Workshopping with Tom Igoe

23 03 2008

   Last week we had the pleasure of having Tom Igoe as our tutor for the technical part of our major project. As I have mentioned I’m trying to investigate the use of physical objects to communicate via web channels. Discussing the matter with mr. Igoe I got a lot of input on how I could do the technical part of the concept. Due to my lack of experience with programming concerning the use of processing and arduino I found this very helpful.   sp_a0167.jpg  He also gave me input on how I could take the project further in my major project where I want to either make a stationary audio device for elders or a system enabling elders to communicate on the same channels as youngsters do now a days.    sp_a0174.jpg   

Mr. MSN is my test bunny for a physical object communicating through msn, facebook and skype platforms. He will voluntary put himself into the hard task of investigating which things he will be able to do now and in the future. At the moment this only concerns blinking lights and moving hands to be able to notify the owner of new messages and incoming commuters through the web. Hopefully this will give the opportunity to engage in web interaction in a somehow better way. The experience will be built upon as my skills in processing picks up and as new ideas of functions pops up. What if he could read rfid chips and have inbuilt speaker and microphone?

sp_a0169.jpg  Well, hopefully I will be able to get some interesting things out of playing around with mr. MSN and his physical functions. Time will show..





7 03 2008

How would our modern day society communication platforms look if they were represented in physical objects instead of screen based experiences? Would it improve or would it destroy the joy of online communication? Can physical computing open up the medium for new users which are excluded from this online society because of problems handling a keyboard and understanding how to communicate through text? What kind of arrangements and abilities must these objects withhold and what will they look like?


These are some of the questions I want to investigate my, and hopefully Tom Igo`s time, in the coming week. Through screen based, physical and verbal interaction I want to create some kind of fusion between MSN, Skype and Flickr. Hopefully there are ways of doing this using RFID technology, computer sensors and audio equipment. I don`t know, but it shureley would be interesting to explore it further!


My goal with the workshop week is to try out different applications for communication between people through computers via physical interaction. My findings will be used as base for building up my Major Project, also involving communication between people through physical objects and the web. My main focus will still be elders, and trying to create a platform for easy and enriching experiences through interaction with computers.


The illustrations shown here are examples on how I picture MSN could look like as a physical interaction in connection with screen based media. What’s the point you might ask yourself, well, to be frankly I don’t know, but I would like to find out…



3 03 2008

FUTURE WORKSHOP How will the elderly home of the future look like and what kind of products and services will they be filled with? These were my main focus during my 3 hour intensive workshop this Thursday.  To get my workshop participants in the right mood I decided to design the setting for this future including a introduction of the Concept;   the-centre.jpg 

THE OLD FRIENDS HOME, featuring futuristic retro architecture and housing old hippies and intellectuals from the disco era in the 80`s. The year is 2020, the Old FRIENDS HOME is about to open, but they are in instant need of some groundbreaking concepts for the products and services available for the inhabitants. Can we help them? Serving coffee and cookies in addition to playing inspiring and moody music I led my 5 “work shoppers” through the 3 steps of the workshop. With caffeine and sugar pumping in their veins it was no problem to get them start poring out ideas, and already in the warm up round, where I wanted them to get rid of the clichés and the obvious, interesting stuff came a long.  I split the six contestants, me included, in two groups of three persons each, letting the images from the projector guide the workshop along the path of innovation. Starting off as I said with the wish to empty our heads for the obvious, I had prepared I short mind storm exercise and a floor game base don associations. Both lasting for 10 minutes each and switching the mode halfway to get variation.


 After this we had a short discussion around the words and thoughts coming in, before there were a 10 minute break, to get some fresh air and re-charge the batteries with more coffee and cookies.  


 In the second round, I had prepared a list of four main themes I wanted concrete ideas on, including both groups at the same time, having to write and draw dawn ideas based on the theme within a time span of 10 minutes for each theme; LEARNING, ENTERTAINMENT, COMMUNICATION and SLEEP, RELAXATION. A METHOD proving itself to be very fruity, bringing in a lot of good ideas and thoughts.  After this intensive period, a break was well deserved and highly needed. It seemed people were satisfied and a lot of good thoughts were shared during the presentation of ideas after the session.  In the end, the “work shoppers” went back to being groups and in collaboration had to pick out their favourite idea to further elaborate, illustrate and try to sell at the final presentation! Despite going one hour over time, the workshop was highly successful, and I felt I got a lot out of it, as well as I think the group of contributors did. Henrik Rundshaug, a Diploma student also working with design for elders summed it up to be very interesting and helpful in his own process and project. Something I find very positive.