Spring 2018 – 497-319: Designed for Silence – Developing Concepts that Balance Tech and Life

Meeting Day/Time
Fridays from 10:00 am to 12:40 pm
Leslie Hicks (Undergraduate Education – User-Centered Design) (lnhicks5@gmail.com)
Appropriate Majors
All interested students are welcome
Social Innovation

“As the world gets louder, harsher and more confusing, we look for ways to escape from the noise with the sound of silence.”Bailey, Emma Grace. “Lifestyle Futures: Peace and Quiet.” WGSN, 19 Jun. 2017

The word “technology” these days stimulates a vast number of responses: enabling medical advances, enhancing manufacturing productivity, offering cool gadgets and beautiful objects that bring us joy and entertainment. These are just a few of the reactions we have to the proliferation of technology in our lives. However, despite the benefits that technology has provided in the area of social connection, there are growing concerns about the lasting effects and tradeoffs that are impacting our “overly connected” generation. It is because of these concerns that we are seeing a growing trend whereby people actively seek out ways to DISCONNECT, ranging from simple off-grid digital detox retreats to more drastic actions of permanent social-media ghosting. This is not really a new issue but one that is increasing in significance and pervasiveness. Over the past few years, we have seen many company investments and app solutions address this issue in new and unique ways, all of which essentially highlight the core issue of the lack of balance and the crave for silence and calm.

That sounds like a big task right? Finding a solution to balance tech and life can seem like a mountain of a topic, but it doesn’t have to be. The goal for this IPRO project will be to tap our unique backgrounds and cultural influences, our experiences and our passions in order to imagine fresh concepts that involve (but are not limited to) a physical space in an urban context, supporting products, and unique experiences with emotional connection that aims at bridging this gap. What is the balance of being connected without losing the moments we are experiencing?

As a team we will conduct a competitive landscape of current approaches being implemented, i.e., a state-of-the-art review and analysis, that informs our discussion about defining and measuring success of the concepts we develop. Throughout the IPRO project, we will define and frame our problem, conduct a few interviews and visualize ways to explain the intent and value of our concepts. Such visualization of concepts may be in the form of architectural drafts, product drawings/renderings or annotated mood board visualizations.

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