From the sketch to materialising, there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears involved. MS attacks, burning out and still awake after 48 hours I got to present the results. But first, my proud result. More details about the final version of this project can be found at The Home Network page.
But the result I liked the most was the rushed exhibition we put together with the course organisers. It felt really good to be around explaining the outcomes, our process and vision to other students. Our fiction texts were also published on a catalog and we even got to throw a opening party (pub). I couldn't be there since I was sleeping for the week that I didn't.
I started dealing with the context of interactions at Home in a very personal way. It is such a private subject that, to me, not having a personal take would make the entirety of interactions, problems and fictions to feel dry and technologically oriented. For that reason, communication was my main focus. Combined with this topic I had my thoughts on aesthetic of interaction, related to how can we understand the interactions as we do today with languages by using a rhetoric framework. This goal, specifically was not fulfilled during this project - perhaps the lack of time to build the framework myself while dealing with other aspects.
The faceless interaction topic was very controversial to me at start. It took me a week of literature review to convince myself that this type of focus was necessary. Now I interpret Faceless Interaction as a post-humanist design approach. Since we don’t fully control every aspect of the technological artefact in front of us, our failures, mistakes and lack of skills are revealed. Due to this self-reflective aspect, I’ve decided to explore the communication of things we don’t control, such as emotional state, as a conversation starter.
During research I could perceive that more people shared my own fears of losing family contact as we move forward on our careers. These insights were supported by the reports and articles I’ve found. For that reason, I’ve moved on ideating around the design fiction and keeping the surrounding world on a positive take. To set characters and society to failure made me stop concerning about families and start building on basic resources, so I had to go back one step and first create an utopia, then start looking for failures on it. The more it became close to the fear that started the research, the better, so I took the idea of migrating as a requirement instead of keeping the decision too personal.
My first iteration of work to me was a complete failure. To me the lack of critical use of faceless interaction turned the family context irrelevant and deprived of feelings and care. Also, the sense of ownership of the house was lost. To recover from this phase I had to quickly reflect on how people decorate and relate to objects around them. This helped me to shape the tokens, not only as a concept but physically, considering dimension, materials and colours. This project was a test to my skills of building, planning and evaluating concepts by myself. After long weeks of work avoidance, since I was not comfortable designing 3d objects, I’ve decided to start learning modelling and the industrial design processes. My critical friends were specially helpful with that and I’m really satisfied with the results of such short time of contact. I would probably explore some other aspects of the interaction concept if I had time, such as family avoidance or more playful interactions between network members. The automated house also started to become an interesting topic for future work explorations that I’m willing to keep doing.