Critical Objects Week 5: The Compraventa Jersey

Team:

  • Cara Neel

  • Veronica Alfaro

Prompts: Wearable device using amplification to produce excitement.

For third third assignment we were constraint to three different cards that defined our prompt and also we were asked to Create a Critical Object to start the conversation about a technology related subject. We decided to work with a dataset that I downloaded from my Facebook’s personal data request that I have done a month ago. The JSON file is called Advertisers who uploaded a contact list with your information and contained more than 80 brands/artists who have used my data to (probably) profit from it.

Understanding the data was very interesting because the list contained artists and brands that I have never hear about before, for example I visited “Elsewhere” a bar in Bushwick at the beginning of last semester, and as part of the elements in the JSON file there were a lot of Electronic music Artists that I have never heard before, who have performed in Elsewhere, so this made me question the way that this information is acquired and spread.

JSON File from Facebook

JSON File from Facebook

As part of our design concept we decided to use those data points as logos, since those brands somehow managed to use my personal information to make a profit out of it, we wanted to create a Critical Object that would expose those brands and the user would use their body as a mean of communication and display of those brands, and give them “free advertisement”. We used a (very Latin American) design concept. In my hometown (Grecia, Costa Rica) the soccer team is very small and the don’t have funding from the government, therefore they need to use a lot of brands in their uniforms in order to support themselves, they use their uniforms and their bodies as a way of advertisement and promote the brands with their consent, therefore we wanted to use this design concept for our Critical Object.

Design Concept, Grecia Soccer team, Costa Rica.

Design Concept, Grecia Soccer team, Costa Rica.

We started by collecting every logo from the JSON file list, some of them were easier to find, however some of them were more difficult, specially the ones corresponding to the artists who have performed in Elsewhere, these data entries were particularly of more interest for me because I know that I have never interacted with those brands/ artists before so I made sure I was able to collect and visualize all the brands in the list. The original idea was to print the logos in Transfer paper and be able to iron them into a T-shirt, it was not possible to achieve this aesthetic due to lack of that technology in NYC (it took us some time to research about places who would do the transfer of more than 80 logos in a short period of time) therefore we decided to print the logos and laminate them, then put them into a sports Jersey to display our concept.

Searching logos

Searching logos

The last part of our concept was to create a QR code that the user can scan from the Jersey and it would display information about myself and social media links that people could access. We used some kind of sarcastic speech in order to start the conversation about the critique that we intended to make.

“Buy or sell Veronica’s information” Join all this vendors who have found a way to make a profit off of Veronica’s social media profiles!

We also incorporated some descriptions for each social media link, for example Facebook would say: Look at her photos from high school, Instagram would say: Look at her curated photos, and LinkedIn would say: Let’s get that employment history!

QR code scan

QR code scan

Social media links with descriptions

Social media links with descriptions

The final design is “The Compraventa Jersey”, we decided to use a word in spanish “Compraventa” that means buy or sell, that matched our visual inspiration from Latin America and also communicated the end goal of the Object. The Jersey is a way to communicate and critique the fact that we as Facebook users agree on their Terms and Conditions, probably without knowing that all of this Vendors are making a profit out of our choice to join Facebook, and at the same time, we somehow know that this is a “free service” that is being supported by advertisement, therefore it is our choice to willingly provide our information and expose ourselves. The Critical Object uses amplification in the fact that we are augmenting the brand exposure in our bodies and it generates excitement when the user scan the QR code and is able to access all my personal information.

Front Design
Back Design
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IMG_0565.JPG

The video shows how the user will scan the QR code and retrieve my personal information with their phones.

Disobedient Electronics: Breather 129

For this week’s assignment we were asked to create a Disobedient Electronic. We started the process by deciding on a subject to treat. After doing some research we decided to work with data related to mental health awareness, the original idea was to use the ESP23 wifi capability to pull data from an online source. We started browsing from some statistics and we found the amount of deaths by suicide in the US which was very alarming for us.

According to the American Foundation for suicide prevention, on average, there are 129 suicides per day. In order to be able to work with this data we started treating it as suicides per day, and then we converted that number in the time that statistically passes between two deaths by suicide.

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Critical Object: Anti Vax is Whack

For the first class assignment we had to develop a Critical Object. We decided to start the ideation process with an open brainstorm in which each member of the team (3) would choose 5 topics that she cared about and would write it in a post it and paste it on the wall.

Once the three of us wrote the post its we took some time to re group them into areas of interest, one of the most prominent topics was related to health (physical and mental) according to the interests of the group. We wanted to make sure that we were all working in a topic that passionate us so that we could have a better result.

Brainstorming and ideation

Brainstorming and ideation

After a long group talk we decided to focus on the reappearance of illnesses (such as Polio) due to the lack of vaccination given to kids. At that point we were aware that the topic could change while we developed the ideas, however we would like to try to stick to a similar approach.

The next phase was ideation and sketching, we sticked to the post it format since it showed good results in the first phase of the project. We allowed ourselves to freely come up with ideas about how to frame the problem that we stated in the same place.

Sketching and ideation

Sketching and ideation

After the first round of the ideation process and having thought about experimenting with fluids and mechanical structures, we decided that we wanted to work on a Dunk Tank to represent the amount of kids that are not being vaccinated and how that growing number of unprotected population will have an effect on vulnerable people with different conditions and weak immune system .

The last phase of the ideation process consisted on determining how to create a dunk tank with the use of an Arduino, a servomotor and some structural materials.

Mechanism and materials

Mechanism and materials

Once we defined the functionalities and the way the object was going to interact with the user we started the production process. The following is the description of the object: Dunk Tank that has a button that triggers a servomotor, every time a user press a button it would add +1 to the counter until it reaches three pushes then that is when the servo will rotate 80 degrees to drop the figure that is going to be on the seat.

We decided to work with balsa wood and some scrap pine wood for the structure, the figure was created with paper and the choice to make it more abstract was based on the fact that we wanted it to be identified as a human figure, however not as an specific person, but more as a group of the population that is vulnerable and will be affected by the decisions of parents who decide not to vaccinate their kids.

Prototyping and coding the functionalities

Prototyping and coding the functionalities

Arduino wiring for prototyping

Arduino wiring for prototyping

With the solved functionality we decided to document the project at ITP and recruit some users to help us push the button so that we could communicate effectively the idea and the meaning of our Critical Object. During the design process it was interesting to notice that we depended a lot on a video with audio or text in order to explain what our project is about, however we believe that for future assignments we would like to explore the possibility of creating an object that will speak by itself and it will not depend on an explanation.

Final Setup

Final Setup

Dunk Tank

The user interaction consist in pushing a button once, the figure in the seat will only fall until a number of user have already pushed the button. We decided to create three different figures with variable sizes and proportions to represent different groups of the population in risk, such as kids and older adults.

The final result is a visual representation of the consequences of affecting the Herd Immunity protection that the most vulnerable sections of the population suffers when parents decide not to vaccinate their children.

Herd immunity is what happens when a community has a high immunization rate, usually 90% or more, which effectively prevents the spread of a disease. Herd immunity protects those who are the most vulnerable, like  children who are too young to be vaccinated and people with compromised immune systems who cannot receive vaccines, like people who have received chemotherapy.

Every drop in herd immunity--even a small one--puts the community and especially the most vulnerable members at risk for contracting the disease. This can lead to serious illness and death for these individuals.

Every choice not to vaccinate a healthy child contributes to a drop in herd immunity. 

This project was developed as a project for the Critical Objects class in collaboration with Cara Neel and Alizarin Waissberg.