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Problem: It can be dangerous for pedestrians when sharing footpaths with cyclists and personal mobility device users.
Solution: Augmented Reality Pavements
Augmented reality in the future may provide information on-the-go but this could at times be distracting and lead to accidents. This project seeks to conceptualize a more clutter free experience with a focus on features to keep pedestrians safe when walking along the pavement and crossing the road.
Problem: People are resorting to choping seats with tissue packets and personal belongings to avoid buying food and ending up without a table to eat at.
Solution: Seat Choping System
This system involves using the tap of the phone on a touch point on the table to reserve it and it activates a phone app which can be used to order food. When food is ready the person is notified and food is brought to table.
Problem: Commuters on public transport such as bus/MRT have access to information that is limited to a small display on the top of the windows.
Solution: Use windows of bus and MRT to display transport information
Part 1: Write a response to the exhibition “Future World”. Keep in mind the following questions – What is experience design and what are the possibilities of responsive environments? How might this change the way we think about the world around us and the ways that we communicate with each other?
The exhibition “Future World” may appear to be a high tech playground designed for kids but beneath the playful exteriors is an experimental laboratory for cutting edge digital technology that gives one a glimpse into a future where once inanimate objects and spaces come to life as smart interfaces that can respond to people and the environment. Although the exhibition felt childish to me, I really love how the exhibition combines art and technology in a way that provides fun and pleasure but yet represents a myriad of possibilities for real world applications. I was reminded that it is the curiosity and imagination of children that can spark new innovations.
The first narrative Nature starts with 3 exhibits that use technology to create an artificial experience that mimics the natural experience of flora and fauna. This technology suggests a future where nature can be experienced in the comfort of indoors or where environments can adjust themselves to suit people’s needs under changing conditions. There is the artwork 100 Years Sea Animation Diorama that is an artistic representation of data that warns of the long term environmental effects of climate change which encourages contemplation of the issue. But to me the room had a zen like feeling to it that made me feel relaxed which speaks to a possibility of using digital technology in experience design to provide people a relief from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Although it could be a tool for social change.
Next, it was the Town narrative. Connecting Train Blocks which allows the audience to develop their own transportation infrastructure is like playing cars but with digital interactivity. This to me is a vision for a future where transportation systems are managed using interactive interfaces. The exhibit A Table Where Little People Live is very endearing and in itself is great activity for having fun. But, it also similar to train blocks has the potential to make objects in the real world that are inanimate have implication on a virtual digital world. For sketch town and graffiti nature, on the surface are ways to enjoy artwork without permanently damaging walls, but there are again possible useful applications. For sketch town, it could be a quick way to test ideas when doing urban planning for cities, while graffiti nature which has graphics that respond to people could be used to make smart environments. The Media Block Chairs are like cube batteries that can be joined almost like legos, but the key is that the blocks can communicate and respond to one another. This relates to making dumb objects smart and can be used in cities to collect data which enables objects to transform according to conditions. For example, driverless cars can communicate with objects and other cars to prevent collisions.
Then we come to Parks. This part begins with the virtual waterfall which looks very realistic which speaks to the future where the lines between reality and virtual reality is blurred. the sketch aquarium is much the same as sketch town. The Story of the Time When Gods were Everywhere is like the flower exhibit where ones touch has an impact on a digital surface. But here’s where it gets really fun and interesting, with the Light Ball Orchestra and hopscotch. The Light Ball Orchestra is similar to the media block chairs where objects respond to each other but in this case there is movement and sound involved. The hopscotch is like an interactive touch screen on the floor which responds to the touch of the feet instead of hands which is similar to the flower exhibit.
Finally, if there’s only one thing to see it would be the Crystal Universe of the Space narrative because it is so stunning and almost creates an out of body experience. It is like being in another dimensions something like the Matrix. This represents a future where a 3d virtual world can be created around us without wearing a device over our eyes and can be interacted with.
In conclusion, it was exciting to see technology and art combined in such an amazing way but I got to admit I was expecting more. There were many exhibits that were too similar and I felt the creators could have pushed the boundaries further especially with respect to projections. At the end of the day though still a great exhibition I would recommend.
P.S. I thought it was interesting that the guide pointed out that the Eastern aesthetic suits the creation of immersive 3d spaces more than the Western aesthetic.
Part 2: Start to work on final project proposals – prepare three ideas for a screen-based experience that you’d like to create (it can be speculative). Prepare a slide show to illustrate your ideas. The ideas can be based on any of the field trips done so far or can be something completely new.
Part 3: Find 3 examples of a product/project that you think are good examples of thoughtfully designed user experience. Be prepared to support your choices.
Part 4, Reading: Chapter 1 of Designing for the Digital Age by Goodwin
This book may be about designing mainly digital products, but it applies in many ways to the design process in all its forms from graphic design, to interior design, to experience design, to product design and urban design. For me this is a recap of the design process I am accustomed to in my study of product design albeit in a slightly different way using different terms. The design process laid out in this book suggests that an effective design method supports designers in visualising concrete solutions to human problems and that goal directed design helps skilled designers ensure thoroughness, timely execution and consistently high quality of output. The part that strikes me most though is the emphasis on understanding the users needs and about the relationship between designer and engineer.
Reading: CH 1 from Jonas Löwgren and Erik Stolterman, Thoughtful Interaction Design
This reading about the design process has given me a greater understanding and appreciation of design. Being a design student, we are often sheltered from many real-world problems and we have a rosier view of the design industry than it really is. The reading presents the challenges of designers in the industry without any sugar coating but also acknowledges the important and rewarding nature of design work.
Firstly, information technology is a vital part of our lives as we are living in the digital age where so much of we do is in through our smartphones or computers which have some sort of digital interface. These digital interfaces such as websites and applications have to be designed by someone who more often than not would be the designer. Therefore, the designer’s work has a big impact on society.
Digital artifacts as the writer refers to as the outcome of interaction design while according to the writer is designed by the designer, generally can have properties which are unintentional due to side effects, mistakes or lack of knowledge. I think that given as stated that the complexity of design prevents a fully rational approach and there is no perfect design process with a perfect outcome, it is perfectly acceptable that there will be unintended design characteristics which may even be a positive side effect. Having said, it is not an excuse for thoughtless design and I can understand the frustration of users when the design does not meet expectations.
This moves us to the point about being a thoughtful designer. To be thoughtful, a designer needs to understand design process, design ability, the designed product and it’s larger context. Being thoughtful is caring about one’s design ability, the design one produces and how the world will be changed by one’s design idea or decision. I guess it is not so much that a designer does not care about the job as it is a way of designing in which a designer needs to critically examine his/her role as a designer, the purpose, outcomes and benefits of different ways of designing and using different methods, tools, guidelines and theories. Design is knowledge construction; knowledge for designers, critics, client and users to share, debate, challenge, extend, reject and use.
Good design is hard to define and the author suggests that a designer should continuously define and redefine the definition of good design. However, as stated good design can be defined by a number of considerations. The core concepts outlined in the reading reminds me about the nature of design which is trans-disciplinary, future forward and contextual. Design theory states that design work is given form and structure by the designers own thoughts, consideration and actions, and it’s character is defined by people’s habits, traditions and practice. The design process is unique in that it defines terms such as problems and solutions in a way less dogmatic and more fluid. It involves the designer, the resources available and the situation. It is risky and has many aspects to consider.
Being a designer is not easy because of the number of things he/she has to juggle. A designer has to be creative to see new perspectives and yet handle contradictions, dilemmas and conflict. A designer needs the ability to cooperate understand people’s views and yet argue for ideas/proposals. Then there is the issue of personal engagement and expression, which can be tricky when trying to please a client. Design is practical and concrete, is profound and existential, is a diverse and complex activity, and requires a will and desire to change in the face of resistance. However, design is about shaping the world we live in by creating opportunities and restrictions that make up the world. Therefore, it is an important job which is also very rewarding.
As for the practicalities of design, there will always be limiting factors which may not even be design related, however, just as the writer suggest should not be an excuse for a bad design. I agree with this and in fact I see it as a positive because i believe that necessity is the mother of invention.
Finally, the last part on design and society reminded me that being a designer is much more than pleasing a client, it is also a responsibility to society.
Q1 If there is no right and wrong solution in design and no perfect design process with a perfect outcome, how does designer decide on the final outcome?
Q2 How should a designer balance between making a client happy and expressing his/her own ideas?
9AM – Checked email and messages
10AM – Checked email and messages
Opened Pokemon Go App
11AM – Checked email and messages
Viewed social media
12PM – Checked email and messages
Made a phone call
1PM – Checked email and messages
2PM – Checked email and messages
5PM – Checked email and messages
6PM – Checked email and messages
7PM – Checked email and messages
8PM – Checked phone for any notifications, messages and email. Plug my phone to charge for the night.
I observed that people generally used their mobile devices for checking email, messaging, checking social media, listening to music, watching videos and playing games such as Pokemon Go. This can be observed everywhere at work, in public places and on public transport. The reason for this is that we have become dependent on our smartphones that constantly feed us with notifications.
Create a diary documenting and describing the difference in your behavior patterns. How did you do the things you would normally do with your phone? What other alternative behaviors did you develop? What else did you notice about the difference in behavior?
Going one day without using any electronic devices was extremely problematic but it was also liberating. The problem obviously was that school requires these devices, so I was not able to do work and was not updated about my classes and I could not coordinate with my group members for group work. I was not updated on the latest news and I was also very bored and restless, not knowing how to spend my time. So I ended up using my time to read books, go out, relax and bond with family. I was anxious and frustrated to be without any means to do any work or know what was going on. But, after awhile I became relaxed because I no longer had to bother about anything. I was more focused on what I was doing and I had peace of mind.
There is no disputing the fact that given the choice of only three items to carry, we would naturally go for the wallet, keys and smartphone. As suggested, it is who we are as humans and shows what matters most to us. But often times we carry much more than that we need just in case. This in the local context would be called, ‘kiasu’ and ’kiasi’. It is the fear of losing out or missing out and the fear of death…so basically to avoid a situation where one is unprepared or at risk we carry more than we need. This goes back to the point that factors such as security and peace of mind are what determines what we carry with us. At the same time, it reminds me of hoarders who feed their anxiety by keeping things around themselves.
I guess it seems strange that the range of distribution for the locals is larger than say in other countries like China, Spain or Brazil. But, it reflects the situation here in Singapore where theft is low vs other countries where it is high. While there is a tendency to keep things close or hidden to avoid theft, there is also a desire to show off what we have. This makes wonder if it will be a barrier to the concept of super-distribution in future as mentioned towards the end of the chapter, in a world of consumerism and where ownership is still very much a sign of status. With regards to having centres of gravity we usually place things where we can conveniently reach them and a point of reflection where we pause to run a checklist of thing which we need to carry in case we forget something, I think we can all relate to. For example, some people somehow however messy they are seem to know where everything is and for many people before leaving the house they usually check to make sure we brought everything we need to. Still we are human and we forget things but technology has helped in ways such as locating things for us, giving us reminders and the access to data in the palm of our hands.
Digitalisation and the cloud may seem to be the magic bullet to solve our problems of needing to have things within reach and yet secured far away, but in fact while it solves some problems it comes with its own set of problem such as a faulty hard drives, hacked servers or unpaid cloud storage. Personally, I have my data stored on two separate hard drives but I still live in anxiety that my hard drive will fail before I can transfer it to a new hard drive. Recently, many important services such as banking, transportation and communication have gone digital which while supposedly makes thing easier and more efficient it has its own risks. For example, the SGX server was down in June this year due to a disk failure, the MRT trains are experiencing problems due to software glitches and outages of internet and cell phone coverage have been an occasional problems due to system failures.
The traceability of things is an interesting issue because as the writer suggests it changes what it means to own something in that the consequences of losing something is reduced and retrieval is easy. While the writer suggests that traceability may lead to the misuse of tracking technology as a means of buying and selling rights, I see it more as a way in which our fears of losing something can be alleviated. The use of a location based mobile data such as GPS and automated systems such predictive shipping allow us to be less conscious about things and rely on technology to do remembering, planning and even shopping for us. While I understand that there are concerns that people might become desensitised, I think that actually the technology is good, but people need to use it in the right way. I mean it’s just like how social media is useful for connecting with people socially but it is no substitute for face to face meetings. In fact, these technologies allow us to be less distracted from the busyness of life and more focused on the important tasks. The secret of many successful people is that they limit their time spent on making decisions such what they eat or wear by limiting their options, so they have more time for more important things.
Finally, it seems that the way of the future is to own less things and have access to more things in what is termed here as super-distribution. Personally, I am very much attracted to the idea of this because we are like prisoners to the things we own and technology and such a concept is so liberating. But much more than that it allows society to be more efficient, safer and less materialistic. My only issue with this is if society will be ready to accept such a shift away from the entrenched ideas of ownership and consumerism.
Q1 Can we really move to a world where our things are shared rather than owned, with ownership so closely linked to status?
Q2 To what extend can digitalisation remove the burden of needing everything within range with issues such as privacy and the threat of hacking?
Ubiquitous technology is the growing trend towards embedding microprocessors in everyday objects so they can communicate information. The word ubiquitous means “existing everywhere.”
Ubiquitous City Korea