On Tuesday, we participated in world café. I hadn't done anything like this before and wasn't quite sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by how focused and collaborative everyone was to explore the themes and extend the projects within each theme. I found the first round the easiest, doing "musical things" as it was a blank canvas and we could really write anything that came to mind. We explored what the theme actually means and came up with some really cool ideas. Some of these included:
- A virtual one man band where you can hit anywhere with your body (through almost dancing) to create music
- A 3D "room" that you move through to make music
I found each round after this one progressively more difficult as I couldn't read/understand what half of the pages were saying. The leader staying at each table did help to some degree but they still only really knew the details of the round before and if they could remember what the previous leader said. I also think my creativity was somewhat limited as I was reading others' ideas and having their ideas right in front of you, found it difficult to come up with new ones. I understand each round is meant to be built upon the previous team but I think the further through I got, the less I could contribute.
However, I think my second favourite round was when I worked on "bothersome tech". I enjoyed this because it was the final round so I could write whatever I wanted and our group came up with some really cool ideas.
After world café was completed, we then had to do the dreaded task of picking our preferences for themes. I found this very overwhelming as there was no clear themes I wanted to work on. I also struggled deciding whether to continue to try to work on my project or give it up to work on a more fun theme. I ended up choosing - "change through discomfort", "everyday sustainability", and "musical things".
On Wednesday we started off with the presentation from Bash. I thought this was one of the most helpful guest speakers I've ever heard from throughout my degree. I really liked the exercise where we had to write down 50 words about ourselves. I found this super challenging as I first just wrote down that I was unique because I have a double degree, which really says nothing about my qualities and isn't unique at all.
My paragraph ended up being:
"My name is Lucy
I am a UX designer and Market Analyst
I am unique because I also study business (majoring in marketing). I am a good collaborator and love working with others to get to the best outcome. I have a good understanding of others and their needs."
I don't think this is the best representation of who I am as a person so I do want to revisit this task at a later date. I think this is such a helpful exercise as I am currently job hunting and going to job interviews so its super important to understand what you value and also what makes you you.
My final word ended up being "collaborator" which I do think is representative of me. I know I work my best when I have a good team to bounce ideas off.
After this we were assigned our teams. I was very nervous for this process as I've been super excited about this course and didn't want to be put in a bad team, when realistically I think I would have had a great semester with anyone in the class. However, I did get put in a really good team and we were already working really well together. I was put in the team working on "change through discomfort".
Once we had met our team we completed the set discussion points and started discussing our team charter. We all seemed to agree and disagree on the main points so I think we'll work really well together.
After this discussion, we moved onto finding an idea for next week. I'm a little bit concerned about trying to find an idea that we are all happy with before next week. We all really want to make something fun but are quite limited in sticking to the theme. We started by looking at all the pieces of paper associated with our topic but we were quite overwhelmed trying to make sense of the notes from world café. We then moved on to listing all the "bad" habits we could think of, hoping an idea could be inspired from this. This is the final list we came up with.
We then put a tick beside all the habits that we think we could make an idea out of. The habit was deemed acceptable if we could think of an easy way to identify when this behaviour is taking place (e.g. hard to identify when someone is being forgetful) and if an extensive interaction could be used to stop this. For example, we didn't just want to have something where the behaviour occurs and then they are made uncomfortable (e.g. if they speed they get notified).
We started with the habit - snoozing your alarm
We then thought about sitting down for too long and came up with some really fun ideas.
We mainly came up with a chair that gets more and more uncomfortable the longer you sit in it. It starts with blowing cold air, then surround sound screaming, the chair gets lower and lower, the seat gets warm and water is released, it falls over.
Our front runners for this theme are:
- Oscar (the bin that vomits if you put the wrong waste in) - we're not sure if we're allowed to do this as someone else came up with the idea
- Artificial Conscience 2.0 (my idea where the plant responds to the environment its placed in but with added features to make it more related to negative reinforcement and discomfort) - aren't yet sure how to relate it to the topic more
- Uncomfortable chair (chair that becomes more and more uncomfortable the longer you sit in it)
Work to do
We still need to finalise our team charter to submit, choose an idea to present, and finalise our presentation for Wednesday. I'm a little bit concerned about how this course is going to be effected by COVID-19 due to its collaborative nature.
Projects that inspired me
When I started thinking about the topic "change through discomfort" I immediately thought about a YouTube Video I recently watched where Michael Reeves made a chair that falls over as soon as you sit on it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIxaGgTY8UM&t=478s). It's quite extreme but I did think it could be funny as a last resort to make the person fall of the chair if they haven’t got up after all the other warnings (i.e. blowing cold air, surround sound screaming, etc.).