For this project I was interested in the violent relationships that people have with machines. I researched a bit about how people react to machines when they are frustrated. I thought it was interesting how people act violently towards machines even though machines of course do not feel and will not respond to violence. People are nice to machines that are “nice” to them, and mean to machines that are “mean” to them or do not work. People also sympathize with machines that have human traits. In my research, I came across a woman that lit a vending machine on fire because it ate her money and countless videos of people destroying their furbies. I wanted to highlight this weird interaction that people have with machines by making a machine that actually did react with human-like traits when hit. This vending machine visibly crumples, bruises and bleeds when you interact with it.
After crit, I edited the images a bit to make the reaction to the machine more visible. I made the dents in the machine more dramatic, i made the bruises more realistic by using photographs, and I added blood.
The inspiration for the timeless clock came from an excerpt from Mitch Albom’s The Timekeeper. He says,
“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping.
You probably can’t.
You know the month, the year, the day of the week.
There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car.
You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie.
Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored.
Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch.
Deer do not fret over passing birthdays.
Man alone measures time.
Man alone chimes the hour.
And because of this,
man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures.
A fear of time running out.”
From Albom’s comparison of the nature’s relationship with time and our relationship with time, I was able to come to a realization that us human beings, only ones to measure time in this universe, feel inferior because of this.
In the process of trying to bring such inspiration to form, I’ve thought about the idea of a clock. A clock is considered to be one of the most important inventions of all generations. It is informative and universal in its use, allowing us to make sense of the passing of time. However, through the introduction of this invention, we have lost our capability to let ourselves live on our own pace. Therefore, I’ve designed this Timeless Clock, which can train you to ignore the practice of measuring and keeping of time, as you use it. Each time you look at the clock, the numbers start to fade away. Eventually, it will leave you only with the second hand, which makes the ticking sound of the clock, reflecting the pass of time in a symbolic way.
Here’s the final version of the Access infommercial! It’s shorter and flows much better than the previous version.
Access is both a product and a service that replaces the need for a security pass or a key. Utilizing RFID tagging technology, it allows users to gain access to services and spaces much more efficiently than before.
For this project, my process was not particularly linear, and it took a lot of running into dead ends before I reached the final product. However, in the end I reached a relatively simple and presentable solution to the problem at hand. Those first few dead ends helped me to realize that sometimes a simple idea can be a lot more executable and interesting, and is potentially more appropriate in this time frame.
Initially, I began by looking at overarching themes from the introductory slideshow. I identified cuteness as a common thread in a lot of the examples, and thought it would be interesting to build a meta-machine that generated cuteness for other design objects. I researched the science of cute, and mapped what that meant on a personal and research level. Unfortunately, cuteness is an idea that is way to complex to tackle over the course of a few weeks, and in crit it was pointed out that building or mocking up a cuteness generator was not feasible.
After, I wrote out three proposals for new ideas and consulted with John. These ideas included a machine that provided canned responses for internship interviews, a machine that picked the simplest or shortest ideas (the ‘underthinker’), and the Jewish Mombot. Each of these machines were rooted in personal and sometimes awkward interactions. John helped me to pick the Mombot, and I started to develop the idea further.
For the next week, I built a proof-of-concept in the form of a crontab. I recorded my Mom saying what she was comfortable with, and set her to voice to run at intervals throughout the hour. I also mocked up a prefpane icon. My first presentation relied heavily on my verbally explaining my idea, which was problematic. As such, I then went on to develop a slideshow that would serve as a visual aid and show the settings of the Mombot. Critique helped me to realize that a solid, comprehensible deliverable is still important when communicating an idea, and pulled me away from getting lost in the intricacies of attempting to execute it in full.
Below please find the promotional slideshow explaining the Mombot.