Team: Stephanie Chen, Byron Au, Sophia Cheng, Lego Lam, Anthony Tong
Project is intended to encourage people to “view” and “review” things from people's lives in various aspects and to showcase alternative possibilities of how people might live differently through creating an immersive experience. The project title “Re/Vision” could be divided it into two keywords — “Vision” and “Revision”. These two words are interpreted as how people think about a certain aspect and reconsider it to reflect on something from that aspect respectively.
Our group was inspired by the concept of “slow information” and consider how communication in our current lifestyle would be different through applying this concept. The center of the piece focuses on buildings created with white toy bricks which visitors can add onto. The set up of the area and these toy bricks serves to create a relaxing environment and foster interaction and creation as visitors surround the tables and contribute to the building of the city. Through interacting with these toy bricks, visitors are able to co-design the city bit by bit and collaborate with one another and/or previous visitors through adding onto the toy bricks structure. A sense of simplicity and leisure is meant to be felt as visitors interact with the toy bricks and immerse themselves in the environment. This also serves to encourage people to engage in a relaxing and calm group activity, learn through interactions through a low processing approach, and slow down the usual fast-paced lifestyle suggested by “slow information”. Through the overall experience, visitors can realize the stress caused by overconsumption in their current lifestyle and trigger visitors to critically consider and reflect their own behaviors.
toy bricks —
To demonstrate the purpose of slow design, we added some elements on the toy bricks to give the experience a little bit more context. Having the three statements “create and_____,” “inspired by_____,” and “relax through_____” as the base and allowing people to pick the interests, attitudes, and opinions they associate with and build onto these base statements, we hoped that this activity would foster interaction, communication, and also encourage people to reflect.
final execution —
Other cRITICAL elements
We felt that it is important to let visitors feel that the area is safe and comfortable and thus hung a white cloth on the ceiling in order to soften the light and accentuate the atmosphere, and overall present a more immersive experience for the visitors. The cloth was inspired by the element of a "blanket fort" that people tend to build when they were a kid, hoping to give out a more comfortable atmosphere.
We used grey carpet to present a more relaxed atmosphere, as well as to match the pale color tone of our section to create a calm and peaceful mood. On top of the carpet, we also ended up creating some illustration of ripples through the use of spray paint. With the ripples and streamlines being in a light-grey color around the table, we hoped that it can contribute to the overall "mindfulness" feeling of the experience.
We custom made a table with a rounded edges and in more of an irregular shape to match the overall tone and visual language of our environment. We wanted to invite people to participate as a group and trigger communication between people, so the shape of the table is designed for multi-participation. The irregular shape of the table allows visitors to join in and surround the table from all sides and angles.
We placed round cushions to match the curviness of our visual style. These cushions are for visitors to sit on and serve as seats that are inviting and allow people to feel more comfortable when interacting with the toy bricks.
version 1 — fast vs. slow information
version 2 — begin to breath
version 3 — into the utopia
user test — toy bricks, dominos, string art
We came up with a few ideas for the medium of interaction including toy bricks, dominos, and string art. We wanted to find out the pros and cons of using various play things to help us decide which is the most suitable and effective in terms of allowing us to communicate our message. Therefore, we created a user test, and decided to test these medias to see how users interact with these things and compare the reactions and results we gathered to find out the most suitable media for our experience.
We discovered that some visitors like to build tall skyscrapers and join pieces together throughout the process. However, many people enjoy building these toy bricks and thus we feel that this does serve our original purpose of encouraging relaxation and participating in leisure, fun activities in our lifestyle. After discussing our user test results, we also made the decision to use toy bricks as the main media for the interactive activity in our exhibition.
We provided a certain amount of domino pieces with a foundation guide for our user test. However, we discovered that the expected limitations we predicted does exist, and some users found it disturbing and felt stressful as they worry that the dominos might topple and fall throughout the building process due to accidents or vibration. Also, the process of interacting with dominos felt more destructive rather than building, creating, and communicative. We found that some users enjoy the destroying process more than the building process, and other users may feel slightly offended when they things they build get destroyed by others. Also, play dominos require a lot of focus and concentration capability throughout the play process. As a result, we concluded that dominos don’t seem to be a suitable media for our purpose and abandoned this idea.
We tested the string art in both 2D and 3D, and placed nails on a wood board in the shape of a city in hopes of allowing users to follow the outline even though it was expected that it might turn out into an area of randomness. We recorded a 3 day outcome and during the second day, we were able to see a shape of a city through the string arts, but it became a random blob of strings during the third day of our user test.Another thing we discovered was that we run out of string easily and this might be an issue if we transform this activity into a scale that is very large. Thus, we felt that it is slightly hard for us to foresee the result of string art and whether it will turn out tidy or messy, and thus felt that using toy bricks serves our purpose better compared to using string art.
version 4 — out of time?
version 5 — re/creation + final
personal insights —
Reflecting on how the project turned out, I felt that it was mostly successful as my group mates and I observed a development of toy bricks structure each day, communicated the intended message of co-creation in our living and reflection of lifestyles to people who came, and created an atmosphere which people found relaxing and calm. Most visitors did engage in the activity of building onto the fill in the blank statements which is our main intention, and some people we approached also found this interactive activity reflective as they were encouraged to think about how this topic existed in their lifestyle and consider how these related to themselves.
On the other hand, an aspect that did not work out as what we hoped was that some visitors enjoyed building irregular and random items and structures with the toy bricks instead of participating in the main intended activity we provided. Even though this approach allowed another form of creativity to foster, it diminished reflection on current lifestyles. As a result, to further increase the success of our project, we would have needed to reconsider how we can provoke the thinking of alternative lifestyles, encourage people to reflect, while providing them the freedom to create whatever they wanted at the same time.
Overall, we were able to identify the aspects that worked as expected along with other things that could have been improved to communicate our concept and message to all visitors who came to our experience. Thus, working on this project was a truly valuable experience.