engage reflective design and political design.
  3. I would like to come up with 3 possible design ideas during the first week. During the second week, I would like to interview athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, and fans to see what their opinion on the design is. I will try to start setting up interviews in the first week because it will likely take time to arrange.
  4. I plan to document this work in sketches, interviews, and renderings of what the design could look like. I think the initial rendering could be done using Photoshop and Illustrator
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Course Probes

IMG_8553Probe 1: Pick cards to represent your family. Pick as many or as few as you want

Probe 2: Show how many siblings you have using the quarters. Heads = brother, Tails = sister. Spread them apart to represent your relationships

Probe 3: Show how many people went to your high school (1 Q-Tip = 200 people) You can break the Q-Tips and color them to show characteristics about the school.

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The responses to the probes were

Probe 1: King (Spade), Queen (Heart), Ace (Heart), Ace (Spade)
Probe 2: 1 Quarter (tails)
Probe 3: 9 Q-Tips

My design sketch asked people to draw a shirt that reminded them of their childhood. People alternatively could pick from a selection of shirts, but I think drawing one would allow for a greater variety of responses.

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The responses to my probe was what I expected. I think this is because my probes were fairly simple, and there was really only one way to interpret each question.

I think the 3rd probe (Q-tips) was the best at revealing something about the person that otherwise wouldn’t have come up in conversation. I think the size and characteristics of someone’s high school tell you a lot about the town and environment they grew up in. My other two probes focused on family, which is a pretty common conversation topic.

Material Studies

My material was the plastic command hooks. The sensor design I came up with would be a hook that signaled to your phone when the phone was hooked to it. This would trigger specific settings on the phone. For example, if the hook was in the car it could block incoming messages or calls to prevent distracted driving. The specific settings would be set by the user.

I dont think the life or flow of the material was ever perceptible to me. Plastic lasts a very long time, and this specific plastic was hard to break or change. It seemed very permanent, and it was hard to imagine that the material ever had a life before, and will continue to have a life after.

I think starting with a material is an interesting approach to design. By experimenting with the material, I learned about properties I would not have otherwise considered. For example, when we tapped the materials with a fork, the plastic hooks were scratched. I would have never considered this characteristic of the material if it weren’t for that exercise.

However, starting with a material can also be limiting. In my case, the hooks clearly had one purpose (to hook things) and it would be very difficult to repurpose them. I think if I had chosen a material that was more easily manipulated it would have worked better for this assignment.

Perception Studies (Kelsey Mullins)

My walking algorithm was

  • Walk forward counting your steps. If you reach an obstacle:
    • If you are at an even number of steps go left
    • If you are at an odd number of steps go right
    • If you number of steps is a multiple of 10 turn around
  • Repeat

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I didn’t really have specific intentions with the walking algorithm I designed. I wanted to create something that would cause you to pay attention to the surroundings, but I think the step counting ended up being more distracting than intended.

On my walk I noticed how many small paths there were. It was hard to determine what counted as an “obstacle” and I think this was very open to interpretation. This is something I wouldn’t have normally considered walking around campus. I think the vagueness of the word “obstacle” allowed me to think about objects in a way I usually wouldn’t have when trying to decide if they counted or not.

My design was headphones that make a soft beep at random intervals to encourage the user to look around at their surrounds. In a way, you could “train” yourself to respond to the beep so it would become an unconscious response. I think this design amplifies the users ability to connect with the world outside their headphones.

The design suggests that users should respond to the beep in a certain way, but technically a user could “train” themselves to do any action upon hearing the beep. This could include straightening their posture, drinking water, or other habits. The design is open enough to allow this interpretation because the sound does not tell the user to do a specific thing. For example, if the message said “look around” or “sit up straight” instead of just a beep, the intentions of the design would be more strongly imposed on the user.

 

Future Product Catalog

My catalog was CB2 x Fred Segel, which is a luxury furniture company.

Most of the “near future” innovations in the furniture and home goods category relate to the “Internet of Things.” For example, fridges that connect to your phone to alert you when you are running low on groceries, or lightbulbs that alert you when they need to be replaced. Other near future innovations include embedding technology in furniture, such as a wireless phone charger in a table top, or screens in a window pane.

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For my design I actually went the dystopian route. I hadn’t thought of this technology being used negatively before. For example, the internet of things would make it much easier to regulate or monitor people’s behavior. In this scenario, the government is regulating resource usage in the household by using these near future devices.

If I had more time, I would add some more details to clarify that this is actually a dystopian scenario. I don’t think it fully comes across in the design fiction, and I think it would be more thought provoking if it did.

Subversion Activity

Tracking Technology

  1. Snapchat
  2. Restaurant apps (ex Starbucks)
  3. Parking garage tag
  4. Student ID
  5. Apartment keys

Our designs were a map that visualizes where you go and allows you to pick what apps have access to that information, and a location tinder that allows to to delete or save locations.

I think the map visualization provides a better space for contestation because it allows people to easily see, analyze, and decide what data to share. Users become more involved because they can easily see what data their phone is collecting, and apps/other parties can only see the data if it is permitted by the user.

I think conversations about user location and privacy would occur with both, but the map would specifically prompt discussion about the amount of detail users share with outside parties, and how much is appropriate to share. I think the other design would prompt conversation about user security and methods of subverting location tracking.

I think these designs would be a good conversation starter, but to ultimately change surveillance I think new regulations or laws would need to be written.

Misuse Studies

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I took a picture of bollards, which are poles that prevent cars from driving onto sidewalks or other pedestrian areas.

I think bollards are authoritarian, because they are put in place to dictate who and what can enter a certain area. Many cities have installed large bollards to prevent terrorism, which adds to the authoritarian nature. The average citizen also has no say in the construction or placement of bollards.

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I think bollards were intentionally designed with authoritarian politics. They were created specifically to control who could enter certain areas, and who would be excluded.

I think my sketch reveals the authoritarian nature by making bollards visibly more militaristic. Usually people just walk by them without thinking, so making them more visible makes it clear that they serve a purpose, and prevent cars from entering the area.

The other half of my sketch shows a possible way to make bollards more democratic. They would be raised and lowered by the public, giving people some control over how and when the bollards are used

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Inverting Metaphors

Apple Debuts the new Series 3 Apple Watch, now with Cellular 

The goal of the Apple Watch is to “free you from your phone.” The new Series 3 has LTE built in, so you can make calls, receive messages, and use all of the other functions without having your phone nearby. The watch isn’t meant to replace a phone, but rather allows people to get essential calls and messages without added distractions.

The inverted goal would be to design a watch that ties people to their phone even more.

In my imagined design, the watch and phone would only function if they were within extremely close proximity to each other. The watch could alert the user about incoming messages, calls, and prompt the phone to do things (such as open the camera), but none of these functions would be operational on the watch (ex: you cant respond to a message from the watch.) This would cause the user to rely fully on the phone.

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The opposite goal assumes people want to be highly connected to their phones, and are also cautious about security. If the phone and watch only work in close proximity, no one could use the phone without wearing the watch. This could be an extra security feature that is more reliable than a password. The watch could also alert you if you leave the range of your phone, making it much harder to lose or misplace.

Even though most people would be annoyed by this redundant design, I think it might appeal to a select group of security minded people.

The redundancy might also allow people to reflect on when and why they are using their phone, which is an experiance they might not get if the watch and phone were fast and easy to unlock. I think this is similar to Senger’s 3rd Reflective Design Principle – designers should support users in reflecting on their lives.