Thursday, January 27, 2011

IID Charrette

Rather than having a normal first week of classes, the IID department held a charrette. Over 4 days, groups of students worked together to parse out what "Interaction Design" means to the IID department at SU. We are definitely not a traditional interaction department (nor are we a traditional industrial design department). I think most students see interaction not only in terms of technology but also in terms of human and environmental interaction. I find that a lot of projects that I, as well as my peers, create are very systematic. Designing the form of an object can be fun, but designing the specific functions and relationships the object wil have in a greater ecosystem is far more interesting to me. I'm glad I chose a department that encourages this kind of thinking.

The specific brief of this project was given on Wednesday afternoon: "Create a way to fing things in Syracuse." Tuesday was spent finding our own way around Syracuse, so we had first hand experience about how confusing the city can be (as well as how many hidden gems there are).

Thursday was spent ideating and the final presentation was due Friday at 4pm. So, in less than two days, groups created some sort of "mock-up" of an idea. My group presented the video below.

Group M Charrette Final from Margaret McGill on Vimeo.

The design was created for anyone who wants to explore a place without having to rely on maps or GPS screens. The idea was to allow the user to get lost without any of the anxiety of being lost. A chip in each shoe uses GPS to always bring the person back to a starting point (a car, hotel room, etc).  When the person is done exploring, they simply make a gesture, like clicking their heels together, and the device is activated. The person begins walking, if they need to turn the chip in the specific shoe vibrates.

Overall, I loved being able to work with IID students from other years and I think the idea turned out pretty great.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thesis: Spring Semester

This semester is focused on designing based on the fall semester's research. After speaking with my professor yesterday, I realized I needed a quick visualization of what exactly my focus is. Enter the above graphic. Basically, I started the semester looking at "storytelling" but quickly narrowed down to storytelling  as social interaction. I then realized that there were some broader topics I needed to look at: culture, digital technology, and the idea of archiving. As much as I have a lot of broad topics, I want my final design to focus on the overlap of these terms.