Monday, October 08, 2007

Project Two: Phase one — write a narrative

Write a narrative, a story, about one of the terms, buzz words, etc. we've identified, i.e. Design-It-Yourself, peer production, co-creation, etc. What will be compelling for someone to read. What would you like to read? And, what are you able to write in less than twenty-seven hours?

My buzz words: interactive and participation

Bringing interactive behaviors back to ‘reality’
An interactive design artifact is typically considered only in the realm of the web or other digital mediums. According to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, interactive is defined as mutually or reciprocally active; involving the actions or input of a user. Can these definitions of interactive be applied to print and other analog mediums? I would argue that interactivity at its core is a type of participation which can be achieved in any medium.

The emphasis on co-creation and collaboration through interactivity seems to be taking place mostly in online communities. This can be seen in a wide array of communities, such as: My Virtual Model, customizing Mini Coopers, customizing stationary, etc. When our class was assigned a project to analyze, identify and respond to a design project that was somehow relating to co-creation, 80% of the class worked in the digital world. Why is that? The concepts surrounding involving the user and creating interactivity are far more defined in the digital. It is harder to think of ways to create an opportunity for users to interact in and with print artifacts.

However, if we can address what the core motivation and desire is for these types of interactivity, we could apply them to any medium. Is it for the user to have an opportunity to play, to feel like they are a part of a whole, to feel like they are contributing? Why do people want to create and interact? If one really addresses the fundamental desires of people involved in this collaboration/interaction movement, it is clear that analog mediums can be a part of it. There is something particular about ‘real’ artifacts that will never be found in the online world. The sense of holding something—feeling an objects weight, its tactility, having the object be a physical extension of yourself.

How can we, as design experts, create interactivity outside of the internet? As people are continually becoming skeptical of the validity and necessity of print, how can we help to maintain its relevance?
I took a stab at writing a narrative. In my next attempt I am going to try to be more loose.

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