Living tompaper


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Living tompaper

  1. 1. LIVINGTOMDecember 19, 2010 Electronic product for lonely people Physical Interactions By Alvaro Soto LivingTom is imagined for complex emotions where digital technologies are no longer practical or helpful,the project explores the role of technology in everyday objects imagined for complex situations where generalizing the public is no longer a matter of fact. exploring the role of the product designer in the 21st century, the importance of emotions and technology in the design of everyday objects for critical thinking and social change. Drawing concepts from Critical Design, Ubiquitous computing and Emotional design, products will contain aspects never imagined before, interactions will be as complex as the public is involve on it, but most importantly they will stand as media for communication, delivering messages as calm technology or facilitating critical thinking in the public that uses them. 1
  2. 2. Technology in everyday objectsLIVINGTOM December 19, 2010 the role of the product designer This project intends to comment and revise commentary. He asks he students to think in technology as a tool for imagining new services future scenarios where The designer can and products that invite users not just to possibly contribute “solving problems” but he conversations about critical situations that are doesnt. But this solutions are not the ones consequences of our daily behavior as expected by the public today, because are solutions that aim to provide tools for individuals and the collective society but as a conversations about this, most of the times medium to propose new ways of interactions undesirable problems” so the idea of these that can contribute to the existing or future products is not to solve problems but to social, economic and cultural opportunities. contribute to the social structure of today by Living Tom is a fictional product but it was delivering messages. this messages are full of designed in such way that the public of today significance aiming to inspire the public to think would consider it as a possibility, as a real about a future which is better than the product that could live in any house. This is key imagined by the designer. to deliver the message effectively. Fictional I am personally very interested in this topic. products are powerful communication medium Designers are not problem solvers because we lack the knowledge to solve all the problems we if they can break the ice between the public and attempt to work on. Don Norman wrote for the interaction. Anthony Dunne in an article core 77: for Adobe Think Tank said: I read outrageous claims made by designers who For us, it’s important to try and push and stretch have little understanding of the complexity of the design, but this activity can only happen from within. If problems they are attempting to solve or of the we get plonked down as artists then the dialogue stops standards of evidence required to make claims. (sec. 2). Anthony Dunne is the Chair of the Design But we have a powerful tool in our hands, Interactions program at the Roal College of Art we can change point of views, we can create in London. He wrote Hertizian Tales which trends. Most importantly we can access the which proposes design and objects for critical LivingTom The product uses movements using DC fans and a plastic bag. when the users presses the surface the motion starts. Technology: DC fans Hbridge LEDs fsr (forse sensitive resistors) transistor capacitor Materials: Plastic wood cotton canvas 2
  3. 3. LIVINGTOM December 19, 2010 everyday of people, we can inspire, create emotions, modify behaviors Objects which are and all this give us the power to elevated above the deliver powerful messages and in this pragmatic and formal way contribute to change inspiring requirement of the the public to desire this change. functional artifact, and deliver ambient observations in Nothing But Emotions How to do Critical condensed form for reflection and Don Norman in Emotional Design contemplation. wrote: Tim Parsons Without emotions, your decision-making ability would be impaired. Emotion is always passing judgments, presenting you with immediate information about the world: here is potential danger, there is potential comfort (11). Emotions are clearly part of our decision making and they invite the public to use the products or to buy observations in condensed form for interaction, feel and look were key to them, emotions create an attachment reflection and contemplation. develop its forms and functionality. to the product so it can be consider in Good Design can sell, good and In this way the success of LivingTom a small scale as way to create emotional or poetic design not just would be measured in terms of how sustainable design because we wont sells but at the same time create people was going to react to it as it get rid of something that make us attachments with the user that are would be very close to reality and smile. consequently causes for reflection and emotions were clearly something that Emotional design can be consider as critical point of view if the object has the public needed to feel anytime the poetry in design, which in words of been designed to communicate interaction was presented. Ralph Ball as stated by Tim parsons something and it is targeted to right in his article, Is irony killing design? : audiences. Objects which are elevated above the pragmatic and formal requirement of the LivingTom Design process took into functional artifact, and deliver ambient account this concepts. Emotions in Elio designed a collection of objects that Precedence will help you keep rational and live a Utility Pets normal life in case of a transplant or Designed by Elio Caccavale during the process where you have to take care of the baby pig. one of these objects is a special device which allows If your DNA is going to be genetically you to keep smoking in the same room as engineered into a pig, who will take care your pig, but stops the pig suffering from of the baby pig. You would have it in dangers of passive smoking. your home, you would want to care for Elio’s project is a very good its well-being. After all is your health that heart growing inside your pig might reference because he designed a fictional eventually be inside your body. (Fiona object that can be easily imagine in his Utility Pets Rabby from Dunne and Rabby future scenario. Utility pig can enter into Tony Elio’s project is about xeno-transplantation; any house allowing the general public to using pig organs as replacements organs, explaining the project for the Designing comment about this future. The role of yourDNA can be genetically engineered into a interactions book by Bill Moggridge.) pig, when its an embryo the designer is that of the communicator. 3
  4. 4. LIVINGTOM December 19, 2010 Precedence Susanna’s project is very interesting Organs of perceptions as she design critical objects for Designed by Susanna Soares conversations around subject of critical matter to the design fields. One of the more striking proposals to Her projects are clearly not come from her project was for an alternative means of diagnosis, less something possible now but its more technical and invasive, but also less about opening the discussion around bio- precise. Bees trained to detect a products than proposing a real product. particular hormone would be placed in a The fact that designers cant make actual specially designed glass container, the bio products it doesnt mean that he cant person breathes into a smaller open do it. The idea with this kind of New organs of perceptions, Bees As biotech and other advanced technologies chamber within the larger one, if the communication devices is to inspire move out of the laboratory into the bees detect the hormone they move into technological advances. marketplace there is a need now, more than ever, to explore the cultural, social and ethical the smaller space indicating its presence. implications of emerging technologies. Process The controller LivingTom started as an interaction between a controller an a major object which would give the feedback to the user upon touching the control at certain combinations. This was a way to add a layer of complexity to the interface. The idea of objects as creatures that you would need to feed with interaction in order for them to react. This at the end would end in a more complex interaction and more rewarding experience. The first 2 weeks were an exploration of form, relation between the objects and the technology and a intensive prototyping of all the ideas. three controllers were made but at the end as will be explained bellow. The controllers didnt make it through. Kinetic and close The controller gave LivingTom a good layer of interaction. the process was more complex and the output would have been perhaps very powerful. But the separation of the user from the main object of feedback was not ideal for this product since sound and movement were very subtle and a separation would only reduced the chances to experience it. By week 2 I decided to move towards a single unit were the control was a couple of force sensitive resistors placed in the two corners of the qyare based just around the dome. Inside the dome I placed the plastic bag, fans, LEDs and amplifier system. LivingTom then started to take shape into its final iteration. 4
  5. 5. The prototyping of the kineticLIVINGTOM December 19, 2010 movement that the bag was intended to do was key to the project and the code had to be precise so the relation between pressing the sensors and the reaction was seamless as possible. After getting the code and the movement right the question was how to hide the bag but at the same time keep the movement. This because in order for LivingTom to be a real product the surprise couldnt be expose. Otherwise the public would be focus on the technology and not the output of it. Conclusions Design needs to change, but we don’t need more art projects, those are perfect for discussion in the galleries but havent demonstrated a greater impact. What I believe we need is products that can live in our houses, that marketing groups can get excited about and that the public accepts with joy, but that at the same time are designed over a rich and critical thought. Metaphors in design, poetic and playful interactions are tools that the designer can use in his advantage to combine this two strong sometimes complicated combinations. All the designs dont need to reach the market, and they shouldnt, some designs should be fictional but as real as possible so it convince the audience. With this products we can deliver messages about negative futures cause by our practices, communication now can lend to a different tomorrow. LivingTom is an experiment of a series of project that I will like to pursue all of them as communication devices that provoke conversations around critical subjects. I believe this can be achieved with technology and a thoughtful product design practice. 5
  6. 6. LIVINGTOM December 19, 2010 Works Cited Dunne, Anthony. Hertzian tales : electronic products, aesthetic experience, and critical design. Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press, c2005. Norman, Donald A. Why Design Education must Change. Core77, Web, 26 November, 2010. Parsons, Tim. Is Irony Killing Design?. Object Thinking. Web. 24 Nov 2009. Uncertain futures: A conversation with Professor Anthony Dunne, designcenter/Thinktank, Web, 21 feb 2007. For more information please visit my personal website: