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  1. 1. Exploring Biomimetic Interfaces Exploring Biomimetic Interfaces CIID Summer Course 2013 Non-human centric design excersize OVERVIEW THE DESIGN CHALLENGE: Enhancing communication From the perspective of your non human user, design a device that improves their meth- ods of communication or information exchange with others of their own species, other species, or humans. Build a prototype incorporating a physical and electrical component. It should have a sensory input, a visual or auditory output, and a feedback mechanism, preferably using Arduino. Consider: a design object for a non human user that engages humans to perform an ac- tion on the non-human user’s behalf. 1. GO OUTSIDE TO THE PARK. Go to a quiet spot where you cannot see people or build- ings. Bring a notebook and a camera. 2. OBSERVE. Look around. Find a live plant, animal, or an organism in nature that you par- ticularly connect with. [a tree, a cat, the grass, a mushroom, an ant, etc.] THIS IS YOUR NON-HUMAN USER that you will embody. Consider life from the point of view of this organism. 3. EMPATHY: Gather as much information as possible. Document through writing, photographs, and drawings. Explore by touching, rearranging, and physically-interacting. From the perspective of the organism / object, consider the following questions: What are the things I like to do? What do I need to do to stay alive? What do I eat? How do I move and travel? Do I sleep? Who do I communicate with? Why do I communicate? Actually act out being this non-human user. Make scenarios; use natural elements as props. Really dig deep and try to understand life from the perspective of this animal. 4. INTERFACES: What Are Some Interfaces That This Organism / Object Interacts With? How does this organism communicate with others?
  2. 2. CIID Summer Course 5. DEFINE DEFINE the Non-Human USER: is it an animal, insect, plant fungus? What is its name? DEFINE the NEEDS: what are the emotional & physical necessities when that user interacts with others? Needs should be ACTIONS not NOUNS. Ask : WHY when you notice something particular, or contradictions. INSIGHTS: Write down some insights, contradictions, surprises. Generate 3-6 POV [point of view] statements from the perspective of the organism that deal with its communication and interactions with its own species, other species, or humans. USER [Bumblebees] NEED to communicate with each other to come join in eating honey BECAUSE [some people left a big sugary sandwich on the ground]. or USER [Spider] NEEDS to run away when it sees shadows BECAUSE [it fears that the shad- ow is a human foot that will crush it]. Choose 1 POV statement you like the most: It should be the most remarkable realization that you can leverage for a design solution that pertains to communication. Refer back to the design brief on the previous page. 6. Identify / Plan. Gather materials that you might use in designing your solution. RETURN TO THE CLASSROOM 8. 12:00 PM tomorrow morning: Demo your design, perhaps outside.