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the long day at ACTIVATE! April 9, 2010

Posted by Lucey En Chung Kim in : Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE!, Exercises , add a comment

I think it was really interesting to see what kind of ideas other classes came up with for this ACTIVATE! event.  I think ours was pretty successful, even though the morning was all rush-rush and crazy-hectic trying to set up the structure and what-not.  Going around to other classes’ projects, I think that there really wasn’t one that was “the best” or “the worst” because they were equally fun and disappointing in different aspects.  But, anyways:

“The Best”

Although I definately think others were a lot better, the “WTF” circus tent stood out to me, ONLY AFTER I saw one of its poster advertisements.  Viscerally, the structure and the contraption inside the tent was well-made.  Behaviourally, I think it was very clever with the whole “push” button and having someone hidden behind the big “thing” do everything manually.  Reflectively, when I first went in, and came out w/ that small envelope of a random fact, it WAS a put-down.  With a structure made so well and looking very pleasing, I was expecting something SPECTACULAR.  But, in the end, all I got was an envelope w/ a “WTF” stamp on it and a random, sometimes useless, fact.  But, later that day, as I was waiting for the elevator in the Grange, I saw one of their posters.  The poster read something along the lines of, “It’ll make you want to say, “WTF”?”.  Only THEN, did I realize that it was the classes intent for that big put-down after that built-up curiosity at the beginning.  Like I said at the beginning, this isn’t the BEST, but I felt that it should be recognized because it was MEANT to be a big put-down at the end.

“The Worst”

The protest would definately be somewhere I’d categorize as one of the “bad” ones.  One reason would be because I almost forgot that, that WAS one of the class projects for this ACTIVATE! event.  Viscerally, the whole protest looked very legitimate because of the picket signs, big group of people, loud, verbal protests and megaphone.  Behaviourally, that class did a good job in the beginning of marching around and chanting.  But, then I knew that they weren’t going to keep that up for the whole three hours.  So, seeing that they were just hanging around for a majority of the event until the last half hour was no surprise to me.  Reflectively, I remember seeing a facebook event for this protest and people were actually believing that there was going to be a REAL protest.  I, myself, almost believed this event until I saw the details of when this “protest” was going to take place and then thought that it was pretty clever marketing strategy.  I don’t think that this project showed a huge amount of effort in terms of preparation in comparison to other classes.  Also, shouting random chants (for a short period of time) without an ACTUAL good reason for taking art out of OCAD didn’t really show “information” to me.

The good and the bad April 9, 2010

Posted by Meena Alcozai in : Check it out , add a comment

During Activate I tried a number of projects done by other classes. Some of them stood out for me while others didn’t really get their message across.


Thought Pop was one of the projects that stood out for me. Walking towards it, I was instantly greeted by a host who was friendly and approachable. The host clearly explained the process of the experience and then gave me a paper to try it out for myself. The reason I think it succeeded is because it was both anonymous and random. You can write down whatever you’re thinking and then pop the balloon and read the results of someone else’s thoughts. The project also had user feedback through the use of the other thoughts provided. If the thoughts of other people connected to you as a person, you would feel ‘special’ in a way. For example, my friend’s paper read ‘Dance on!’ and she really was happy because she loves dancing. So the thought she picked on random was kind of a special choice. The environment of the experience was friendly and fun overall. There were DJ’s playing old time classics like ‘N’sync’ and ‘Spice Girls’ and the balloons were situated in giant foam flowers, giving them a ‘hippie’ and ‘happy’ feel. Over all Thought Pop had a very nice ‘fortune cookie’ aspect to it.

Another project that I really enjoyed was the Diary Project. It had the same anonymous feel to it. The hosts were very calm and nice and explained the project in a very serene way. The experience was that the user can come and pick any diary they want and read it or contribute to it if they wish. There was no ‘push’ to actually having to write something down. At the front of each diary was a topic. I got a very artistic diary with random scribbles and doodles.  The reason I felt this experience as well as Thought Pop did so well was because they were both secretive and anonymous. The user could put down any idea or thought that was in their head and they wouldn’t feel constraint based on the fact that other people would trace it back to them somehow.


The only project I didn’t get or relate to was Designers against Art .  After joining the facebook group for the event, I had a lot of expectations. I thought that it was clever that while the poster did say ‘Save Art’ and tried to attract artist, then completely did a 180 and bash art in the actual event. And I thought that the event was properly publicized. But on the day of the event I was kind of let down by the actual experience. I didn’t really know what to do when I went to the DAA space. To me it was just like a protest. I wasn’t sure if I should join or just stand back because no one came up to me and gave me a poster to join in or explain the event. I think the experience would improve if they had a stand type stage set up and they got the users to go up and say something about art or design. Or to make up some weird and fun story of how art burned down their house, or how art divorced them; just some random and radical stories that aren’t really believable but more fun. Or the team could have recorded videos of random people in Activate saying the random stories and then projected them on the wall like a giant movie screen. Also I would give out ‘down with art’ pins or t-shirts for prizes to whoever could come up with the wackiest stories on stage, to get more user feedback.

Over all Activate was a really fun experience. And I thought the different projects were informative and fun.

The Best and the Worst of Activate! April 9, 2010

Posted by Xiao Ying Ye in : Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE! , add a comment

I think the balloon popping was best experience from ACTIVATE! event because of its perceptibility, operability, simplicity, and memorability. The way the whole set up approached the scene with different colours of hand-made flowers that had balloons attached to them had strong visuals, and it attracted a lot of attention from the people. The feedback of this project was the pin beside the balloon because users automatically relate it to the activity of popping balloons. It was also interesting because the project delivered a mysterious feeling to the viewer with the little paper that was inside every balloon. After user popped the balloon, he or she received a message from other people, and following this, the user was able to write something on the piece of paper and put it in to a balloon. This part allowed users to exchange information, and feel fun and excitement. The experience was simple because everyone was able to easily understand and use the designs. The instructors of the project explained the steps very well to the users just in case they didn’t understand. I had fun experiencing this project and hope other users enjoyed it as well. As a conclusion, the balloon popping project was the best project because the design for the project was suitable for users and the environment of the ACTIVATE! experience.

The worst Activate project I think was the walking on the line one that was beside the cafeteria of the coffee shop with students standing and holding a rope. I thought it is the worst because it wasn’t suitable for the environment on that day, and I didn’t really get the concept they were trying to show. Also, the overall declaration of the project was not that attractive and not many users got attracted to it. I think they should improve by making the idea simple and straight forward for the user to get it, and not make it so confusing. They should have some helpers to explain what the users do instead of letting them get confused and embarrassed. Every student should do something to attract user’s attention instead of just standing on their spot. Overall, I think the worst project was the walking on the line one and the idea of it is great, but it wasn’t thought out very well.

BEST AND worst April 8, 2010

Posted by Jacob Alexander Prapavessis in : Check it out , add a comment

Hey Everyone! Just wanted to thank everyone who helped with our Chaordic Collaboratorium experience! I think overall it was a success and I know everyone worked hard

Anyways, out of the 4-5 projects I experienced the best project for was the Design Against Art one. Although I am not completely convinced that their project was within the guidelines of the assignment I enjoyed it the most. I thought their branding and marketing was excellent and it was the only project one could experience without consciously making a decision to do so. I thought the actual experience part was engaging; at times I found myself watching them for minutes, fully immersed in sound and movement. As the event went on I did find the project slightly irritating, however, it never lost its effectiveness. I do think that they could have gone about protesting in a smarter way. I think the noise was fine, but the protesting itself was quite chaotic and confusing to someone who had just entered the room. There was also no beginning middle and end to the experience, more just a constant level. I know most people might find this project one of the worst, but I do think it caused an experience and more importantly and experience for everyone in the room…..maybe that’s the most important part.

The worst project for me was the white box. Although after being told later about the concept I still found it to be uninteresting and unoriginal. There was no beginning middle and end and I don’t think anybody found the interaction clear and nobody who I personally talked too even knew they were being watched. If I were to recommend suggestions I would ask that they made the people stalking the participants more easily visible so that the concept would become clear sooner or later.

Chaordic Collaboratorium
Overall I feel our personal project was a success. I think our project had a certain presence (our big colorful box) and this got people interested and lining up which is important. I think our greeters at the front door were excellent and that couples with waiting created suspense. Once the participant entered the first room however, I think our project became quite week. Our chaos zone didn’t really have the effect we were looking for. I think this was because of the visuals and also the audio/video( My bad). The majority of people who entered the space became confused and not really overwhelmed like planned. Once out of the space and into the next section I think our project regained its feet again. The 2 random problem couples with the time element immediately got people participating and was actually quite fun and interactive. People who didn’t know each other before were working together to solve the problem and I think this was very successful.

To conclude I feel that Activate as a whole was a success. I enjoyed watching other projects and meeting new people and learned a lot about how hard it is to put together a project and then have a real world audience test it. Things never go quite as you imagine and this is extremely valuable.


Posted by Magdalena Malik in : Check it out, Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE!, Exercises , add a comment

I found Activate! to be an event where many unique and talented people came together to establish a fun yet interesting experiment. The sense of partnership in our community brought out excitement, motivation and intrigue into the project. Support and initiative played an important role in managing such a collaborative booth which I must say looked awesome!

In my point of view, the best and not-so-good qualities of our Activate! show must have included the following…

The attractive colorful design of the Chaordic Collaboratorium booth was visually appealing. The visceral effect of the neon colored papers created interests that pulled viewers in. The cycle of the experience itself was a bit confusing. The users did not quite understand the linkage of Chaos to Order. The topics in the booths were narrow. I believe that if the topics were much grander in the sense of allure then the users would come up with stronger ideas. The magazine cut-outs were engaging and questioned the audience. Inside of our booth the components of light, sound and touch were visceral aspects that intensified the atmosphere of chaos leading to order. Attraction, engagement and creativity played an important role in making this process work. I am very proud of our booth and ambition we all contributed to making it great.

One of my favorite booths would be the one named “WTF?” The slogan or phrase was very catchy and automatically made you think and wonder what the point of this was. This was very successful in engaging an audience.  The circus-like fun colored tent consisting of red and yellow inspired me to go and check out the experience. The “What the Fact” phrase made me laugh!

The Mood- Cubed Box Booth made me a bit confused and the process was infinite. It took a while. The visceral points should have been more clarified and exciting in my opinion. The brown box underneath the die was visible and lacked a certain sense of sophistication. The design wasn’t that good. I am 5’9 and trying to get underneath the box was a bit of a struggle. It did not make me feel as excited as I probably should have been.

Generally, The Activate! project was very amusing and I had a great time working with our class. I never did this type of project before and now must say that it was a totally great experience! 🙂 🙂

The Best and the worst of Activate April 8, 2010

Posted by Junbo Dong in : Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE! , add a comment

The Best and the Worst

It’s quite interesting to attend such an activating movement. We work together, practice and participate together. I have learned a lot through the practices in this process.

What’s the best?

The best for me is the project, “thought pop” that’s close to the coffee room. The reason why it succeeded is its pretty device, agreeable host and  clear concept. Firstly, the decoration of the project is very attractive and lovely. The man-made elegant flower ornaments and the painted clay pots displayed a comfortable feeling to viewers. I think that they placed the used pallets as their foundations. It is a smart idea of using wastes as it’s eco friendly. Also, it gave us a bit of taste of country style. Secondly, the host group of the project was great. They gave clear directions to the users and asked us if we wanted join the extra lucky draw. Lastly, the metaphor of the project is lucid. The user would have a random note from the broken balloon after popping one. It could be an idea, a thought or an interesting thing. You can keep the note to yourself or let the host staple the note to the board, they would then write a new note to put in a new balloon.  I lean towards seeing a thought or an idea which would put you into an unknown situation. Then your new note is the connection, relate the next user and wait him/her to find a new idea from you. The player is the part of the project. He is not only a participator, but also a connector. The interactions from the host to player and the player to the next player are fascinating.

I think our project was also one of the best. We created two rooms to represent different metaphors: chaos and solution. The closed atmosphere made it attractive to the players and filled them with curiosities, so they would want to participate. The project uses multiple media to help creating the metaphors. The interaction is meaningful to the user. I think we can improve the material and the aesthetic aspect of the project.

What’s the worst?

I think the worst is the white box near the entrance. As a matter of fact, I do not know the purpose of the white box. No host and no instruction near the box. Some sound can be heard when you pass through the box, but the sound is not very clear. I think that is another part of the project mood boxes. I found out that was an image catcher inside the box at last. However, I still have no idea what the intention was. I think it needs some instruction or host to tell user what is the purpose and how to play the project. Additional, if it would show some feedback to make a circle then it will be a better one.

We’ve been Activated April 8, 2010

Posted by Shaili Chibba in : Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE!, Exercises , add a comment


The best Activate! project for me is “What the Fact” that was located immediately beside us in a circus tent. The presentation was intriguing, and prompted a visceral response of excitement and nostalgia. It not only triggered memories of childhood and carnivals, but I want to see what the class had done to transform the classic experience. Walking in I was surprised to see a large totem like figure with a “Push Me” button on it. So far the experience was mimicking a circus fortune teller, but this was soon enhanced by the output of a fact rather than a random fortune as a result of pushing the button. Behaviourally, the piece was evidently analog and controlled by a person hidden behind it, but surprisingly executed in a professional manner. The person was never visible, and the output of the fact was smooth. The class’s choice in using facts was very smart, as reflectively I have been looking back on it quite a bit and appreciate the little fact that “horses can’t vomit.” It was not only something I had no idea about, but fun, light, and interesting. The execution was simple, captivating, and straight-forward with a tinge of the wow effect.

The worst project for me would have been Designers Against Art. Their advertising was effective in tricking people to believe that it was actually real, however their execution was poor. It was loud, annoying, and ineffective. That approach may have gathered attention at the beginning, but soon the chanting merely fell to a dull background roar. A better method to undertake their message would have been to be as clever, subtle, and underhanded as their advertising. The loud, and repetitive only gets so far before it’s blocked out, but something that almost subliminally tricks the individual into supporting the concept, believing that this is the right message and how could anything else be better, is not only strong, but good propaganda. I believe that they should’ve never revealed themselves as a part of Activate! and thus delivered a so much more authentic experience. One which wasn’t eradicated once people knew that it was simply a project, and so could be ignored.

the best and worst of Chaordic Collaboratorium April 8, 2010

Posted by Christina Mary Dery in : Check it out, Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE!, Proj3: ACTIVATE! , add a comment
First I would like to compliment the publicity team for their great job at creating nice contrasting and colourful posters. Of all the projects I think our poster stood out the most (although there could have been more put up). Not only the posters but also the awesome job at documenting the entire event from set-up to takedown through photographs and video. The Collaboratorium itself with he bright paper with words created a nice touch to the brand and it attracted people to the booth.
Overall i think our booth design with transparent walls with magazine cutouts really appealed to people and created a sense of wonder.
The experience cycle for the participant was lacking in terms of the experience itself until the end and the reason for this could have been because many people did not fully understand the link of the first room (chaos) to the second room (order). Most people just walked into the chaos and right away wanted to walk through to the order room, not noticing the message that was being conveyed through the images and the chaotic lights and sounds.
In terms of the challenge to challenge other people, the experience was successful because once people found out that the previous group had given them the words, they realized that they wanted to top it and create a more difficult experience for the next group. In terms of extension, this could have been more successful if  the words were chosen by us and they had specific links that they had to figure out because many of the phrases people came up with were not very interesting in my opinion. I think if there was a definite answer to each linkage of words then people would have tried harder and their minds would have been more engaged.
Overall I think the experience was no the worst because certain areas really worked while others not o much, but i think people had fun and enjoyed the game type experience. Personally i think the only reason it did not work so well in certain areas was because we did not have control over our environment such as lighting and also our time limit. All taken into consideration i think we pulled it off and put on a good show; after-all we did have a line-up most of the day! 😀 Hosts did a good job aattracting people and once the show got rolling we were able to explain the challenge effectively so that people understood.
Good job everyone! it was a great experience 😀

Activate! Latest Buzz on the Best & Worst. April 8, 2010

Posted by Talia Claire Dimerman in : Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE!, Proj3: ACTIVATE! , add a comment

Activate! was an exhausting – yet exhilarating experience. I had the opportunity to try out quite a number of projects done by other classes, and was excited over some more than others.

I was immediately attracted to “WTF” (What the Fact?). I would say this one would come close as the Best Overall project of the ones I took part in / observed (aside from ours of course – which ranks #1 in my books) – as I was instinctively intrigued. What the Fact? was the experience project setup directly next to ours, providing a great visceral reflection through the tent-like structure, with yellow and red stripes. Immediately I see two hosts, one standing on either side of the main entrance, motioning me to walk over and enter. They appear friendly, but limit the information they provide me with prior to entering. Not completely clear on what is expected to happen – as there is clearly something enclosed within the drapery, I grab a friend and enter inside. Before my eyes is this huge, glaring monstrous face gazing at me. I was instructed to push on a button. It made me feel nervous, tense, and was afraid the first time around entering that if I were to push the button, the huge face would do something crazy like have smoke coming out of its nostrils. In the end, it simply dispensed a little envelope (stamped with “WTF”) with a card inside – on it a random fact. I was completely relieved! For instance, would you have ever thought that…?


A rat can last longer without water than a camel.



A hungry wolf can eat 20 pounds of meat in a single meal, which is akin to a human eating one.

I believe it succeeded because of multiple elements – the project was interesting, random, completely in keeping with the title, and certainly made my heart pound. I entered, was engaged with the mechanics and visceral components, and exited to show my friends the random facts that I had obtained. Of course it may have ruined the anticipation for them, but I was caught up in the excitement. When reflecting on the project, I see that the title has a nice play on words – the “what the f” is usually associated with someone being surprised or shocked at hearing or seeing something. One would assume that this phrase would end with the f word, but the word “fact” fits in nicely here as that is what we were provided with. The surprise element remained intact.

I feel that more could have been done with “Moodcubed”. There were quite a number of visceral elements, as they firstly did a very nice job of advertising prior to (facebook event page), and had students from their class walk around between 12 – 3 pm with intriguing cubes on their heads, trying to pull us towards their event. This worked as I walked with someone in their class over to this, and saw a student standing on a box. She had a great personality and was shouting to get others to come over. I was slightly confused about what to do next. Someone else instructed me to roll a fairly large dice. I rolled it to reveal a specific colour, and was then motioned towards one of 3 boxes standing up that matched the colour I had rolled. It took me a couple of seconds to realize I had to go underneath the box. Part of the behavioural experience was to put on a pair of headphones while surrounded by darkness – and listen to the sounds of cars zooming past one another, linked with a small screen (attached as part of the structure) providing a video loop of cars continuously in motion on the streets. After approx. 15 seconds or so the video loop stopped – so I presumed to take off my headphones and leave.

I thought there would be another element. Something that would help me end this experience feeling satisfied / having taken something away – maybe an interpretation or an emotion. I was unsatisfied as I had hoped to get something interesting out of it – especially because this project had been built up so nicely. I didn’t feel a great level of excitement – as there should have been a strong engagement factor than just watching cars and listening to the sounds they make. I exited confused – trying to grasp onto something to take away from it. Maybe it all revolved around chance and how that links with information, but my mood didn’t quite change. Maybe if the experience were to involve what was under all 3 boxes / cubes, there would be something more intriguing or exciting to get out of the experience.

Sorry for a lengthy post – however wanted to express my thoughts in great detail. And wanted to finish with a thank you to everyone in our class as I believe our experience was one of the strongest – and thought everyone worked well together.

Activate: The Best and the Worst April 7, 2010

Posted by Alice Chen in : Exer4: Best and Worst of ACTIVATE! , add a comment

The Best
For me, I think that the best project was the one located in the circus tent next to ours. The bright colours of the tent along with the choice of music made it stand out amongst the others. I liked how the people outside kept the curtain closed so that those outside cannot see what’s inside until they have gone in. The large machine structure made it obvious that I needed to do something for something else to happen and the ‘Push’ button made it an intruitive experience. After pushing the button, a lever came out of the machine with an envelop containing a piece of paper with a single fact. I liked how the facts are packaged inside of the envelops and how each one was different. Comparing facts with other people that have gone through the same experience was very interesting too. After going through the experience, I found that people operated the machine manually behind it, but it was out of view unless you went near the back wall. It was a moment of, so that’s how they managed to get the machine to work moment.

The Worst
I really didn’t like the Mood Cubed project very much. I had to roll a die and assumed that I entered the little box that corresponded to the colour I rolled. Unfortunately, when I tried it, I got the colour blue, but there was already someone in that boxed so one of the hosts just changed it to another colour and directed me to enter that box instead. Entering the box itself was a little awkward since I had to bend down and stand back up when I’m under the opening at the bottom of the box. That just felt like bad design to me. Although I didn’t struggle very much with it since I wasn’t that tall, I saw taller people struggle quite a bit trying to get into the right position under the box and slowly stand up to get inside. Some people had bumped into the structure itself as well. Also, the wooden legs that supported the colourful boxes made the overall project less appealing. It was one of the last projects I tried since I walked around the area first and then went straight for the ones that appealed to me the most. On the other hand, the headbands with boxes that their hosts wore made it quite obvious that they were involved with that project so there wasn’t a need to look for the hosts to explain how the project worked.

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