Tuesday was the day of improvisations. For most of us, it started with a repetition of shiftr.io Desktop and the shiftr.io pocket devices. As we've had plenty of time to discover the advantages of this service during the Build A Bird project, I felt quite confident, using it. Still, I enjoyed refreshing my knowledge. Due to our concept of tracing time spent on mobile phones or the internet in general, we will most likely record our data in a more analog way and not use shiftr.io pockets.
Since Verena was sick, our program for the afternoon was quite random. We individually tried different features of Rhino and tried to map shiftr.io to Grasshoppers. To my surprise, this worked well, but I have to admit the more I use Grasshopper the less I like it. In my experience, visual programming is always more complicated than regular code. Somehow the nodes we use in Grasshopper are less intuitive and I can't really wrap my head around it. Nevertheless, the possibilities of this program are endless!
Mesh School Pt. II
As we joined Roman in the Industrial Lab, he already prepared most of the newly bought 3D printers and a presentation on new fabrication methods. His fascination for the topic was clearly visible, as he showed us a few of his projects. After that, he introduced us to Onshape, a CAD software which allows cooperative working in real-time. To my surprise, the tool worked great, and the fifteen (!) of us had great pleasure fooling around while collectively building a spaceship.
Before we could build the first prototype, we had to define our concept and scenario more clear. Currently, the scenario looks like this:
The citizen's task is to produce data in order to be more transparent for the government. As you pursue your daily habits and work, you are ranked in the Social Credit System. Citizens, which do not follow these orders or don't spend enough time in front of their screens or connected to the internet are then being punished. As the government has forcefully distributed devices which physically limit your abilities if you do not follow these orders, your only choice is to obey.
This scenario should critically reflect Chinas Social Credit System, that is currently in the making, and create an awareness for the problem by conveying this dystopian vision. Our challenge now lies within the design of these devices. For now, there are a few possible outcomes. One would limit one of the human's main sense, the eye-sight. Using some sort of blind, to blindfold people more or less depending on their online activity would be a possibility. Other physical restrictions would be limited use of hands, for example with self-inflating gloves or simply mechanical blocking on the thumb.
After the mentoring, it became more clear, that we would need to create these devices more general than we initially thought. Instead of blindfold-like structures or gloves, we would need to limit the complete body. This being said, our next prototype will probably consist of some sort of overall. Furthermore, the mentors advised us to look for inspiration in fashion from the past, or wearable punishments in general.
We continued this study on Friday, as we started redefining keywords for our wearable. A few minutes later we noted exposure, isolation, and limitation. We came up with exposure because of medieval habits. Often times people who were punished for a certain crime were presented to the other citizen in public. This cruel shaming process was to let everybody know the guilt of the convicted criminal. Isolation, on the other hand, we would use as some sort of torture for the person. With limitation, we can make use of a concept that is seemingly already applied in China.
Sketching then seemed to be the way to go. I tried to think of different textures or positions on the body, where a wearable would have one of the above stated impacts. Working with colors and shapes, in general, could enforce the exposure. Something that increases the body weight would then be limiting etc. We compared the outcomes and postponed the task of finding interesting aspects to next week.