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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.

Best:

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.

Worst:

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.

Sometimes silence is the best… March 6, 2010

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

The Problem:
To create a prototype that makes clear the vociferous sounds of media all around us.

Object:
A life size box. The interior is painted to look as if the user has stepped into outer space, with Christmas lights and glow-in-the-dark sticks. Inside the box is a stand with three labeled buttons.

User Experience:

The user steps inside the box. He/she looks in front of them at the three buttons (labeled 1, 2, 3). Interested, the user presses the first button; immediately loud noises come blaring out around them. The jumble of noise includes media slogans from McDonalds, Subway, Winners, etc… The user, taken off guard by the noise, presses the second button. All of a sudden, the noise stream dies down and is replaced by the same slogans from before, but one at a time. The user eventually gets tired of all these slogans and presses the third button, curious of what will come next. As soon as the third button is pressed, all sound stops. The user is left in silence. Oddly enough, the user likes the calming silence because sure enough, he/she doesn’t experience a silence like this quite often. There is always one form of media around us, no matter where we go. Sometimes it comes in bundles, almost deafening us, and in other times we experience it one after another. The user knows this as he/she leaves the box.

Downy ball…for laundry or……. February 27, 2010

Posted by Christina Mary Dery in : Check it out, Exer2: Feedback Object, Exercises , 1 comment so far

Have you ever looked at a downy ball and though hmm…what can this be used for other than laundry? probably not, but the downy ball has s much potential for other uses. I came up with various ways to use it in different ways. First my favorite idea was:

1) To create a mini aquarium for mini fish

of course it would have to be for tiny fish and holes would be poked into the top so they could breathe, but its a great way to showcase your fish by hanging it from just about anywhere.

mini aquarium

2) A baby rattle

The ball could be filled with anything to make rattle noises such as filling it with rice. The top would have to be much more secure so that the baby could not open it and eat the tiny pieces. The rattle noises combined with the rolling ball shape creates 2 toys in one for babies.

Baby rattle and ball

3) Kids drinking bottle/ snack container

The top part is changeable with a drinking attachment and a lid attachment. The drink is kept cold with the frozen ice pack in the centre attached  to the lid. The snack container has a screw on lid so that kids cant spill everything but has a small hole on top so that only small amounts come out at once.

Kids bottle

Snack Container

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