Week 12 Reflection
Interactivating the City
This week marks the final week of Interactivating the City and our final design proposal will be presented to Bert, George and the rest of the class. Our group has worked long days and late nights to produce a prototype for our design which we feel, will greatly enhance Sydney’s primary nightlife district while simultaneously aiding congestion, contributing towards managing antisocial behaviour and will provide a direct and safe passageway for departing commuter of Kings Cross, to their desired mode of transport.
This week, we really worked hard in collating all of our information since week 7, and working on our final presentation, as well as experimenting with our prototype and gaining user responses. While we were unable to experiment in Kings Cross, we still conducted experimentation in Bert’s Interactivation Studio which allowed us to see how users would respond to our design. Some pictures of this experimentation is shown below:
Our concept was to create an outdoor play escape in an urban setting and to do this, we suggested a re-design proposal of central Kings Cross by using a pre existing alleyway, Llankelly Place, as an interactive pathway to the transport hub on Orwell Street. We focused on integrating the responses from stakeholders interviewed in the early research phase and then incorporating an interactive medium that appealed to Generation Y. We introduced a centralized transportation system in Kings Cross to aid congestion of traffic and people, which would improve the efficiency of the environment with little interference to existing infrastructure.
In our final presentation, we were asked to draw connections to previous research findings, and so apart from week to week findings, I found it really interesting to look back to the essays which we submitted in week 6, and see what had changed, what had evolved and what initial research we investigated which had now come to fruition in our final proposal. I chose 3 primary connections to research findings which I thought were most apt:
- According to Interaction Design – Beyond Human-Computer Interaction (2002), ‘in interaction design, we investigate the artifact’s use and target domain by taking a user-centered approach to development…this means that users’ concerns direct the development rather than technical concerns’ (Rogers et al. 2002). It is thus with this mentality that we strived to create our purposeful design which would fulfil the needs of the users.
- In Physical Computing-Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers (2004), as authors Dan O-Sullivan and Tom Igoe quote Byron Reeves and Clifford Nass approvingly, regarding their statement on video projections, commenting ’the size of an image really does matter in evoking a more emotional response from your users’ (O-Sullivan and Igoe 2004, p.373). From this, the authors infer, and agree with Beardsley et al. that the bigger the image, the stronger the reaction from people and the better the memory becomes of that image – we decided to make our projection (size x size) and have (number) camera feeds so there is an array of imagery on the projections which will evoke a greater emotional response with the user of the space
- Furthermore, ‘the potential to make many everyday surfaces into displays’ (Beardsley et al. 2005, p.43) means that we can utilize projections on almost any surface. The key is to add to this concept by incorporating interaction via users, as ‘physical objects around us become entwined with digital data (Beardsley et al. 2005, p.43). The use of everyday objects intertwined with electronics is another theme we researched and thoroughly explored in our final design. In our previous research, we observed the physical space of Kings Cross and took a number of photographs of possible projection spaces which would then enable this partnership. Though we didn’t use the pictured spaces below as our final choice, had we not investigated as to where such spaces exist, then we wouldn’t have come to our final idea of Llankelly Place.
The map below shows our final placing of our interactive passageway within the context of Kings Cross. We have decided to make Darlinghurst Road a one-way street which will help to improve the congestion of traffic and enable the proposed transport hub at the end of the interactive passage way, to run as a ‘one-way-in-one-way-out’ type of area. The diagram underneath the map shows how commuters will enter the proposed interactive passageway, and exit into the transport hub.
The different effects on the actual DJ stand are shown on the image below. The 2 discs have touch sensors underneath them, so when you spin them, the effects of the projection change. Similarly, the ‘volume sliders’ also have sensors wired through them, and the effects of the projection change as these are moved up and down. We have included a breathalyser in the final design, and thought it hasn’t been wired to create an effect via projections yet, our aim was to activate the whole system via the user blowing onto the breathalyser which would then calculate what alcohol content this person is currently on, and then it would alter how fast the images in the projections perform their tasks. For example, if the reading on the breathalyser was a reading between 0.03-0.05, which is defined as ‘mild euphoria’, then the speed at which the rotations and effects of the images would be altered according to this reading. Similarly, if the user was very intoxicated, no matter how fast they were spinning the discs, the projections would be slow/fuzzy/blurry/delayed, because it would be a representation of how their mind would be perceiving these images.
And so as the semester wraps up, I can honestly say that I am so thrilled with what our group has accomplished, how we’ve worked together to bounce ideas off one another, and how we’ve designed a working prototype which has evolved as our idea has. We have worked exceptionally hard and I am really pleased with our final idea, design and presentation!