Project Proposal

I would like to study how face time affects your relationships within your family and friends. I will be using research through design to study this question by coming up with a set of probes to get information. Next week I plan to figure out situations that will result me in the answer I want, and design a probe accordingly. For instance, I might decide to specifically investigate the negative impacts of face time, why its so convenient, why one may use it over other forms of communication and come up with probes that prompt a response that will help me come to a final conclusion. The following week, I plan to start giving people the probes and observe their responses. I plan to document my work by taking a picture of the results I got from the probes, and using my time log to mark how long I spend on it every day.



Sofia Rubio

My first probe the user was given a map and colored pushpins. They were asked to use the pushpins to mark all of the places that they had previously lived, using the red as the most liked, yellow as the least liked, and blue as in in between.

The response to this probe was a red pushpin in Colorado, a yellow pushpin Washington, and two blue pushpins in Minnesota (one fell off before I took the picture).


My second probe was to use tape and post-its to create some type of 3-D model that reminds them of their home.

The response to this probe was a 3-D model of mountains and skies.

My third probe was to use the pack of crayons and the notepad to draw a picture of their home.

The response to this probe was a drawing of their home that resembles Boulder, Colorado.


For my design sketch, I designed an application that kept the user connected to home/childhood home. The application is news centered and basically summarizes local news fro places one has previously lived. It is summarized into quick, easy to read snippets of local news kind of like a combination of theSkimm, John Oliver, and your local newspaper. This way, the user doesn’t have to go out of their way to stay updated about news from places they have previously lived and have connections to, and they as well get the upfront news without the unnecessary extra words.

For the most part I would say that the response to my probe was expected. When I was making the probes, I just assumed that the answers would all be leading back to information about the users childhood home. However, I got more information about what the user considers home rather than about his childhood home. For instance, one of my probes asked to pinpoint all the places they have lived in accordance to the most/least liked location. I was able to determine that they had lived in a few paces other than boulder. I then I asked to draw a picture of something that reminded the user of home and they drew the flatirons. I guess here I became somewhat confused because I could tell that my user had lived in Washington as well as Minnesota since they pinned these places on the map, yet they drew their picture of their home next to the flat irons. This brought up more questions on my part because I was curious if they originally lived in boulder, moved around and then returned or if they just considered boulder the most relatable version of “home”. After my confusion I reflected on why I was confused by the answers I got. I was able to realize it was because of the way I asked the question. I assumed that they would be referring to their childhood home, which was my mistake. Instead of learning more about my users childhood home, I learned more about what home is to them now. If I had centered my questions on they key word “childhood”, I probably would have gotten more expected results.

The probe I made with the map and pushpins was the best at revealing something about that person that I may not have learned through conversation. I think this because my other two probes pointed specifically that they live and enjoy living in boulder. Since I my probe made the user basically rank their preference of locations they have lived, I was able to learn about not only all of the places that they have lived but also about which ones they liked most/least. In a conversation, the past places they have lived may have come up but I feel as if it but probably not which places they disliked most or li

material studies

The tin foil senses all of your movement sin a day and by the end of the day, every movement you have done is embedded in the foil. The sensor is the tin foil and the actuator is your cell phone.


I would say that the flow of the material became more evident to me. When I was experimenting with the metal, I noticed a pattern in the way it acted.   For instance, every time I moved it made a mark on the foil. If I pulled it or put weight on it, it was flattened. Every crease was embedded in the foil where you could see its past life. The foil started out completely flat. By the end of class, it was no longer as smooth. Even as much as I tried to flatten out the creases, there was still a mark.


The limitations of starting design by working with particular materials is that rather than asking yourself what materials can I use to better my design, you are asking yourself how can I make this material into what I need it to be. I found it a little tricky at first because in class we usually start designing by thinking about things we need and how to make them. When you start designing from the material, you nee to figure out how the material connects to the idea you have for your design. The benefits are that since you have deeply examined the material, you are more familiar with its strengths and weakness. In this way, you are able to connect the material to the design through its properties in a fashion that works well with your design. An example for instance is if you are trying to figure out the best type of metal to use for your design, if you had started designing by the material you would see its strengths and weakness allowing you to pick the best metal. If you are just designing first and then think about the material, you may not be aware of all the properties of the metal you choose.


walk backwards until you hit an obstacle

if you hit an obstacle

then walk forwards until you hit an optical

if you hit an obsticle

then walk sidways







When I created my walking algorithm, I intended for the person reading it to not get stuck. I tried to change the directions of them walking in order for them to head in many different directions. My goal was for the person using my algorithm to ultimately end up somewhere outside of the building. This for me meant that my algorithm would succeed in allowing whoever was following it to not be stuck in a loop. The last thing I wanted was for my user to be walking in a circle. I intended for my algorithm to make use of space by letting them roam in different directions and not get stuck in a particular space.


On my walk I noticed a couple of different things. For starters, it made me realize how annoying following an algorithm like mine was. I was low on options and that lead me to get stuck in the hallway and stairwell. I couldn’t even make it outside as much as I tried to get the algorithm to lead me there. I however then was able to explore the second floor thoroughly. Whenever I previously tried to look around I felt awkward and as if I was doing something wrong. This exercise made it okay to just roam around. I found myself next to the equipment room, which I had never seen before. Even though I was technically supposed to enter, I dint and just stood outside looking in. I had never seen that room and the technology inside and I was pretty amazed. I know that TAM has a several resources and tools for our disposal, and I had never seen any of them but it made me more curious about them. I think that the instructions allowed me to notice this because I was limited to where I could go. Since I was walking around the same floor over and over, it made things that I usually wouldn’t notice more evident to me.


I am always trying to find new spots around boulder. For instance, I was looking for the ideal study spot. I found myself wandering around so many buildings trying to find the perfect spot. I saw a picture of a study room at the top of Duane and I spent two hours after class on Wednesday looking for it.   My design is an application that sends you pictures of great spots. This design amplifies the users surroundings and environment around them. The purpose is for the user to change up their every day agenda. For instance, instead of going to study at Norlin every single day, you may receive a picture of a even nicer library such as Earth Science library. Maybe one day there is a beautiful sunset and you want to see it from the best spot possible. The design will send pictures of the best spot to view the sunset. The design is made in order to get the user moving and to experience new environments and places. Being exposed to new things allows for new experiences. The design is made in order to amplify the users daily experiences and for them to see more parts of boulder they may not have otherwise heard about.


The script of my design prescribes the actions of the users involved because of its main purpose. The purpose of my design is to allow the user to experience something they haven’t yet by sending them photos of cool locations. If they receive a picture that captures their attention, they are more likely to go to that location and experience it. This design provokes people to actually go somewhere in order to experience and see a new location. The purpose of this design evokes an action upon the user, which is to get up and find this new place they saw through the application that they found intriguing. The fact its an application on your phone makes it easy for the user to access. Since the picture is a digital representation of the original, it does not fully show the details and full environment making it more appealing to see the actual location in person.


Google maps



Chase Bank

News TV




My recent history

Stop light cameras


Our first design is a map of where you have been throughout the day. There is a option that allows you to share your location with them or deny it. If you chose to share it, it can count how frequently you go there. For instance, it may tell you that you have been to Safeway 50 times in the past month and give you coupons for it.

Our second design take a a tinder like approach where you can swipe right to keep your location and swipe left to delete it. There is randomization that allows for the data recorded about your location to be changed so its not as exact.



I would say that the second design does a better job at creating a space for contestation. Since the concept takes a less serious approach to the whole surveillance concept, it allows for easier conversation and reflection to take place regarding surveillance.

The users are involved in the contestation. The second design allows for the users to reflect and change how their location is being tracked through randomization.

Since the users can use randomization in order to throw off surveillance about their locations, it can allow for them to converse on how they used fake locations in order for surveillance to not know the users exact locations. An outcome of this design is that it takes a friendlier approach on the intensive concept of surveillance. This allows for surveillance to not be such a scary topic because the concept of the design crates a space for conversation where users can be more open about the issue.

I think that in a way my designs are an effective way of provoking contestation because it allows for people to get more involved in the issue. By giving them direct hands on means on how exactly they are being located, it allows for users to be more involved in the issues that come with surveillance. For instance, today there are not many people who are deeply concerned with their computer information because they aren’t of ways to stop or change it.



I photographed the sliding doors in the rec center. The sliding doors are authoritative in many ways. For instance, the University of Colorado holds the power to grant access for those allowed into the gym. The University provides students who pay tuition access by allowing the doors to open for them when they slide their buff one card. The sliding doors in the gym were specifically intended to allow specific people in and keep others out. The whole idea of having the sliding doors is authoritarian in order to only give specific people access to the gym.

In the design I sketched, I made it so that anyone is allowed into the gym however they still need to pay money that will go towards CU funds. In my design, I had to think about what audience I was working for. Since in the actual gym, the University has control over who is allowed and is not allowed in the gym, I made it so that everyone is allowed in however, the money that they pay will go directly towards the University in order to make it more democratic. I revealed that the gym was specially constructed was to limit certain people from using the facilities, which represents an authoritative power. This exercise made me think about how everything made has a specific purpose and audience to meet. The politics of the system depend on its function and who it is made for.


The original goal of Figma is for designers to be able to collaborate all on the same platform. This was designers and coders can all upload their work to the same place, where all work can be seen by whoever shares it. This way, edits can be made, and you can build of off what someone already has. The inverted goal is to keep al aspects of the project separate, so nothing can be shared until you want it o be. My imagined technology was a way that when people are working on a collaborative work, all aspects are kept separate until they want to share.

The opposite goals assume that people want to work separately and do not want to share their work until needed. Each person’s contribution is completely his or her own to the central design. I could imagine this technology bing useful to students who are not allowed to share any aspects of their work, or for a very top secret design where nothing can be shared until all pieces of the design are finished and ready to be put together. This exercise made me realize that each design has a audience to serve that is very thought out before it is made. For instance, Figma’s audience is for designers/coders to be able to upload their work to a “cloud” so that designers they are collaborating with are able to see the progress, add on to it, comment, and edit. It influences creativity because you are able to envision where the design is going better sine you have access to your teams ideas and drafts. This made me think that in the future, technology is shifting towards the “cloud” where everything can be uploaded and access can be given to certain people. I see that there is already a big increase in Google docs and more of a collaborative style of design. I see that Critical reflection is a prominent idea with this design because it identifies that with designers and coders, it can often times be hard to work on a collaborative project because all aspects are separate. With Figma, this is taken into account and the purpose of Figma is to create a space where all parts can be shared with those working with you. It allows for reflection on part of the group as a whole, because while one person adds their work, another can reflect on how their work will add on to the existing comments. BY being able to see everyone’s drafts, the group is able to reflect their own work based on how it could further improve based off everyone else’s.