- Read and Respond: Ch 4 Jan Chipchase, You are what you carry. chipchase_ch4
Technology is scary. It is scaring me daily how reliant and how ‘smart’ it has become due to mankind’s reliability on it to do virtually everything for us. This constant growth in technology and the amount of things we ask it to do simply because we are ‘lazy’ makes us very unaware of being at the ‘mercy of the network’. Even though we should not entirely trust the network – we can because of it’s increasing amount of things it can do for us and thus feeding the lack of the things we know or rather remember how to do.
Asking the current teenage population of Singapore to live without their phones or even switching it off for an hour would drive them mad. This way, although the network makes up for a lot of things we lack, it makes us entirely reliant on it to run our lives as human beings. Is that a healthy relationship? Is that safe at all to trust the black web, the abyss, bytes?
In the TED talk, The Anthropology of Mobile Phones, Jan Chipchase talked about how in pretty much all cultures people carry three things and they were keys, money, and a cell phone. He mentioned how they all are tools used for survival and mentioned how so. Money being a source of getting food, keys giving people access to shelter as well phones cutting out the middleman when it came to tasks that a smartphone could undertake. He also explored his thoughts on the future of culture and other things, touching on the importance of cellphones in connection with culture, innovation and design.
He also questions delegation, delegating roles to not only other humans but technology too. Then the different roles cell phones comes in. Nowadays our cell phones are the embodiment of most of our current spiritual and functional purposes. I think that will represent parts of our personality as well as serve as a way to preserve our culture. With all the information that the internet can hold and the constant improvement of technology, it’s only a matter of time before cell phones replace many of the forums we use to do everyday errands. Jan’s ability to touch on how identity has been related to traditions, norms and other things was imperative to proving how technology is making its way into culture and how it effects it.
“There’s a temptation to think that a nuanced understanding of people and places can be found online” :
Isn’t that inevitable with the influx of the digital age? Despite this, Jan Chipchase argues that online documentation, comments or journals written by native people of a certain city or place would only be the ‘crumbs’ of the loaf. This is undoubtedly true because one cannot assume that 101% of the population of that certain place has access to the internet and are very vocal online. This is where Chipchase guides us where else to look for Rapid Cultural Calibration – taking about 30mins to about half a day.
Although the internet seems like the ultimate solution for everything especially in this day and age. Who knew that MNCs such as McDonald’s would be such a great platform for Rapid Cultural Calibration?
Normally MNCs would bring over Homogenous cultures from the city of origin and dilute the in-depth cultural pool of that country. However, since services and products are now tailored towards a User-friendly and User-centered experience, the MNCs are great platforms to see trends and important cultures that are prominent in that certain area. They are considered already ‘aspirational in developing markets’ that is why you will find that they are already doing the Cultural calibration for you! They are platforms which have done the various polls and surveys with the public and environment – e.g. group dynamics and range of distributions. This information then contributes to what they display or sell to the public as time passes by, streamlining only the trendy and important things of that particular culture. Therefore, they are much more important in knowing the local context even though they are foreign companies.
One more point that was interesting to note was the rhetorical question of whether countries are willing to put out physical and in-your-face signs rather than assume what signs you would associate yourself with. Do they just assume what the normal person would identify with or would they have a template somehow that would ensure that the majority of the population would understand their rules and regulations by. With the influx of uprising technological advancements, would signs in the digital age be any different than that? Even now, we have 2d printed 3d graphics that are an illusion to deter drivers or riders to slow down when they encounter it. Just an additional thinking point.
Ps: As i am writing this after everything we have gone through this semester, i would be taking a different approach with this response to Donald Norman's chapter on the Design of Everyday things.
Designing well is not easy. Why? It is not just about the aesthetics of the object. It needs to sell well. It needs to function well. It needs the minimum amount of maintenance once is it bought by the public. With so many people wanting something to be achieved by the product – the manufacturer, the seller, the repair servicemen and ultimately the user. Even though the Norman ultimately encourages User-centered design as the framework for many of the products or services we use today, it must essentially benefit everyone else who had a part to play in this process as they are all correlated to one another. Norman states that these needs of those concerned are very different and often collide, all the more do the people involved, from the designer to the repairman himself, need to put down their ‘disciplinary viewpoint’ to look at the user’s point of view. This is to essentially ensure that people would still want to buy the product after it comes out.
This simple consideration of all the different disciplines can be seen in our most recent proposal for ilight, we had to think for the IEM team who are virtually our fellow engineers and manufacturers who knew all the tech and facts that takes to run our installation. We had to come up with a feasible form and design of audience interaction to cater to their needs (for the course) and abilities (only one EEE course). Then there is the virtual ‘repairmen’. We had to proofread our design so that the repairmen could easily access the electronics without having to dismantle the whole setup. Last but not least, we had to add signifiers and light displays to guide and attract the users of the installation. All these different disciplines must not just be perfect in their own ways but to norman, they must be perfectly in sync so that the design ultimately ‘sells’.
How many different disciplines must be taken into consideration for the whole design? does it differ in different contexts or do all the contributors of the project have to cooperate to create the best project?
Despite having the seven stages of action, does the item have to serve a specific purpose to fulfill this or can it include multi-purpose products? With this does it still have to be seen in the perspective of the world?
Final idea as of 24 sept
Main Idea: think about the root of Sustainability, invoke thinking and a call of action before sustainability can really be carried out, much like a brain.
Structure: Soccer ball without top and bottom. Middle third of it.
eg. the middle third of a soccer ball we envision could be our structure.
Hexagon/pentagon skeleton (LED base light: white)
eg. a light sculpture of a skeleton of a soccer ball.
eg. this artwork is made out of wood panels whose angle can change to change the overall look.
2-way mirrors would be surrounding the structure + Mirrored flooring + moving spotlights and LEDs.
How it works:
A simple transparent glass is coated with a film having a thin layer of reflective metal – aluminum or silver.
The two areas between which the mirror will be installed will have a difference in their light intensity. One of the areas should be lit brightly, whereas another should be darker as compared to the former in order to get the best results.
The person at the well-lit area will see the reflection as that of an ordinary mirror, whereas the person at the darker area will see the mirror as a transparent glass, fully able to observe the scene behind the one-way mirror.
Interactions: multiple drums around the room, will respond to strobe (main source: at corners of the structure) and LEDs (on the structure).
One-way Mirrors (hexagon/pentagons) attached to the structures → viewers can flip it to have a different experience.
Left drums will have a chase sequence in white // right drums will have a colour sequence.