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BEST AND WORSE: AGO April 20, 2010

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

Having visited the AGO before, I had clear idea of what to expect. Upon arrival however there were various schools trips going on and the lobby of the building was quite busy and appeared unorganized. The addition of King Tut I feel has attracted many more visitors to the normally quieter AGO. If I was to talk about the Gallery in terms of best and worse aspects to the experience I would have to say that the worse experience for me isn’t the art work itself, its Frank Gehrys Architecture.

I Find the New renovation of the AGO to be extremely confusing and not necessarily even aesthetically good-looking. Sure there are some Beautiful parts; standing in the front wooden glass room for example is quite amazing, however, I feel like the rest of the gallery was almost an after thought. Due to having viewed much of the artwork before, during our visit I found myself looking at the architecture more inquisitively. Upon further investigation one can easily find unfinished corners and weird, awkward angles and connections. The whole building to me seems cheap…maybe due do the type of laminate and the colour used for much of the wood. I also find the actual lay out of the building quite poor. The different spaces aren’t cohesive and one is forced to concentrate while moving the various displays.

Not one of Gehrys finest…..

As for the actual Displays I feel this is the AGOs strongest attribute. The diversity among the type of art displayed is quite evident. For the casual art enthusiast I feel the Ago is perfect as im sure everyone can find something they really enjoy. The contemporary Sections especially are actually quite good and have some big name (and current) artists displayed. For the person who wants to look deeper the AGO also has a great collection of prints and other pieces in the basement and if you ask nicely they will even let you hold them like I did! With the addition of the recent King Tut exhibit (unfortunately I haven’t seen it) I feel the AGO is doing a great job marketing to a wide audience…..Its just too bad about the architecture!


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! 🙂 🙂

Time is Running Out! March 7, 2010

Posted by Shaili Chibba in : Exer3: User Scenario, Exercises , add a comment

The Problem
To create a prototype that examines the behaviour and capabilities of an individual when under the pressure of limited time, and outputs an adequate response to their actions.

The Object
The space consists of several objects strewn about in a rather disorganized fashion, representing the tasks or objectives that are on the mind / to-do list of an individual. Alongside of these objects is a meter-length ruler standing vertically, prompting the organization of the random objects. Finally, there is a hidden sound system of a human heartbeat, which ranges from steady to super fast as time begins to run out (stopping when it does), mimicking the pace of a real human heart when under intense pressure and lack of time.

User Scenario
The user approaches the table with the objects randomly placed around each other. They notice three books, an empty box, a paintbrush, a palette, a laundry detergent container, an unfinished canvas, a sketchbook, and several other items. A sign beside the ruler challenges them to organize the items on top of each other to the length of the ruler, to see if the are capable of organizing themselves within the limited time.

If the user is able to to achieve the objective and maintain a balance to the length of the ruler, the heartbeat will remain / return to a steady pace depending on how long it took them to achieve the end result in the time given. This return to normality stimulates a relief in the user, allowing them to attain a sense of accomplishment.

If the user continues failing to organize the items in a balanced manner as time is running out, the quickening pace of the heartbeat will stimulate them to go faster. As they continue to go faster, and do not maintain a steady pace, they will certainly feel the crunch of time and the pressure will result in them either simply giving up or losing themselves to frustration.

If the user is simply not able to organize all of the items in due time, even with a steady rush at the end, he/she will experience disappointment as the heartbeat stops and silence ensues.

We, as students, are under the pressure of time daily. This prototype shows how individuals are able to handle this pressure, and whether they are able to ensure their success, or fall to failure.

How does the sound of a quickening heartbeat stimulate the user? How do they react to their progress? What response is suddenly evoked from this interactive experience?

Is that a… suitcase?! February 26, 2010

Posted by Shaili Chibba in : Exer2: Feedback Object, Exercises , add a comment

Suitcases Our parents used them, their parents used them… but are you going to?! They’re old, rusty, cracked, and probably breaking down! They’re no longer performing their intended use, and even if they are, would you want to use them? Return to these suitcases a purpose! A purpose that will make them worthy again. While you’re at it, why not make it fun?

These suitcases can be so much more than just.. suitcases. They don’t just have to hold / carry / store clothes and other objects. Old suitcases have a great design and form, so why let them go to waste? Take advantage of their vintage beauty!

Purpose #1 – Bench!

BenchWant a funky and original seat in your room? Stuff a suitcase with old clothes, or books (or anything you don’t want easy access to), then either wrap it in a fabric or paint it a colour of your choice! For a finishing touch, adding a cushion to the top won’t hurt especially if you want comfy seating.

If you’d like to further the purpose of this suitcase/bench, you can always make it so that the access to the items that the suitcase is stuffed with are easily accessible, therefore providing you with extra storage space.

Purpose #2 – Bookcase!

Bookcase!Get more creative and take that suitcase apart! Once you’re done, clean it up as must as possible and apply an fabrics or paint of choice. Make it personal! Then the two sides of the suitcase can be piled on top of each other and be made into a bookcase!

If you have more than one suitcase, you can also think of pairing the tops and bottoms together separately for a more uniform effect!

Purpose #3 – Table Top!

Tabletop!Using a suitcase this way is so vintage and chic! Easiest to do of all three purposes, all you have to do is take the suitcase, and place it firmly over any desired table. In fact, it is better if the table is quite low, as the suitcase adds height. This can be great in cases as a bedside table where the night-stand is too low, and in need of a personal touch!

Once that is done, adding accessories is up to you!

These are just 3 of the many purposes that suitcase can serve besides from what it was initially intended for. Explore! Have fun! Take that lumpy, good-for-nothing-space-taker and re-format it to something new and worthy.

Exercise 2: Feedback Object, due Wed Feb. 24 February 17, 2010

Posted by Greg Van Alstyne in : Exer2: Feedback Object, Official stuff from Greg , 1 comment so far
Can you image this pot lid as a door bell? bicycle bell? musical instrument?

Exercise 2 prepares you for “Project 2: Evocative Prototype” which deals with feedback, metaphor, prototyping, and usability evaluation.

Starting today you have one week for this exercise. Short presentations and “3 ideas” posts are due Thursday February 25 (Note this is later than the date given in the course outline).

In Exercise 2 you need to make, or find, and bring in to class, a device, mechanism, toy, gadget, piece of material, or some such thing, that creates interesting “feedback” when you interact with it. The task is to choose something interesting and post 3 ideas to the blog proposing how you might “repurpose” the feedback. Time permitting you should demonstrate its effect in class. Each idea will somehow change or adapt the form or meaning or effect of the feedback.

For example you could make a simple bell from a glass pot lid. Striking your “bell” creates a chime-like sound, the feedback. For your three adaptations, one idea might be a door chime that rings when a button is pressed; one might be to mount the bell on your bicycle as a warning bell; the last might be to build a percussion instrument with five different lids.

For the exercise all we want are your ideas. For Project 2, you will actually build the prototype. You can change your final idea at any time.

We’ll talk about feedback in class. For now you can think about it as perceptible reaction to user input. Look for phenomena that trigger the senses, such as vibration, sound, light, movement, etc. For great results, stimulate multiple senses!

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