Thinking Physically: Experiment 1

Our first experiment for Thinking Physically is to “Create an interface or interaction that causes a person to ‘open up’.” This statement is intentionally vague – emotional, physical, literal?

My initial notes:
hi5_templatePeople seem to be aloof or wary of unfamiliar others. A shared experience seems to break down this distance. Observing a humorous or traumatic event. An emergency where people have to work together quickly. A spontaneous celebration. Whether it is a positive or a negative experience, a remarkable experience is what will break down barriers.

Apparel. A provocative piece of clothing will stimulate conversation. Affiliation though style, political or sports slogan can serve to both connect and to alienate others.
Gadgets – a sighting of an iPhone, and first generation iPod before it would generate interest enough to overcome avoidance of strangers. Someone wearing headphones is interpreted as a signal that they want to be left alone.
Gesture. Smiling might convey various messages given context…however they would still be different than a furrowed brow. Eyes – looking at someone vs. averting gaze. Culturally determined?

On another level, what about established relationships? I’ve been focusing on unfamiliar relationships between people – strangers, in a city perhaps. What about acquaintances, friends, co-workers, family, partners (an all the variant types here). What about opening up more in an established relationship? Would that be limited focused on emotion?

hi5_shirtAfter a quick message passing with Kate who gave me some great advice – don’t overthink it – I came up with a simple idea: “what about a ‘Hi 5′ shirt? Something really graphically simple and aesthetic. without words, a simple gesture and the image should convey the intention.”

I’ll know if it works later today…

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4 Responses to “Thinking Physically: Experiment 1”

  1. Thinking Physically » HI 5! Says:

    [...] post at robertcarlsen.net] Our first experiment for Thinking Physically is to “Create an interface or interaction that [...]

  2. Joel Says:

    You know what that makes me want to do? Put my hand on it and push up. A nice, friendly shoulder rub.

  3. Joel Says:

    P.S. That was officially the creepiest comment I’ve ever left.

  4. robertcarlsen Says:

    Indeed…but all the better for it. This is just an experiment after all…an idea hatched and implemented between midnight and three am.

    Looking at the photo now (with clearer yet slightly bloodshot eyes) I do feel an impulse to touch the hand on the shirt and move up. –Totally not expecting that interpretation but am absolutely welcome to it –

    (if anyone is wondering, the hand is from Wingdings)

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