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AGO’s Best & Worst April 20, 2010

Posted by Magdalena Malik in : Check it out, Exer5 (makeup): Experiencing AGO, Exercises , add a comment

The Toronto AGO gallery attracts many people around the globe every day. The subject matter distributed within its walls carries history and foretells wisdom by the work of unique artists. More than 79,000 creations of artwork are kept and viewed by various collections. These collections range from pieces of European Art to Contemporary, Canadian, British, American, and French work. This list is endless and grows quite rapidly. There is a grand diversity in which people are naturally drawn to. No wonder AGO is so popular!

I have had the pleasure to visit the AGO gallery many times throughout my first year at OCAD. I have studied its paintings, photos, sculptures, styles and various mediums used throughout the artist’s collections. In doing so, I have learned plenty of information and come to establish my opinions as to what I like and dislike about the AGO gallery.

In my point of view, the best aspects of AGO must include the following: magnificent architecture, spacious rooms, classy décor, and of course the artwork itself. The architecture is very intriguing and creative such as one of the staircases located in the center of the gallery. The staircase spins towards the top as a cyclone. Very cool! Majority of the rooms that hold artwork are very grand in scale and create a very airy atmosphere. The gallery itself is very taken care of and clean. Visitors appreciate cleanliness. I admire the fact that multiculturalism is respected. The art stored in this gallery is made from many aspiring and talented artists all around the world! I adore looking at it. The social and cultural diversity amongst visitors is also perceived.

In the contrary, an issue I do have is that many artworks do not exemplify an explanation as to what a certain object, painting or picture are presenting. The deep meaning or message is probably the viewer’s obligation to figure out or think about using personal knowledge. But honestly speaking, some artworks are really tough to figure out. An example would be a metal spoon and chair I viewed at the AGO a couple days ago at the structure department. I really had no clue as to what the display meant. A handy solution would be to place a small description as to what the artist was trying to convey in their art piece. With such statement the viewer can think about what they themselves thought, the artist’s message and the public’s opinion.

Also, I agree with Christina Dery, the gift shop is way too expensive!

The AGO gallery holds many memories and future experiences that are very important to me. It’s a place of history, education, tradition, confession, story-telling, survival and most important, adventure!

Written by Mag M.


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! 🙂 🙂

In the Book of Life… March 8, 2010

Posted by Lucey En Chung Kim in : Exer3: User Scenario, Exercises , add a comment

The Problem

Creating a prototype that helps to bring out the various emotions of the user similar to emotions experienced in real life, like frustration, happiness, satisfaction, confusion, etc. 

The Object

A small booklet with a set of various questions with mathematics and riddles.  A calculator is provided on the side for help when needed.

The User Experience

The user sees a booklet set on a table with a pencil and calculator beside it.  The user reads the cover of the booklet, which says “LIFE”.  The user then curiously opens the booklet and sees that there are instructions on the first page that reads, “Please flip to the next page and answer the following questions to the best of your ability.”  As the user starts answering the first couple of questions, they are satisfied and very ecstatic that they are able to answer the questions with confidence and ease.  But, as the user continues, they find that the questions start to get a bit harder.  When they get to the harder math questions, those instructions tell the user that they can use the calculator for assistance in solving the problem.  Satisfied that they were able to get through the questions with the help of the calculator, they continue to answer questions.  But, the questions don’t get any easier.  The user becomes more confused and frustrated not being able to understand the questions.  The very last set of questions, instructions say that the answers and help is in the back of the book.  Once the user realizes that they can’t figure out the questions alone after so much persistence, they go to the back of the book.  What they find is a blank page with only the subtitle, “ANSWERS”.  Feeling deceived and defeated, they also read that on the page, there’s the metaphor, “In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back”.

After reading the metaphor, the user realizes why the cover page read “LIFE”.  Then the user reflects back on how similar their experience in life is to their experience of answering questions in the book.

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?

Face your fears? March 5, 2010

Posted by Ricardo Iglesias in : Check it out, Exer3: User Scenario, Exercises , add a comment

The problem

To create a system where the user choices are evaluated when faced with a problem, corresponding to the how their behaviour is affected by the choices given.

The Items

The system consists of several items. Each one representing something. The first one is a balloon that represents the problem, since a balloon can inflate and deflate like a problem can grow and diminish.  The button that controls the growth of the balloon represents the solution.  The other items is  a sports fan glove with an enlarge thumb, a pair of opaque shades, and a treadmill like floor all represent that varies ways the user tries to avoid the problem at hand.  We are focusing on the combinations that the user would until they face the problem that is if they do.

User scenario

A person walks into a room, where tthere is a balloon up high attached to a pole what begins to fill with air. Beside the person is a small table with two items on it, a sports fan glove with an enlarged thumb and a pair of opaque shades. The user is standing on a treadmill like floor. The balloon begins to inflate slowly, starting off small. It will continue to inflate until it pops or it made to stop.  If it pops the sound will overwhelm the ears causing great pain. Thus the balloon represents the problem getting bigger and the pop the eventual sign of loss of control.

The solution to prevent the balloon from exploding is a button deep in a dark hole that one must put their entire length of their hand to reach it.  This means the user must place their hand in and unknown element producing fear in touch in the button. Let the balloon pop? Or face your fear?

As the balloon grows the user grabs the sport fan glove and with its thumb tries to cover the now small balloon with the large thumb it works for a while but slowly the balloon grows larger showing through the thumb. So next the user puts on the shades blocking the vision of the balloon entirely and immersed in the darkness. However the balloon continues to grow and the user cans still hear the stretch of the rubber as it expands thus the final pop can still be heard.  So the user removes the shades and begins to run but as the user does the treadmill like floor only allows him to run in one place. So the user would either do one of these actions or a combination of them and would continue until the balloon popped or face the problem and their fears and press the button.

Let’s reminisce March 5, 2010

Posted by Vanna Carmina Caralipio in : Check it out, Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

“We do not remember day; we remember moments.”

The problem:

To create a prototype that examines how a user rushes through life that they sometimes forget what is going on right in front of them.

The object:

A toy that has an interesting technique to open and try to reach the content inside.

User Scenario:

The user would walk towards the wooden box that doesn’t open like a typical box would. The user would examine the box and figure out a way to open the box. Once the first step of opening the container, he/she will discover that there are other boxes within each box. They continue  to figure out how to open them as well. The user may experience different emotions either positive or negative to reach the sweet surprise. As the user finally reaches this surprise, it may trigger the user’s memories of their past, it may be good or bad. Ultimately the user takes a moment in time to reminisce and may approach things in life differently.

Don’t Judge March 5, 2010

Posted by Magdalena Malik in : Check it out, Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

It Feels Good To Feel

The Problem

To create a prototype that examines how a user reacts to certain fabrics once felt and how to distinguish between the real deal and false pretenses.

The Object

A fabric storage game machine that ejects a piece of unique various fabric onto the palm of the user. The user must guess the exact type of fabric.

User Scenario

As the brave user walks towards the box, the buttons flash with a fiery red tone. They capture the user’s eye by the numerous fabric names written, such as cotton, polyester, silk, tissue etc.  The user is intrigued…thinking, “What is the point of this prototype? “ It looks like a cash register. The buttons stand out on a bubble and the slot submerges underneath. The user with anticipation clicks the “Start” button and realizes that a piece of material has been shown in the opening tray. While, picking it up, the user wonders what type of fabric it might be. Gradually wondering if the fabric feels soft, or rough, or texturized… the user presses the “silk” button. Suddenly a green screen shows up on the tip of the register reading “Try Again!” The user is in deep thought. There are many outcomes to choose from.

Whether the user has experience or not in the field of material, this evocative prototype will always leave you feeling and wondering what fabric’s name truly corresponded with its actual feel. You can never be too sure… whether it’s in this game of fabric testing or in the game of life.

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

TOILET ART PAPER?! February 26, 2010

Posted by Magdalena Malik in : Check it out, Exer2: Feedback Object , add a comment

Hello everyone!

Have you ever wondered what lies deep beneath the usage of toilet tissue?

Perhaps it may surprise you…

After a long debate, I have chosen toilet tissue as my feedback object.  It is used every single day by millions of people for hygienic purposes. But what most people seem to forget is that this product also has it’s creative side.

Toilet paper can do much more than just maintain good personal hygiene, it can be used in three other artsy ways such as the following…

1)      FASHION

The soft papers of chipped wood and recycled cardboard cylinders may be used as a strong fabric sewn together to create clothes.


They can also be used to create uniquely shaped artwork that inspires the use of natural products.


The cardboard can be used as a cup that holds all pencils and pens together.

Toilet paper can be used for numerous things 😉

-Maggie M

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.

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