Rapid prototyping + exhibition
David Chan, Justeen Lee, and Hyejin Lim
”REQUIRED” - Light sensor, goggly eyes, pink zipties, mini clothespins, projector, car side mirrors (3), extra large rubber bands and a white inflatable ball
In addition, we used Arduino Uno, servo motors, light bulb, yarn, tables and wire rack, masking tape, cardboard, markers, empty cereal box, butcher paper and string
Graduate Media Design Studio (Pasadena, CA)
How can sharing an awkward experience with someone inverse the negative feelings (such as embarrassment and discomfort) associated with awkwardness? During Confab, a tradition of collaborative rapid making in Graduate Media Design Practices, my group was interested in the idea of celebrating awkwardness using various media and methodologies. What started with a joking-around, "let's make people do awkward things with each other" quickly turned into a series of rather thoughtful design experiments that took risks.
We carefully structured a sequence of exercises that increased in awkwardness as two people got together in pairs and cleared each one. During “human furniture” pairs will take randomly chosen awkward poses and engage in a 45-second conversation while holding their respective poses. Followed by “the tunnel” where your eyes are dead-locked with David’s, who has the most killer poker face on earth and your laughs echo emptily in the box while your other buddy tries to peer in with mirrors. The worst is the end, where Justeen ties your elbows and wrists together and you have to get really close to your partner to be able to go through a double light-sensor powered obstacle.
There was a “calculated” sequence that would turn the feeling of awkwardness into a catharsis through sticking through it together, but the outcomes of the awkward activities were way beyond our designerly expectations.
Sometimes you can only design half of the surprise and the other half comes back to surprise you.