Documentation & Reflection

Week 3

Benjamin Williams - Tue 10 March 2020, 2:18 pm
Modified: Thu 21 May 2020, 3:30 pm

World Cafe

Participating in the World Cafe was my favourite activity so far. I enjoyed thinking creatively about such a range of different themes. Collaborating ideas to dig deeper into the themes was an exciting and rewarding activity that gave me a more thorough understanding of what could be done with a theme.

Emotional Intelligence

My group broke down this theme to be ideas that fall under the following categories: learning your own emotions, representing emotions, embracing and expressing emotions, and sharing emotions. The concept ideas on the table were either designed to help a user learn and understand their emotions, or embrace and share an emotion that the user knows they have. For example the Love Tower concept allowed the user to share their love with other people feeling the same. Light-up glass was about expressing party emotions and fuelling party vibes. On the other hand, Draw texture was about representing and understanding your own emotions by translating them into texture art. There could be a lot down with this theme

  • Draw texture
  • Love tower
  • Light-up shoes
  • Light-up glass
Sassy Technology

I looked at this theme by thinking about what the point of giving a technology a personality is. The point is to humanise the technology for a more personal interaction. Moreover, the ability to please or disappoint the tech gives another element of incentive to complete the given task. That's why this theme is good for teaching the user something. By having a personal relationship with the technology, you're incentivised to please the machine by showing that you have learnt the thing. For example, we thought that the handshake arm could be improved by giving it the ability to give you the finger if you stuff up the handshake. Alternatively, it would wave at you if you're a consistently good handshaker. Moreover, being able to teach and be taught handshakes by the arm adds to that human relationship element. This theme was my first preference. I thought the main constraint of this tech regards what degree of AI this tech would need and how to actually implement it.

  • Sassy Knife, Handshake Arm, Climate plant
Digital to physical senses

This theme was interesting to think about. The basic application of this theme is to translate digital things into sound, smell and touch, like a 4D movie. I tried to think in a different approach such as how colour can be associated with sound, smell and taste (eg. synesthesia). I thought it would be a cool idea to make a digital game that teaches synesthesia. Where users are taught to match sounds to colours.

Everyday sustainability

This theme was a bit boring and over-done for me. The ideas either tools to organise your daily life to be more sustainable (wardrobe, fridge, climate cactus), or installations that taught awareness about sustainability (ocean pool, recycle game). I thought the best idea was the climate cactus since it sounded like an effective way to save energy and interact with a fun piece of tech.

  • Charging mouse
  • Ocean pool
Emotional Totems

I didn't really see the point of this theme. Most of the ideas were about reading your emotions and visualising them. The rose that lives or dies in response to surrounding sounds would only make the situation worse. Seeing the rose die while your mum is yelling at you seems horrible. The cubes seemed a bit useless since they only tell you your emotion rather than do anything about it. The best concepts of this theme were the stress relief ones since they actually assessed the problem. The main constraint with this theme regards how accurately the tech can detect emotion.

  • Emotion cube
  • Stress ball
  • Sound Rose


I really enjoyed brainstorming and collaborating with other students to flesh out these themes. I felt that it was a highly productive and rewarding activity to get a feel for the best kinds of concepts that could come out of each theme. By doing so I was able to grasp a better understanding of the themes and distinguish my favourites. Emotional Intelligence and Sassy technology facilitated the most interesting discussions. It was cool to think about the many weird applications of these themes such as the sassy hand shaking hand. Despite my early interest in musical things, I found that this theme was a bit one dimensional and difficult to make interesting.

Week 3 - Tuesday Studio

Jason Yang - Tue 10 March 2020, 1:53 pm
Modified: Sun 15 March 2020, 4:27 pm


Today in the studio we undertook an activity whereby we grew existing inspirations to develop and share our own ideas. This process is called "World Cafe".

Personally as I reflect on Today's process, what makes such a seemingly simple practice — that of talking together about things that we set out during our studio 2 and developed and intentionally linking the essence of our conversations with students. Through our informal conversations, it offers us the opportunity to notice the possibilities for mutual insight, innovation, and action. I feel, through using this World Cafe methodology process, it offers a unique mixture of freedom and focus, of coherence without control.

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Work Done

Today during World Cafe, we were able to experience and learn/ immerse our understanding of other ideas and general themes. This was another stage in the ideation process in which we undertook to seek inspiration to generate a brilliant idea.

Three rounds were involved whereby specific tasks/focus areas were explored. In the first 2 rounds, with each different concept/theme, I encouraged the group to define each of the words in the theme. This allowed the group to mutually understand and gather everyone's interpretation of the theme. Without restricting a specific idea on each member, this allowed the group to gather ideas from different perspectives to collectively define the space for the theme.


During each round, we respected all group members to ensure their ideas were fairly shared without interruptions. When I came up with an idea, to ensure that my thought wasn't lost, we had two large butcher papers to jot down our ideas to share after the other person has finished sharing their idea.

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After three rounds of world cafe, we were given an opportunity to vote for the best concept/idea


After the three rounds, I'm really inspired to further investigate the idea of "enhancing mundane spaces".

Further Research into "Enhancing Mundane Spaces"

In today's society, we are constantly surrounded by mundane spaces. An interpretation of mine at this stage is:

ordinary spaces and places that don't normally get a second glance and that are often overlooked by the world because of there mundane and ordinary status in the world.

Typically car parks, building entrances, loading bays, public open spaces, back streets and "Non Places/Spaces". I will be further looking into space both in a physical and abstract context.

Lessons Leant

From my experience after today's workshop and understanding thus far, World Cafe methodology fosters an environment that develops good conversations. I felt during the studio, this World Cafe approach is designed to get authentic dialogues started. This is in order to encourage the sharing of ideas in a relaxed, informal and creative atmosphere.

week 3 #worldcafe #studio #conversation #ideation #


Xue Xia - Tue 10 March 2020, 7:28 am
Modified: Tue 10 March 2020, 7:28 am

Soldering Induction

I have finished all Induction by this week. Compare with other inductions Soldering Induction is more interesting for me. At the beginning of the induction, the tutor teaches us how to make a simple circuit for a light. I can understand the circuit diagram, but hard to operate, I never assemble the circuit after graduate the junior high school. Then, we learned how to do Soldering, after practice, I find the key method is that we should heat the tin close to the electric wire and add the tin drop. Finally, I make a light successfully.



In the contact, we focus on do self-presentation of inspiration and critic others. Before I listen to others’ present, I misunderstood the task brief, I focus on technology and navigation. I have used the power we have in our pockets. To meet the requirement of Relevant& Novel, I should think of the future, what interesting interaction and experience that future users will have. In the initial concept, I want to develop a technology that is used to solve the problem of the new student missing on campus. I will redo my assessment and focus on exploring that is guiding new students by different experience designs in different scenarios. I have finished online research, the inspiration I will use called “Jack Sparrow’s compass” from a movie. The unusual is that Jack’s compass guides the owner to what they wanted most rather than the north. I will use it to redesign it in week three.

We have done the discussion of all pitched to gather topics on Wed. afternoon. That is a good chance to learn from other’s work, what is good and bad, and think if there are some element can be used in my work.

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week 2

Iris Deng - Tue 10 March 2020, 7:09 am
Modified: Tue 10 March 2020, 7:45 am

Ideation and presentation

This week, everyone presented their design ideas. Many design schemes are very novel and interesting. People's ideas are not only limited to the creativity of science and technology but also make the interaction between people and objects more interesting, which can attract people to use.

After the presentation, everyone got different feedback, which was very helpful for design improvement. For example, my design solution is more about thinking about how to operate in different ways. In my previous design, I really only wanted one way to operate, which was too limited.

Soldering Induction

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In this week, I have learned soldering. This is new knowledge for me, which attracts me to explore this field. Although I learnt some circuit knowledge, I just know how the circuits are connected. In this study, the tutor explained the connection of the circuit. In the process of connecting the circuit, I failed many times, sometimes because the wire was connected to the wrong connection port, and sometimes because the positive and negative terminals were connected wrong. But after many failures, I finally connected the circuit.

After learning about circuit connections, we learned about welding methods by watching videos, and our tutor also made a demonstration for us. When welding, the melting point needs to reach 35 degrees. We need to extract molten iron after melting the wire and use molten iron to connect each small part of the circuit together. In this process, the difficulty is that each welding contact can not be wrong, we need to connect the connection of the wire welding together.

In the whole process, I learned the connection between the circuit and the name of each part. Most importantly, I experienced welding technology in this study, which enriched my knowledge.


In this session, tutor told us some laboratory rules.

  • Keeping the wood stable when cutting the wood
  • The location of the tools
  • Finding the tutor if there is a problem
  • The location of the emergency exit
  • The emergency phone

Week 3 Entry 19: Additional Ideas for the Refined Project Inspiration

Amraj Singh Sukhdev Singh - Mon 9 March 2020, 11:46 pm
Modified: Mon 9 March 2020, 11:51 pm

Now that we're aware of some common mistakes, I've written down a bunch of thoughts and restrictions that might help me arrive at a more substantial refinement later.

New Design Restrictions
  • Must have an appropriate weight
  • Training device cannot take up excessive space
  • Sound feedback...
    • cant be something that talks to you because detailed sound is hard to hear over the din of the fridge or the stove being on high
    • conversation volume can get pretty high too
    • brief, quick responses like beeps and chirps would be helpful
A Potential Solution from Unexpected Inspiration

Until now, a lot of the thoughts I had were from just the context of modifying a existing kitchen tool into doing something strange - but looking at the common mistakes, I realised... a bunch of them have to do with the tool being held being improperly balanced or held, or having their weight shift, and then not being able to respond in time to prevent injury or damage to the tool.

From there, while looking back at notes I've been making for a personal project, I recalled a tool that did just that... a policemans expandable baton. When fully extended, it's weight isnt just concentrated in the rounded grip at the bottom, but distributed over its length (because not all the material is in one place). I believe his is what allows those batons to be swung when extended, but not as easily when compressed.

Additionally, before going for a run, while warming up, I realised - you warm up before exercise - so maybe there's a way to warm up before cooking? Some way to ensure that you know what kind of mistakes to anticipate and expect when cooking?

Finally, the useless box. A device that refuses to allow a switch to be stay turned on, and progressively gets more stubborn and resists this, by opening a "hatch" on the device to release a creature that turns off the device.

The Basic Idea for What Happens Next

So, here's what I envision the refinement will be... I still imagine it'll be useful for volunteers, but instead of teaching them clear cut scenarios where they just practice how to use the regular tool...

They'll follow through the process through some instructions, holding a weighted baton.

At random point, parts of the baton quickly extend outwards, shifting the weight distribution through the tool, and simulating the tool slipping, getting loose or just falling. This can be mitigated if the baton is gripped correctly.


Before heading to the kitchen, a new volunteer has to pass the "baton test" to make sure they're aware of how to handle the tools, or at the very least, know of the common accidents that happen while cooking.

Two thirds of the batons length are at the front end, meaning shifts there (as would be seen on the ends of regular tool) are more noticeable than shifts on the handle of the baton, which is where they should have a good enough grip to mitigate movements anyway

Thought Train and Carriages
  • Refine the above
  • Tool needs more... personality in general, specific actions it does in response to the user, that are consistent
    • Instead of literally saying something, a specific chirp or beep that indicates success or error in completing a task would be sufficient.
    • Tool needs to have sound prompt feedback
  • Need to consider if volunteers also get one to practice at home, or if its just a tool at the shelter
  • baton and weight design needs to make more sense
  • thinking of the different ways weight will be distributed to simulate different tools


Mengfan Yang - Mon 9 March 2020, 11:04 pm


This week, everyone has shown their prior idea.

After the presentation, I got some feedback. Instead of the screen, I will find some more interactive ways to present my idea.

Also, from listening to others, I found some classmates who had similar ideas to me. For example, the BIBO Light also used breath. And a lot of people are interested in designing a physical game.


I have participated in some activities which introduced some lab rules and shown us how to use some facilities in the maker space.


The tutor told us how to do the woodwork, including cutting, drilling, polishing, cleaning the wood.

laser cutting

It is so cool and I got a gift that was made by the laser cutter. I learned some basic operations and rules of the laser cutter. However, because of the noise, I cannot listen clearly. I still confused about how to transfer the document into the software of the laser cutter.


security and tools usage

I also learned to use some tools. Different tools can solve different solutions, and I eager to use them by myself.

In a word, if we have any confusion, we need to ask for help.

Week 2

Qinhan Yang - Mon 9 March 2020, 10:45 pm
Modified: Mon 9 March 2020, 10:45 pm

This week we are having an overview about all others projects.

Week 3: Reflection on Project Inspo Feedback - Smart Wardrobe

Aizel Redulla - Mon 9 March 2020, 9:48 pm


I've gone through the feedback (both Peer & Staff) and it gave me more perspective on features that could extend the concept and problems that it might face. For example, there is already technology that exists to show trying clothes on and standing in front of a mirror isn't very physically interactive. Maybe a way to improve this aspect would be to "humanise" the wardrobe so that the interaction isn't passive?

Another interesting point of view was that suggesting outfits might actually constrict creativity. Some people find joy in trying on outfits themselves and experimenting with that, so offering it as an option rather than a default might be more helpful if the concept was targeting a larger audience.

I think the core focus of the concept lies in its roots of slow fashion and sustainability. I didn't get to elaborate on how the wardrobe would count the number of times an item is worn in my pitch and I think this made my peers doubt whether the concept had a variety of novel interactions. Maybe voice and facial expressions would be better input to teach the wardrobe how the user feels about specific outfits or styles of clothing. If the wardrobe learns what materials and colours the user likes (using surveying and statistics) then it would be able to take that into consideration when reevaluating the user's wardrobe and suggesting which items could be donated and which items the user might want to wear after a while. I'm envisioning a situation of hangers having weight/motion sensors or the user's clothes having unique tags on them. Perhaps in a prototype it would just be barcodes or QR codes.

I think there is a lot of existing technology that would be able to prototype this concept really well since the sensor part of it could borrow tech from large scale department stores that have to keep track of inventory, but it still has a lot of potential to explore the unknown.

Hopefully in the world cafe activity tomorrow I can flesh out some more improvements not just on my own concept but on all the other ideas.

smartwardrobe sustainability slowfashion week3 projectinspiration

Week Two Progress

Piyumi Pathirana - Mon 9 March 2020, 9:40 pm
Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 1:04 pm

Project Inspiration Ideas

This week resulted in the cohort presenting an array of unique and playful ideas using open ended interactions in everyday life. It was quite interesting to see the different modes through which classmates selected to host their concept as well as the varying themes that people decided to tackle. Together as a group, the class collectively went through all the ideas before coming up with general categories. Below are the ideas sorted into categories:

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This method of collecting ideas and categorising them is quite efficient and a great way to see a variety of ideas and their similarities. For future, this may be method that I adopt when generating ideas for the course.

From these ideas, the cohort further explored categorising some of the potential ideas into interesting themes that can be used for the semester project. The following ideas were brainstormed:

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A final list was compiled outlining a total of 17 themes to explore.

Concepts That Intrigued Me

Some of the ideas that drew me included the themes of education and music. In particular two ideas stood out to me, the first being mort. the toy for children to learn morse code, and The Bus Composer, which allows bus riders to listen to and create music on the bus for their own ears. I thought the context of these ideas was very practical yet exciting, unique and suitable, which I think is why they stood out to me. Having a project at the end of this semester that ticks those four criteria would definitely be a great outcome for me!

Some of the themes that I would be interested in exploring within the 17 themes that were brainstormed include Beautify The Self, Change Through Discomfort, Musical Things, Emotional Totems, Bothersome Tech and Body As Controller. I think it will be interesting to explore some of the annoying aspects of tech, as well as concepts that are about ones self. I've always thought mental health is a really strong concept and it is a theme that I used last semester in a different course which is why I also have an interest for it.

Reflection On My Concept

I was excited to see a generally good response from my peers based on my concept of the Pillow Pal. One interesting comment that I was given was the possibility of being able to select the scent that one enjoys, as it was mentioned that some people may be irritated by certain smells. This idea of personalisation to a person also inspires me to potentially think about how this could be incorporated within my potential future project. Unfortunately this was the only suggestive feedback that I was provided so I have struggled to think of other ways to better the pillow concept currently.

Additional feedback commended my concept on allowing the user to be able to resonate their emotions for a while. I think being able to resonate with an object in an emotional sense is quite an important aspect, regardless of whether the object is specifically catered to emotional control or not. Hence, the idea of a user being able to somehow have an emotional attachment to a concept is something that I ideally hope the project that I undertake this semester will do.

Final Thoughts

Overall I think my presentation was clear and effective (although I definitely think I spoke quite fast due to nerves!) and my idea seems to be novel and relevant. I definitely think there is room for improvement and perhaps this may not be a project that I will choose to take on during this semester, just because I feel as though it lacks a bit of depth. However I definitely am proud of myself for coming up with a new and innovative idea that hardly overlapped with any other ideas!


Anson Cheung - Mon 9 March 2020, 8:03 pm
Modified: Sun 26 April 2020, 3:46 pm

Week 2

In this week most of time we have spent in the class are doing presentation and critique others work as it is related to physical computing and the takers can present his/ her idea clearly. Each person got 2 minutes and show their poster to other students one of the ideas that interest me is a game that player use their hand as controller and his inspiration is from the childhood that use 2 fingers acts like human walking. This game looks interesting to me and can be exposed more at next week would café. It can discuss more about the detail how it can make players feels remarkable like if taking damage.

About my idea’s smart fridge before the presentation I have change a bit after watching other presentation because the ideas are lack of novel technology. Original idea is user must scan the item that they bought from supermarket by hand however there are lot product or apps that can fill full this task in the market. But what if the fridge can do it itself as they have sensor on each corner and coding Ai that can learn the shape of each item and identify what the item is. Beside of that just printing out the buying list looks old fashion therefore I have added the buying list can be sent to mobile phone apps and modify any time even you’re in the supermarket.

My pitch was on day 2 therefore I bot little bit time change for ideas and prepare for my presentation. My pitch was't able to communicate the concept to my peers and address the domain to other student. End Up I fail the assigment too.

After the presentation we have assembly together and identify the ideas by type and write it on the memo paper. End up most of the ideas project are solving the mental problem and stress problem space and those ideas are normally punching something. I think this problem space can be explode more as the solving solution can not only punching something instead having conversation with others. But this must do more research on an increase the physical interaction

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Overall fun week and this help me identify what topic I interesting do research to prepare next week world café section.

Reflection of this week

This week most of the time we spend time on presentation end up I know that I failed on each critique. Which reflect me that my fridge idea is not unique at all. I think the lack of future element is because I have too care is the modern technology can build this product or finish this idea. This limited me to use exist technology this frame to design the new idea therefore I have failed the presentation. Beside of that my speech are not clear enough to present the idea which when the tutor and loran ask me question about the idea, I spend a little time to figure it out the answer which mean I have not well prepared for the presentation. Therefore, I must redo the project inspiration.

This time I should do more background research for the idea first, beside of that in the class I have mark down few interesting ideas that inspired me more to use as a reference for my works.This week give me a warning and chance to increase my skill for presentation and know what I am lack of.

Week 3 Entry 18: Function of Refined Project Inspiration

Amraj Singh Sukhdev Singh - Mon 9 March 2020, 7:44 pm
Modified: Mon 9 March 2020, 7:44 pm

Right, we have a direction we can go in, - "We're designing a to train young volunteers at a homeless shelter to cook"

We also have a visual list of tools that would be useful to train people for - a knife, soup ladle, meat tenderizer, frying pan and grater


Next, we need something we can train people to do.... or perhaps not do?

Common Mistakes With Common Kitchen Tools

Not a definitive set of them, but trying to recall some common accidents and issues I've seen or heard about first time volunteers having when they've used these

  • Kitchen Knives
    • Improperly balancing the knife, so it slips from their hand and into the wall ahead
    • a loose grip while cutting, so the knife slips out when they try to cut something
    • using too much force (a la a butchers knife) which dulls the tool
  • Soup Ladle
    • slipping while holding the ladle - soup on the floor
    • too much soup in the ladle in general
      • spilling hot soup on their clothes
      • pointing at something with the ladle, flinging beans across the space
  • Meat Tenderizer
    • dropping it, almost on their foot
    • missing the patty and denting the counter
  • Grater
    • ... had heard about someone using it to grate the metal kitchen counter, leaving the table covered in scratches and grooves
      • thats more of a mistake with supervision
    • cant recall many from when I was there ...
  • Frying Pan
    • swinging it too high, often its not necessary to lift it at all, its okay to just use a spatula to move the food about - especially sausages.
    • scraping a spatula too hard on the pan, damaging the coating
    • fingers touching the edges of the pan
    • hitting or tapping the sides of the pan while waiting for the food to be sufficiently heated.
Brief Breakdown

The grater is the tool I've heard (or seen) the least amount of issues with... so perhaps its not something that really needs someone to be trained to use it... but with the kitchen knife, ladle, tenderizer and frying pan, their misuse either has the potential to damage the tool (or workspace), or cause hurt to themselves, making me more inclined to want to complete something that counteracts that.

Thought Train & Carriages
  • It's obvious now that there isn't just one tool that can fit all these different situations...
    • multiple training tools used together may address this
    • maybe the tool can be modular add little bits that make using them different?
    • what if part of the tool is virtual?
    • can I still bring back some aspect where the tool judges your work?
    • training happens in groups, so other new volunteers watch someone use the tool, maybe I could think up something that takes advantage of this?
    • I need to consider the weight of the tools... it has to be sufficiently heavy that it doesnt feel like you're just air guitaring with a plastic stick

[Week1 - Post 3] - Card Ideation

Sigurd Soerensen - Mon 9 March 2020, 7:23 pm
Modified: Tue 31 March 2020, 3:35 pm

The card ideation method was a new and exciting approach to me. Our table came up with some fun ideas, although most of them were toilet-related due to the cards we drew.

However, I feel our creativity was limited by having to stick with the first cards until they had been exhausted. This issue became especially apparent when we were supposed to do the same task individually, where most of us had one or two weird words that didn't make sense in that context or cards that had words that didn't make much sense at all. Even though I am fond of ideation methods, I've noticed that in most subjects this far, we have not used any ideas after we came up with them. I believe this is for the simple reason that they are either not captivating enough as a concept or not feasible, making the ideation process somewhat wasteful. I'm hoping that this will not be the case for this subject.

In the end, we did decide to present the idea of a mechanical plant that would die as you are wasteful with water in your home; A simple but intriguing concept. This concept came to be when we ideated on the sentence "Design for enlighten in a bathroom using ridged with quality of detached". The idea is enlightening due to how it visually represents your water consumption with a familiar, easy to grasp metaphor, that of a plant dying, which equals bad. Although the plant isn't required to be in a bathroom, this is where the idea originated. The mechanical aspect of the plant came from the ridged requirement, and the plant itself can be picked up and moved around, hence fulfilling the detached requirement. We did continue to ideate on the concept with a new card reading semi-trailer instead of a bathroom, as we felt like we wanted to ideate something else than bathroom ideas, but eventually, after voting, ended up presenting the original idea to the class.

All images can be viewed here if not shown below.

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week1 cardideation

Week 3 Entry 17: Streamlining Project Inspiration Refinement

Amraj Singh Sukhdev Singh - Mon 9 March 2020, 6:54 pm
Modified: Mon 9 March 2020, 7:16 pm

Before I progress into sharing some ideas for reapproaching the concept... I thought it would be useful to clear some roadblocks for myself... not wipe the slate clean, but reprioritising.

In the previous post, there was a little bit of thought into the situation I'd intended to address, so I think it's best to lay down the conclusions I'll be sticking with, so that at the end of my refinement, I can compare the presentation of the initial pitch and refined one, to see what happened.

In this case some solid components are:

  • Instead of just "designing a tool to teach knife safety", we're "designing a tool to be used to help train young volunteers at a homeless shelter to cook", which is less specific but has a detailed context.
    • Optionally: There's limited space to store tools at a shelter, the tool shouldn't be a large machine or terminal.
    • Optionally: It doesn't have to be one tool that does everything, it could be a set of tools that can be stored together
  • The knife talking to you to correct your mishandling of it isn't interesting, so it should be removed - its not playful if it simply says catchphrases and so on, its the interaction that has to be interesting
  • The idea needs to be more safe so it can fit into realistic situations - it would be awkward to be having a conversation with your tools, while someone else approached you to talk - I'd pictured the tool being used while alone in a quiet place before
Addressing Ideas Differently

Words aren't always the best way to convey ideas,.. especially if your thoughts can't match them sufficiently. As much as I'd say "I'm good at English", it's still my third language, occasionally I instinctually use Malay to describe something in my mind, and then translate it as I speak, which results in a description that even I don't understand on reading it a second time.

So, I'll use pictures instead. Images make it easier to just throw out a whole bunch of thoughts, so long as I'm the only one that's interpreting them.

Set Up

Before continuing in more detail on a pivot to the idea, it's best to know what already exists. So, here's a set of tools that I would say are used most commonly in shelters. Now there's a simplified picture in mind when I think "tools".

Thought Train and Carriages
  • the diet at different shelters might mean that the food cooked there uses different processes
    • maybe other tools are more common at other shelters that I haven't volunteered at
  • presentation of the training tool
    • is it one or a bunch
    • does it even need to have realistic parts
    • no more tool talking to you
      • something else should make it interesting
      • how to get people to empathise with the tools?
      • what were common mistakes people made with tools?
  • I shouldn't be using tools interchangeably for the thing I'm proposing as well as the existing utensils

[Week1 - Post 2] - Seven Grand Challenges

Sigurd Soerensen - Mon 9 March 2020, 6:46 pm
Modified: Tue 31 March 2020, 3:35 pm

The first week started with running through the seven great challenges as presented in the international journal of human-computer interaction. I was tasked with reading through the seventh task on social organization and democracy, of which you can find my highlighted sections here.

As for the in-class discussion afterwards, I took the role of facilitating a conversation and trying to involve everyone on the table, while another person in the team took notes as we discussed. Facilitating the discussion proved to be difficult as most people at the table sat silently by not interested in giving their point of view on the matter. Hence, we ended up being three to four people keeping traction in the conversation. After having discussed for a while, we chose one team member to present our discussions. The gist of what we discussed was to focus on a broader scope when creating technologies in the future that encompasses Glocal (global + local) thinking and how the product can affect people other than the user. Moreover, we looked at how technology can manage resources and its impact; how technology should be more inclusive, active technology co-design with users; and technology to give equal voice to everybody, with an example of cryptocurrencies.

Although I understand that for the discussion it would be helpful to place us in groups with those who had read the same chapter, I did not feel like I learned anything from listening to the presentation of the other groups. Moreover, I had a hard time hearing what was presented. Without reading the other chapters, I would not even know what they were about from the presentations held. Moreover, I don't understand why we had this exercise in the first place as we didn't use the challenges when generating ideas the next day.

week1 sevengrandchallenges

[Week 2 - Post 2] - Presentation Reflection

Sigurd Soerensen - Mon 9 March 2020, 6:02 pm
Modified: Tue 31 March 2020, 3:34 pm

Looking back to the presentations, I would say that the general level of concepts pitched was superb. It was interesting to see all the different ideas people had come up with being presented, and I have to say that most of them were delivered understandably and comprehensively. Moreover, only a few, in my eyes, did not meet the criteria of being a novel, playful everyday interaction.

As for my presentation, I believe I was able to convey the concept both through the pitch, poster and blog entry. With that said, I would have liked to simplify the idea to more easily be able to communicate the concept given its complexity at the time I presented it. I did find it a bit confusing what the poster was supposed to include as the brief didn't specify it and there were some contradictions as to whether it should be a simple sketch or a fully-fledged poster, so I tried to go somewhere in the middle. I wouldn't change my idea much based on what I saw, but it would be nice to specify a use case to focus on as screens with touch functionality is a vast field.

Although many concepts were interesting, I didn't get much excited by anyone project as many were quite vague. If I were to pick a couple of ideas that I found most appealing, I would choose either Artificial Conscience, the smart wardrobe concept pitched on Tuesday, or the Chroma concept which teaches colour theory.

week2 reflection critique

Week 2

Lachlan McIntyre - Mon 9 March 2020, 3:01 pm

Soldering Induction

First up this week I had my soldering introduction. I had never soldered before so it took me a bit to understand what to do and it was very messy. Lots of safety stuff to remember, but I came out of it with a working device.

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Tuesday and Wednesday contact were presentations of our project ideas & inspirations. Wednesday session 1 is when I presented my idea, and afterwards we categorized all our ideas into themes. It was interesting to see the trends that a lot of people went to.

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78 - 207 Space Induction

This space induction had a lot of safety rules and new tools I have never used. Not sure what I'm going to use any of these tools for but I am still excited to see what we can do!

Week 2 Journal Entry:

Edward Carroll - Mon 9 March 2020, 2:43 pm
Modified: Mon 9 March 2020, 2:43 pm

This week throughout class we spent our time listening to our peers project ideas and inspirations and providing feedback on these ideas. We also presented our two minute individual idea pitches in the sessions. I found it interesting how there were a large amount of similar ideas and inventions in over the two sessions. I also noticed that there was a large focus on mental health and physical heath within the pitches.

Week 3 Entry 16: Early Thoughts Refining the Project Inspiration Concept

Amraj Singh Sukhdev Singh - Mon 9 March 2020, 2:18 pm
Modified: Mon 9 March 2020, 3:46 pm

Looking back on the pitch presentation, there were a few issues not only with how I had presented the idea, but also with the core of the interaction.

What Worked All the Other Times?

Going back to the roots of some of my more successful design efforts, those often involved choosing a domain, investigating it by talking to users, and then coming up with a proposed solution. Skipping out on that second step, comes with the risk of assuming that "because the idea is in this domain, it will be obvious that the users will be x".

And What Happened Here?

In this case "because it's an idea about teaching people proper knife safety, it's for people who don't know how to cook". A mistaken assumption, I've made a few connections before arriving to that, and retracing those will be helpful in presenting the concept better.

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

So, to look back at where I think I went wrong, I'll revisit the mini-journey that led to having (and possibly fleshing out) the idea.

The starting point was "design to enlighten in the kitchen using x with the property of disgust". I'd interpreted enlighten as "learning" and "informing". From kitchen, I got "kitchen tools", like a frying pan, soup ladle, or cooking knife. And from disgust I'd gotten "anger, disappointment".

A few combinations later, a knife that teaches you knife safety by berating / chastising you.... But there was a step I skipped over in between those - a personal experience that led me to think that this would be necessary.

The Real Life Situation that Made It Seem Useful

Occasionally, I volunteer at homeless shelters around Brisbane. Different shelters have different tasks and responsibilities that a volunteer can help with.

Some volunteers help with preparing meals, and others help with engaging with the community, specifically, talking to the homeless citizens who come from around Brisbane.

Further, weekends tend to be the days where the highest volumes of volunteers arrive. Many of these tend to be mid-late teens or young adults, who have little to no experience using basic kitchen utensils, let alone cooking. Often the reason they are there is because it's an organised event of sorts... so they're unsure of what skills they need - it isn't their fault, many of them are volunteering for the first time on the day they are there.

The result, often a more experienced volunteer is put in charge of directing or training these small groups (usually, safety training for using utensils, and how to cook the meal of the day). This unfortunately means less time for them to actually do some of the regular volunteer tasks - as they have to make sure that the newer volunteers are successful at picking up skills in a short time.

An issue that's besides the fact that teaching well is a learned skill, and sometimes the wrong volunteer gets assigned to training over an extended period.

Young attitudes are... unpredictable - extroverted new volunteers may pester older ones (even ones not training them), or be very chatty, wanting to make small talk while doing their tasks. These habits aren't always appreciated.

So, now there's a situation where the new recruits are - in several ways - unintentionally getting in the way of volunteer work, which reduces the care the homeless receive.

Eventually, some of the more experienced volunteers stop coming, and while they are replaced, the connections they've made to the homeless citizens cannot be. These vulnerable citizens can build a certain bond with those they speak to, and because of their situation, trust issues are common... so you have homeless citizens who simply choose to go to a different shelter.

My idea was that at least to address the issue of needing to train each new volunteer in knife safety, a tool to do so would be really handy.

But the above is a really complex, very detailed situation... so I assumed it would be sufficient to say "young adults dont know how to cook, this tool guides them in the first steps toward it".

Where Now?

To pivot the idea into one that's more relevant to the theme, I think a good place to start is to look at the tasks that happen at the shelter, and focus just on making some improvements into the flow of the tasks.

That is to say, ignoring the dynamics of volunteering, what would be helpful in helping those tasks go more smoothly?

I've unintentionally imposed on myself the need to make this a tool that trains its user... so how about focusing on the bigger picture, rather than just teaching you how to use a knife correctly, there's other tools in the kitchen too. I also don't want to completely transform the concept, only retool it, no pun intended.

Different Types of Everyday Tools at the Shelter

Some examples may include the frying pan, for bacon and eggs, the ladle, for porridge and beans, the grater, for cheese and certain vegetables, and the mallet for hamburger patties... aside from the kitchen knife. Each of these tools has a specific way to use them, and something that walks you through using them correctly may be useful.

Where Will It Be Used?

Besides this, the target audience are inexperienced cooks who are young adults - so where would the training tool be used? If it's at the homeless shelter, it shouldnt be one that consumes electricity or takes up valuable kitchen and storage space, but if it's simply at home, then they'd likely only benefit from using it two or three times, before moving on to the real thing...

Thought Train & Carriages
  • Don't think too hard about the giant problem, focus on the specific situation
  • Doesn't need to be a specific tool
    • Doesn't have to be usable for actual cooking, doubly so for sharp and heavy tools that can actually hurt you
    • Maybe it's a set of tools?
    • Maybe it doesnt even need to be a physical tool? Just a prop with mixed reality?
  • Where to use the tool?
  • Is it going to be costly?
  • What can the tool do that "air guitaring" using the actual ones cant?

Week 3 - UQ Innovate Induction and Pitch Reflection

Laura Pham - Mon 9 March 2020, 12:49 pm
Modified: Sun 15 March 2020, 8:42 pm

Critiques: a reflection

I enjoyed reading the critiques from peers about Thinker-Painting.


Lorna proposed a fantastic suggestion! I had not previously thought about removing the visual display, however, by doing so, pre-perceived reactions could be avoided to ensure for exclusively genuine responses. For example, if I were to see a spiky texture, I may prepare myself.

UQ Innovate Induction (a real struggle)

I hoped to attend the UQ Innovate Induction on Monday, but since I arrived a few minutes late, my good friend John would not let me get marked off for the hand tool induction. However, I was allowed to attend the successive laser cutter induction, which provided me with immense insight on the multitude of programs that can be used to provide .DSF files for Speedy.

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I was given five pieces of black acrylic that forms a cube when constructed.


To formally complete the UQ Innovate Induction, I needed to go through the hand tool induction. This was completed on Tuesday at 1:15pm.

Tuesday (10 March 2020)

World Cafe

Most people in the class never heard of World Cafe. To my good fortune, I had endured the process of a singular World Cafe last semester (Semester 2, 2019). Consequently, I was familiar with the activity that we needed to complete.

The highlight of World Cafe was when I arrived at Enhance Mundane Spaces when Amraj S was the host. For that round I had mentioned the newly implemented Learners test (for driving). In my opinion, watching videos for multiple hours to learn how to drive and road rules could be considered mundane. It is possible that Tutor Clay had misinterpreted what I had said as he had suggested that the act of being in a car while driving is mundane. This is understandable as he and I both agreed that we often 'auto-pilot' and are unsure if we had ran a light (that was red, not green). Tutor Clay suggested that the inside of a car could be enhanced. Upon further reflection, I realised that anything in a car has potential to distract or disturb the driver from the road, and by extension, the aforementioned enhancement was discarded.


Wednesday (11 March 2020)

Teams were announced after the lunch break. I will be working with Jason Y, Rine L, and Jen S on the theme Enhance Mundane Spaces for this semester.

I participated with my group in an activity for a Student Staff Partnership (about DECO3850?). I was quite concerned with the host as he had inferred that an interview is synonymous with a survey. Regardless, I enjoyed the activity, but would have liked to be briefed on the purpose (or at least what it was for).

In the remaining hour, my team and I discussed the next steps for our theme.


Week 2

Timothy Harper - Mon 9 March 2020, 1:20 am

What was done

Week 2 started off with soldering inductions. We started with breadboards and figured out the wiring of a simple light circuit, which uses a single resistor, LED, battery and switch.

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I found it a bit challenging as the solder wand I was using was dirty and made it hard to heat up the lead. I still need to resolder some terminals and put the battery on, and then fit it into the 3d acrylic case. It was a good experience to use it for the first time.

We had our project inspirations this week. The aim of the task is to clearly present a novel idea of physical computing that is playful and interactive. Everyone presented their ideas over the two days and it was a real good experience hearing the variety and imaginative things people could come up with.

I went with the idea of Breakfast Bubby, a breakfast buddy that seeks to overcome the issue of people skipping breakfast by reminding them to pour their cereal through a touch lighting array.

How it relates

Reflecting on my presentation, I failed to reach the two minute timer, and gave the bare minimum information - which serves as a good reminder next time to take up notes on what I'm going to say. I also made it difficult to convey the idea through the poster as it was hand drawn.

Looking at feedback from others, I appreciate that some thought the idea was interesting, but fails to show how it can help people eat breakfast. A few of the problems include what if they don't eat cereal (the design focused on encasing a cereal box). Then even if they did eat cereal, how could fancy lighting promote healthy eating habits.

The Breakfast Bubby would in an ideal scenario be awoken by a single touch, letting it know that its brekkie time. It would then turn rainbow. Upon pouring in cereal to a bowl, it would slowly transition from red to green as it deemed was enough cereal being poured into the bowl. This would use an accelerometer to determine angles, movement and weights of how much cereal was poured. Once it was green, you would place it back down and it would turn off.

Generally without some sort of rewarding system or distractive mechanism to encourage you to pour it in, the tech doesn't really have a lot of appeal. Perhaps if it blared an alarm until you poured your cereal, like a get out of bed / eat your breakfast alarm, a two in one technology to wake up and eat up, the user would find the tech useful.

Some of the feedback suggested that it could make the breakfast for us, as opposed to just telling us to eat. Making use of the bubbles could be interesting - apparently everyone likes bubbles!

Making people excited to eat food is tricky, incorporating a game element was suggested. Getting people to stop eating could also be a problem.

Another student suggested to add more interactive elements to the idea, such as somehow displaying the health of the cereal or the time. This could be interesting as it takes the focus off generally eating but more on what you are eating.

Using visual shapes on the digital array could be helpful (ie smiling or frowning).

The bubbly array was suggested to be in a bowl or plate shape instead of a box, so that you could overcome the problem of a specific foodtype.

After all the ideas were presented, we put them together into themes.


TO do's

I still need to come up with ideas for other uses of the bubbly technology / reiterate idea.

Exciting works

I enjoyed hearing about tech that put a funky twist on things. This might include the running hand, a simple game where you use two fingers to just run around anywhere, but turning that into an actual AR game sounds awesome - using the body as a controller.

I also liked the theme bothersome tech - which could be somehow incorporated into my idea with sound.