Curious Displays
Julia Y. Tsao

Displays are a central part of our daily lives. As a designer, I interface with displays of all sizes on a daily basis, and often mind myself wondering--why a rectangle? I know I'm not alone in this contemplation, having shared many a conversation with friends and colleagues about the seemingly un-changeable nature of the form-factor display. The display is a truly successful medium. I definitely appreciate the the functionality and practicality that the screen affords. However, as a media designer, I feel that it is often part of my nature to question things and events that are seemingly perfectly acceptable and fine as is. Its my natural inclination as a desugber to question existing standards and expectations to see how we might change them standards for the better. I realized early on in my thesis development that I had questions about the screen—I love the screen for what it offers as a vehicle for communication, however, I'm interested in exploring how it could further evolve as a medium, both from an interaction / interface standpoint, but, more importantly, from a social standpoint, as well.

I chose to to explore our relationship with the display by separating out the technology aspect of its identity, and instead, regarding it as just another object in the home. I began my thesis research by analyzing the roles and relationships of everyday objects in our existing daily landscape, and to gain insight on how these objects might be able to take on different meaning in our everyday lives. I sought to marry this understanding with elements of play and multi-dimentionality afforded by communication and interaction, with the screen as a focal point in my developing research.


What are the unique, varied, and idiosyncratic roles that objects play in our daily lives?

How can the intersection of cutting-edge technology and existing social and behavioral frameworks facilitate discovery, happenstance, and play?

How can critical thinking in design function as provocation for invention in the real world?

The resulting work is my graduate thesis project, "Curious Displays."



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