Monthly Archives: November 2014

Week 12 News

Class Recap

Michael showed us some mock ups he’s been working on covering a broad range of design process phases in public spaces. Aastha, Matt, Melody and Nga delivered tech presentations. Finally, each group give an update about their latest iteration and showed their user experience diagrams.


  • Next week’s class at ESI – here’s the address:
    • ESI Design
      111 5th Avenue 12th floor
      New York, NY 10003
  • Shared Dropbox folder for tech reports – Want access to people’s tech report slides for thesis reference and/or further edification? Sneha had the lovely idea of creating a shared folder in Dropbox. Visit the tech reports folder and please add your slides to our growing library!
  • Playtests next Saturday – The folks at ESI are showcasing their new gaming theater in a playable (but still private) ‘beta’ state through a series of 30 minute sessions. Sign up to participate in a session on Saturday, December 6, ongoing from 12–10 PM.


  1. Invisible Cities (due Sun, 11/30) – Each group re-craft their design for one of the worlds created in Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. Please post under the Final Project – Invisible Cities Category. As a reminder for how to add your post to a category, I’ve included a screenshot below.
  2. Compile final presentation outline (due in class Mon, 12/1) – Print a draft of your final presentation slides for next class. While you don’t need to fill in the exact content just yet, you should include the core components of your presentation — things like title page, creation myth and user flow diagram. Be sure to have each component printed on a separate piece of paper so we can pin them up and reorder them.

Reminder – How to Post

When you create a new blog post, check the “Final Project – Invisible Cities” category on the right panel before you publish.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.27.14 AM

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Team Flux – Week 5

After getting helpful feedback from the classmates and Michael, this week our team worked on prototyping the structure and also going back to the space to find out where we can place it and how we can make the structure more interactive and purposeful.


Following Jeff’s group feedback, we were thinking an approach might be to make around 10 small units, each with a sheet of mylar and light source. We could make little pools of light, and place them through the space (or prob one end of the space) to make a kind of light pathway and we could try different configurations to see what’s most interesting to people.

We tried a couple of things – the triangle form looks nice, and we could build with proper materials, but the mylar doesn’t wave very naturally (though there was no wind to test with so maybe shaking it was misleading). We also tried cutting the mylar so it flapped more. Lastly we tried a hanging ball, with a light beneath. We will continue to explore the form of  the construction.


Back to North End Way

We also went back to the North End Way on Sunday night around 5:15pm 6:15pm and observed where the opportunities could be to make our prototype more engaging.



Surroundings businesses: We observed the surrounding stores and businesses during the dark and categorized them to food related business, stores, entertainment. The food related businesses were open until 9pm or later and movie theatre was open until later, which generated foot traffic. However, the stores closed earlier.


Movie goers: Around 5:28pm, large crowd of movie goers left the theatre in various direction. We could possibly use these crowd to generate interest to our structure, since there is regular movie time during the night.



Popular Area: There were consistently lots of people around Shake Shack, creating more noise on the north end of the walkway.



Walking Patterns/pathway: People generally walked to their right side of the walkway and tend to look towards to restaurant sitting area. How can we change the behavior of the people walking through this area?


Other interesting note: There were surprisingly many people walking with strollers or children on a Sunday night. It could be the soccer game next to the area, but children might be a great way to entice the adult as well.


Potential Location: Most of the area is made of glass, but there are some small wall space across from the restaurant area that could be a great place to put our installation.

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Team ParkTalk – DHNS



Crowd sourced prompts (learned through previous prototypes) for a life size dice (as previously discuss in our brainstorm session and what resonated when shared with Melody and Amy) for users to discover activities and locations of WSP. Also, we chose to do something slightly different and with knowledge/data learned from previous experiments.
WSP big foam core map + 20″x20″ cube with prompts on each side
6 prompts total with one being left empty so that we were able to change it out based on what was happening at the park
Date/Time: Sunday Nov 23rd @ 12:40
Launched for 30 mins.
3 locations: West of Fountain 10 min, North of Fountain10 min, Plaza East of WSP 20 mins
Very few people were engaged in the prototype
A few ppl stopped to look at the prototype but no engagement.
Less children engaged today overall
Only one lady stopped by to engage in prototype but she ended up writing on the board to indicate where the pigeon guy is located on the map
Today, there were many activities happening in the park, therefore possibly competing attention with our prototype
Live Piano player
Lady creating huge bubbles (had huge kids engagement)
Fake pigeons by the North of WSP by the Arch
Live pigeons by the plaza towards the East side of the park
Brand Trio on the South side of the park
Our intentions:
We had intended for the prototype to be a way for park-goers to discover new activities or parts of the park.
The board set up was on the ground verse eye level this time. We also made sure to observe from afar. At a few times we engaged flipping the cube to help cause traction in interest of the prototype which  still led to no response.
Our Takeaways & questions going forward
  • A drawn ‘How to’ example could have been helpful for today’s prototype.
  • Dice should have possibly looked like a real dice. Our dice prototype looked almost like just a big craft box.
  • Maybe creating your new path with the dice would be more fun instead of pointing out to just one direction. (Or reward something?)
  • The cube with the prompt . . . not sure if pole knew how to engage with it? Did we need another prompt indicating to “roll the cube”.
  • Was the cube suggestive enough as a dice to have that game aspect
  • Was the set up inviting enough?
  • Were there too many other activities at the park that competed w/our installation?
  • Did we have it at the right location or faced the right way that allowed users to see better and allow easy engagement.
 IMG_0864 IMG_0871


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Team MALM – Week 5

This week, our prototype story is brought to you by Instagram. Please take a look at feedthefrognyc.

We unfortunately forgot to capture shots of our large signage and 5-borough scoreboard — will update this post as soon as we can get a few photos of them since they did play a role in attracting our audience!

A few things we learned:

  • the toy naturally attracted young kids, but the skills involved were too challenging for them
  • adults were generally more hesitant to play, but more apt at succeeding. some specific types of adults ended up really enjoying the experience, including people who love games, people who are competitive, and people who feel pride for their borough
  • social proof: people were drawn to the game when they saw other people playing / having fun
  • using boroughs as a point for competition was an effective way of inviting people to play the game
  • there was a sense of nostalgia for a lot of the adults – many of them mentioned they recognized this game from their childhood (even though they didn’t know the name)
  • a practice round was helpful to newcomers, as it let them get a good sense of how much force to use on the catapults
  • maybe claiming that they could play for free would entice more people
  • we had a broad range of age- groups of the participants. Kids seemed to take more time to learn the game but were more keen on playing. (something we will want to take into consideration while building our next experiment)

Sketches of a potentially grander, life-sized model:


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Team Jared: Projection Prototype

Our focus over the week has been using projection to display content. During IxD open house, we projected pictures of people within the IxD space and let others participate by tagging their photos of IxD via Twitter and Instagram. We curated the pictures and then projected them onto the wall. Fun stuff. This helped solidified that content is what truly connects us and opens us to engage in it.


Then we wanted to show specific content surrounding the area of a stop. We chose the N/R stop on 23rd under the Flatiron building and next to Madison Sq. Park. We put together a looping deck of Flatiron and Madison Sq. Park imagery and then projecting that on the subway’s walls as people passed by.

Sadly, the battery to power the projector failed on us before anyone could engage with it.

Setting up.



Right before the battery failed.


But here are some concepts of what we would have liked to happened …



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Team Tapper—Week 5

Our prototype is projection on the bar countertop.

So tomorrow morning we will project on the kitchen table in the studio. We are going to project someone playing Tetris (their game screen), as well as the arcade game Asteroids. We made signs of each game logo to entice people to come over and watch.

IMG_6352Working picture 1working picture2

We tried to prototype our project today, but sadly the projector wasn’t working, we will try again another day this week.


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Week 11 News

Class recap:

Michael shared some of the prototyping work he did the previous week, and recommended the Society for Experiential Graphic Design for anyone who might be interested in getting involved in a local community that’s focused on experiential, physical, and technical design in physical space. We also discussed our learnings from Pete’s lecture, listened to tech presentations, and did an in-class exercise to help each other brainstorm new ideas for our concepts.


  • Iteration 3 – Get together and discuss input and ideas from in-class design swap. This is time to start doing a hard convergence. Choose a gem or something that has caught your interest most and start honing it. Find a day this week to go out and do your second to last iteration. Create clear goals to test against. Plan how you will be documenting your prototype. Please post your documentation to the Final project – week 5 category no later than Sunday.
  • Tech reports – Matt, Aastha, Nga and Melody


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Team Tapper—Week 4


1. John heads to BARCADE after a tiring day of work.

2. He looks up at the interactive bar menu and knows at a glance what other people have been ordering—what’s popular.

3. He sees that the IPA is about to kick.

4.  He decides to order an IPA from the bar keep.

5/6. John sees that the bar countertop looks like the arcade game Asteroids.

7. When he puts his beer glass down, his cup destroys one asteroid into many flying pieces.

8. He mentions to the girl next to him that her beer glass took down a rocket ship. They start to chat.

9. John asks her if she wants to check out who is playing on the high score board.

10. They head over together and watch as someone is playing PACMAN on the projection board/wall.



1. Al stops by BARCADE during his lunch break. He has an hour to kill and he wants to spend it there playing a few games of PACMAN.

2. He heads straight for the arcade game.

3. As he is about to surpass the highest score, he pushes a button that projects his game onto the highest score board/wall. Everyone starts to crowd around the wall to watch.

4. After that round, he decides to take a break and order a beer. He decides on an IPA. The IPA disppears on the interactive bar menu as the keg just kicked.

5. As the bar keep places Al’s IPA on the bar countertop, the glass just misses an asteroid.

6. Al heads straight back to PACMAN for another go with his IPA in tow.

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Team WashSqPk – Dami, Hanna, Nga, Sneha

User map (7)“Park Talk” Final Project Iteration #4

The simplicity of Park Talk installation incurred a significant amount of curiosities from a wide age range of passer byes in Washington Square Park.


Date of launch: Sunday November 16th

Time of launch: 2:47 pm

Location within WSP: North West side between Arch and Fountain

Weather: 46 degrees, Cloudy, light brisk wind with late intermittent drizzle at the last 5 minutes

Duration: 30 minutes


Our set up included the map of WSP mounted on a 60”x40” Board with a prompt asking: “Where is your favorite spot in Washington Square Park”? We provided colored sharpies attached to the board for users to sketch or write their response directly on the map.


For our fourth iteration of the prototype we sat 20 yards distance from the set-up of our prototype and unobtrusively observe the type of users, level of user engagement/interaction in relationship to the Park Talk installation and people nearby. To our surprise we learned that our installation captured interest from both kids and adults with slightly different end result in the manner in which the engagement produces for each group of users.



User 1: Kids

Adult/Family with kids ranging from 2 to 13 years of age

Kids showed curiosity and excitement when they saw the board. Anticipating the response from; either their grandmother, parent(s) or guardian’s permission to have closer look to draw on the board. In one case it was a whole family event.  Parents took delight that the kids got excited in the participation that they even took photos of their kids.

Grandmother with her grandkids (est. 6 to 9 yrs age)
grandma-n-kids grandma-n-kids2 grandma-n-kids3


Family with kids (Father, Mother, Grandmother, 3 kids- est. 4 to 7 years of age)

Family group1 family group2


Couple with toddler



Pre-teen girls (est. 9 to 13 years of age)

girl in hoodie girl in scarf


User 2:

Adults, M/F– Couples and Single participants (18 to 50+)

We had equal level of engagements between people who were by themselves and traveling with companions taking interest to stop and look at the prototype installation. Some couples and individuals were very quick to contribute, some would pass and/or linger before seeing other engaged users before they themselves participated in drawing/writing onto the board.

One particular finding of interest was that solo participants were engaging with one another over the Park Talk installation. While we were too far of a distance to understand what they were saying we watched their body language and interaction and can only guess that they were sharing something related to either the WSP, map/prototype installation or what they were drawing. . . this particular piece of installation brought two strangers to engage in a conversation!



couple 2 Couple1


Solo guy + Solo girl joins

guy n bike guy n girl


Strangers meeting strangers

strangers mtg strangers



Given the dreary weather and how quiet the WSP was than our previous visits we were surprised and delighted at the high level of participation from kids and adults with the Park Talk prototype installation. This prototype iteration while slightly modified and having it left unattended resulted in higher kids engagement than the first prototype launched back in late september. Also, people had natural curiosities to stop, look/read the prototype installation incurring additional interests from passer byes to participate. With a traction of one or two user again created more interests; pulling people from a distance to stop and look at the board. While they may not directly draw or sketch we observed people either made exchange with other users or with their travel partners.

*For family with kids– the discovery of the Park Talk installation along their path offered serendipity and delight for the kids to engage free-form with the larger audience.

*For adults: WSP public space, intervened by this installation enabled a sharing which allowed a conversation/engagement by two random people. In conclusion, we felt that our Park Talk prototype installation was a success drawing curiosity, delight and enabling natural/genuine conversations.

As a group we were delighted our Park Talk prototype brought smile and playfulness to the public space in Washington Square Park in such a cold and dreary day.

Final Park Talk Board Contributed by Washington Square Park Visitors


Close-ups of some of the drawings



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Team Jared: UX Diagram

We want to engage in a few touch-points within the subway to give riders a better sense of the actual place at a stop while riding underground. This week we plan on tackling two of the touch-points, the subway walls via projection and screen display signage.

Here is two user journeys plotted out that give examples to each on the same trip.


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