Konnekt by Job Jansweijer, is a social interaction game for isolated children faced with cancer, in the hospitals. Konnekt uses magnet connectors and suction cup connectors to soft colorful forms that kids can play individually or with a second player, since magnets stimulate a dynamic play. The project’s aim is to empower social development and connection with each other in the hospital through an engaging and direct way, which is face to face. According to Andrew Blauvelt, “Design had always relational dimension, because of its functional intentions”. Hence, as today’s relationship with the user is more complicated, the variety of practices have to be more tailor made and create behavioral reactions. In short, relational design could be described as a set of design approaches that have as a core value the integrity of human relations and their social context. Konnekt project is interrelated to this value and includes elements from all three faces of design, which are form, content and context. Finally, Konnekt’s social interaction is achieved through a low-tech and low-cost approach and the customization is achieved through the different game types (gamers, adventurers, tinkers), keeping as a central element their different personalities and that the user is still ‘just’ a child in a sterilized environment like hospitals.
Bttn is a physical, Internet connected red button, which is programmed to perform multiple tasks, according to the user’s needs. It gained popularity as the simplest Internet user interface in the world, and communicates with the powerful servers in the cloud (IoT). The bttn on its own form (button) and colour (red) already triggers an intuitive curiosity (press). Based on George Loewenstein’s text, “Curiosity is the feeling of deprivation that results from an awareness of the gap”, thus there is a direct relationship between curiosity and knowledge. In this case I believe that the Red Button connected to a ‘magic’ action serves this part very well. Furthermore, according to Lev Manovich’s “Introduction to Info-Aesthetics, 2008”, the word “information” contains the world “form” inside it, but in reality it is the other way around: in order to be useful to us, information always has to be wrapped up in some external form. Manovich states that “the surface of an object can become at once an output and input medium, bringing the physical and the screen-like—that is to say, form and information—together in surprising ways.” However, it stills remains questionable the fact of privacy/security and if or how bttn will be served only with the allowance and/or awareness of the owner, and finally if it is an interface that could simplify our relationship with technology and make things easier or more complicated and not that innocent.
Cultured Meat related to academic disciplines
Meat production is expected to double by 2050 due to population growth and massive demanding. The production of natural meat is very unsustainable for the future of the environment. As an alternative and sustainable solution the cultured meat was created and increased awareness in 2013. The lab-grown meat is directly related to a wide spectrum of the traditional academic research disciplines, such as Biochemistry, Geography, Agriculture, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, History, Literature, Philosophy and Religion.
Biochemistry, Agriculture and Geography are the most obvious since we are dealing with chemical processes relating to living organisms (Synthetic Chemistry, Molecular biology, environmental chemistry, chemical biology etc.) and landscape ecology, environmental geography, population geography etc.
Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology are all interrelated since food and meat consumption is straight related to our human evolution and human ecology, social relationships, social and consumer psychology, evolutionary and emotional psychology.
Philosophy, History and Religion are also connected with each other, because we need to have knowledge and be aware of the modern and ancient history regarding food nutrition and production over the years and also regarding the ethics and bioethics of the natural and cultured meat processes, animal rights, humanism and even aesthetics.
Religion is also linked since cow is considered as sacred in India and it is connected to the culture’s nutrition choices (lowest rate of meat consumption in the world). Moreover, Economics play a vital role, since a big fund was needed to achieve the lab-grown meat and the ongoing process it needs in order to deliver it in the shelves for mass production in the next decades, therefore economics are related with agricultural economics, bioeconomics, consumer, ecological and resource economics. Finally, meat consumption and the environmental impacts have been featured countless times in arts and literature and in this case we are guided to deliver a design narrative with a new and engaging way.
Haptic means to awaken the senses, and my project ‘Phos’ (means light in Greek) aims to stimulate the senses through a haptic way and to deliver a very low-tech experience using a combination of low/high-tech methods.
‘Phos’ is a haptic physical computing installation, delivering the low-tech experience of an individual feeling the warmth of the Sunlight, to the simplest way possible. The user will enter a dark space with spotlights revealing only a deck chair, inviting him to sit down, where he would trigger, at the same time, a sea themed sound and a red heat lamp placed opposed to his face. The experience lasts for 1 minute only and the ending is very sudden, returning the user abruptly to ‘reality’. Its process offers an experience for a very limited time, leaving the user with a sense of scarcity and provokes him to ask for more. The challenge and contrast of my concept was to deliver something that has no time restrictions (enjoying the sun), under time limitation, in order to enhance the importance of the real experience and to transfer an outdoor experience, into an indoor small space. The desired outcome is to awaken the senses of the user by creating an atmosphere in their minds that would lead them to a customized personal experience.
For many years, it has been a dream for many people that one-day, a piece of technology would be created to hold a conversation with a human being. Siri is an intelligent digital personal assistant that never gets tired of your questions and is available 24/7 to serve you. A lot of Siri’s content responses are pre-fixed and include a comic element, in order to give a more humane feature to its services.
There have been many controversies regarding Siri’s content, which are the filtering criteria of its responses and the very doubtful level of internet freedom it provides. During 2011, a petition was signed having 30,000 participants in order for Siri to change its response regarding abortion issues. Furthermore, a more tragicomic event occurred, when Siri delivered a list of nearby bridges if you requested to jump off one. But, after an update it changed its settings to provide the user with suicide prevention numbers. But cases like these raises important ethical questions about how free of interference the Internet and technology should really be. It raises questions, such as freedom of speech and who is in the end responsible for deciding on what is ‘right’. Finally, when you trust and talk to any online database you can never be aware about the consistency of your privacy.
The project was to produce a piece of interaction design for a contemporary global traveller arriving in London.
In collaboration with my classmate Xiaoyan Wang we designed an Interactive Audio walking tour ecosystem, having in our minds the role of the Flâneur and the way he walks around the city and discovers it in a unique way. The Audio walk shared network would operate similar to the ‘Barclays Cycle Hire’.
The main idea is to walk London and interact with the objects and buildings around the city, in order to discover and listen to a series of stories in a new and interactive way. Therefore, from placed vending machines the user would choose his favorite audio tour theme, such as art, history, literature and war. The Interactive headphones would be linked with a mobile application where the user could control easier his route and his experience. An additional multi-theme tour could be offered to the user for a more customized experience. Moreover we would include a gamification process so the user would be more intrigued to do all the tours or invite friends on social networks to join him and share his walking paths, photos or experiences through the interactive audio tour, and why not even meet new people.