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:
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:
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,
School of Visual Arts (SVA)
tel (415) 317-3428
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
> 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
> 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.
> 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