We had a world café session this week before we form into a team. It was always exciting to have a discussion among different people in the class. I assumed most of us already know what world café is about; therefore, I will not explain it. During this session, I got to explore different themes where we use the posters' ideas and developed different contexts, users, scope, …etc. We had a total of 19 different themes, but I only got a chance to go 6 of them.
In this session, we started with identifying the theme and trying to understand what it is before we divided into two areas of what the ideas were and weren't. We went through all the posters and trying to get some ideas from it. It seems like most of them was focused on the vision-impaired or low vision people as a target audience(if I remembered it right). We tried to see if we can combine some of the ideas from the poster to generate new ideas out of it.
We came up with two ideas that they were somewhat similar in assisting vision-impaired people. The first one was having a bodysuit that could help the vision-impaired people to sense objects before they run it into it. The second one was having any surface covered with actuators; for example, it can be a table surface or a floor. It will help to carry an object to the user before they can reach it from far away. Time went out before we could elaborate and explore the ideas further. I felt it was quick before I could share more ideas on what we had. I noticed that when the table was silent and waiting for people who didn't speak to share. I would felt I need to say something to clear this silence; however, I ended up share something that I was not well-thought-out. People didn't understand what I was trying to say, so next time I should hold back and speak when my ideas were more plotted.
Guided Movement (Host)
I was a host in the third round of this section. Previous groups had broken down in section and given possible locations and some scenarios. For example, based on one of the posters (squat exercise, if I say the name right), they had an idea of having an exercise(game) in the public where people can interact and doing yoga together. Other ideas were navigation shoes and mechanical dogs, where people use the shoes as a GPS to guild them to the places they wanted to go. I elaborated a bit and trying to remove away from shoes and cellphones. I thought of a scene from a movie I saw that there was some sensor on the phone where they don't need to take the phone out. The road would appear direction to guild the user to the place they wanted to go. All the stores on the street will have a digital sign that appears in different colors to indicate a separate category of the stores. A light will blink to notify the user of the store that they are looking for. There were other good ideas our group has come up with, such as the shoe will guild the user to find healthy food after they finished working out in the gym. It saves trouble for the user to think and find healthy food to eat. The second one was instead of having a mechanical dog, the user could have a real pet(dog or cat) to do interactive exercise together in the pet park or at home. It helps both of them to do yoga and get healthy together. There are some more ideas that we also talked about, but I couldn't remember what it was.
Later in the second section, I explained what we had, and we narrow it down with what are the target users and giving more purpose to it. For example, a traveler(single or with a group) wants to have a consistent workout routine when they were traveling to a different country or area. However, later, I thought about if the user is living in a nice hotel, they usually have their gym for the customer to use. Nevertheless, it is just one side of the perspectives we look at in the limited time we had.
Technology with negative reinforcement
This theme was trying to get people to break up the bad habit by applying negative reinforcement. In the beginning, I didn't follow what other group member was talking about. The room was loud, and I couldn't hear what they were saying even though I was trying, but it was hard since they didn't speak up. I feel a bit left out, so I started to talk to a classmate who seated in front of me. We came up with our ideas by having an example right in front of us that people don't clean up after they finished eating. We have created ideas of how to punish people by having a bad dream after they go to bed, and all the trashes were chasing them. Or the smell will follow them if they don't clean up. We both had these crazy ideas. It was fun, but we don't know if it is possible to make it.
When I saw down the table, it was hard to understand what the previous group did. We didn't get clear information on what new ideas they had generated besides the ideas from the posters. We felt lost. I tried to bring some more ideas or asking what other ideas previous groups had. I was either being kind of rejected and pointed to the ideas, which was the same as the poster. It would be nice if people would want to twist and move away from existing ideas. Maybe everyone was tired after three rounds of discussions, and it was close to lunchtime. However, I was surprised that they used the post as an idea instead of just a reference. Even though it has lots of writings on the table, but it doesn't see going anywhere. People seem to stuck on sharing the picture and projected to the building, which was an original idea from one of the posters. Another one was people got minimized into a big world. In this around, I found it very hard to work with because it was behind, and we were supposed to think about the theme and be more specific rather than for self-amusement. A lacking purpose in why should we do it? What values are this design for? At that time, my mind couldn't think of any new ideas alone.
Digital sensation made physical
It was an interesting topic because senses are hard to cooperate with physical if we don't count touch, vision, and sound. Therefore, it is difficult to think and apply any technology into physical. At the table, we were discussing how to use technology to include smell and taste. We spent much time in this area and how to keep the smell lost longer. We didn't spend time thinking about what approaches we could take to make it physical. It was an interesting topic, which its also hard because I felt it was more internal feelings, not just what we know from the surface level. I will talk about it more in a different post.
It was the most enjoyable table I had on that day. People at the table were enthusiastic about creating fun music, and the ideas flow one after the other. It was a pleasant experience to be at the table with people who all enjoy and welling to participate. This time I learned to hold back and listen more before I speak. Based on the previously built concept, we created a sci-fi music player blocks with the string that has a base where each block has its tune. When the block stocks up, it produces high pitch and vice versa. If building the blocks in the x-axis, it creates long or short tones. We also thought about how to control the volume and make it more sci-fi. In the end, we came up with the concept of having the block building, representing skyscrapers, and the string is the base of the planet. When the music played, there would be laser striking the building as the alien invaded earth. The block would shoot up to the sky, and color would be painted behind its path to make a piece of art.
Enhanced Mundane Spaces
We started thinking about what we can do to make mundane space more fun. One idea we got was people have to dance in the elevator to get to the floor they want to go. We also had a few other ideas, but I couldn't remember the detail now. At the time, it was hard to come up with anything at the point of time. When I am thinking back now, it's funny that when we don't spend time thinking about mundane stuff. We could have millions of examples, but when we do spend time reviewing what's dull in our life. We couldn't think of any. Are we automatically eliminated what we thought is boring? And padding ourselves on the back by saying that life it all good.
What I got out from it...
It is my third experience of joining the activity. I found myself enjoyed more in this time around than past world cafés activity. I don't know if it is because I have more experience of how this activity works. Or I am keener to train my mind to think out of the box; I am not sure, but this is one of my goals in this class as I get so tired of trapping and stuck with my limited ideas. This activity helps me to learn from others and loosen up my mind without restriction. Yet, I still have a lot to learn. In some of the sections, I wish we could have more time because sometime I would need a bit of time to think before I shared my idea. But with the pressure of afraid others think that I didn't contribute. On the other hand, I would try to avoid to say ideas that were not fully established in my mind and caused people wouldn't understand what I was trying to say.
It was good to have an open-end topic to start a conversation, and having some supplementary references to get a head start on building new ideas was helpful. Nevertheless, it was hard to draw a line between either giving too much or too little information that might restrict our imagination. In some tables, that might be the case where people were confused or not sure what the task was. There were no new ideas produced, and people were relying on the references too much that cause them couldn't think of anything beyond what they have seemed.
I felt each turn around had a different experience, and it all depends on the people in that table. If people are more willing to participate and have some flight sky of ideas, it lights up the table, and the rest would follow. If people were less active, then it would be hard to carry on the conversation. But thinking from a different perspective, maybe the people who were less active because they were struggling to share with anything on the spot while others had more to say. Everyone has different ways of thought process, and it would be hard to tell by looking at the surface level.