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PHD-DESIGN  September 2011

PHD-DESIGN September 2011

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Subject:

Short Range RFID, Design Material Studies and Me

From:

Michael Yap <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 06:30:17 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Dear doctors, PhD candidates and other members of the list,

My name is Michael Yap and I am a second-year student pursuing an MFA in Interaction Design at the School of Visual Arts (SVA).

Since I subscribed to the list close to a year ago, I've very much enjoyed the lively and informed discussion—thank you.

I now step forward to humbly ask for aid as I begin to develop a research plan to underpin my thesis efforts this year. Although I am not a PhD candidate, the members of this list is my greatest resource in this regard. I will very much appreciate your help.

Last semester, in a class covering prototyping user experiences, I explored a dizzying array of methods, ranging from paper prototypes to sketching in hardware. For my final assignment, I was asked to create a video to reflect upon this experience, or, create a new prototype. I created both in the form of a narrated, video-based user journey exploring Bruce Sterling’s SPIME:

http://vimeo.com/23042809

The video provides a personal definition of prototyping based on my experiences in the class and envisions a future world in which Sterling’s SPIME exists as every-day-object (a multi-tool). A device is portrayed detecting a SPIME and triggering an on-screen interface whereby a user interacts with the extensive and rich system of information the SPIME instantiates.

This summer, I attended "Object Stories" at the Portland Art Museum:

http://objectstories.org/

I was struck by how objects act as containers, holding "great personal and collective meaning and carry stories of particular times, places, and events."

For thesis, I hope to create conceptual designs that augment common, every-day mass-produced objects with short-range RFID, so that they may hold the same meaning and stories they always have, but online, and, to discover new uses to meet existing needs. I wish to fortify my efforts with a better understanding of:

• the social and cultural meaning of every-day objects
• the role that objects play in our every-day lives
• other considerations that I am unaware of but you are compelled to share

Can you recommend specific books, articles and other resources to advance my understanding?

Many, many thanks in advance,

—M

--------------------------------
 Michael Yap
 MFA Candidate
 Interaction Design
 School of Visual Arts (SVA) 
 
 tel     (415) 317-3428
 web     mfa.exoatmospheric.com
 twitter michaelryap
--------------------------------




On Sep 19, 2011, at 4:36 AM, Ann Thorpe wrote:

> Dear Jean,
> 
> Not sure what you mean by "one societal challenge that is not technical."
> What springs to my mind is the transition town movement (they have a website
> and publications) that addresses the one challenge of peak oil, but the
> approach is primarily social. The design thinking element is unclear to me,
> although a lot of designers are interested in it, so maybe that's all you
> need...
> 
> You might come across other ideas in the "social innovation" literature. For
> example the Young Foundation's "Open Book of Social Innovation"
> (downloadable from the website).
> 
> Another trend here in the UK is the "community-led challenge prize"
> --although these challenges are often technical such as climate
> change/alternative energy. I think NESTA has led all of these and they've
> got a few summary reports such as "Using Social Challenge Prizes to Support
> People-powered Innovation" -- the design thinking link may only be
> "innovation"
> 
> Another area that seems to be gaining ground is "active design" or design
> that promotes physical activity. The city of new york has developed a set of
> "active design guidelines." Similarly there are projects that link suburban
> development patterns to health, and projects like Natalie Jeremijenko's in
> NYC connect pocket parks (in parking spaces called "noparks") to
> environmental and human health. Along those lines Rebar's park(ing) day,
> which creates temporary parks in metered parking spaces has led to a city
> wide program in San Francisco (Pavements to parks). New York has developed a
> similar program (not sure if resulting from noparks). A thread that runs
> through these is "the commons" and its connection to health and wellbeing,
> although I don't know that any of these could be called an initiative for
> the commons, as a whole they might be considered a movement.
> 
> Now that it's Monday I'm sure other ideas will come flooding in.
> Best,
> Ann
> 
> 
> Dr Ann Thorpe
> .....................................
> Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
> Wates House, 22 Gordon Street London WC1H 0QB, United Kingdom
> 
> +44 (0)77 1747 1606
> .....................................
> book: The Designer's Atlas of Sustainability (www.designers-atlas.net)
> blog: http://designactivism.net
> twitter: @atlasann

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