Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Project Introduction and Criteria

Project statement: To create a fashionable wearable that includes an interactive element. An example of interactive is a program that responds to human activity.

Research direction:
The structure of today’s societies can be described as constantly “coming and going.” People’s lives require them to leave the home in order to accomplish certain tasks such as traveling, running errands, emergencies, school, work, or vacationing. All of these disconnections describe degrees of separation. The length of time in between these disconnections is the major difference between them, but they are all related to separation.
When people are separated from their homes or daily lives, the result is a loss of connection or contact between people, objects, or companions (for example: pets). The time gap between the separated users can cause them to feel worried or concerned about the unknown.
Our goals for research are to figure out how people communicate wile being separated from their environments, and what tools allow them to do so. Also to learn how these tools are affecting them. By figuring out what tools they have and use, we can discover what they may be lacking. I also hope to gain an understanding of the users thought process during periods of separation. Are they concerned about loved ones? Are they worried they may have forgotten about something? How do routines change while they are gone? Do they feel disconnected from their normal lives? These are all examples of questions I want to explore through contextual research by interviewing, tape recording, photo documentation, and simply observation to find differences and common issues in order to narrow our focus. Lastly, I want to learn how each individual achieves flow or if they feel they do at all. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyl’s definition for achieving flow involves an “optimal experience when things are going well as an almost automatic, effortless, yet highly focused state of consciousness.” By conducting research while people are at Airports (hopefully), hotels, work environments, schools, or even running errands, we can gain an in depth understanding of how separation affects them, emotionally, physically, and subconsciously.

We will focus our research on the type of user who keeps up with current fashions and is willing to pay $1200 dollars for a watch.


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