Wednesday, 21 January 2015

V&A Narrative-Netsuke

Narrative-Netsuke. We are looking at its characteristic of it carrying physical object as well as history and memory. A large geometrical sculpture represent a modern Netsuke that a person could carry its part to capture their walkthrough in a museum environment. And be able to review the entire walk afterwards. The narrative we are trying to express is, a modern life is usually full of excitements and business. Sometime our brain does not have the capacity to remember all the new experiences. Hence the new Netsuke allows us to review the moment that we enjoyed, we missed. 400 years after they were invented, they still carry our belonging(in this case, memory) for us.

As one of the person who came out with this idea, I could totally see why people may or may not like this "installation" we made. Personally, I would want to have a piece of gadget to record my daily life. We are living in a modern city, where new designs, culture and events coming up endlessly. We could miss so many interesting thing as we walking down the street. And just to imagine I could rewind my day to check every detail of it, excites me!

I understand that we are gradually starting to own the technology that can make this happen, Autographer camera, GoPro, Google glass, are the sign of the possibility becoming reality. And then, everybody would have a new way to live their life as we will not be missing anything anymore.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Field of Study

V&A Narrative, we chose the object "Netsuke" to be our narrative. The object itself was a functional pieces of sculpture back in 17th century in Japan. And then became popular in 19th century in Europe as collectors items. To the modern day, Netsuke is actually the origin of all the mobile phone accessories. The number of aspects in Netsuke is large and sometime means more to them than meets the eye.

The main idea is to look at how Netsuke was used to carry personal stuff in the Japanese history, and what could it be carrying in modern era. Therefore we are looking at Sociology as a broad area of research. 

We figured there might be something which is important to modern citizens. that people might feel its importance therefore carrying with them all the time. First is the mobile phone, is an obvious one, there is actually a new medical terms calls" Nomophobia" , which is the fear of "being out of mobile phone contact" (Low credit, low battery, out of network coverage) , Second maybe their virtual identity, this one is sort of connected to the first as virtual identity relies on mobile network to work. 

Above are the things we may want to carry on our personal life, but in terms of the project which specifically pointed at museum purpose, we then chose another aspect-Memory. As many Netsukes were traded from owner to owner through out the many decades. Some of them have carries some of the most interesting story. "The Hare With Amber Eye" by Edmund de Waal is the best example.

So we decide to create a Netsuke which will record a person`s visiting experience in V&A museum, then they would be able to recall everything they have seen or have missed in their tour.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Omnipresenz: Explore the world as a human avatar

Omnipresenz. A new way to remotely live a life of another person. The whole concept is that through the internet, you remotely instruct your avatar(a real person live in another country) what to do. It is like a online role play game except you are controlling a real person in a real world affecting real people. A refreshing way to be socialised online. The principle is that the "avatar" will have a gopro mounted on their head, and stream the live feed through the internet onto the "player's" screen, and so the player will be able to see and hear everything from the avatar's end.

It is a unique concept of revolutionise the social media chiches, when everything you do today to be "socialise" is typing over the internet. This project allows a person to actually interact with people on the other side of the planet. It seems like a great idea yet it may not be as ideal as it seems.

The downside of this idea is that the social interaction is a on-way deal, as a player you would be able to see and hear from the other end. However, the community you are interacting online do not really receive anything from you other than the action came from the avatar, which was instructed by you. One may argue that as long as the avatar does what it`s been taught then it is both way interaction. But what I feel of this is that the avatar only represent you to some extent, they do not have the same feeling as you do and the same responds as you may have. In the sense, the interaction happens here is not a true social interaction, because the community is more likely meant to respond to your avatar rather than you the player.

Nonetheless, this is still a sole idea which could reinvent the meaning of social media and social networking. But before then, it will only remain something quite different that does not really apply to the real worl.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Abovemarine – ‘Small Freedom’ vehicle for José, the betta splendens

The Abovemarine is a fish vehicle that designed to allow fish controlling the movement of the fish tank (it`s more like the fish tank following the fish`s movement rather than in controlled by the fish). A camera was set above the fish tank, tracking Jose(the Siamese fighting fish ), Omni wheels at the bottom then move accordingly. The creator Adam Ben-Dror actually train his fish to follow his hand as he moved it around the tank. 

This is an interesting concept of allowing creating an environment for interaction which has no human directly involved. The interaction for this project is between the fish and the space surrounding. Like an ultimate revenge for a fish finally would be able to travel on land and explore what it has never been able to explore. 

This could lead us to think outside the box, does interaction design really has to have the element of human to be called "Interaction Design"? I mean in "what is interaction design" presentation we did last year, what we have seen was all about human to human or human to a system(machine). Yet Adam Ben-Dror has shown that the relationship in this project has no human inside the loop(although he did train the fish to follow his hand, but the main interaction is still between the fish and the world). Perhaps we could start thinking of how could we allow our creation to communicate with animals in a meaningful way. What if human does not matter the most in interaction design anymore, what could it be?

This project is also remarkably similar to a project of "iRobot Create". It is a Roomba kit made for hacking. In that project they put a boinc hamster inside the ball then attached onto the Roomba. The hamster then "control" the Roomba`s movement by running in different direction inside the ball. 

In conclusion, I think what we can start exploring is the interaction between animals and system. What it is to expect when the interaction is no longer on us but other animals in general. And which role will we be playing in the design of that eventually happened?