Curious Displays
Julia Y. Tsao

Curious Displays functions as a methodology for design research. The project iself brings to the surface more questions than answers, more chaos than clarity. Proposing a system of hundreds, thousands, even, of autonomous mobile pixels running around a room is hardly streamlining in the immediate sense.

As a media designer, I have found that a central driving inspiration for the work I produce is people--the user, the audience. I seek more than anything else to engage people in a dialgue, to create and develop a complete experience, taking into consideration the elements and variables at play during the engagement between the user and the "thing." Communication is multi-faceted, and interaction even more so, and to further complicate, these actions and behaviors take place in a very complex, nuanced, and often non-sensical world. We are and never will be designing in a world without context. Everything we think through and make has to take into careful consideration the multiplicity of factors that can and will affect the perception or experience of a designed outcome. My ultimate goal as a designer and a maker is to create work that takes into consideration as many of these uncontrollable factors as possible. Rather than trying to mask or hide the imperfections, I hope instead to give them full focus and to play with our understanding of how they do in fact play a very central role in our daily lives. In working through the Curious Displays project and gaining a sense of the different elements that we face in life everyday--social, behavorial, cultural, and personal--one really can begin to see the necessity of working in this way, in pushing what some might consider the extreme ends of practicality and feasibility to in turn address and answer questions very pertinent to the way we live in the present.

Though I presented this project as my graduate thesis project, I in no way think of this as a designed final output or endpoint. Rather, I see this project as a invitiation to further dialogue on the subject, and on others like it.


CURIOUS DISPLAYS.  Copyright 2009.  Media Design Program, Art Center College of Design.  About Julia Tsao.  Acknowledgements & Thanks.