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.