Crowdsourcing

_empathy

Share emotions with strangers at home in 2035

Crowdsourcing_empathy

Share emotions with strangers at home in 2035

Crowdsourcing_empathy

Share emotions with strangers at home in 2035

Crowdsourcing_empathy

Share emotions with strangers at home in 2035

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BRIEF  Speculate freely and critically around how ongoing and escalating digitalization of our society will affect everyday life in your home country in 2035

PROJECT INFO  Dwelling with Faceless Interaction - Prototyping digitized domestic experiences of the future,  Umeå Institute of Design, 2016, 10 weeks

TUTORS  Søren Rosenbak, Christoffel Kuenen and Moritz Greiner-Petter

SKILLS  Secondary research, synthesis, writing design fictions, illustration, storyboarding, filmmaking, Wizard of Oz prototyping, tangible prototyping

Millions of people’s emotions are available out there, why not make use of this data to bring empathy to each other?

Millions of people’s emotions are available out there, why not make use of this data to bring empathy to each other?

Millions of people’s emotions are available out there, why not make use of this data to bring empathy to each other?

Millions of people’s emotions are available out there, why not make use of this data to bring empathy to each other?

CONCEPT

CONCEPT

2035. Home. A place where people open-source their emotional data through “Ambients”.

“Ambients” are connecting strangers through emotions. Once the emotion is voiced into an ambient, it goes away into the crowdsourced empathy network and might be reused, according to relevance, into another person’s life at another time. People complete this sanitary action as relieving themselves from their emotions. Persons voicing their emotion can listen and empathize with other persons voicing the same feeling around the world.

2035. Home. A place where people open-source their emotional data through “Ambients”.

“Ambients” are connecting strangers through emotions. Once the emotion is voiced into an ambient, it goes away into the crowdsourced empathy network and might be reused, according to relevance, into another person’s life at another time. People complete this sanitary action as relieving themselves from their emotions. Persons voicing their emotion can listen and empathize with other persons voicing the same feeling around the world.

CONCEPT VIDEO

CONCEPT VIDEO

HOW IT WORKS

CONCEPT

Ambients are living artefacts capturing emotional data through their skin: they record your emotions through a combination of voice and touch.

Using an ambient is a mean to share emotional data through peer to peer interaction. It provides snippets of emotions shared and delivered across the world with strangers.

Crowdsourcing emotional data is about reciprocity and feeding the ambient. It is an exchange between people. Empathy is seen as a currency.

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Expressing oneself into the Ambient

Expressing oneself into the Ambient

Expressing oneself into the Ambient

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The emotion is charged into the crowdsourcing network

The emotion is charged into the crowdsourcing network

The emotion is charged into the crowdsourcing network

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Receiving a crowdsourced emotion

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Listening to a stranger expressing oneself

Listening to a stranger expressing oneself

DESIGN FICTION

DESIGN FICTION

I brainstormed on the social, technological and systemic-societal aspect of the terms “Home” and “Dwelling”. I crossed these thoughts with collected trends about the world in 2035. This helped me in framing a possible future and in foreseeing areas to explore for this project such as:

How might the Ambient at home enhance people taking care of each other?

In order to get inspired to write stories, I started illustrating abstract concepts such as “an ambient”, “taking care of each other” and “taking care of oneself”.

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I wrote my personal brief as an article where I took the position of a journalist investigating on ubiquitous computing in 2035 and how the “ambients” are dwelling with people in their everyday lives. I pretended I was investigating the political and social context in France in 2035, then I explained what are “ambients” and how it defines a new relation to care. I then highlighted some perspectives of research which lead to design questions.

I also reported some interviews I did with people and how they dwell with their “ambients”. These are fake summary of interviews, they are the stories I wrote as design fictions.

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VIDEO PROTOTYPING FOR 2035

PROTOTYPING FOR 2035

In the stories, the Ambient is making people self-reflect, making them look at their self, understand it, face it or heal it.

I turned these fictions into videos as a way to prototype the Ambient interactions. I explored around the topics of expressing and impressing an emotion and around a living Ambient that will grow with the person over time.

WIZARD OF OZ PROTOTYPING

WIZARD OF OZ PROTOTYPING

Based on my stories I created moodboards to convey the feeling, experience and form of an Ambient. I focused on 2 areas to convey emotional data through the Ambient product:

  • Voice as a mean to interact with each other and expressed feeling
  • Skin as a tangible medium, as a living expressing and impressing surface

Creating a Wizard of Oz prototype  was a way to test how people would react to crowdsourced empathy. I prepared a protocol of testing. The goal was to see what kind of feeling people were willing to express; and see and talk about how people are reacting to anonymous voices from the crowd. The insights I got from the WoOZ helped me improve my existing fiction with ideas and expressed needs from people.

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FORM PROTOTYPING

FORM PROTOTYPING

I wanted to challenge the shape of a home product beyond boxes. Most future objects look like boxes doing mysterious amazing things. Yet, interactions could be held into a shape that speaks to our imaginary.

Therefore, I designed a heart-like shape, steaming inspiration from expressions such as “warming someone’s heart” and “listening to your heart”.

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The Ambient is made of a skeleton, which is the structure. This skeleton is enveloped into a skin made of a cotton like fabric. Under the coton skin of the Ambient is a laser cut fabric looking like vessels. The Ambient is brought to life by a flow of light, like a flow of blood. This flow of light represents the crowdsourced empathy, it represents people voicing their emotions.

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In order to design the expression and impression feedback, I tinkered a bit with electronics: Arduino + NeoPixels + Microphone. Using electronics was not only fun but also a way to bring to life the product, both for video and for presentation purpose.

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ROLE & REFLECTION

ROLE & REFLECTION

I voluntarily decided to carry this project with a different design process, by taking the approach of a fiction writer. The beginning of this project was guided by intuitions and personal artistic choices. Reflecting on the end result, I think I should have had more of a human-centered design process and a stronger context to start with. This would have been valuable in evaluating ideas from my design fictions and gathering information through people’s stories about “taking care”.

I was interested in deepening my skills in prototyping with electronics, so I spend several hours in the lab building the prototype. I am happy about the shape and interaction of this object as I wanted to challenge our imagination of consumer products, because I don’t believe in a cold rigid world made of sleek boxes but in shapes and experiences talking to people’s imagination.

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