Key points from this week's lecture:

  • Human entities are capable of expression through sound and movement. The production of sound is mechanical, requires movement of air across vocal cords that makes the vibration to create sound.
  • Mechanical responsiveness is made of direct task orientated motion, relational motion and the narrative in experiences.
  • Direct task orientated motion is when the intention is achieved through direct interaction. A conscious object function that involves the human and the object. We know when the function is fulfilled and we know the primary limitations.
  • Relational motion is when the interactive actions of the human facilitate the function of the object but do not directly influence when, how or to what capacity the resultant actions of the object where realised. The human may or may not have intentions and the realistation of the function or response is subjective.
  • The narrative is set by the designer/artist but revealed by the user/audience. We move away from situational technology and think about the designed purpose we are providing to the users.

Examples of Relational motion & motors required.

  • Rain Room uses Solenoid/Valve motors to control the release of water from the ceiling which mimics rainfall. Camera tracking allows the valve to stop rainfall whenever a user is underneath meaning the user never gets wet. This asks the user to consider the natural or built environment that surrounds them and reminds us of the world which we evolve through. This example considers the designed experience and narrative set for the user to take part in.
  • ‘Audience’ by Random International is a critical design/art installation that makes use of servo motors that uses a tilt and pan functionality across 30 small mirrored machines. The context of this design is for the audience to analyse their role in a theatre setting. Here the users considers the role of being observed or observing others and the responsibilities attached.

From the initial moment of interaction between user and object we must consider the story that begins to unfold. Designed interactions are created to fulfill a desired expectation from either designer or user. We must consider how the human will relate to our design, considering what they already know and factor this in to the semiotics/ affordance of the design. When designing this kind of experience we must consider:

  • Unfamiliarity -Where the user evaluates product and concludes individually the emotions and experience attached. This is gained through first observation, attribution, potentiality and first interaction.
  • Familiarity- Through primitive, cognitive processes determine whether the object is known or provides dynamics of fulfillment, predictability,mastery, adaption, customisation and ownership.
  • Affinity- Consider the aversion human user has with the object moving forward. Does the designer want users to expect something, draw on previous knowledge or present them with something unfamiliar, focusing on possibilities that aren’t familiar to them.

Unfamiliar objects in familiar settings provide users with interesting experiences.

Considerations for my design:

Drawing on the knowledge gained from this lecture I have began to generate ideas/possibilities for my public installation piece. With the decided location for the piece being Battery Park in Greenock me and Victoria are working with a large, flat area of greenery that has scenic viewpoints surrounding. The location has a rich history with ship building industry which we may decide to draw on for the project, making use of:

  • Light that mimics surrounding water.
  • Ship-wreck near park location.
  • Shadow effects casting specific shapes relating to theme of water/ships.
  • Make use of absence of light as an alternative approach to the mimicking of sunlight.
  • Create a personal link to community, celebrate the culture of the area.
  • Could this be a series of installments around the park that combine to create a rich experience.
  • Investigate the use of shadowing to throw words onto ground?




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Jennifer Mowat

Jennifer Mowat

Product Design Student

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