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We did a few short hands-on investigations into people's intrinsic motivation to explore and gain insight when encountering constellations of objects, signs, interfaces in everyday spaces. In our executions we went pretty low-tech in order to get a very quick and basic understanding about the means to stimulate and test experiences that aspects of potential interactive systems could engender - their social and behavioral effects, and their cultural implications.
- The Trap (Does a trap capture, sample, steal, record, collect, charm...?)
- The Scenic Route (How to define a scenic route, signage to demarcate, installation of attractive artifacts, attention to points of interest...?)
- The Dispensing Machine (Does the machine dispense physical items or something intangible, what does it look like, how does it get triggered...?)
“NO” was our first social site-specific experiment in the Art Center Library. With pink construction paper taped along the spine of each book, forming the word NO, we wanted to see how people would react and engage with something very bold, new, and loud in a quiet space.
Instead of engaging with the books as a library user would, people were every hesitant and didn't want to destroy what seemed to be a “pretty installation” space. Nobody really wanted to pull out a book, or new what to make out of the “NO”.
At some stage we had to “repair” the arrow as people started flipping parts of the arrow around...
To our delight, an interaction one several levels took place, people were no longer afraid to touch it, but rather felt like this arrow was an invitation for “play”. But again the question arrises, how can you get even more people to interact?
“Mark your favorite thing”
At the entrance door to the library people were asked to perform a task “Mark your favorite book, person, movie, computer, things in the library!” Once you entered the library there were rows of pink paper strips waiting for you to place on your favorite object.
One other experiment we tried to trick people in using a bell and an intercom in order to enter the MDP studio at Art Center. The intercom was dysfunctional but instead we hid a little camera in the black box recording peoples interaction with it and them talking into the intercom.