This project was about learning the system of a space and learning where to intervene to change that system for the better.
In this assignment, I learned heaps about a kind of design I don’t typically have the opportunity to explore in class: designing for joy. In a way, I learned what it takes to design with an emotion in mind, and that is a far more acute sensitivity towards my own emotions, and more insightful observations of other people playing with my product. In this observation period, I learned when (more realistically, when not to) interrupt the conversation between the person and the object.
Planning this project was an awful lot of fun. The first steps of any design process, where the ridiculous and unfeasible ideas are common and encouraged, are always exciting. What was unique about this particular assignment, though, is that one of these absurd concepts actually ran the gauntlet and became a full-fledged prototype. And, I’d say things worked out. This whole project has had an aura of “we should do this again sometime.” From a productivity standpoint, I definitely used my time more effectively on this project than the assignment prior. A big part of this may be the entertaining qualities of the project itself.
Emotions were a big part of this project, mostly in the context of the product itself. My contraption serves little logistical purpose if any at all, but I believe that the spurts of entertainment it provides users give the students working in the studio a slightly more lighthearted experience, lifting some of the pressure of academic processes and allowing for some breathing room in between stressful hours. Because of this, this project was a delight to work on. I didn’t have any major distractions either, as the work was more fun and I deleted my social media accounts that were so easy to spend time on. Motivation was easy, as it was so satisfying to see my prototype work. It has really been a great time at my corner desk.
One thing I was challenged by, though was the use of iteration with such a seemingly juvenile idea. On one hand the design theory is flawless: provide a simple moment of happiness in an otherwise serious and academic environment. On the other hand, though, how do I maintain the simplicity and not dilute the good emotions associated with this contraption while still continuing to improve it? It was challenging to maintain the simplicity of the idea while simultaneously touching up the flawed parts.
Lastly, I’m very happy with how this project was received by the class. I’m proud that the good aspects of simplicity in this prototype outshone the disadvantages of a small scope of influence.
Day 2: Developments on Initial Concept
Day 1: Low-Fidelity Storyboard
Here, I imagine a satisfying feedback for recycling. When someone makes a shot, a motion sensor on the lid of the recycling bin triggers the outlets, which turns on the Philips Hue bulbs and makes them green momentarily. Of course, this system could be turned off during class time and periods of focus.
My inspiration for this is the Volkswagen Fun Theory project.