Step by step.

Posted on: February 11, 2010

Initially I wanted to have a type based project looking back at some early basic typography lessons in the subject being originally from traditional graphic design. Looking into elements like elegant negative space, shapes created by letter forms. But I found my self lost in developing its transition from standard rules to something that can be extend by creative application to er something interesting?

Looking back at some projects in the past, the digital interaction and advert conception in particular were subjects I did enjoy reading about and playing around with. Talking and reading up on how new interfaces adapt to their user through their physical design, and digital design, has been great since these technologies are now being developed at a faster pace (no need for any cryogenics, Ghost in a Shell brain waves transfer into a cyborg!).

The whole illusion factor of ourselves on the internet and others around will ‘hopefully’ be addressed later, our ego and conscience.

The tutorial with Ben flagged up a potential route I could take with this project. Initially I had this idea of somehow getting the interface to register the human body in a 3D dimension via sensors placed around the user. Then transfer the information to manipulate simple shapes that’s in a 3D environment (as if we are extending our nervous system into the digital realm; networking, creating, reacting, behaviors change)…no way can I figure out the coding let alone know what programs (if there’s any), as well as build it…it was all a bit too wishful thinking. But I hope I’m alive if something like this ever does fabricates!

Another source of ideas came from the New Scientist, in particular an article on ‘automatic speech recognition’ where they developed these technologies to cater for meetings, and conferences. First versions simply processed the audio words into text, however the reliability to recognise words was a big problem (for example Google voice that converts voice mail messages into text-Simon Tucker, University of Sheffield). ‘Catchup’ designed by Tucker, and Steve Whittaker (IBM Research, Almaden, California) caters for business metetings where latecomers can catch up what they miss. By using particular frequencies to indicate which words are of importance, and filtering out common words (‘stop list’) the program can put the remaining words into context allowing a better recap experience. It preserves some of the social signals embedded in speech, so for instance revealing confidence or hesitancy in their voices, where text cannot point out.

What got interesting was the fact that another program (‘Meeting Mediator’) designed for conferences helped with individuals participating in meetings via web cam. It basically show a piece of graphic that indicated whether the speaker was talking too much and who was not putting any input to the meeting. Results indicated that meetings stopped people forming smaller groups within the meeting, and encouraged a balanced amount of time for each speaker. ‘Behavior changing…the feedback was designed to encourage balance and interactivity’ Taemie Kim (PhD student) who worked with Alex Pentland (director of Human Dynamics lab, Massachusetts Institute) on this project, ‘Reading the people rather than reading the words can be a real game changer for collaboration’ – Pentland.

Allot of interfaces involve registering where the user is whether its through a mouse, touch screen, etc.

Questions: How do machines predict humans? Profiling/face & body expression & speech/ internal bodily changes?

Another option I had was create a social networking site like Facebook, MySpace etc. Look at types and see how they work, with visual styles.

Top image is a graph just to see how fast communication has advanced up to the digital age (source) . Bottom image taken from first year graphic design on graphic style history time line (Type & Image:Message & Meaning).

Next tutorial became bottlenecked: Relook into what I’m good at (fine art and sculpture…question why am I on this course?-expand horizons for one of the many reasons). This was really far apart from where this course is coming from.

Some of the designers and designers collectives suggested by Eva to do with sculpture were:

Visit to the Decode exhibition in V&A was inspirational especially Mehmet Akten  ‘Body paint’ (2009).

Ross Phillips ‘Videogrid’ (2008)

Sennep YOKE ‘Dandelion’ (2009)

Other instllations in Decode:


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