I started to think about my topic from the first semester when we learnt how to draw our ideas and tried to find out a way of stopping people from using the cellphone all through. From then, I considered the barrier made by contemporary technology.
The project “and the wind was like the regret for what is no more” interested me. People could know the wind outside by listening to the voice made by bottles. It brought the natural elements indoors in a synaesthetic way. Then I did some research about the project of bringing weather indoor, for example, the Nebula 12 by Micasa LAB and the Tempescope, which both physically created the weather in the room. So at the very beginning, I chose my research question as “how to help the young adults who study or work indoor for a long time to release the pressure by creating an indoor real-time weather system”.
Based on the research question, I made my questionnaire and cultural probes. The questionnaire tried to find out office workers’ indoor working time and their feelings about being stuck indoor for example. In my cultural probes, I printed an office table and a lot of objects such as a computer, cup, book and plant. People could create their ideal office table for fun. At the same time, I could discover what they would like to put on their table and decide my outcome form. During the process, I learned two theories about my relative project. One of them is slow design. The design thinking tended to slow down people’s life pace and they helped people to realize what they really do. Based on one of them concept, participate, “Slow Design encourages users to become active participants in the design process” (Strauss1 and Fuad-Luke, n.d.) I stared to think about how could my users play with my design project. Another is The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman. It helped me to concern about “the nature of the interaction between people and technology”. (Norman, 2013) The outcome might be a new product. So users’ understanding is significant.
In the workshop and tutorial, my tutors argued the content with me. We analysed some physical and mental problems caused by long-term indoor activities such as eye problems, stress and depression. I started to think about creating the feel of nature for office worker rather than bringing the physical weather indoor. So I began another kind of research. I did some research about the Winter Blue, which() and realise the light played an important role in emotion. According to the details, I narrowed the natural elements down for only light. Finally, I established my research question as “how can communication design transform usual work environments into interactive and positive spaces by simulating the outdoor natural light”.
My concept is an illumination workshop, which is also my exhibition title. It includes a light forest book and a sunlight or moonlight box. The book is about a forest trip with positive poems. Users can finish the incomplete drawing with guide and get real leaves from the book. The two concepts came from the book Secret Garden and S., which is an amazing book providing users the feeling of the immersive. The highlight of my book is the circuit in it and people will use special ink to draw. When the ink is dry, it will become conductive. So when people kept drawing, it will seem like the sun has illuminated the drawing. The box simulates the sunlight and driven by the USB. Both of them are easy to place on the office table and creative the positive office environment.
There are two points that I could develop in the future. First, the book had the thick page because of the circuit. Based on the technology led paper, the book could be as thin as normal paper and the brightness will be highly improved. The second point is the code of controlling the box. Now the code I used based on the light sensor. For the next step, I could use the Ardiuno to work with Processing. It could get the real-time weather data and control the led, which make it more meaningful.
Abrams J. and Dorst D., 2013, S. Canongate Books: Edinburgh
Basford J.,2013, Secret Garden. Laurence King: London
Costa J., 2015. and the wind was like the regret for what is no more. Available at: <https://vimeo.com/114414122>
Gajitz, 2014, Everything is Illuminated: Paper-Thin Printed LED Lighting. Available at: <http://gajitz.com/everything-is-illuminated-paper-thin-printed-led-lighting/>
MicasaLAB, 2012. Nebula 12 by Micasa LAB.Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yM8Np0wDKY>
Norman D., 2013. The Design of Everyday Things, revised and expanded edition. Cambridge: MIT Press
Smith M., 2014. The Tempescope shows you tomorrow’s weather by physically creating it. [online] Available at: <http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/09/tempescope-weather-forecast/>
The Slow Design Principles, n.d. [pdf] SlowLab. Available at: <http://www.slowlab.net/CtC_SlowDesignPrinciples.pdf>
The butler collegian, 2015. Students suffer from seasonal depression. [online] Available at: <https://thebutlercollegian.com/?p=20506>