Week 1.2 | Documentation & Reflection

Lucy Davidson - Sun 1 March 2020, 10:15 pm

The Work Done


On Tuesday we started with the expectations, challenges, excitements, and rumours for the course. This activity scared me but also reassured me a lot for this course. I had heard this course was a lot of work but so much fun and this really seemed to resonate with the whole cohort. I’m really excited for the exhibit and generally for the whole course. Going into this subject I was quite nervous that I wouldn’t be prepared enough as I’m not the most confident programmer, but seeing that everyone is the same and Lorna saying that as an IT student I am a developer, I feel much more relaxed and eager to build my skills throughout the semester.

We then began researching into some examples of interactions that already exist. I really enjoyed this task as I think the name “Physical computing and interaction design studio” is very broad and somewhat confusing to understand. Seeing others examples of this idea really showed me how broad it actually is and how many different interactions come under this same theme. I think I had a narrow mindset of what counts as “physical computing and interaction”, but after this activity, I’m really excited to see what ideas we all come up with and present next week.

Work that Inspired/Interested Me: Something that I found during this session and that inspired me this week was an interaction by the MIT media lab called Tangible Cityscape (https://tangible.media.mit.edu/project/tangible-cityscape/). I currently work for a small transport consultancy and have constant interaction with multiple different types of demographic data which can be difficult to contextualise. I think this idea is a very interesting topic to explore as I haven’t really seen anything like it before and can see how it could be applicable in an everyday setting for those working in that field. This has kind of extended my interest in exploring under-explored domains for our team project.


This week we started with the 7 HCI Challenges, with our team focusing on Human-Environment Interactions. I found this topic particularly interesting as we started discussing just the basic challenges such as classifying different user types in the environment to then discussing the dark side of these interactions. In particular, the issue of security challenging how invasive an interaction should be. We also discussed the importance of finding the line between an experience that is intensive to one that is invasive.


We then did the ideation activity with playing cards. Even though the task was sometimes very difficult, I thought this process was very cool and helpful to begin thinking outside the box. I came up with the following ideas during the individual rounds.

  1. Design to rehabilitate in the village using contract with the quality zero gravity
  • Rehabilitate - restore to health, bring back to current condition
  • Village - community
  • Contract - promise, decrease in size, commitment, understanding
  • Zero gravity - floating, comfortable (zero gravity chair)


  • Something set up in the city centre - People have to keep a weight perfectly balanced (if someone leaves, another person has to replace them - contract) which will water a plant bringing it back to life = bringing people together and rehabilitating a plant (rehabilitate)
  • Something that brings broken families back together -
  1. Design to empower in the village using fire with the quality forever
  • Empower - self-confidence
  • Village - community, school
  • Fire - burning, heat, smoke, spicy
  • Forever - eternal, doesn't break


  • Write things you don’t like about yourself and throw it into a fire that burns something that can't be melted by fire (e.g. titanium) = shows person that no matter what people say about them they won't break

I then went to the induction for 78-207 in the afternoon. It was very interesting and I’m super excited to begin working on our project in week 4.


On Friday I sat down to begin my brainstorming to come up with an idea for presentations next week. I began just writing down anything that came to mind, reminding myself that no idea was a bad idea. I found this somewhat challenging as I was very overwhelmed by the scope of possibilities. I kept thinking back to the classic pot plant that responds to how its being taken care of to help the owner keep the plant alive. I began thinking about how I could scale this idea up to help households cut back on their energy use. This is where the idea, Artificial Conscience came about. My initial ideas for this concept included:

Environmental monitor - Energy tracking guy

  • Temperature - it’s too hot in here, turn the heater down
  • If too many lights are on, says it’s too bright
  • If lights are left on all day, gets electrocuted
  • If shower was too long, turns blue and “drowns”

Knows weather, season, temperature, light

Have different sensors wirelessly connected

Groot kind of thing

Better self on the shelf:

  • People strive to be better, reminder to be good
  • best way to change behaviour is disapproval

Work to Do

The work I still have to do is to further strengthen and understand my concept of Artificial Conscience, and create the poster for my presentation next week.