Reflection on project a2: Sketching Interactions in Environments.

1—What did you learn?

This project wasn't a great exercise in working across classes and across people. I originally worked on the foundation for this project in Interactivity & Computation for Creative Practice (60-212) with Adella Guo before bringing the progress from that assignment into Environments Studio and collaborating with Lucas Ochoa. Figuring out how to contextualize Lucas with what Adella and I had already ideated while being open to new directions was a learning experience. For example, figuring how to refocus the project for a new prompt and academic context (design vs. new media arts) was something I hadn't done before.

2—What were you challenged by?

For this assignment, every part of our concept was either possible or not possible to prototype with real hardware/software. Because Lucas had the greatest Arduino skill set, he was largely responsible for building the working prototype while I was responsible for communicating the rest of our design concept. Because what was and wasn't prototype-able given our time was a shifting target, we were both constantly reevaluating what we had to do in real time. Because I shot the video after the working prototype was completed, this made planning the video very difficult.

3—What did you do really well?

The most exciting part of our design, in my opinion, is how it serves as a platform for prototyping more ideas and thinking about other potential imaginaries around environmental control and manipulation.

After having created the column, Lucas and I have consistently returned to the device as a prop to act out other ideas—in a way, it became a instrument to better express many more ideas than it can actually achieve in its current state.

That said, because it currently sits on top of simple keyboard inputs as a standard Human-interface device, it can be easily scripted to do a lot more with an application Golan told me about, called Karabiner. Working on the precursor to Column, I used this approach to great affect in exploring multiple directions.

4—What would you do differently?

For the amount of time we had on this assignment, I would do very little differently. One thing I would try to do better on a second take would be following Lucas' technical building of the working prototype.