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å Monday, March 4th, 2013

í Activity: Document and note everyday interactions

While you are not meeting in a group about your video, leave the classroom and notice interactions that exist between yourself and other people, yourself and objects and yourself and machines. Choose five that most lend themselves to a discussion regarding the next assignment and post them in the comments below.

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13 responses to “Activity: Document and note everyday interactions”

  1. Claire Niederberger says:

    My interaction with paper and pen when I make a doodle.
    My interaction with a person when I ask them to do something with me.
    My interaction with time when I try to pass it or manage it.
    My interaction with people with I eavesdrop on their conversations (albeit one-sided)
    My interaction with someone when I sort of know them and am trying to figure out their name but can’t quite place it.

  2. Phil says:

    Five interactions:

    Communicating via text with roommates and landlord about paying rent

    Navigating myself in an unknown space (JWU dormitory)

    Requesting a floor in the elevator

    Picking an item from a menu

    Asking strangers about an unfamiliar new restaurant

  3. Jia says:

    1. Doors:
    Object that creates a flexible boundary between spaces.
    – Human-human: Opening doors for others
    – Machine -human: Doors opening by themselves
    – Human – machine: Humans trying to push open doors, figuring out if it’s pull or push or if it’s locked.

    2. Vending machine:
    Object that takes your money and gives you food.
    – Exchanging money for food through a machine that dispenses
    Interesting room for error — food gets stuck, coins go missing, food runs out etc.
    -Machines killing people: There are 10-13 deaths every year caused by falling vending machines.

    3. Paper towel dispenser:
    Object that when waved at will give you a towel.
    – “waving” at a machine in order to receive a towel — obeying the machine’s programming in order to get what you want.
    – Machine “recognizes” activity and dispenses paper towel. Responsiveness /lack of responsiveness can take on personality — dispenser being “frustrating” or “over-enthusiastic”.
    – also creepy when machine is activated without any human action — does it have a mind of its own?

    4. Shredder:
    Object that takes your paper and shreds it.
    – Machine designed to deconstruct and destroy — one directional, irreversible.
    – Anthromorphism- process of inserting paper = feeding it, shredding people = eating paper
    – Creates unfriendly sounds and harsh noises, but also protects your security

    5. Syringe:
    Object that when pressed inserts foreign objects into your body.
    Object that when pulled removes objects from your body.
    -common source of fear — PAIN!
    -invasive, intimidating — direct interference

  4. Christina Rees says:

    Interaction with the paper towel dispenser. The frustration when it doesn’t work.

    Self checkout at the library/ store versus checking out with a person.

    The relationship we have with our RISD ID. It is used to get into buildings on campus, check out books and resources, pay for food, ride on the bus. We are completely dependent on it when on campus, but it’s pretty useless everywhere else except to get discounts at movies.

    Interaction with the elevator. It saves the effort of walking up and down the stairs.

    The book scanner in the library makes my life easier because it’s faster than a normal scanner.

  5. Erin says:

    1. Having trouble looking for the right dollars and cents in your wallet.wallet that you can type in the amount of money and it automatically organizes the dollars and coins and present them to you.
    2. Asking people for the pressed floors in the elevator. a screen on the top that shows which floors are pressed, so that everyone can know when it’s crowded in the elevator.
    3. blind for the window that automatically opens according to the amount of sunlight
    4. awkward pauses in between conversations. pause fillers

  6. Mrityunjay Marol says:

    Refilling my Lamy with fancy Lamy ink.
    Setting up my headphones.
    Locking and unlocking my Blackberry.
    Opening and closing my pen cap.
    Avoiding people’s eyes while talking.

  7. Sae Ra Lee says:

    interaction with my phone-how people react when separated from their phone for too long

    interaction with streets in providence- frustration and confusion

    interaction with strangers- when something embarassing happens (like tripping, falling down)

    interaction with people you dislike- how to act around them

    interaction with my computer- daily activity, getting sick of it but i cant really do much about it

  8. Hannah Chung says:

    Looking for your keys/id
    Looking for your car in a parking lot
    Finding which bars have happy hour at the moment using phone
    Outdated flyers all over campus
    Planning out your/friends schedule for the day to maximize time

  9. JayJay says:

    .awkwardness in elevators when you’re with a stranger.
    .kicking into that shallow space to open the elevator when it’s closing.
    .and passive aggressive reactions that follow such action.
    .hands-free phone call. ex: earphones. facetime.
    .motion sensor operated lights.

  10. Emily Law says:

    – Writing formal emails to people via email in a language you normally wouldn’t use
    – Flipping a light switch is a whole electrical process that we don’t see or even care about. We just assume light appears like magic
    – Paying a meter with coins. Parking meters can’t even spend the money we give them.
    – Surveillance cameras how we act reserved or unlike our usual selves when we’re being watched.
    – Fire Alarms and how they are meant to save you during an emergency but they are so annoying and you cover your ears instead of leaving the building.

  11. Maxwell Fridberg says:

    Activating Debit Card:
    Spoke to electronic woman on the phone who seemed very impatient. Kept going on to the next set of instructions before I was ready.

    News Truck:
    Group of kids skateboarding, showing off for news equipment, crew was nowhere to be seen.

    Cash Register:
    Man and Machine working together to register items, catalogue them, charge the appropriate price, and give a student discount and correct change.

    People & Elevators:
    People wait for/in the elevator in silence, maybe say a word or two to each other despite such close proximity.

    A person sits at their computer to play a game. They join a group of people in an online lobby and control characters in virtual space defined by a specific set of rules. They are able to speak to each other using microphones built into their computers. Nobody knows each other IRL.

  12. Emily Law says:

    pretending to talk on the phone when you see someone you don’t want to talk to

  13. John says:

    Random buzzes that happen with unknown origin or meaning.

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í Assignment 2: From Human to Machine
Mon, Mar 4

Due April 1


The industrial age was an era of optimization. Its aim was to improve the quality of life and reduce the toil of humanity through the introduction of mechanized products. Washing machines, bar codes, telephones and pneumatic tubes all shifted labor from people to machine in order to free society from mundane tasks.

The electronic age has expanded the reach and importance of automated processes — so much so that the lack of human labor, attention, and interaction is alarming in many scenarios. Google cars drive themselves, drone planes bomb for us, automated thermostats adjust room temperatures, while our computers deliver the news and mail, even when we are not in front of our computers.

This assignment asks you to consider how what we make as designers effects human interactions on the micro and macro scale. Using your everyday interactions as inspiration, invent a new machine or automated process that alters or replaces a presently human-controlled action.

Weeks One and Two:

Note your everyday actions; go out of your way to notice how technology does and does not effect your everyday actions. When do human interactions occur? How would the introduction of a machine enhance or hinder the interaction. What would the advantages or disadvantages be if the machine took over? How can you use sarcasm, exaggeration, appropriated voice to make a point?

Present your research and preliminary idea in class on March 18. Spring break is the week after this.

Due April 1:

Present your project in class on the day we return from Spring Break. Your deliverable will depend on your invention, but may be a presentation, a model or a digital demo. Be prepared to discuss your project in terms of its value to human society. What expectation do you intend to have by replacing the human interaction with an automated one.

Your project can be revised after this week, but will not be critiqued.

Assignment objectives:

– Increase sensitivity to the integration of machines in everyday life
– Build research and rhetorical skills
– Integrate artistic voice within the design problem
– Produce an off-paper deliverable
– Encourage team-building around shared values

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