In week 2, two milestones have been achieved successfully. First, all inductions required to get access to room 207 have been completed, so I'm officially be ready to get the work done in that room. However, I believe I still need to lots of practice and help from the pro before I could confidently to build something. The other achievement is that I presented my concept idea developed in the past two weeks to the class.
Idea Generation Process
Since last Wednesday I had a rough idea of an "idea generator", I tried different angles to look at this idea, trying to find other meanings of this concept. Here’s the exploring and developing process:
This process has been carrying on from the first week, the more existing projects I saw, the more I get understanding of the purpose for designing different physical interaction way rather than the digital interaction way. I find a few existing products similar to my idea, so I created a new category for them to see the common and difference between those ideas.
It starts from defining a certain research area, then dig deeply into it to see what I can get inspired to my idea. I was quiet interesting by the Learning and Creativity challenge from the 7 grand challenges. I went back read the paper about the new challenge in this area when digital technologies become ubiquitous in education and lifelong learning process. In this section, they point out that technology should be works as creativity supporting tools to support human creativity. It could assist users to develop their imagination and extend their capabilities in making discoveries or inventions.
I choose "little C" creativity to be the domain area for my concept. Compared to the "big C" creativity achieved by those geniuses to make huge, excelling, wonderful invention and changing movements, it is for everyone. "A behavioural and mental attitude or the ability to find new and effective solutions to everyday problems" which I believe is the key value of my concept. When facing the challenges, creativity, imagination and innovation would be the keys to help us overcome the difficulties.
In addition, I also tried to find the connections between value/ ideology I already known, to my current concept.
- The concept of universal connection
Nothing in the world stands by itself, thus everything new appears in our lives has a connection with something we already know. They will combine together to generate something new, again and again, form a cycle. This gives me the idea to explore the connection between object and object, human and object, then try to generate new connections.
- "Hygge" - a Danish lifestyle
This word means "something nice, cozy, safe and known, referring to a psychological state" in Danish. I really like this life attitude that to let people more focus on the moment right now. Try to make the daily life ordinary things extraordinary, to make the normal thing become special. This is the message I would like to pass to the user who's interacting with my equipment. In addition, it also about to make people become more open to each other and get much closer to each other.
The next step I took to dig deeper into my current concept is to divide it into two part as "inout side "and "output side" then do the brainstorming to find different possibilities for each of them.
I first narrow down the potential container to hold & process the items to two equipment.
- "Gashapon" - the capsule toy machine
“Gachapon” refers both to vending machines and the capsule toys they spit out. When you crack open one of these plastic eggs, you’ll never know what you’ll get even though it’s part of a defined set of toys. They are, by nature, a "blind purchase"; people insert coins and hope to get the toy or figure they desire. Such an amusement element may become frustrating, as one risks obtaining the same item repeatedly.
Every time when I saw the blender machine in a store like Boots or Starbucks, I'll staring at the machine to see the whole process from the ingredients have been out into the container to they finally blend together pretty well and become a new colour of drink. This is the process to resolve the fruit into small element and then let them mix together to form a brand new stuff. Blender could be consider as another container to place the items people put in because it could simulate the process of extract the essential from the items. But it might be too cruel to see your personal items be chopped into chips...So I'll abandon this idea for now.
Next, I begin to search for the possible carrier of the "fortune" to let the user could read, store, and even be able to review the content later.
- Fortune Cookie
What if the fortune cookie has different flavours/smells, shape with entertaining context inside it? An identity fortune cookie generated based on your personal life experience and personality would be much more fun then the current one. A vague prophecy may works sometimes for somebody, but it is still too general. Different format such as a poem, a guess game, a myth from different cultures would be engaging text based content for the user.
- Omikuji - a piece of fortune telling slip/paper
It is a kind of ancient wisdom to help people to make big decisions among different opinions. Nowadays people could find it easily at Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples in Japan. It usually includes the content to predict the fortune for the future, showing a person’s overall fortune and detailed categories including health, study, work, love, business, and travel. It will also give you some suggestions for how to improve the fortune. The fun fact is each Omikuji has different specialties and characters based on the shrine and temple it belongs to.
Personally I will go to draw one at the beginning of the year or when I'm struggling with something and need some third opinion to give me some guidelines. You could say it is kind of superstitious, but it did give you a new aspect to see your life. This "spiritual experience" is the another hing I would like to put into my concept, to give people some inspirational information when they interact with the installation.
Finally I decided to go with the Gashapon vending machine and to be the main body of my concept. Because most of us are familiar with it and may had experience it before. This would help my audience to get the idea faster and easier when I explain the new concept to them. The other reason is I want my audience to remember the feeling when waiting for the capsule egg come out of the machine. This would be the exact same feeling I want them to have when they imagine themselves using my fortune ball generator machine. For the "fortune ball" itself, I will go for the multiple sensational experience for the user. A capsule ball (will think of other shape of it later) including special smell, taste, different texture and format of the object to let people use their imagination to get the message from the ball.
During the end of contact session each day this week, I worked together with the the class try to find the common thing from each idea and category them into some certain themes. This process is quite challenge for me to bring back 50+50 ideas that have been introduced in the past 2 days in a short time. my strategy is to wondering around the table to search for concepts using the similar element under a big topic, then take out the most special thing of that idea to write down on the post-it. It getting more difficult on Wednesday session, because there’s more themes appears at the last sessions of the presentation. All in all, this is a good thinking progress to both get more understanding of others idea and try to figure out what is the theme most attractive for me.
During the contact session this week everyone presented their unique idea to the class. Some of the concepts are really surprising and interesting, they also gives me some new angle and aspect to reconsider about my idea.
I tried to give some valuable suggestion for everyone's concept, but it's difficult to come up with more than 50 suggestions constantly...So I hope I can give at least some of you guys good advice. If you found them stupid or unreasonable, just ignore them. I've really tried...
I was a bit of nervous when I was giving the presentation, I can hear myself with shaking voice at the first sentences. And I know it wasn't a really engaging speech, I couldn't demonstrate all of the fun parts of my idea. :( But I shot all the important thing about how does it works and why people need it when I was preparing for the pitch within 2 minutes. I received 17 comments from the class after the presentation. Thanks for everyone who gave me valuable feedback :), I know it's hard to keep concentration for the last few presentations...Anyways,I tried to response all the questions and record the valuable suggestions form the comments.
Some questions are about the root of my concept. Since I didn’t introduce any of my inspirations context, it caused some confusion for the audience. Next time I'll remember to add simple pictures of the inspiration works in my poster to make it clearer. The other thing I would try to improve is that I might accidentally made my idea seems to be too "abstract" and spiritual. Because I saw some confusion faces during my presentation. I should try to use easier example to explain my idea to the audience (like some common knowledge everyone knows), my example be used this time is kind of too personal and vague.
Finally, I'll put the poter of my concept here again to help you remember what is ;) Also remind myself to do the proof reading every single time before submit it! Because I found several spelling mistakes and weried expressions after the pitch...
(submitted version vs fixed version)