Marisa’s response to the IBM 100 THINK Exhibit

IBM 100 THINK Exhibit- Exclusive for Parsons MFADT

On Thursday October 20, 2011 I attended a fantastic interactive exhibit at Lincoln Center. I found the exhibit to be fascinating and informative about what we can do to improve the world. The exhibit focused on global issues like building more efficient airports, reducing water leakage, reducing crime, improving energy usage, establishing healthier rivers and strengthening our food supply. It also including reducing identity theft and traffic congestion in NYC. It was an esthetically beautiful exhibit. The graphics, sound, and interactions were well done and I highly recommend everyone go see it! I found it useful to see how the screen interaction functions are designed and it gave me some ideas for future projects.

I took a video of the exhibit’s interior on my iphone.

Below are a few photos:

Reading response – scrapyard challenge

Interaction Relabelling and Extreme Characters: Methods for Exploring Aesthetic Interactions

Gaver, Djajadiningrat, Frens

In this article, the author truly gives designers a better method to examine and execute the ideas of creating interactive works. The first means mentioned is interaction relabeling, which enables us to think single item differently according to the object’s characters. The main point here is to rethink how an object can be related to the design product. If the two are far more different from each other, it gives us a better chance to think creatively. I found this very helpful because we usually get stuck while brainstorming due to constrains of aiming missions. However, the most creative concepts always come out of nowhere. In other words, this can expand our range of thinking unexpectedly but meaningfully. The other means called extreme characters also intrigue me because we seldom implement this in our design practices. By putting extreme roles into our target audiences, every step taken after might go wild. But according to the author, we can get rid of the stereotypical outcome that we try to avoid through this process. But my question here is how are we going to choose the extreme groups from people? Are the one chosen comes randomly? Or we should build up rules to select them? I definitely think this is what we need to think about if we truly want to follow this method to execute our future projects.

Hertzian Tales

Anthony Dunne

Technology now is one element that human can not live without. And considering of the cycles that how humans are utilizing electronic object is a ordinary but essential question we should ask ourselves, just like the author does. As Clive, our design for this century lecturer, claims in his argument, people now are taking a step back to technology. It does not mean that we stop using electronic objects and start to live like aboriginal people. The reason he said so is that although human beings now are closely attached to technology, we actually do not think or deeply engage to the objects we are using. We are addicted to smart phones and internet, and somehow we can not imagine life without them. However, those devices generate an environment that everyone should get involved or then will be eliminated. The truth is, no one really think deeply about those objects before start using them. In my opinion, that is why people get so tired of one thing and need to buy another newer one. Clive offers a solution about “playing” with the object. He believes that through playing with products, we can have ourselves more engage and bond to them more. I would say the relationship between technology and human is important. If we connect ourselves with technology in a social cultural way, then technology will no longer be just an object but an emotional representation of a strong relationship, which is more meaningful than it originally is.

The Design of Everyday Things

 Donald Norman

It is always easier to criticize than to compliment. I agree with the idea that has shown in the essay indicating that people should think about designs before they physically use it. However, sometimes people go the extreme. When we buy a super simple design object, we think it is to simple and want more services from it. When buy a complicated design like a smartphone, we criticize it being to distracting that we can hardly find what we really want. If we are being to aggressive, this will be the result. However, we know that every product has its own target audience. Some people’s favorite feature of one product can be other’s pain in the ass. My point here is that before we make everything into “simple” design, we might need to think about who is going to use it. If the target audience is an aged group of people, then the design should be easy and straightforward, and vice versa. I do like the idea quoted in the article saying that every product should be thoughtfully designed, and I believe it is our responsibility as designers. If people stop complaining, then probably we have done something right.

Why We Need Things

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Before focusing on the content of this essay, I think the title is a usual but broad question that we can ask ourselves. Why do we need things? There are definitely no exact answers. What I believe in is quoted in the article is that things we possess define who we are. Of course there are things not necessary toward our life, but here is a psychological side of human beings. To nurture our mentality, objects are needed. A letter in a bottle can recall one’s 10 years memory. A teddy bear can be a representation of an intact family. What we are discussing now here in DT is more focusing on the manipulating technology with human behavior. However, there is another side of design that can be simple but touching. Maybe it is not that “cool”, but meaningful. I definitely think that some things around us are neglected by its purpose, but there are also things essential to our existence.

The Computer Revolution Hasn’t Happened Yet

Alan Kay

The revolution of computer is clear and obvious. However, there are still some reasons that can deny it, just taking a different aspect to assess the whole process. In my opinion, I think the change now is too massive that sometimes we don’t feel we are changing by keeping up spontaneously. For most of the generation born after 2000, it is definitely hard for them to imagine life without computers. It is also difficult for their children in the future to live without technology. However, it is the change we need to adapt to. And we still can not take away the credits from those pioneers. But the point here is that can anyone predict what will happen next? If the answer is no, then what are the steps we should take to get involved and define ourselves in the future?

What do Prototypes Prototype

Houde and Hill

Reading this essay, I found it extremely helpful. It is helpful in a way that you need to practice the principles into your own experience then you will feel it. We all know that prototype shouldn’t be just a pretty model that duplicate the final look of one product, however, sometimes we still get caught up in such situation. The main thing here is that before you start building a prototype, you should always ask yourself why you are building this and what might be essential throughout the process. In the three dimensions of prototype, role, look and feel, and implementation, functionality is my first concern, which is always neglected in design process. While creating a new piece of work, I sometimes focus too much on the look of it in terms of my graduate school background. Nevertheless, it is not always the most important part of the work. Frankly speaking, it is always not after I got into DT. So the biggest challenge here for me is that how will I get through the limitations of graphic design but still has the original sense of aesthetics. As long as knowing more about interactive design, I believe more practices make perfection, and I definitely think this also apply to projects that involve human interactions.

Marisa’s experience at MobilityShifts Conference

Mobility Shifts
Hacking as Learning: A Slice of Mozilla Drumbeat

On Wednesday, October 12, 2011 I attended a workshop put on by Mozilla. Turns out a recent graduate, Jessica Klein, from Parsons MFA Design and Technology helped orchestrate the conference. The workshop started with everyone in a circle following this video….How To Do The Robot (Totally Rad 80’s Dances)

Jessica presented a prototype for youth that is geared towards allowing kids to write their own web code; HTML and CSS. As a group we worked on giving feedback to her team at Mozilla about the current site, Jessica and her team are encouraging the community to help with the co-development and are seeking feedback to enhance the global project. She presented the “hackbook tool” which is moving towards “social persistence” so that two kids (friends) can work on the website at the same time. The program is similar to Firebug or Bolt but is unique because it is a kid friendly and simplified version. There is a cheat sheet for kids and homework lessons that can be given to students. is a good resource for people who are just starting their first site and want to collaborate with friends to edit it. You can check out her prototyping process on her FlickR page Jessica has an example of an interactive comic where the kids have to do something (a task) in order to progress through the panels on the comic. There are also assignments where the students are asked to fix webpages and dive into the code like in this sample. Finally Jessica came up with the idea to give peer mentor badges. Children are nominated by a friend and have to strive to improve their web browsing skills by working hard to earn it. These incentives are important when dealing with elementary school students.