Social Obj Prototype

In this prototype I’ve now gotten rid of the screen, and am only using movement for communication. This friendly robot can understand crystal children through telepathy and can respond to only crystal children, the robot only comes to life in the presence on a crystal child. I was kind of inspired by the Kenya Hara’s Haptic Remote control which would go to sleep and wake up only when needed. Similarly this robot only wakes up when in presence of a crystal child.

The robot can respond to crystal children’s telepathy only through movement so my plan is to have to robot create gestures which are the robots way to communicate, this stems from my reading in crystal children developing their own sign language before they can talk.

This is what I presented at the IBM crit and got a lot feedback to think about:

1: The gestures that I have made up are around concepts that I have prescribed that kids should have, such as sadness perhaps children at the age of 3 haven’t developed sadness their feelings are maybe even more basic like hunger & thirst

2. Everyone thought the robot was a translator for the telepathic kids

3. True telepathy happens in the mind, its mind to mind communication there would be no gestures if something was truly telepathic

4. Maybe focus on the relationship between tech and magic

5. Maybe drop the telepathy thing its not solvable and difficult to workout


Prototype 1

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This is a robot machine which can communicate with crystal children. Among other traits crystal children are telepathic at an early age and don’t learn to talk until they are much older (usually around 3 1/2) This machine responds only to crystal children, it knows when they are around and automatically turns on (gets activated with a small shake of it head when in the presence of a crystal child) The fictional part of this object: The machine uses a sensor which can pick up on heart rate and can respond to the childs emotional state, the child can talk to the machine with its telepathy and the machine responds with an output of graphics on it screen. I want to use a heart rate sensor, because in the conventional hard science the brain is the key command organ which sends info to the rest of the body… In the spirit sciences the heart plays a much bigger role than just pumping blood. The heart sends messages to the brain. There is also a video attached to my email which is, an example of the sort of response I could create from the machine… This piece of generative art in processing is a modified version of something Min and I were experimenting with for the V&A project. The graphic on the screen changes direction in accordance to the movement of the mouse, it could in this project change direction depending on heart rate.

Primary Research on Indigo Kids

I spoke to someone who told me that when he was a child he was often told he was an indigo child. He had always been a bit different and growing up was tough.

He mentioned that on a day to day basis he experienced great sensory overload, he was also had a unique type of color blindness. He didn’t only see a red sofa as maybe another color, he saw every color within the red sofa. This caused for great sensory overload.

He has always had a complex and technical mind perhaps much ahead of his age when he was younger. He always wanted to know why things were how they were and how they got that way. Was very analytical at a young age, this made it difficult for him to fit in and made him feel isolated.

He also had trouble with communication, trouble with emotions not knowing what emotions are relevant to what situations. Emotional responses were thought through.
Although he may have often seemed blank on the outside but had many conflicting feelings on the inside.

As a child he had a lot of feelings of being isolated and trouble with fitting in with other kids.

Choosing a Tribe


My tribe is called Indigo and sometimes called Crystal children. This is a new age concept it refers to children who are believed to have special capabilities. Some characteristics of indigo children include:

Highly Intuitive
Are highly empathetic, curious and strong willed
Don’t do so well in conventional schools
Often labeled as ADD, ADHD & Autistic
Perceived by friends and family as being strange
Report having memories from past lives
Have a clear sense of self-definition and purpose
Resistance to control based
Ability to communicate with spirits and angels
Ability to communicate telepathically

Among the new age community it is believed among the new age community that these children are a more evolved version of our species. They are here to help the human consciousness evolve. However according real / conventional  science they are often considered to be autistic.

At this point my ideas for my outcome id like to create an object that take a pataphysical approach. Id like to look at finding  imaginary soloutions. Im going to focus on the following traits of indigo children:

Report having memories from past lives
Ability to communicate with spirits and angels
Ability to communicate telepathically

I feel that these characteristic may bring about interesting results. Bellow are some images of devices such as infrared camera and barometer which are used by ghost hunters to find paranormal activity, also there are images of pataphysical machines from films.

FMP Research Questions

  1. How can interaction design help children learn about science?
  2. How can play help children learn about science?
  3. How can designed play help children learn about science?
  4. How can interactive play help children learn about science
  5. How can creative play help children be more engaged in their own learning?
  6. How can interaction design facilitate a sense of wonder in children which would then result in them being more engaged in their learning?
  7. How can science museums create more effective learning environments, which encourage learning through engagement?
  8. How can science museums use interaction design to introduce children to really difficult concepts of quantum science?
  9. How can the science museum use interaction design to encourage children to be fascinated by difficult scientific concepts of quantum science which then instil in children a desire to learn more by themselves?
  10. How can user experience design help enhance children’s learning?
  11. How can user experience design help enhance children’s learning at science museums?

FMP Literature Review

I want my FMP to focus on children’s education and interaction design. So essentially I will be looking at how learning happens among children and how interaction design can encourage learning. At this stage I want to look at imagination and learning through play and then look at how this may affect cognition and retention of information. I am interested in encouraging in children a sense of fascination and wonder. I am predicting that if the children are fascinated by the subject matter it will drive them to learn independently through self – motivation.

In my literature review I came across an article, which looks at Child – Centered Practice in Museums, described the driving principles of Ipswich Art Gallery in Queensland, Australia. Its key principles being that learning begins with creative play and children’s exhibitions are curated for children. Another interesting point in the paper was about the environment being a ‘third teacher’, looking at the environment spatial and interior design with a focus on user experience design seemed to be an interesting area of research for the project among others.

The article mainly discusses an interactive installation called ‘Light Play’, which is an installation, which combines science, art and play. The aim of the project is to create an environment, which inspires children to learn and interact with one another.

The installation featured reflective art installations. And also included a variety of reflective papers, fabrics, CDs, disco balls and mirrors in the area to encourage children’s experimentation, and to enable them to make discoveries about the properties of light.

The installation puts the child as the role of the artist using his or her own creativity to learn about light.

Reverse Engineering

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How can Interaction Design help people with dementia?
How can Interaction Design help people with dementia access memories?

Field of Study

Interaction Design
Product design
User Experience Design


Designing for the Elderly
Designing for Senses (Designing with Emotion)
Study of the Brain
Community- Connecting the Community – Bringing a sense of identity to people who have lost it


The project could be important to the designer because of a personal relationship to the context (maybe a grandparent had dementia).


Secondary research about Dementia
Secondary research on Memory and how the brain works
Secondary research on synaesthesia and what does it do in the brain and how could that relate to memory
Primary Research: (Research through Behavioral /  Social Science / Observational Methods)
1. Neurologist
2. People suffering from dementia
3. Old Age Homes
4. Care takers for the elderly
Create and test out early prototypes on a group of people with dementia (Design research through Design)
Find out through primary research what music means to people- what type of songs correspond to what type of emotions
What does identity mean to people

Predicted Resolutions

Making something that connects memory to an object and connects object to music

Speculative Design: “Is what we eat making us sick?”

We are living in a world where greed corrupts our food and healthcare industries. Were what we eat is making us sick, giving us diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, increasing rates of autism, giving our children allergies. And if so why is the healthcare industry not helping us change our diet, but instead marketing us drugs and coming up with new pills that are only solving the symptoms of these problems and not the problems themselves. All for the single-minded motif of gaining profit.

My project looks at revealing the tragic indirect link between what we eat and the medicines we take. The research that I have done shows how bad things are right now and includes data and figures which allow the audience to speculate just how bad it could be when we are forced to live in a world where our current food industry is faced by the challenge of feeding 9 billion people.

Diseases, Causes and Cures

Cancer is one of the few illnesses that I have looked into. It seems there is an overwhelming amount of information about stage 4 cancer patients using “alternative” medicine to cure cancer. This information exists and is available for those looking for it. These alternative cures include:

  • Cancer patients have cured their cancer by changing the ph level of their bodies through what they eat. Cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment and cannot survive in alkaline & oxygenated environments. This basically means eating alkaline foods (most fruits and veg) over acidic foods (meat + dairy)
  • The dairy we consume contains growth factors (hormones) which act as a fertilizer for cancer cells.

Edward Griffin author of World Without Cancer suggests that cancer is a deficiency disease aggravated by the lack of an essential food compound in modem mans diet. This compound is Vitamin B12.

  • Ok so if there are these other possible solutions and if meat and dairy are so problematic for cancer patients why does the healthcare industry not encourage these methods as a cure.
  1. Meat and Dairy industry are a powerful industry that makes up a great chunk of several powerful countries GDPs.
  2. Big pharma will never seriously look into modifying diets as a cure but instead will spend all their money on coming up with newer pills, because this is where they make most of their money.

Along with cancer, GMO crop have been found to be linked with seasonal allergies, and rising rates of autism. It’s the glysophate (weed killer) that’s sprayed onto GMO crops, that causes all the trouble, it kills important bacteria in our gut, which causes many immune system deficiencies. Its also been linked with autism. Autism rates are currently 1 in 69 and are said to rise by 50 percent by 2025.

The outcome for the project

My proposed outcome for the project is to present my research findings. Documents with highlighted portions encouraging the audience to make the connection between the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry. This research also includes stats on how these problems are only increasing allowing people to project into what the future would be like if things keep getting worse.

Another plan for the outcome is to create film, which shares my research findings through a narrative.

When Apples Design Got Worse

In the article “How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name” the authors point out many of their frustrations with Apple.  They argue that Apple has actually gone worse in design in many ways particularly with IOS.  Apple used to be renowned for its simplicity but although at first glance users see the new Apple products as simple, when you dig deeper you actually see that to use advanced functionality is actually quite difficult for an average user who is using the devices without ever reading a manual.

They point out that although many people claim at how even elder people are now using iPads as they are so easy to use, there are still major design flaws that make things more complicated than they need to be.  For instance in the iPad, going beyond the simple operations such as pasting three photos somewhere can actually become more difficult than it is.  So many people using the devices don’t actually get the most use out of them as they don’t know that they have the ability to do something.  There is no manual and they argue that some things are getting so complicated that they actually now need a manual.

They pointed out how when you changed the keyboard on the IOS from upper case to lower case the letters would still be in upper case on the keyboard design but a up arrow (shift key) would change colour from black to white.  How should a user know which colour is upper case and which colour is lower case?

They point out that in many instances beauty has taken over from functionality.  For instance, some fonts are so nice looking but many people without the sharp vision of a 17 year old find them hard to read on the screen.  The beauty might have increased but for many the functionality decreased.

One of the biggest things missing in the IOS is the “undo” key.  This was one of the best features of the computer era in that users were safe with the knowledge that they could undo anything at anytime and so were free to experiment more.  In the earlier versions of IOS it didn’t exist and now that it does it is that you have to shake your phone to undo. Many apps don’t have this feature turned on.  And many users don’t know that this feature exists.  So there are many times the user is not sure what and where to click and might get linked through to a YouTube video which they can’t get back from.

Technology can make users feel dumb.  And the authors of this article highlighted many ways in which Apple was actually at fault and needs to fix its design issues so that they are continued to be seen as the best in design rather than simply the company that makes things look good.

Moving forward there will be many more copying of Google from Apple just as there will continue to be the copying of Apple from Google.  Usability experts like the authors advocate that designers should communicate and collaborate across departments rather than work in silos which can lead to inconsistency in the usability across the different products.

V&A Expanded Artefact

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The output of our project was an interactive piece where when you tapped on the drum graphics would appear on the screen. We used a piezo sensor which would pick up sound vibrations from the drum. The piece is based on our chosen artefact from the V&A Digital Archive, “Eagle” by Wade Shaw. Our interactive piece is based loosely on the way in which “Eagle” was created. The artefact was made using an early piece of software which used sounds to create images.