Public Mediated Play Space
Design and "Stage" a mediated play experience in a public space. This project explores how to use an interactive projection installations as an interface for play, social connectivity, experience design, and/or space augmentation.
Stage 1- Problem definition, Ethnographic Research, Analysis (1 week)
Working in teams you will monitor and record spaces you've selected for a minimum of 4 hours. Selected spaces must be ones that can be crossed in no more than 5 seconds by someone moving at a walking pace. As an “ethnographic researcher” you will be paying attention to modes of interaction within the space, as well as physical, social, personal, spatial, and cultural behaviors. Document and share the results of your documentation; consider multiple strategies for recording the action/interaction between people/groups in the space. Define the parameters of the design problem, goal, or experiment you are addressing.
Experiment with Computer Vision, make two simple experiments incorporating one of the computer vision libraries. Use controlled indoor environments.
Read "Social Life of Urban Space"
Audio: Role of Anthropologist
March 4 Introduction
Discuss Social Life of Urban Spaces
Break into groups of 4. Choose 3/4 different a spaces. Make a 1-2 hour observation of each space. What kinds of patterns arise from your observations? What is the definition of a stranger in this space? How do strangers communicate? What are the mode of interaction within the space. Keep in mind to pick a space that would be conducive to a projection and camera installation, but do not limit yourself by this either. Make a photographic or video slide show of your findings.
Present Raw Findings of Studies.
In groups, finalize a location. Conceptualize prototypes for that space. Make prototypes of all 4 quadratures. Discuss the Prototyping process, including techniques and others' work. Work in groups to conceptualize your prototypes. Present 4-9 prototypes concepts with just enough fidelity to get the idea across.
Read: Theater of the Oppressed --> New Media Reader
Audio: Experimenter Chap2.m4a
Stage 2- Proof of Concept
What are the successful/unsuccessful parts of the protoytpes? What can be concluded from your successes and calculations? Were your assumptions correct?
Present your 5-9 Prototypes "Proposals"
Pick a 2-3 Prototypes and do a 4-6 hour installation of it in a controlled space. Document your installationn. Discuss project's next steps, how to formally present your research. Experiment with creative way to display your research and documentation styles. Try time-lapse video.
You'll need a laptop, Projector, camera, and mobile power supply.
Stage 3-Prototyping, Testing, Iterating, Documenting
Create a play-space that augments some aspects of interaction you’ve observed (person-to- person, person-to-group, or group to group) and document it. Push to maximize or minimize the effect of the interaction that your observational or other research revealed. This augmentation, or invitation to participate must be self-contained in your mediation, and cannot rely on communication from you. Instead, explore audio, gestural, and visual means of expression. Observe the context and scenarios under which you prototypes work. What are the intentions and assumptions that you and your users are making in and about your play-space? Document (video-tape, photography, observation, notation, sketching). How did your instruction effect volume of traffic? What are the narratives that emerge out of the context? Who are the characters? What roles do people play? Does a back story develop? What are the "aesthetics of interaction"? Record the reaction to your play space. Your experiments should last over 12 hours total over the week.
Create 5-9 iterations of your prototypes, create a 4-6 hour installation of it in a controlled space. Document your installation. You'll need a laptop, Projector, camera, and mobile power supply. Present your finds.
Make 9-12 iterations of 1 or 2 of your integrated prototypes.
Post a photo of each. Write 3-6 sentences of what you learned from them. What were the good and bad surprises. How did they effect your line of thinking in regards to role, look and feel, and implementation.
Theatre of the Oppressed
March 25-28 Install Prototype
Install prototypes. Make a minimum of 3 iterative re-designs. Document the "experience interface" you created, how/if it was used or experienced. Use the project objectives to collect insights. Discuss progress in class. Show rough data collection.
Read: Understanding Comics, Chapter 2 + 5.
Produce a postmortem on your final design and make a formal presentation to your studio. This postmortem should be written and posted to your site and should include an analysis and conclusions of the following:
1. Strengths (what did the solution do very well?)
2. Weaknesses (what could be done to improve the design?)
3. The design process (What were some of the key moments/decisions during the process? What were trouble spots? How did the collaboration play out? Who took on what roles and how were decisions made or conflicts resolved?
4. Include your analysis of at least 2 "prior art" that are related to your project. Critique these projects in relation to your own: how are they similar or different? What can be learned from these projects if you were to evolve your design further? Include visual examples of the projects described, as well as information on who produced them, when, where, and why.
5. What can you conclude both from your experiments and the ones that you studied? What are open questions remaining to be answered?
6. Can your project be applied to other public spaces? Does it travel well?
7. Would your project make a good exhibition piece? Where would it be seen? If appropriate, submit your project to venues where it can be appreciated by other groups of people.
Formal Presentations with Guest Critics