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Best and Worst of Activate! April 9, 2009

Posted by emilysoo in Exercise 4: Documenting Activate!, Uncategorized.
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After seeing all of the first year projects for Activate, I think that our class had the best project, but since we can’t pick ours, I think that the Makeover Project inside the Room next to the Butterfield park was the best. It was a great experience as it made the participant scared as you were getting your hair cut. They had real sounds that created great feedback, when they had scissors cutting your hair, and also the buzzing of the razor. Their experience also had great visceral components to the experience, because you could see hair falling onto you as you had your hair cut, and also the hair colour was the the exact same as your own. Not only that but before they started cutting your hair they took a picture of you before you had your makeover. Also they spun you around so you couldn’t see what was being done to you in the mirror. This created an element of curiosity for the participant as they didn’t know what they would look like in the end. The experience was somewhat tactile, because of how you could feel the hair falling down, and also the way the hair dressers were pulling on your hair, pushing against it. In the end of this experience, they provided you with your end result picture, in which someone photoshoped a wig on your head, and it was funny to view in the end. Not only that but they even sent the image to our emails, once the activate event was over. This was a good idea to take the participants email, so they would be able to receive something even after the experience was finished. Overall, this experience was really fun, and it was one that i remembered most!


The worst experience I think of Activate was the Alice and Wonderland project. As I walked into the entrance of the installation, I thought that I would receive something amazing, as it was alice in wonderland. However when I entered, all I received was a group of people saying “Happy Birthday” , sitting down on at a tea party table, with decorations. They also asked us to play a ball game with a stick, and that wasn’t really fun, as there was no real feedback to that game. They asked us to take some cookies, and asked us to play that ball game, that was about it. There wasn’t really anything to experience, and I think they could of done alot better, with this particular theme. Overall this was a bad experience, and I didn’t receive any good feedback from that installation. 

Our project however created great feedback, and the affordances were really strong because of the video and sound created when the ball was put into the whole. The participant was able to place themselves in 6 different experiences which were extremely fun. I think it worked our amazing!


Jukebox March 18, 2009

Posted by Adam Brace in Exercise 3: User Scenario, Uncategorized.
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 I think some of the ideas that are circulating around at the moment are really cool. The 50’s aesthetic would look super rad for a start, though I feel that there should be balance between retro and contemporary.

My idea would be to bring a variety of different styles from times throughout history as a timeline of musical movements. What should be presented in my opinion is flamboyance. I think we should choose musical influences from different styles that have really outlandish costumes, glam rock for example with KISS style costumes, elvis costumes would work, with even more contemporary things like a gangsta rap type fashions etc. Really stereotypical things we can pick up on that would be comical would be a really fun way to approach this. I feel like the emotional aspect doesnt really do as much for me. Something that would be funny and more interactive with the veiwer would work better, the emotional aspect to me would feel more like a performance then an expierence. To make something by invovling the veiwer in some way, with choreography for example would be a better experience.

 Finally, for the sake of question I am totally up for dressing up and making a fool of myself! Ill whack on some make up, a wig  and some tacky costume for sure! I’m no stranger to the drama thing and I went to my friends 18th birthday party dressed in drag that was made up of my moms old clothes but thats a little too much information!

Burning Man March 6, 2009

Posted by Ruth Silver in Check it out.
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What is Burning Man?

By Molly Steenson

Hurtling down the road to the Black Rock Desert, the colors paint themselves like a spice cabinet — sage, dust, slate gray. Maybe you’re in your trusty car, the one that takes you to and from work every day. Perhaps you’ve got a spacious RV, your Motel 6 on wheels for the next days in the desert. Or you’re driving your glittering art car, complete with poker chips and mirroring to do a disco ball proud.

The two-lane highway turns off onto a new road. You drive slowly onto the playa, the 400 square mile expanse known as the Black Rock Desert. And there you’ve touched the terrain of what feels like another planet. You’re at the end — and the beginning — of your journey to Burning Man.


You belong here and you participate. You’re not the weirdest kid in the classroom — there’s always somebody there who’s thought up something you never even considered. You’re there to breathe art. Imagine an ice sculpture emitting glacial music — in the desert. Imagine the man, greeting you, neon and benevolence, watching over the community. You’re here to build a community that needs you and relies on you.

You’re here to survive. What happens to your brain and body when exposed to 107 degree heat, moisture wicking off your body and dehydrating you within minutes? You know and watch yourself. You drink water constantly and piss clear. You’ll want to reconsider drinking that alcohol (or taking those other substances) you brought with you — the mind-altering experience of Burning Man is its own drug. You slather yourself in sunblock before the sun’s rays turn up full blast. You bring enough food, water, and shelter because the elements of the new planet are harsh, and you will find no vending.

You’re here to create. Since nobody at Burning Man is a spectator, you’re here to build your own new world. You’ve built an egg for shelter, a suit made of light sticks, a car that looks like a shark’s fin. You’ve covered yourself in silver, you’re wearing a straw hat and a string of pearls, or maybe a skirt for the first time. You’re broadcasting Radio Free Burning Man — or another radio station.

You’re here to experience. Ride your bike in the expanse of nothingness with your eyes closed. Meet the theme camp — enjoy Irrational Geographic, relax at Bianca’s Smut Shack and eat a grilled cheese sandwich. Find your love and understand each other as you walk slowly under a parasol. Wander under the veils of dust at night on the playa.

You’re here to celebrate. On Saturday night, we’ll burn the Man. As the procession starts, the circle forms, and the man ignites, you experience something personal, something new to yourself, something you’ve never felt before. It’s an epiphany, it’s primal, it’s newborn. And it’s completely individual.

You’ll leave as you came. When you depart from Burning Man, you leave no trace. Everything you built, you dismantle. The waste you make and the objects you consume leave with you. Volunteers will stay for weeks to return the Black Rock Desert to its pristine condition.


But you’ll take the world you built with you. When you drive back down the dusty roads toward home, you slowly reintegrate to the world you came from. You feel in tune with the other dust-covered vehicles that shared the same community. Over time, vivid images still dance in your brain, floating back to you when the weather changes. The Burning Man community, whether your friends, your new acquaintances, or the Burning Man project, embraces you. At the end, though your journey to and from Burning Man are finished, you embark on a different journey — forever.



Reading: Jane Fulton Suri, “The Experience Evolution” January 21, 2009

Posted by Greg Van Alstyne in Please note, Readings.
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The brilliant leader of human factors research at IDEO is lecturing next Thursday Jan 29 at OCAD and I urge everyone who can, to attend.

I’m uploading this great article: Suri,_The_Experience_Evolution.

A Definition of Experience Design January 3, 2009

Posted by Greg Van Alstyne in Uncategorized.
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Experience Design is the interdisciplinary theory and practice of designing products, services, events, environments, communications, and integrated combinations, in which the focus of the design activity is the quality of the user’s experience.

Experience Design seeks to develop compelling, memorable, and relevant encounters by integrating technological and social innovation with psychology, cognitive science, ethnography, architecture and environmental design, information design, branding, interaction design, service design, semiotics, storytelling and heuristics.