Reading for week3 : Scrapyard Challenge

Hertzian Tales
The most important point for this essay, is to narrow the gap from electronic object to its users in design. They were good example on how designers carefully thought of the new solutions to reduce estrangement and alienation of electronic objects, some treated them as art, and some went beyond than that to design as critical design, which meant to criticize design itself than function.
My favourite part is the example of camcorders, which is quite similar to what Lanier said in ‘ You Are Not A Gadget’.

‘ For instance, camcorders have many build-in features that encourage generic usage; a warning light flashes whenever there is a risk of ‘spoiling’ a picture, as if to remind the user that he or she is about to become creative and should immediately return to the norm’


The Design of Everyday Things
‘Affordances’ and how we understand the function of its use by its appearance are very important principles in design. I like the example of David Wargo’s light switches, which makes sense and creative for the way he mapped a story to mundane bland interface to make it more recognizable.  On the other hand, understanding for symbolic in each culture is very difference.  It’s hard to understand the hidden meaning or function on its appearance unless you live in that culture for a while.


Why We Need Things
It’s a good question, when people in this century collect things and throw them away quickly on the same time. From this essay, I feel that they tend to comment base on the western world e.g. a nomad wouldn’t need to collect that much. Many people collect things for different reasons, some for power, some for feeling secure, some for self-satisfaction, some for self-esteem, and some memories.

In this digital era, we have the Internet, Facebook, email and many things in digital forms, I’m wondering if we still need to collect for the same reason as the writer said or not. Do kids who have grown up having Facebook as their documentation, still need to collect physical things as memories?

Another point, since I got here, NY, I found out that people here always throw away their own things all the time, even some new things. Maybe they need those things just for the certain time. Or is it simply caused by Capitalism to get people to be unsecure and buy more in order to save the system?

For me, when I have an Ipod, I stopped buying CDS or collecting them and don’t have that belonging feeling to bands as much as I used to.


Tools for Thought
Personally, I think this essay seemed to look at technology one side with a Science fiction dream as in the 1960’s and it’s a very dangerous and narrowed thought. From what I could see now in this rapid change from new technology, I feel that the world is losing its magical mysterious dimension, the more we know, the more we can do. Moreover, the more we create complicated technology, the more we create unrecyclable trash, and make more miserable poor industrial workers in the third world country. Those weird people, they claimed as genius, were used as tools to create devices to ruin the world somehow. I guess, scientists mostly figure problems in a linear way. They don’t really solve the problem with holistic point of view, so that’s how they create new problems after they solve one. Once we can think like a machine or know all knowledge in the world from a tiny tool easily, where is the eager to ask and look at the world as a child and where is an imagination?


What do Prototypes Prototype?
In design process or any other creative process, we might somehow never really analyze what how we did it. In this essay, it gives quite a good analysis on the process of prototyping, to whom and in how in the little amount of time by pointing out three elements, ‘role – relating to users in the wider range (big picture)’, ‘look and feel – more details in interaction’ and ‘implementation – technical part’. Whatever we do in any process, I think it relies on good discretion of designers and that could be developed by experience.

This part is a key word to me ‘ Prototypes themselves do not necessarily communicate their purpose. It is especially important to clarify what is and what is not addressed by a prototype when presenting it to any audience beyond the immediate design team.’

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