“Learning to Code: What is it? What’s In It For The Kids?— A Tribute to Seymour Papert“, Ackermann, Edith K. 2016. Trans. version from publication in Tecnologie didattiche (TD 27-2002).
“Lessons from the scrapyard: creative uses of found materials within a workshop setting”, Moriwaki, Katherine & Brucker-Cohen, J. 2006. In AI & Society. 20:4. 506-525.
Today’s lesson was all about teaching. Joëlle first talked about how and why to convey knowledge. The following things should be considered while teaching:
pushing your students
have an open communication
The more expertized you are, the harder it gets to teach your skill. If you are really expertized in a topic, you may be recessed too much, and don’t teach the basics
Each one of us had to prepare a certain skill, which he could teach to about 4 people in 5 minutes. In the upper image, we see Toby (the guy in the gray shirt), teaching his group the newest freestyle dance moves.
We built teams, I was with Andrin and Ismael. Andrin showed us how to roll a cigarette and Ismael how to correctly throw an American football.
The method I chose is learning by doing. I folded an origami bird and gave instructions at the same time. For the skill I chose to teach, I realized how important visual guiding is. Describing folding steps only with words is almost impossible.
“Interaction criticism: three readings of an interaction design, and what they get us”, Bardzell, J., Bolter, J., & Löwgren, J. 2010. In Interactions. 17:2. 32–37.
“Usability evaluation considered harmful (some of the time)”, Greenberg, S., & Buxton, B. 2008. In Proceedings of CHI ’08.
“What do usability evaluators do in practice?: an explorative study of think aloud testing”, Nørgaard, M., & Hornbæk, K. 2006. In Proceedings of DIS ‘06.
“Introducing Evaluation”, Preece, J., Rogers, Y., & Sharp, H. 2002. In Interaction Design. Wiley.
“Staying open to interpretation: engaging multiple meanings in design and evaluation”, Sengers, P., & Gaver, B. 2006. In Proceedings of DIS ‘06.
Exercise in class
We started this lesson with an exercise. The day before, we received the following task from Joëlle: prepare the criteria you think could be used to evaluate the objectives of your group project for the IAD process class.
We asked ourselves:
How much can other designers benefit from our work?
What have we personally learned?
Have we learned new things in terms of relationships?
Does this project have a good impact on our becoming of designers?
Have our participants benefited?
Do our video, concept and blog really convey our thoughts and ideas?
After we shared these questions, we evaluated and answered the questions of another group. In our case, it was group room. We then answered the following three questions, they asked themselves:
Have we provoked people in their lives?
Shaën, Vinz and I thought that we agreed with the first part of this question. They have provoked! The only thing we noticed, was that they did not really convey their scenarios as real life situations. The viewer had rather the impression of people in some sort of parallel universe.
Was our installation biased?
Pro: We liked that the installation was forcefully „guided“ by technology. Only one of four objects was visible at a time, and after a time loop this post changed.
Neg: The viewer did not have the possibility to interact. This was sad in some cases. Only one prototype had an interaction within.
How leveled was the installation?
The installation was in our opinion negatively weighted. Since their goal was to make an almost even, yet a little negative installation, I think they achieved their goal.
And then suggested, to „mix and match“ with the following.
Joëlle advised us, to use one of the following and „mix and match“ it with the methodology of engineering, which is very similar to interaction design. We should try to invent our own methods, and not stick too much to the ones we learned in class. Always be creative about our own evaluation and experiment!
We then categorized different methodology terms in before, during and after.
before is always about setting objectives!
Personal experience, goals, related work. evaluating ideas, intuitions, hypothesis, field research, interviews, desk-based research(sources, data, precedents, related work), discussing with peers and advisors, co-design, participatory design.
during meanssetting controlled experiments: criteria and rules!
User testing, or generally testing the idea, iteration. prototyping, documenting, technical aspects. time checking/retro planning! (plan backward) going back to the field, enacting, storytelling, discussing with peers and advisors.
after, we ask ourselves, have weachieved our goals?
to innovate means: to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas or products.
Adri told us, that an innovation begins with an open eye. First, we must know our subject before we can look for solutions. If we observe people with any gender, age, religion, skin color etc. in their everyday life struggles we might find what we need to build something innovative.
If we take google, for example, we know that they only hire people who excel in their area of expertise. That way, they always have mentors or professors who can teach others, that way they stay innovative.
At Disney, animators and technical employees work together to share knowledge. They know a little bit about the possibilities and difficulties of the work of the other. This ensures a mutual understanding of each other.
To finish Adri told us one last advice: Innovation is a social process. It does not come from one person, but from a team!
Adrien Bowyer started a project in 2004 called the RepRap. The idea of it was to build a machine, which is able to reproduce itself. How? It consists of a 3D printer, which can create almost all parts, to build a second, identical part of the printer.
This idea, of course, comes from nature. Every organisms primal goal is to reproduce itself. The only issue with the RepRap is, that he can not produce all of the parts, needed to rebuild one. Just like the red clover and the bumblebee. Just like the RepRap, the red clover is depending on another species in order to reproduce.general public license, so everyone can improve it
The first RepRap was built in 2008, and two and a half years later, 4500 pieces were built.
We may know open source software such as android. This means that the company releases the full code of their software so that everybody can help to improve it.
Open design uses the same technique. The only difference here is that the company delivers the whole three-dimensional plans for the projects.
Data nowadays is considered as an economic value, it can be bought, sold and traded. This has become even more current with the upcoming of new technologies and the enlargement of the internet. Companies earn a lot of money from selling user data.
The government is one of the biggest if not the biggest producer of data. They already regulate part of the personal data that companies use. The difference is to find out how much data these companies actually collect and share. Who collects more, google, apple, or microsoft?
Another question is what do they do with the data? The government’s intention is to have an ecosystem that leverages data to improve health. For facebook etc. we can’t really say. According to rumors, it uses its data mainly for their own benefit.
The video above shows a very pleasant visualization from Interactive Things (which was founded by former Interaction Design students!) for the Ville Vivante in Geneva.
Manuel explained to us how important it is how interesting we visualize data. A study can be as interesting as it wants. Without an attractive design, the users won’t be interested in looking at your data.
Another thing is to include a story in how you convey your data. A data visualization without a story will bore your users.
In this example, we see a visualization about Napoleon’s march. It shows the strength, size and tells the user the story of Napoleon.
great examples of data visualizations
Nice question to start the discussion:
In what way do you think data visualization will change in the near future?
The presentations were followed by a short exercise. Matching our current ideas, struggles or inspirations we were asked to draw a visualization.
In my case, I tried to visualize the process of the idea development. The hatched square should symbolize the initial thought or idea. Then a process of concepts starts. Some of the squares evolve and grow, some are changed in the progress, and some are simply not followed up.
“Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life.” boyd, danah, 2007, In MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Learning – Youth, Identity, and Digital Media Volume (ed. David Buckingham). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
“Free, Social, and Inclusive: Appropriation and Resistance of New Media Technologies in Brazil“, Horst, Heather, 2011, In International Journal of Communication. 5. 437–462.
“Communicating Intimacy One Bit at a Time”, Kaye, Joseph, Levitt, M. K., Nevins, J., Golden, J. & Schmidt, V. In Proceedings of CHI ‘05.
“Videoplace – An Artificial Reality”, Krueger, M. W., Gionfriddo, T, & Hinrichsen, K. In Proceedings of CHI ’85.
“Subject To Change: Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World: Adaptive Path on Design“, Merholz, P., Wilkens, T., Schauer, B., & Verba, D. (2008), O’Reilly Media, Inc. (Chapter 1 + 5)
Ismael started his presentation with a time travel, we went back to the invention of the camera. At first, we took a look at one of the first cameras made for ordinary people. The camera’s manual looked extremely complicated. Multiple buttons had to be adjusted before using the camera.
He then compared this camera to Kodaks first „everyday“ camera. Their slogan already explains what I’m getting at: You press the bottom, we do the rest.
Kodak invented a camera, which was so simple to use, that the user did not even have to develop the photos himself. He simply had to send the camera to Kodak, where the pictures were then developed.
Later Ismael compared three mobile phones. The Nokia 3310, the first internet compatible phone, and the first iPhone. All these devices consist of technology, features and experience.
The meaning of these comparisons was, that if the user experience is bad, your product can be as good as you want, people still won’t buy it.
We first discussed the philosophy of apple. We all agreed that apple has simple, yet well-designed products and user interfaces. The only disadvantage is, that apple does not work on the compatibility of their devices and devices from other companies. Sometimes making a different device work with, for example, a Macbook can be very time-consuming and requires many additional software tools.
Andrin taught us some main things about prototyping. As an example, he used Dyson, and showed a video of prototyping at the company.
Prototypes have different characteristics:
The possibilities for creating a prototype are endless. It is possible to start with a new material from scratch, or use the method of reassembling. But the most important aspects of prototyping are: fail early & fail cheaply.
short and to the point
After Andrin’s presentation, Joëlle explained the Etymology of the word prototype. Protos and typos come from the greek language and mean something like „first model“. We can use a gigantic variety of materials for our prototypes. The main focus lies in finding a material which suits your object, and is nicely formable to the shape you strive for. The material should not cost much, and be easy to access.
The prototype and its impact on designers – Daniel Holler
Steim is a company, which is most known for the invention of the first (*drums please*) handheld battery driven synthesized music instrument in 1968. This box creates very abstract electronic sounds, based on the moisture and pressure of the fingers, pressing the buttons. It’s called: the crackle box.
Daniel then compared this device to the Musicolor. A machine created by Gordon Pask. The machine used an input signal of a microphone to change light patterns. This output was not steered directly by the sounds recorded on the microphone. The machine was sort of able to learn from the performance. Through this delayed reaction, the musician was reinspired by the output.
These projects are very experimental and could be from a research lab or a school, for example, the MIT. Many design or engineering schools deliver the ideas for companies from the Silicon valley, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Xerox etc. The beauty of prototyping is that sometimes errors can result in an even more interesting result. A bug in a code can lead to a great inspiration.
Since I had to visit the dentist on Monday morning, I could not attend the Design Methodology lesson. Therefore, I will interpret the ideas, described in the summaries of Aurelian and Shaëns presentations.
this week’s readings:
“Demo or die: Overcoming oddness through aesthetic experience” Auger, James, 2012, In Why Robot? Speculative Design, the domestication of technology and the considered future. Ph.D. Thesis. RCA, London.
“Zombie Media: Circuit Bending Media Archaeology into an Art Method”, Hertz, G. & Parikka, J. 2012, In Leonardo. 45:5. 424–430.
“Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms”, Ishii, Hiroshi & Ullmer B. 1997, In Proceedings of CHI ‘97.
“Radical Atoms: Beyond Tangible Bits, Toward Transformable Materials”, Ishii, Hiroshi, Lakatos, D., Bonanni, L. & Labrune, J. In Interactions. 19:1. January/February 2012. 38-51.
“Mobilizing Attention: Storytelling for Innovation”, Kim, J., Lund, A. & Dombrowski. 2010, In Interactions.
“Moving Your Idea Through Your Organisation“, Loch, Christopher. 2003, In Laurel, Brenda (ed.). Design Research. Methods and Perspectives.
Generating ideas – Finding an idea is not always easy. Next to various idea finding methods, „Alternative presents“ are a great starting point. This method uses existing technology and rethinks their usage and purpose.
„Counterfactual and alternative histories“ is another method. its main goal is to take critical points in our history and altering them.
Innovating ideas – In this step, the chosen ideas are creatively preached using a story. Stories have the characteristic to entertain people. As soon as a presentation has it’s red thread, the listeners will be able to follow. Which is why designers should be able to have a basic understanding of narrative thinking and presenting ideas.
Selling ideas – selling your idea is just as hard as finding it. Searching a company willing to present and invest in your idea is tricky. Designers can not always be picky and need to adjust their ideas and goals to their resources or adjust it to the companies needs.
Zombie media vs. Vision-Driven Design – Shaën Reinhart
What started in 1932 during the great depression, is now a big topic in many industries. Planned obsolescence is mostly found in media devices. Everchanging plugs, or even software that is perhaps developed, to break a device after a certain time.
Interesting is the example of the „Blackbox“ that Garnet Hertz makes in his text about „Zombie Media“. The Blackbox symbolizes the technology behind a device, a user without special knowledge is able to use. Once this device does not work anymore, the user has no chance, to fix it on his own. He is now depending on the help of an expert.
“Speculative design: The products that technology could become”, Auger, James, 2012, In Why Robot? Speculative Design, the domestication of technology and the considered future. PhD Thesis. RCA, London.
“Delusions of Dialogue: Control and Choice in Interactive Art”, Campbell, Jim, 2000, In Leonardo. 33:2. 133-136.
“Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects“, Dunne, Anthony and Raby, F. 2001, August / Birkhäuser.
The difference between a true interaction and a Mimicry?
The border between speculative design, art and insanity?
Interaction with the objects, another form of life?
These questions weren’t easy to clarify. They mainly created even more questions then answers!
Do we only fake a shiny video, or make a functioning prototype – concept vs. execution?
In my opinion it is depending on the project that the designer is working on and his resources. It may not always be possible to create a fully functional object within the time that is given to the designer. And sometimes a project doesn’t need to be a finished product. The main goal of a designer should be to inspire the market and present an idea. Despite that I personally prefer presenting something that actually works, since I am interested in the engineering part aswell.
Ju showed us the example of Stelarc, an artist from Australia who implanted an ear into his arm. Most people react shocked, and are disgusted by his „art“. But the question here is how strange his ideas are? We implant technology into our body (heart pacemakers, metal joints etc.). But is there a border to when we become cyborgs? And if yes, where is it?
nice animations / illustrations
examples nicely chosen
Art, fiction and speculative design – Carlo Natter
Carlo started his presentation with a summary of the placebo project, which is described in Dunne, Anthony and Rabys text.
One of these objects is the Electro-draught excluder. While most of their objects look like furniture, this one seems more like a sound insulator. It is created to make the user feel more comfortable at home by creating a protection barrier from electronic devices.
To the topic of design fiction Carlo presented us the United micro kingdoms.
The idea of four communities: digitarians, anarcho-evolutionists, bioliberals and the communo-nuclearists.
Communo-nuclearists is a society living on a constantly moving train. The train is powered by nuclear powerplants and has a limited population living on it. The state provides everything they need, in return for their limitless energy resources.
In my eyes a rather sorrowful vision of the future. Nevertheless a very interesting topic, which is nicely illustrated and discussed on their website.
great examples & presentation style
presentation rather long
In one of the readings the japanese asthetic concept Wabi Sabi is mentioned, which has three main arguments:
Design fiction is very close to this concept. Since the future is never-ending, so are the speculations and the design ideas about it.
Vinzenz held a nice presentation about bodystorming, video specs and conceptual design.
Bodystorming only differs from regular brainstorming by taking place at the actual place of interest. Ideas are directly collected on site. Through this method, it may be easier to collect ideas, but the disadvantage lies within documenting the experienced ideas.
Videos are a good choice to visualize data or certain processes. With a small amount of time, countless details can be provided to the viewer.
Conceptual design methods, on the other hand, require more conceptual work. Based on Brenda Laurel’s model, it can be used as a presentation, which explains several ideas, thoughts and processes. Vinzenz used a mini presentation in his actual presentation to demonstrate this method. Using the improvement of possibilities to cool beer, he immediately had everybodys attention.
Making by Making Strange: Defamiliarization and the Design of Domestic Technologies”. In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Bell, Genevieve, Blythe, M. & Sengers, P. 2005. 12. 149-173.
What is Design? in Make Use: Scenario-Based Design of Human Computer Interactions The MIT Press. „the Process“, Carrol J M, (2000)
Ritual Machines I & II: Making Technology at Home, Kirk, David S., Chatting, D. J., Yurman P. & Bichard, J. 2016, In Proceedings of CHI ‘16
The Zimbabwe Bush Pump: Mechanics of a Fluid Technology, Marianne de Laet and Annemarie Mol. 2000, In Social Studies of Science. 30/2. 225–63
The Design of Everyday Things, Donald Norman. 1988. 54-80.
Learning from IKEA Hacking: “I’m Not One to Decoupage a Tabletop and Call It a Day., Daniela Rosner and Jonathan Bean, Proceedings of CHI’ 09.
Make it So, Shedroff, N. 2012, Rosenfeld Media
Conference papers (such as Ritual Machines I & II: Making Technology at Home) usually consist of 10-12 pages (sometimes 8). We as designers see different aspects of texts:
Market (what already exists)
Getting a quick overview on the topics isn’t always easy. It mainly depends on what you are looking for. In most cases we will focus on the process of the designers, and the problems that occurred during their work.
The Zimbabwe Bush Pump – Tobias Jud
starting this week, two students will have a presentation on a topic related to the readings. – Summary
Zimbabwe is a third world country located in Africa. Water is a rare resource in Zimbabwe, to prevent sicknesses or thirst, designers created the Zimbabwe bush pump. A pump that is designed to fit the needs of the local.
The locals not only receive the parts of the pump, they are also instructed to install this pump completely by themselves. Using a drill based on the Vonder Rig system, driven by just a few people, they are able to dig a hole deep enough, to find new water sources. After that they are able to assemble the pump on their own.
The Zimbabwe pump is a huge success, not because of its technology, but because it is fabricated completely in Zimbabwe, and with the instructions people know where to build the well and how to set up the pump. This pump builds the nation!
Feedback for Tobias:
missing sources on the slides
Defamiliarization – Michael Schönenberger
A presentation about repurposing and Jason Taylor – Summary
My presentation started with general questions about the text Making by Making Strange. I was inspired by the term Defamiliarization. Defamiliarization means change, rethink everyday objects and estranging them. „This article argues that because the home is so familiar, it is necessary to make it strange, or defamiliarize it, in order to open its design space.“
Inspired by this sentence, I searched artists, who misused everyday objects and somehow came across Jason Taylor. A designer based in Great Britain. He was mainly famous for his brush furniture, but started in 2012 a project, where he would create an object everyday and share it on his blog. He documented 366 objects, which all were fabricated from random objects.
I learned from this example, that it may not always be the end product which is important, but the process of it.