Project 3: Reflection

[post class presentation-discussion]

Actual learning and outcome compared to projected learning/outcome:

  • designed a system surrounding the food, instead of stopping at the packets
  • explored the concept of facade as well as the initial exploration of stripping down the idea of food and eating.
  • explored the idea of a ‘ceremony’ of eating and considering it being as, if not more important than the actual food.
  • I didn’t explore interaction with others as much in this project, they’re not talking to people through the screen on their tray, but instead, the focus was on how the screen shaped the eating experience. The assumption is that they are interacting with the huge screen surrounding their walls to talk to others.

Plans for moving forward:

I would want to explore interaction with others. I may take the project out of this future room I have created and in the present. People are aware of their habits of checking phones at tables and dinners. Will it help to have it happen surreptitiously? Black Mirror explores that by having screens placed directly into the eyes of the people. But what if it’s non-invasive. What if the screen is disguised as the fork.

Another way to bring in interaction with others is through re-imagining the room. How will people be positioned in their rooms for ideal ‘viewing’ of the world?

Precedents I found when considering these ideas:

This product shows how such products can have too much control. The device refuses to deliver the juice if the product has expired, even if the consumer acknowledges the expiration and wants to proceed:

^This is also an idea I would like to explore. The loss of agency people will have in this kind of world.

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Project 3: Finalisation, Feedback, Refinement

I experimented with different dimenisons, placements and colors of the tray. I knew I wanted to stick to black and white, to retain the ‘clinical’ feel that I was inspired by:


The final design of the tray had places for the food and drink packets, a scent sensor at the bottom, a screen, cup and stirring rod. The nutrient and scent was in the buffalo wings, which when poured into the sensor would trigger aromas and a looping video of delicious looking wings on the screen. The Pina Colada drink had all the flavor and nutrients and pouring that into the water to drink it would complete the eating experience.

Got feedback:

  • overcomplicating design with the explanation of scent sensors
  • simply include scan areas and let the tray speak for itself
  • emphasise facade of eating with plate-like designs (donut?)
  • Re-introduce idea of eating sludge-food, to emphasize nature of food in this world.
  • Simulate eating.

Changes I needed to make:

  • Handles too big, tray too wide
  • no need for stirring rod? replace with spoon?
  • Scent and flavour would be together.

I decided to use the more basic precedent of instant foods:

The ‘nutrition’ is in the noodles, whereas the scent and flavours are in the packets that come within

It can be argued that the visuals are on the covers of the packets themselves, as the actual noodles look nowhere near as good:

I reimagined the tray to continue having the screen, but with an actual ‘plate’ (a hollow torus that has been sliced from the top)  that will contain the nutrient-rich sludge—providing the function of the noodles.


^3D software helped me get the shape and size of the tray and the torus just right, because it needed to fit snugly after printing.


^Going through the 3D printing process made me realise the composition was wrong and the drink should be on the left if the spoon is to be ‘set’ on the right.

Next I had to redesign the packages. They were no longer simply dissolving, but needed to fulfill the function of getting scanned, to get the videos to play.


^experimenting with type and QR code layout.

When it came to actually creating the packets, the QR codes took away from the futuristic look. I experimented with a different kind of plastic, but it still didn’t work:
^ The third packet was an experimentation with a different filling substance.

At the end of it, I omitted QR codes, relying on research that explained there were now scanners that could simply scan logos of products to get the product details. (http://www.waspbarcode.com/buzz/future-barcodes/).


^ final set.


^I also created a set of 6 drinks. I made the food and drinks international cuisine, as the future will most likely be diverse. And although nutrients would be covered by food, having drinks was necessary for the facade of a meal.


It was surprisingly difficult to find a good quality video of food from a top angle, despite Buzzfeed Tasty.

Project 3: Objectives, Outcomes and Precedents

Designing how and what people will eat in their rooms

Objectives:

  • create the design of the packaging that is self-contained
  • learn how the presentation of food impacts us
  • creating sense of human touch without it

Outcomes:

  • I expect people to see the convenience of the food
  • The food will look very detached from real food (pastes and liquids—food stripped to essentials)
  • The packaging will be attractive.

Got inspired by different areas of pop culture and design, particularly ‘soylent’. Soylent is mentioned in pop culture, but is also a real existing product.
Three bottles of Soylent Cafe. Coffiest, Vanilla and Chai.

I did some research on packaging and found ones that resonated with my project:

^ I could use the minimal color schemes and typefaces. What seemed most relevant was how ‘packets’ looked like they were packed for individual use, or single use, which isn’t very sustainable but looks very futuristic. Will sustainability be a concern, or even considered in this pod-world?

 


^I liked this design the most. The transparent and translucent package and sheets that need to be peeled away create a very clinical, pre-planned feel. The circular boxes look a lot like petri dishes, as if the person eating this lives in—or belongs in—a laboratory.

PepsiCO introduced this in 2018:

 

 

 

 

Is it necessary? No. The taste? Reviewers say it’s like any other drink. Does it look fun/cool to use? Depends on the person, but that’s the biggest appeal, not the actual drink.

 

 

 

 

 

Started to consider the nature of ‘facade‘-reconnecting with focus on social media and current technologies. My main visual precedent was Buzzfeed Tasty (because of their choice of framing and shooting angle), although photographing and obsessing over the look of food is evident all over social media:

 

 

 

First thing on my Instagram feed:

Pictures that I took myself:


Did these taste as good as they looked? Definitely not. The weird carrot colored drink was awful and the brownies in the last picture were burnt. Did I tell people that? No. Why ruin the mirage?

Black Mirror addresses this is the episode Nosedive:

^ Lacie bites very particularly into the cookie to literally compose her ‘candid’ photograph’—she proceeds to spit the cookie out as she doesn’t really want to eat it.

I later found this randomly:

 

 

 

^ I knew that I could use the same design, of soluble individually packed products as part of the food packaging.

Found these later:

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/10/wikicells_monosol_startups_hope_edible_packaging_will_reduce_food_related_waste_.html

I bought different kinds of plastic and packages and experimented with different shapes of sealing them:

^ Silver plastic didn’t look as appealing and teabags were not contained and dusted their contents everywhere. The look of gel-like substance (in this case shower gel) looked most ‘futuristic’


^experiments with different combinations of type, color and material. Hair gel was the best, pseudo-food. It appealed to some like the recent Tidepod trend


During my process I again thought about Buzzfeed Tasty and realised simply creating the little packets wasn’t enough to design the food.

Food is changing to become more and more about the experience than the actual taste as I had already noted:

And while I wanted to strip food down to it’s basic chemical components and flavors, I knew I needed to replace it with an ‘experience’. I found precedent like this, where the product was not amazing, but it was more about the show:

 

 

 

 

 

I also looked back at visual precedents that I had found:

These tray-like designs gave the feeling of faux-luxuriance which I wanted to capture.

Another reason behind designing food trays is that they can also be linked to food that is delivered in asylum’s or prisons, basically areas of containment.


^experimenting with placement of ‘cutlery’ and food.

 

Glossary

Facade:

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/facade
a false appearance that makes someone or something seem more pleasant or better than they really are:
“He kept his hostility hidden behind a friendly façade. We are fed up with this façade of democracy”

Simulation:

imitation of a situation or process.
“simulation of blood flowing through arteries and veins”

the action of pretending; deception.
“clever simulation that’s good enough to trick you”

PSA:

A public service announcement (PSA), or public service ad, is a message in the public interest disseminated without charge, with the objective of raising awareness, changing public attitudes and behavior towards a social issue.

Project 2: Reflection

[All  mentioned precedents are also explained in the precedent review post]

[post class presentation-discussion]

  • connection with social media.
  • Not, how did social media lead to this. But, stating (perhaps poetically) how this is a commentary on screens and social media.
  • Introductory poster, added ‘trailer’, ‘commercial’ at the beginning of PSA. ‘Before we were limited by…apps, various social media. Now it’s all one synchronised app, in one place. You live it.’ etc. etc. Visual of the room? No visual? Historical documentary-like showing of iphones and apps?

Plans for moving forward:

Potential Project 3/4:

Packaging for pod-people:

Three bottles of Soylent Cafe. Coffiest, Vanilla and Chai.

https://www.soylent.com/

The Matrix and Soylent Green are fictional stories about dystopic worlds. ‘Soylent’ is a company that already exists, pitching itself as a convenient and completely nutritional balanced meal replacement. I’ve chosen to focus on the aspect of food for Project 3. The Matrix creates an illusion of food, where the scent and taste of the food is fed into peoples’ minds by the system, this is also evident in Bladerunner 2049.

I want to explore the facade-like nature of social media. Ultimately, everyone in this world is living a simulated, fake, or orchestrated reality, similar to the way social media functions. By doing this I also want to emphasise the emphais put on appearance, for example, composing your food for the world to look at. This topic was also touched on by the Black Mirror episode Nosedive [need source].

Diet tubehttps://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/24/quick-fix-weight-loss

^research for different ways in which the function of food (nutrition? joy?) could be stripped down to the most crude form in this world.

OR

Touch interface for pod-people:

http://www.ldrmagazine.com/blog/2013/10/30/kickstarter-week-touch-someone-halfway-around-world/

http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~orit/taptap.html

http://cutecircuit.com/the-hug-shirt/

https://thetouchx.com/

^ Considering that nobody in the pod physically interacts with anyone, I want to explore the concept of touch. It’s relevant since even in the present social media and technologies attempt to enhance or replace things that don’t need replacement, for example, how to have a relationship.

 


^This is an experiment I did of a potential visual direction, of ‘touch’ through a screen.
This outcome is likely to become a more poetic and abstract outcome, compared to the other projects.

Potential revamp of  Project 1:

https://www.archdaily.com/806742/build-your-own-3d-printed-house-all-in-one-day

You Can Have the Whole 3D Printed World in Your Hand, or on Your Desk | 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing 

A scaled down, 3D model of the room/pod, with a projector that projects the daily path of an individual, moving in their space. It helps provide context to the screen in Project 2. The emphasis is on the routine and limited nature of their life. However, it would be accompanied with the variety of things the person does and experiences through the screen. Viewers are the judge of whether this is the l

 

Project 2: Finalisation, Feedback, Refinement

[All  mentioned precedents are explained in detail in the precedent review post]


Initial screen design (retirement age group):

 

I sampled colours and looked at visual identity samples of projects that looked futuristic. A common thread was a dark base colour and blues, greens and purples.

Here I considered whether to give people the option of choosing to do a task or not. Eventually, instead of eliminating the options completely, if users opted out, they would suffer penalties. I later looked at what those penalties would be.

^ This was the screen for people that would have retired and no longer need to study or work. The layout is built on the idea that there is constant distraction and fractured attention [need source], when using screens. I wasn’t satisfied with the way the layout appeared. I shifted my focus on people in the education stage.

This decision was channeled by the fact that it would have the most functions necessary to get my concept across. People in the employee stage might have more menu items for their jobs, but explaining the job menu isn’t necessary for showing how a pod-person is interacting with screen on a usual basis. Whereas, babies and retired people would have less functions available to them.

Focus on student screen (education age group):

I considered this penalty, but it didn’t seem too impactful. I considered linking this to a future project, where I design the way these people eat food. The penalty would be related to the number or type of food items they receive. The idea is that the sceen is in control of even basic things, and everything is reduced to points, this concept was the basis of the Black Mirror episode I watched as precedent.

[change of interaction button]

[This precedent is mentioned in detail in the precedent review post]
Not satisfied with my initial sketch of the way the rotary menu and then subcategory appeared (popping out and then sliding up from the bottom of the screen), I did further research on interface design for large screens, especially those done by companies that are ahead in the industry, like LG and Samsung. I looked particularly into how they designed their smartTVs.

Feedback and decisions:
The main concern was the use of Black Mirror. My intention to parody the way we watch these episodes in the present wasn’t clear, so I needed a different approach. Considering the age groups and how I wanted the entertainment of the people regulated, it felt suitable to have something very basic level for this age group. I chose Tom and Jerry as it doesn’t even require dialogue. The idea was that entertainment has been reduced to brainless slapstick or visual humor, like many vines and memes [need sources] of today. 

The other issue was that as someone viewing this for the first time, especially if they haven’t looked closely at other projects, my entire idea isn’t clear from just the visuals. I didn’t want to have subtitles as it would distract from the main visuals. A voiceover made a lot of sense, and linked to my previous interest in creating a PSA (when I wanted to make a PSA for why total surveillance is good for the people). In this kind of world, it makes sense to have propaganda like ‘infomercials’ to tell the people how good their life is. I was probably led to this conclusion through my readings on 1984, Brave New World, and other similar precedents.

[Precedents are mentioned in detail in the precedent review post]

This is the final draft for the voiceover. The tone of voice was the kind of light, airy/positive, voices of infomercials or advertisements [need source]:

  • We live in a world brimming with opportunity.
  • No one leaves their assigned quarters, nobody has to.
  • The screens in each room provide a more than sufficient window to the world.

[cartoon]

  • Here’s a view of the screen in Hana’s room.
  • She’s watching quality content that’s most beneficial and stimulating for the ages of 6 to 18, her occupation group.

[hana time to continue bio]

  • She’s just received a reminder to start studying today’s lesson. Like everyone else, she took an aptitude test at the age of 6.
  • Since she’s  best suited for a medical career, all her lessons are automatically selected and geared towards that.
  • Though the screen allows us to meet and bond with family and friends, any interruptions to lessons are logically met with penalties.
  • This could mean diluted flavours in the next food capsule, or a reduction in the number of capsules delivered to your room.
  • Of course, Hana has ultimate control. By accepting a penalty, she can accept an incoming call, or resume the channel. Whatever she wants to prioritise she can.
  • Now we can work, travel, and create families all through the screen.
  • At the end of the day, it’s about freedom and happiness.
  • Live life through the screen, witness astounding vistas, and never get bored.

Precedent Review, Literature Review & Extra references

[These were also mentioned in the project process posts about. This is a working list, and I will continue to add/edit this post instead of making new posts]

Precedents:

Precedent mainly for Project 1 and 2

http://black-mirror.wikia.com/wiki/Fifteen_Million_Merits

This combined with research on Harlow’s monkeys started me off for Projects 1 and 2. The idea of having rooms with screens all the way around and a life pre-occupied by screens is explored in this episode of Black Mirror.

I brought to this concept the idea of not ever contacting another human being, by connecting this episode to Harlow’s monkeys.

http://www.businessinsider.com/this-app-wants-to-bring-the-real-world-back-into-online-dating-2015-10
Finding this app was another driving factor behind Project 1 and 2. How far will we rely on technology to interact with each other, and when is it too much?

^The Sims was a source of inspiration when connecting it with the concept of Harlow’s monkeys and creating Projects 1 and 2. Are simulations and avatars of families enough to live a ‘fulfilling’ life, especially when there is no physical contact?

^ Positively showing interactions with a screen.

^ An example of how we over-rely on technology to teach us how to live life. Here the screen is instructing the individual on how to navigate relationships. This is similar to existing apps like Happn and Tindr. I incorporated the assertive nature of the ‘screen’ in Project 2.

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/opods-solve-hong-kongs-housing-crisis-with-converted-water-pipes

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2017/07/hong-kong-living-trapped-lam-photos/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Objectivity_(architecture)
^architectural references that I considered when planning Project 1. How people have utilized small spaces for efficient living.

http://www.veddma.com/veddma/Veldt.htm
^ A story by Ray Bradbury about how a futuristic nursery affects the psychology of children. The nursery is a room full of screens and scents, basically a technology that simulates a place, for example the beach or the desert. I was inspired by this when deciding how the screens woul be situated around the room for Projects 1 and 2.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/bravenew/plot-analysis/

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/1984/summary/
^Various literature and adaptations (movie of Brave new world) I researched for building the concept of my world for Project 1 and 2. The ideas of Big Brother, Newspeak (changing language to change ideologies and control behaviours) becomes relevant in a world where an assertive screen is what people use to live their lives through.

^ I watched this and got inspired to do a PSA-like, unsettling, motion piece for Project 2.

http://karlssonwilker.com/dev_v2/kw/work/good-magazine

https://asmadesigns.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/project-1-expansion-and-refinement/


T A N G O by Sasha Firs, via Behance
^ The images I referenced when deciding the colours and type for the screen in Project 2

^ I directly looked at these SmartTv interfaces to inform my design decisions for the screen in Project 2. Some movements (like how the menus appear) were more ‘futuristic’ then others.

http://www.ivydesign-furniture.com/product/mirror-table-detachable-lacquered/

https://www.behance.net/gallery/14531759/NeoBirth-Infant-Incubator
^ Various existing objects and technologies that I used to inform the concept for the room, as I wanted to base this world as close to present reality, it makes it more plausible which is my intention. I will probably refer back to them when re-working Project 1 (a 3d model of the room, showing the individual navigating around the room on a daily basis)

^ A concept video by LG that has a section (the child attending school from his bed) that looks very much like what I had imagined for the room (how walls are made up of screens). I will probably use this to inform how I design the 3D model of the room.

Precedent for Project 3:

Three bottles of Soylent Cafe. Coffiest, Vanilla and Chai.

https://www.soylent.com/

The Matrix and Soylent Green are fictional stories about dystopic worlds. ‘Soylent’ is a company that already exists, pitching itself as a convenient and completely nutritional balanced meal replacement. I’ve chosen to focus on the aspect of food for Project 3. The Matrix creates an illusion of food, where the scent and taste of the food is fed into peoples’ minds by the system, this is also evident in Bladerunner 2049.

I want to explore the facade-like nature of social media. Ultimately, everyone in this world is living a simulated, fake, or orchestrated reality, similar to the way social media functions. By doing this I also want to emphasise the emphais put on appearance, for example, composing your food for the world to look at. This topic was also touched on by the Black Mirror episode Nosedive [need source].

Diet tubehttps://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/24/quick-fix-weight-loss
^research for different ways in which the function of food (nutrition? joy?) could be stripped down to the most crude form in this world.

http://nirvanacph.com/2017/10/material-monday-scent-packaging-smell-taste/

21 selected aromas

http://www.waspbarcode.com/buzz/future-barcodes/

Image result for rfid

Literature:

 


https://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/23/health/solitary-confinement-psychology/index.html

A robot “Robear” lifting a woman for a demonstration in Nagoya, central Japan. The robot can transfer frail patients from a wheelchair to a bed or a bath.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/06/japan-robots-will-care-for-80-of-elderly-by-2020

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/26/jobs-future-automation-robots-skills-creative-health

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/21/south-korean-womens-life-expectancy-exceed-90-years-2020-study

https://www.tutor2u.net/economics/reference/circular-flow-of-income-and-spending

https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_macroeconomics-theory-through-applications/s20-16-the-circular-flow-of-income.html

https://oolongiv.wordpress.com/2008/03/04/is-the-family-necessary/

https://www.treehugger.com/health/deep-frozen-woman-denied-eco-burial.html

https://blockgeeks.com/guides/what-is-blockchain-technology/


^ Articles I read when sketching the design of the rooms, and how the world would function. I considered aspects like life expectancy, flow of currency, job automation, and death/burials. I also looked into the psychological effects of solitary confinement and the concept of family. Reading these helped me create the most plausible extreme of living in a room without human contact. LINK: Project 1, 2, 3D printing, LG concept video, Harlow’s monkey.

http://divergentcompanionbook.weebly.com/chapter-3-faction-customs.html

Population:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-child_policy

https://waitbutwhy.com/2013/08/what-if-all-71-billion-people-moved-to.html

https://www.fastcompany.com/3016331/think-the-world-is-crowded-you-could-fit-the-entire-human-race-in-new-zealand
^ Reading into this helped spark my initial idea.

https://www.wired.com/1996/12/fftransparent/
An article written about the future of living with constant surveillance and how we will choose to navigate our lives through that. Will there be a system, where one organization monitors/polices everyone, or will we create a system where everyone monitors everyone? These are concepts I thought about when working on Project 1. It made most sense to have a combination of both.

Harlow’s monkeys
http://pages.uoregon.edu/adoption/studies/HarlowMLE.htm

Looking into this gave me insight on how I could use it to build a dystopic world. In my world, a mother figure or ‘human interaction’ would be present, but only in the form of screens. The questions this study opened made me consider whether I wanted to explore the concept of human touch in my projects as well.

IVF and Artificial wombs
https://academic.oup.com/humupd/article/22/4/440/2573626#44981040

https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/25/15421734/artificial-womb-fetus-biobag-uterus-lamb-sheep-birth-premie-preterm-infant

^Having this technological progress gave me a grounding on which to create my world. I didn’t want to create a fantastical future. The existence of semi-successful artificial wombs helps me create a stronger impact as the world I create is more imaginable. LINK: Black Mirror, Projects 1, 2

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/aug/16/artificial-meat-food-royal-society

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/522596/why-we-will-need-genetically-modified-foods/

^These two sources talk about the future of food, and how climate change and overpopulation will affect what we eat and create a need for technological intervention. LINK: Project 2, Soylent, Space food, The Matrix.

https://gajitz.com/inhale-your-food-scent-emitting-fork-fools-the-taste-buds/

Extra References:

Skinners box 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning_chamber

Slot machines and online games are sometimes cited[6] as examples of human devices that use sophisticated operant schedules of reinforcement to reward repetitive actions.[7]

Social networking services such as GoogleFacebook and Twitter have been identified as using the techniques, critics use terms such as Skinnerian Marketing[8] for the way the companies use the ideas to keep users engaged and using the service.

Gamification, the technique of using game design elements in non-game contexts, has also been described as using operant conditioning and other behaviorist techniques to encourage desired user behaviors.[9]

http://www.cracked.com/article_23784_6-hilarious-modern-attempts-at-government-propaganda.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcology