Final Project: I’m not Hawaiian, I’m from Hawaii.

My final book prototype went through many stages in the design process.  This project began with an interest in communities.  I thought about what being a part of a community meant to me.  Then I began to think of the different communities I am a member of.

What I kept coming back to was the idea that I am currently being put into a new community in New York City.  Everyday I am dealing with people in new situations and often getting questioned about where I am from.  People seemed to be surprised to here I am from Hawaii, then often have questions about Hawaii.  I realized that more often than not, there is a misunderstand about what can be found there.

I took a step back to look at where I came from and began a project that has not only brought me to better understand and explain history, but recognize my identity.

Final Project Presentation & Final Project Paper

Reading Response: Public Space Project

The Social LIfe of Urban Spaces Chapter 1-3 by William White
The William White chapters put what we saw in the video onto paper.  These chapters on Plazas, Sitting Space, and the Street emphasized how people interact within a public space. The study formulated interaction of people within the space of a congested city.  Thinking of New York City, one thing comes to my mind–crowds and congestion! But really, this study shows us that this is not something that happens 24/7 but occurs during periods of times.  People have the same patterns on a daily basis, so a person who goes out to have lunch in a Plaza, is going out there with hundreds of other people.  This makes it seem like the Plaza space is always in use, but in reality, there are times when the vibe is relaxing and not overwhelming. There are many factors that contribute to the use of public space.  White thoroughly discusses how sitting space and locations of benches affects how people act in the space. Whether they are drawn into staying, or stay for a short while. The success of a space can be judged by the reaction from the public and how the space is used.  To me, space that people can go to and use regularly is successful. When people are not using it out of convenience, but purely  out of choice, the space becomes a useable interface for everyone.
Cultural Probes by Bill Gaver, Tony Dunne, and Elena Pacenti
The success of this project is evident because of the thought and time that was put into researching the audience and the results desired.  This group put together a “Culture probe” where they packaged different elements.  I felt that their process was very similar to the scientific method that is used in a science experiment.  They had a hypothesis they wanted to be answered, and then in order to get to their end product, they did research and then experiments.  I thought it was very clever to use the “cultural probe” as a way to ask questions to the elderly.  This is a great solution to the overwhelming an confusing nature of a questionnaire.  I have a personal experience with this because this summer, my Grandma asked me to help her fill out some forms because it was very confusing for her and she got frustrated. The cultural probes did a great job in reducing the stress and frustration level for the individuals by having very simple and open ended questions.  Overall, it was easy to understand, which is very important in any type of project.  If you want people to interact with what you are presenting to them, it must be easy.  Today, we are becoming more accustomed to everything happening so instantly.  We don’t have the time to wait, and I think everyone has a little ADD in them.  When something isn’t simple, people sometimes don’t take the time to do it.  On a funnier, not serious note, this also reminded me a saying my good friend uses on me: “K.I.S.S.” or “Keep it simple stupid.”
Experience Protoyping by Marion Buchenau and Jane Fulton Suri
More about prototyping! The difference between this reading and the ones we have had in the past, is this article focuses more on the actual actions people encounter through prototyping.  This article wasn’t particularly about making the physical prototype but how interaction can be used as a way to explore design ideas, communicate concepts and understand the human connection.  Experience prototyping is highly subjective because how each person comes in contact with whatever it is being prototyped is very different. But this is what is needed.  In order to understand why something works for someone and not someone else is necessary in order to create a universal product. (That is, if the product is meant to be universal).  Understanding what works is also great for the designer.  Putting something into practice is better than just conceptualizing in your mind.  I am not sure if other people work like this but, my personal work style is very visual.  Whenever I work on a project, I am drawing pictures or making paper models of what is going to be the finished product. For me, it’s important to see something and interact rather than to think about it all the way through.  I try to anticipate problems within this process so I can fix them before the end result.  The overall process is also discussed in the article.  Experience prototyping deals with how the experience provides information which leads to inspiration, confirmations, or rejections of the ideas that are being carried out. I especially liked the final notes in the article that said experiences are the connections of personal and circumstantial.  The experience is what brings out the “subjective richness” to design problems and a meaning to what is done.
Cardboard Computers
Before even getting to the paragraphs relating to cardboard mock-ups to children using their imagination to re-create life with their games, I thought of my own childhood.  Hoarding cardboard boxes to build a house, and making everything and anything out of cardboard and paper.  I didn’t have money, so I folded some paper, took a marker, and created some. I simulated having money and buying items.  This was a “mock-up” of an interaction that would occur at the store. I wanted to pretend to talk on a phone, so I cut one out of cardboard.  Simple things like this–using cardboard to mimic realistic daily reactions–are preparations for the actual event occurring. When the time came and I was allowed to use our house phone on my own, it was an upgrade from the cardboard version.  Reaching this end result felt like an accomplishment. It was the end of the prototyping phase. There are many things I wished I had as a child, or wanted to do to “play pretend” with friends. This all came true with cardboard mock-ups.  From a young age, I think we all have the potential to mock-up and prototype ideas.  Prototyping is like being a kid again.  To find success you must have the same inquisitive and experimental nature of a child who is new to everything.  Take away everything you already know and pretend like you know nothing.  This is the only way to push the possibilities and be surprised (and satisfied) with the final product.

Reading Response: Scrapyard Challenge

“Interaction Relabelling and Extreme Characters: Methods for Exploring Aesthetic Interactions” Gaver, Djajadiningrat, Frens

What I got out of this article was that products have the ability to control their user. The way products are designed influence how the user interacts with the product. What the article starts off saying is that the aesthetics influences interaction, and the interaction becomes easier with the right aesthetics.  In the discussion of the “richness of appearance” the authors say that users act through the expectation of beautiful. I have to agree that when a product is esthetically pleasing, users are more interested in using the product–or at least getting to know what it does.  Products with a simple interface makes a user at ease.  I am not sure how I felt about the integration of the “extreme users.” These examples were so far out there, that I questioned their relevance, but by the end of the article I could see how taking a product to the extreme helped to simulate situations for real life. Designers can’t each specific user, but designers can create universal designs that can work for everyone.

“Hertzian Tales” Anthony Dunne (excerpt)

Dunne presents a range of connections that we, as users make with electronic objects. He begins by saying that electronic objects live within our material culture. We are learning to live with electronic technology being “packaged” into these electronic objects. I found this to be most interesting when Dunne talked about the role of Tv’s, phones, fax machines etc., and how the appearance may not be as important as the actual role or function of the electronic object.  I thought about this as I read it, and actually, the appearance of an object is becoming a huge factor of electronic objects. For some consumers, having something that works and serves it’s purpose is good enough, but for others, it must be aesthetically pleasing and pretty. For example, my Grandma had an old Analog TV from the 1980’s.  It was only until a couple years ago that the TV finally broke and it was replaced.  Despite the creation of flat screen TV’s, with better picture quality, remote controls, and larger displays, my Grandma could not be bothered since her TV still functioned and served it’s purpose. This way of thinking, although practical is not what we generally experience today.
People are becoming accustomed to technology and having these electronic objects provide new experiences in our lives.  Electronics were once additions to everyday life, which have become infused into daily life for a majority of users.  These issues are discussed in the second half of the reading about “In(human) Factors.”  Dunne explains the main aim of interactivity is user friendliness–closing the gap between humans and technology.  By doing this, there are specific interface challenges that are faced. In an electronic object, we must communicate ideas through the form and representation. This doesn’t mean creating objects that are so basic and simple that they become boring, or going to extreme with biomorphism, but finding a middle-ground. I don’t really see the purpose for technology being morphed into a person’s body.  Let’s keep this realistic and logical for the general population. The challenge designers face today is just that–creating innovative products people can relate to that go beyond what already exists.
“The Design of Everyday Things” Donald Norman (excerpt)
You don’t think about why something is designed the way it is, until you encounter something with a poor design. That’s when you know something is wrong. When the user questions the location of buttons and size of buttons, identifying problems in the design, there is a problem. When we don’t complain about something, and welcome the “thing” into our life, then you know it’s good.  Since people are using and interacting with items daily, they must be simple.
Think about a microwave.  A microwave is used to warm up food, defrost items, make popcorn, etc.  As microwaves have developed so have their displays.  When there used to be microwaves with no displays or buttons to select different times, we now have microwave with pre-set times and functions.  Although it may help to have a microwave that calculates the time it takes to defrost 1lb of frozen Chicken, is it necessary?  Why can’t we just manually put in our own time.  Do we need all these options–why not just have a dial to select times? What it comes down to is, sometimes I go to a friend’s house and have a very complicated microwave in front of me. I should be qualified enough to know how to operate it, but sometimes I just don’t. This makes me not want to interact with the object.
So what it comes to is this–there needs to be an interest to interact with an object.  Once the interest is initiated, it has to be simple or it will lead to frustration for the user, possibly driving them away from using the object.
“Why We Need Things” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
It is amazing to see how objects have shaped who we are as individuals. Material objects are what we use to define power and personality. Being the owner of objects also makes someone feel complete. What I can most relate to in this article is how keeping artifacts “reveal continuity of self through time” and are “concrete evidence of ones place in valued relationships.
My friends often criticize me for all of the “things” that I have. Pictures, cards, ticket stubs. I keep a lot of these things and put them into a book or use them to decorate my workspace. A lot of the things I keep are given to me by friends and family.  They are important because they do evoke a feeling or connection that I have to each person.  I like to keep things as a memory of what I have done.  I try to do this daily in a  sketchbook. This is very similar to how I decided to do my 7 in 7 project.  By creating a mini time capsule of artifacts, I was able to contain everything I did in those days that I now have a connection with.  They are not all expensive or pretty things, to show status or power, but they relate to a memory and give meaning to my life.
“The Computer Revolution Hasn’t Happened Yet” Alan Kay
The computer revolution has just begun. Since the first introduction of personal computers in the early 1990’s, we have brought our interactions off of the computer desktop and into our laps with Laptops, and more recently, with the technology put into cellphones and the iPad, we can take a computer device, anywhere. In the last 10 years, even the last five, computer technology has changed the game of personal computing.  The introduction of the internet has also changed the game of computers.
What is important in this article is the recognition of the patriarchs, pioneers, and infonauts, even hackers that have helped to build this revolution. These are the people who really push the possibilities of what we benefit from in our personal computers.  If it was not for the ideas and ingenuity they think of, there would not be a result.  This is also important in anything that we do–thing BIG, and then figure out how to get there. It’s the only way to get somewhere.
“What do Prototypes Prototype” by Houde and Hill
Prototyping comes in many different forms.  We may instantly think of prototypes being something coming from a lab with wires and cords everywhere, or a cardboard form with marker drawings on it to display where things may go on this new product. A prototype is not just a mish-mash of items to replicate a final product, but it is a way to work through an idea. Prototypes are working models of design ideas.  Protoypes help the creator to visually work through problems. They may be able to solve a lot of technical problems on the computer, but creating a physical object helps to think through things you may not consider when formulating a design.
What I got from this reading is that there are different reasons that you would create a prototype. Prototypes are done to target three main concerns–role, look and feel, and implementation. Prototypes are essential to creating a final product.  In the design process it is important to prototype projects in order to focus on each of these different aspects each time.  A successful product does not come out of one prototype–but after many different trials of an idea.  Prototypes do not have to be pretty but must function in order to get user feedback.  The main thing is to create a prototype with a purpose so that the feedback can be used to help improve the idea and design of the finished product.

Scrapyard Challenge Fall 2011: The Making of the “MJ Switch”

MIDI? Switches? Musical Controller? These are all words that I would never have put together before my participation in the Scrapyard Challenge workshop. Working with found “junk” was a challenge that not only tested technical skill and understanding, but also creativity.  Scrapyard Challenge would not have been successful if we did not use our imagination. From the beginning when we looked at piles of stuff that people brought in, our role as the designer began as we started to think how to create a prototype of a working musical controller.

Our project began with a pile of random unused, unwanted materials. With no initial ideas in mind, my group started by claiming objects we thought could possibly be interesting.  We gathered a couple of things and took it back to our table to investigate and analyze. As we looked at what we had and started to think of different ideas, we found one object that had a lever that moved up and down, as well as a forward and back motion. We decided to use these motions to our advantage and create connections between them, allowing us to have two sounds.


The object we started with quickly changed from “junk” to a prototype for a musical switch.   As defined by Stephanie Houde and Charles Hill in “What do prototypes, Prototype?” a prototype is a way of exploring and expressing designs, as well as the “role the artifact play[s] in a users life.”  We were working with an object that allowed us to explore its functionality as well as expressing it in a new way.  As we designed how it was going to work, we also had to think about how others would interact with our new creation. Since it was not just about creating something that functioned, it was also about creating a pleasing interface.  As we continued to work, our goals became clear: making something that worked and also looked worthy of interaction.

First, we had to tackle technical issues.  Since our whole mechanism was made of metal, we needed to insulate specific parts so we could keep each interaction separated. In order to do this we used cardboard, hot glue, and masking tape.  The task became tricky when we started to include the wiring.  Although we were just creating a prototype it would not be nice to just create something with wirings coming out of everywhere. So in order to avoid this, we carefully placed the wires in places that kept them together and on the sides of the mechanism. Throughout the process of wiring our prototype we resolved problems that came up and made design decisions along the way.





After we got the sound connections to work, we needed to work on the interface. How do we let people know they can interact with what we created? To do this we used small plastic hands that came from mini-noisemakers. We attached one to our push lever and another to the side. Now it looked liked our device had hands.  If it had fans, then it definitely needed a face. We searched for a microchip board and found one that would fit.  While gluing this on, we realized the middle section could rotate. In an attempt to solve this problem, we re-wired the motor, but it was not powerful enough to work. That’s when we decided it needed to become an analog rotation.  To create a connection so we could now make a third sound, we foiled one hand and gave our face “hair” (shredded wire), which led to a successful third connection to make an additional sound. So here, in the process of creating a prototype, we were able to add more to our interactions.





The final product was what we called the “MJ Switch,” with a reference to Michael Jackson since our mechanism wore a foil “glove” on one hand.  The evolution of our prototype was possible because while making all of the technical connections work, we also kept in mind the final look.  If we did not decide from the beginning that one of our goals was to create something that was inviting for the user, we could have made a controller that had lots of connections and sounds. But instead, I believe our device was a success because we kept our goals in mind, which ultimately influenced our design decisions.

This experience and process of starting from nothing and creating an object (with a personality!) taught me a lot about the design process as well as the importance of having an open mind.  Being put into this situation, we were tested on how creative we could be from turning “use-less” objects into something “useful.” This was a test of my creativity as well as skill. In the end, three heads were better than one, and working in a group allowed us to throw out ideas, and although one person may not have been able to solve problems on their own, we could work together as a team. At times, we each played a different role. Sometimes, one person had an idea, and another person executed the technical mechanics. As this went on, someone else would keep in mind the final look.  We were a little prototyping team, who thought about the role, implementation and look and feel of our final device.

We had problems, but we discovered solutions. Our prototype went through a few stages that finally lead to a working model. We really did not have to think much about creating new things, but we worked a lot with what we already had.  We don’t know where our mechanism originated from, but the levels and movements worked perfectly for our challenge. At the end of the day we successful created a working prototype of our “MJ Switch” that allowed us to make music.

Mash Ups: siteBITES & alarme

Project:   “Build two mashups, one in media/software, and one pairing hardware to the Internet!”

I wanted to create a project that solved a problem and were practical, showing potential for everyday use.  My two results were:

alarme: A hardware to internet mashup that tracks the amount of time you spend online. Alarme works by starting with a set of time preferences you would like to control your time on. Alarme  is for the workaholic, gamer, chronic web surfer–anyone who may get carried away online. We are all guilty sometimes and alarme will help us to monitor our online activity! Alarme also has health tips included in your “alarmed” messages that will give you tips on how computer activity affects your health. The concept behind “Alarme” came because I often find myself and my peers at the computer for hours at a time.  Ultimately this is not healthy.  I researched working condition recommendations from OSHA to gauge what are acceptable work standards and positions.  Alarme will also bring awareness to the user of time they spend on the computer.  Sometimes, people get so caught up in their work, they have no idea that hours have passed. Alarme keeps the user aware and on track!

siteBITES: A daily sampler of all of your headlines from desired websites. siteBITES is an idea created for those who want to keep up with multiple sites, but don’t want the temptation to “click away” time and get distracted by other interesting links.  siteBITES will be useful because it gives the user visual images of their favorites searches or topics. Check all your fave sites at once and get a new “sampler platter” to take a bite out of everyday!

My logic with siteBITES started because there are a few sites I personally like to check everyday.  However, I am not able to go to the without extensive clicking or searching, even if I have them bookmarked.  Sometimes, I just want to see headlines (especially for the news).  I like to check my local newspaper on Maui, but I forget to visit their site. With siteBITES, problems like this would be eliminated!  The user can look at their sites all at once and not necessarily have the chance to get distracted by anything else they may not want to see. If something on your “sampler platter” really interest you, just click the picture and get taken to the page.

Below are some previews, or you can view my complete project presentation here!

Taking it further…. I definitely like the idea of thinking of this beyond the standard form and preference setting interface. When creating these two projects, I think I defaulted to what we are used to today.  Everything starts off as a form that needs to be filled out to generate preferences.  THe challenge for me would be think outside of what we are currently doing, and how can it be done differently. Overall, I believe my project ideas and concepts were successful, but the interface could definitely use some tweaking.  By having a button for siteBITES rather than filling out forms, it would make so simple for someone to use the site.

This project was a challenge because there are so many different types of Mash Ups already out there. In the end, I pulled ideas from concepts that I liked and what I enjoy about web browsing to think of something new and I could create. This project got me thinking beyond what I would normally do, as well as how I would improve what’s already out there.

Maker Faire 2011

Maker Faire showcased a wide range of individuals who utilize the technologies available to create various types of projects. Some interfaces were specific to an audience who worked with the technology, but some could be used by the average joe. Overall, my Maker Faire experience introduced me to a lot of new technology and how people are creatively working towards improving the technology.

Key Glove, Jeff Rowberg The Key Glove project displays a new way to interact with technology without a keyboard. By putting on the Key Glove, a person can type using the motion sensors in the glove.  This technology allows for the user to interact with their computer using the motion of their fingers.   The Key Glove was created to be an accessory for technology as well as simplify interaction. It was designed with disabled users in mind.  This is where I see Key Glove being the most successful.  For the average person, the Key Glove may not be the most efficient way to do work.  The interface seems difficult to work with because you would have to get used to what motions react to the key functions. It may end up being more frustrating to use the Key Glove than it would be to just use a keyboard.

However, for a person who is disabled, and is only able to type with one hand, this would be the perfect solution to their problems.   The glove could also be a technology used in video games.  As I read more about key glove online, Rowberg is successful in his design since he has clearly done research on his idea and what is also out there. He used what he has seen to combine technologies and develop the broad features of Key Glove.

AtFab: Open Source CNC Furniture A series of furniture that can be cut by a CNC router laser cutter or water jet, and assembled by locking the pieces together. AtFab struct my attention because I thought the design of their products were functions, visually pleasing, and resourceful. This interface brings together the technology of CNC and a laser cutter with the practicality of creating furniture for the home. AtFab recognizes that their furniture might not be perfect for everyone but it is for most.

I appreciate this idea because it shows that the technologies of a laser cutter or a CNC router can be used to create well-designed products for everyday life.  Although initially developed to work with larger scale projects, AtFab proves that these technologies can successfully work for the average person (with the money, of course).

The perks of having this type of furniture would be that it can easily be moved, taken apart, stored, and then put back together.  What makes AtFab successful and useful is the availability of their files online.  The purchaser can use the files at home if they have the tools available, or they can order them to be cut.  The only downfall is that not everyone has a CNC router or laser cutter at home.  However, this project has a lot of potential for the future and since they are going to keep designing and customizing their products in the future, they will definitely find success.

MakerBot Industries: 3D Printer Prior to the Maker Faire, I have never seen a 3D printer in action. I had no idea that it basically worked like a glue gun that melted down the plastic material to print layer by layer. There were many people there showcasing what they can do on their 3D printer, but I listened to what John Abella had to say about his. This was another opportunity where I saw that the 3D printer did not just have to be used to prototype projects, but was becoming affordable to be used in the home.  Abella had a few models of objects he created on his 3D printer, but what was more interesting to me was how he uses the technology to fix things around his house.  (He also created the card-stand that held his brochures!)  This man was a hobbyist and enjoyed how much fun he could have with this product. There were also people at the Maker Faire who showed how the 3D printer could be used to extrude cookie dough and chocolate.

The technology behind a 3D printer gives possibilities to society, but what I would be hesitant about is purchasing one and not being able to understand the working mechanics. A person who would purchase a 3D printer would not just have to understand the working mechanics of the printer, but also the 3D modeling programs (AutoCAD, Rhino, etc) and how to use it. This type of interface will definitely be successful for those people who are prototyping projects. The price is fairly reasonable, but in the future, it will become even more affordable. The technology of a 3D printer definitely shows promise in aiding inventors and properly speeding up their process.

Cory Arcangel: ProTools

In the Cory Arcangel’s exhibition, ProTools, he uses technological tools that are available to all to create what he has exhibited in the gallery. Much of the exhibition is nothing that the average person could do.  For example, the series Photoshop Gradient Demonstrations, gives the exact specifications he used to create the image so it can be replicated by anyone with Photoshop.  Although, I did not find myself intrigued or deeply engaged in the color combinations and compositions in front of me, the concept that anyone can re-create what the artist created was important.  This gives anyone the power to be the artist because we all can gain access to these tools.   The art piece no longer becomes focused on the finished product, but more on the process and what the steps taken to create this image. Although I was not impressed by Arcangel’s gradients, I am sure that if I decided to open Photoshop and recreate one, I would feel accomplished and proud at my recreation. This process and emotional connection is important, and also brings the artist closer to their end result.

The process of completing an art piece can give the same feeling when playing a video game. In the two video-game modifications found in the show, the viewer can participate by watching, but Arcangel has manipulated the situation so the viewer will never win. In “Various Self Playing Bowling Games” one can see the progression of how the virtual world has progressed to slowly become increasingly realistic.  As I sat and watched the game being played there were two people who were attempting to “play” the game themselves.  Standing in front of the big screen, they started to move with the figure playing.  They went through the motion of throwing the ball, but just as Arcangel intended, became frustrated that every ball went to the gutter.  These actions of the viewers show how we have become so accustomed to technology doing things for us and putting ourselves into these virtual worlds. The frustration shows how technology has the ability to affect our daily life.  There were no directions of what to do, but two people instantly reacted to the game by wanting to play it.  It has become natural for our society to want to engage with technology. The two people in the show felt more natural participating in the virtual world, rather than just watching it.

Overall, Arcangel makes solid points about our relation to how we use and interact with the technological tools we have available to us today. By just looking at the exhibition, I was not convinced what I was looking at was considered “art” but after reading more about each piece, and understanding the artist’s process, I found the value in the exhibition.  Initially, one might have strong criticisms on the work, but Arcangel is taking positions on the human interaction with technology, and how so much of our culture depends on it.

Reading Response: September 14

“Mashups: The new breed of Web app, An introduction to mashups” Duane Merrill
This reading really helped me to further grasp the technical side of a “mash-up.”  Although I was aware of these applications, I did not consider that it was turning into a genre.  Mashups was discussed to be found in mapping (locations), video and photo (pictures and info), searches and shopping (finding deals), and news (RSS feeds).  When I think about the sites that I go to on a daily basis, or get directed to by friends, a lot of the ones I find practical, worthwhile or interesting are of the Mashup genre.  To my girl friends, we tend to share a lot of the search engine shopping sites that bring together sales of the day.  One of the first I was introduced to two years ago was Shop It To Me. Other news sites I have seen gather your favorites online news pages and show the latest headlines.  For the most part, this has become an entertainment/interest genre.  Many of these sites are starting to look like reiterations of one another.  I agree when Merrill raises interest to find how “the genre impacts social issues such as fair-use and intellectual property as well as other application domains that integrate data across organizational boundaries.”  We must not stop at what we have already seen the Mashups do, but how it can be used in other contexts rather than personal interests and headlines.
“Calm Technologies 2.0: Visualizing Social Data as an Experience ” Michael Hohl
The term “calm technologies” is ironic because a lot of our experiences with technologies are not calm. In face technology brings much more complication into life. When something breaks, we panic. If we forget our cell phone one day, we panic. In the case that the electricity goes out, we panic.  I was interested to see what Hohl introduces the idea that “calm technologies utilizing information visualization where data is not rendered as graphs, charts, or diagrams on the screen , but as a sensual experience in a physical space.” This is something I relate to and actually agree with. I am very much so a hands on person. I like to be in a space, and get a feeling from it. I react to my surroundings.  I love my computer, I also love being away from it. The examples of projects really bring an awareness to how the notification process of information can give a clue to how much time we actually spend online. It brings a physical visualization into our environment which although not filled with colors, and charting patterns, may have a greater impact since we are able to see, hear or “feel” the data.
“A Manifesto for Networked Objects: Why Things Matter”,  Julian Bleeker
Throughout the discussion of a blogject and how a blogject tracks, traces, embeds history, reveals events, and allows for an exchange in ideas I could not help to think that this is no new technology or idea.  In Kindergarten, I remember learning about the Humpback Whales that migrate to Hawaii every winter to breed in warmer waters. This triggered my memory because we learned about how they track the same whales year to year by the prints on their tail fins. Another animal that is tracked is the green sea turtle. The Hawaii Wildlife Foundation uses this data to learn more about the turtle’s journey. Both of these examples are similar to how a the idea of a blogject was first introduced with the idea of a pigeon. These tracking devices tell histories of where these animals have been. In a certain way I think that my 7×7 project is a type of “blogject.”  The bottles itself contain items that track what I did that day, my experiences and reactions. It is a type of personal mapping that I will always have to look back to if I wanted to re-live this past week.
Grey Album Producer Danger Mouse Explains How He Did It
I heard the Grey Album before, but I did not know the back story of who did it and how.  This article is just one way to showcase how much time an artist or designer puts into a successful piece of work.  When someone is good at something, they make it look easy. The final product is seamless because they are highly qualified or worked hard to do their job. In this case, I never put a second thought into The Grey Album, and how difficult it was to produce.  Reading about how Danger Mouse had to deconstruct each song and break down the musical beats, I started to appreciate the album a lot more.  To know that he paid attention to every detail brings more value to the work.  The fact that it was controversial, but he continued makes it better.  With anything a person creates, they must do it because they want to, not because they are told to. “I just made sure it was something I would dig myself.” –Danger Mouse

7×7: Messages in a Bottle

Assignment: Complete one project a day for seven days.  This started off as a very challenging task, but as I started incorporate my new lifestyle and adjusting to New York into it, the process was much more natural.  Being far from home, a lot of people want to know what I am doing here.  Since Hawaii is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, I decided work with the idea of sending home a “message in a bottle.” Everyday, I intended to try something new, make a new observation, or do something that I could visually contain in this bottle to send home and show others.  To see where I went and what I collected, view my 7×7 Presentation.

As I documented each day physically through collecting artifacts of my daily adventures, I also wrote.  These pages can be found in the back of the box containing all of the bottles. Here you can find my personal daily reflections.

After complete the project series, I learned a lot about myself. Sometimes I don’t actively focus on my feelings and reactions to experiences I have. The day moves by so quickly, and being busy allows me to forget that I everyday there is something to be learned. Read more about my thought process in my project write-up.

I enjoyed this exploration because I can look at back everyday of this past week and know exactly how I felt and what I did that day, just by the few visual momentos I collected in the bottles. I think this idea could be taken further digitally.  Maybe it is not reasonable to collect 365 bottles for everyday of the year, but through taking pictures and documenting thoughts, I could do the same thing and have an on-going online website. This would be a challenge I would like to see myself continue!


Snail Mail Kit: Connecting Friends, the Old-Fashioned Way!

Assignment: Re-Design a Social Network

Concept: Today, we are being introduced to new ways of connecting with friends using technologies and a majority of internet-based networks. Although this is great at keeping in touch, we are losing “touch” of what it was like to receive a hand-written, personal letter.  There is nothing more personal and sentimental than receiving a letter from someone and knowing that it traveled some type of distance to physically get to you.

Although my initial thought was to create a simplified bulletin board post social network, I slowly realized in my process that what I was creating was moving in a different direction from what I believed in.  This is where “Snail Mail” really started to develop. “Snail Mail” creates a social network the “old-fashioned” way.

How it Works: The key components of “Snail Mail” was to first send a letter to three friends. When you do this you also send two additional note cards and postage so that person has the opportunity to send their own mail to another friend.  This is where the “network” is created.  Whether the person decides to send mail back to you, or to two new friends, it opens up communication through letters.  It is a conversation starter, a trail maker, and a friend connector.

Here is my complete Snail Mail Presentation with pictures and my thought process.