This week really went in at full (ludicrous) speed.
The main focuses of this week were an introduction to the course, and a close look at physical computing (as the course name indicates).
The second day looked at ideation in groups, in preparation for our poster and pitch next week. We started off with discussions about the Seven HCI Grand Challenges; I was assigned to Well being, Health, and Eudaimonia. The reading went into detail about the intentions of technology focused on the well being of individuals whether it be their physical or mental health, but raised concerns about a number of matters.
We discussed the positives, negatives, and examples of this challenge, and how we might change it, as pictured above.
In the second session, Awais introduced a technique for ideation that he wanted to test for his studies. It comprised of creating a sentence describing a need and conceptualising ideas (feasible or not) to cater to it.
There were three parts to the activity - the first was as a group (pictured above), the second was done alone, and the third part (also pictured above) was a reiteration of the first one. This really brought about some wild and incredibly interesting ideas, and got me thinking out of the box. I personally believe that I have trouble coming up with new and intriguing ideas, but this activity really helped advance my thought process and get my brain going. I did have some difficulty in coming up with some ideas myself, especially when it came to the second part of the activity.
The domain was rather difficult to work with and honestly alluded to the concept of eternal death, which resting underwater usually leads to. However, in the desperation of wanting to complete the activity, I managed to twist my perception of the target sentence, and come up with a few ideas. The activity was incredibly helpful in understanding different novel interactions, and how literally anything can be created in so many domains, even if they sounded a bit ridiculous.
One idea that was brought to my attention was the fuzzy sand - while it seems a bit dumb (in simple terms), it did make me think a bit about mental health (which happens to be on a mind a lot) and kind of bringing ourselves to be aware of our surroundings. Picking up sand and experiencing something that contradicts your expectations is typically something shunned in design computing, however with the right intention it can be something really interesting. Whether that's simply creating confusion or intrigue in users, or even going as far as being used as a device for those with trauma to bring themselves back to reality. Picking something up, having the sudden feeling of "gosh, this is weird and not what I expected", can really pull you out of a traumatic memory and focus you on the bizarre experience. Furthermore, it would be
As one might have picked up, I've always been very big about mental health, and the different activities and the challenge I read about has felt relevant to me on a personal level, and I believe there's still a need for improvement on the societal level. These different activities allowed me to look at ideas and concepts from different perspectives - whether that's twisting my own, or from my peers. It's helped broaden my own mind about what is possible or can further be explored.