so after thesis midterm, i took the week off (spring break!!) but I was cooking in my head how to tackle the issues brought up by the reviewers. I also talked with Despina Papadopoulos and Lauren McCarthy to talk about outputs & audience.
- who is my audience?
one of the feedbacks that I got from the midterm presentation was that it was not clear who was my audience. is it the aggressor or the aggressee? Ideally my audience is the aggressor and the aggressee – maybe through different stimulus, but they will be notified at the same time. So ie while the aggressee will receive a “introverted” feedback such as vibration, temperature change, electric chocks (?) etc. the aggressor will get an “extroverted” feedback like a visual change on the necklace, sounds, lights etc.
- what are the characteristics i want this object to have?
i think that my biggest goal at this point is try to think how to translate human expression in a wearable device. do I want it to be funny/serious? do I want it to surprise the users in a subtle or a disruptive way? is it something that looks “normal”/ daily use or is it something that looks like a haute-couture / art piece?having these questions in my mind, I decided to do variations that tries to tackle these aspects in different ways.
- variations / rivet grids
to test the human expressions matter of my piece, I created a latex necklace with a gird of rivets that allows me to explore that kind of shapes I can change through a cable system. here are a few of my variations:
even though these variations were all ~ manually ~ activated, I believe I was able to learn a lot about the material and the feasibility of what I’m trying to achieve. so for the quick and dirty, i decided to do a new variation that combine internal and external feedback.
- quick and dirty show
for the quick and dirty show, I decided to test the combo internal + external feedback while proposing a simulated scenario. I had microaggressive expressions written in cards, so the proposal was to have two people in a conversation. One would be using the necklace, the other would take one of the cards and try to find a moment in the conversation tho say it. Most of the times I was the one using the necklace, but I was able to have other people using it as well.
when the microaggresive term was said, i’d push a button that would apply voltage on the shape changing alloy and reveal the “nope” written. most of the time people noticed, but it felt very subtle. because my user test involved a conversation, i ended up testing it with 7 people and this is the feedback i got from people:
– who is the user?
– “nope” felt more like a intervention that was shutting the conversation or verly negative instead of raising a question. how can I confront in a friendly way, that make people feel open do discuss about the topic?
– people that were prompted to say the expression felt uncomfortable about using it in the conversation but understood it right away when the “nope” appeared.
– try to turn the issue around. so maybe make people uncomfrotable by what they said through repetition or some kind of sassy response. (either like a pirate’s parrot or something like “excuse me”/”excuse you”)
– maybe it’s about not interveining in the moment, but sending the aggressor some kind of information about what they said. ie, maybe send them a message with an article about microaggressions or the specific expression that was said?
– what is the conversation i intend to have after the wearable change?
– how to make this experience more “sticky”? what si the bordeline of trolling someone and whatthe device is response?
– it felt too still, needs to contrast more / create a bigger direct impression.
– what are you trying to say?
- post quick & dirty steps
so after tuesday, I decided I need to continue testing to find two main things:
– the tone of my wearables device: how I want to approach the usage of microaggressions?
– the final format of it pt1: will I consider it a daily accessory, portability challenges etc or is it something that is an art piece, will use materials that require high voltage etc?
– the final format of it pt2: will it be a series of iterations or will it be a single piece?
i’ve also realized that in the end, it doesn’t matter what my project ends up being as long as i get the conversation happening.
and also i feel like my thesis question has changed to: how can a wearable device be a tool that propels conversations about microaggresions?