We finally focus on three projects that have the potential to become speculative designs. Here is the work in progress summary for Photo Steal – steal pictures from the mobile-phone camera of a close friend.
Abstract: The project proposes an intimate access to one close friend / lover. You can view what your friend sees, or at least a glimpse of the environment he’s involving into.
Issues: the project mainly highlight the issue of privacy VS mutual confidence; but also voyeurism, surveillance, etc.
These issues are connected to my topic of the feeling of absence/presence, but not directly, therefore we did not spend to much time on it during the workshop session, we will come back to it later.
Work in progress
The team split in two for:
– making a working prototype on a mobile phone
– designing a specific object
The prototype on the mobile is an hack on a android: when you send an email with a specific object to a specific email address you receive a picture taken from the phone wherever it is. The pictures taken are often not pointing at anything, of are taken in a trousers pocket. However, after a couple of days of use the phone owner began to set mini-staging for his phone to take intentional situations from time to time (hi working, a flower, etc.)
The aesthetic of these small pictures where quite touching, intimate, etc. but the mobile phone did not correspond to the feeling we wanted to communicate with the project. We began brainstorming on the different objects we could designs to accomplish this function. That is when I proposed the notion of uncanny (see slides) as a design principle or as a constraint to respect in order to stimulate people attention. The aim is to being the audience into a reflective state on our problematics.
Here is the different propositions we made (left to right) a kind of ipad lens (bottom); a neck lace/medaillon; a little private locked note-book, a round shape mirror; a mobile sculpture; a pensieve (water mirror dream catcher). The aim was to choose the one that could stimulate people interest and reaction [Edit: I realise later that these implicit criteria were the one from my paper: probability, legibility and uncanny (familiarity/unfamiliarity)].