Week Two Newsletter

Project: Take Shape
Week Two Newsletter

Week 2 – Numerous Concepts

      Team Take Shape has been hard at work filling the walls and monitor screens of room 2404 with ideas. Throughout the week, ideas have been plucked from the ongoing brainstorming sessions and explored in greater detail.  The list of potential hardware and possible platforms has swelled.  A wide variety of user experiences were discussed and enhanced.  It soon became clear that, despite being unable to meet with the client during week one, development was fully underway.  

      To move forward, we felt it would be helpful to identify loose learning objectives that our experience could focus on.  We discussed the basic principles of 3D modeling and explored ways to build an experience around them.  Our conclusion was that the combination of simple shapes, or primitives, to form more complex shapes was a core concept with a lot of potential.  The concept of 3D space, conveyed on a 2D surface, was a second concept that we felt we could get across in a short interactive experience.

      At Shirley’s suggestion we set out to prepare three project ideas that we could present to our client at the eventual first meeting.  Working from our extensive brainstorming backlog, we met and shaped a series of concepts that we felt were good starting points.  First up was the Take Shape Machine, a contraption that lets participants warp, twist, bevel and otherwise modify their assembled shapes.  Next we devised the Digital Sandbox, a touch screen table top which allows multiple participants to move, spin, and share a central pool of shapes.  Finally, the Form Forge concept translated physical blocks into a digital format by dropping them into the forge.  Once inside, the shapes could be combined to form larger creations limited only by the guest’s imagination.

      We also prepared a series of visual design concepts for the project.  Taking inspiration from origami, Play-doh, Dr. Suess, and even the MAKESHOP itself, Kevin put together a suite of different visual styles to show our client. For the most part, any of the visual styles could be mixed and matched to one of the experiences with which we will eventually move forward. After meeting with our client, Lisa Brahms, and Rebecca Grabman, an ETC alumni who now works at the MAKESHOP, they enjoyed the looks of our Gooey and Geometric visual design schemes. The Goo idea is filled with neon greens and dark blues while the Geometric palette focused on bright colors and emphasis on an object’s form.

      Meeting with the client in the MAKESHOP was a great way to wrap up a week filled of brainstorming and formation of more and more questions. We learned lots of important aspects of the MAKESHOP that are not inherently obvious by simply walking through the area. The whole exhibit is about following the Maker Culture by keeping function in mind while continually expanding, changing and redeveloping the space. An emphasis on the ‘real’ is something that helped us steer away from some of our original concepts of monsters and robots but also to avoid features that are overly familiar such as cats, dogs and the everyday human.

      In the coming week we will be updating and finalizing a myriad of our team’s promotional and informative materials. Some of which include the team’s website, logo, poster, half sheet and touch screen content for our interactive kiosk on the wall outside of our project room. In two weeks we will have our Quarter’s Presentation for the faculty and staff of the ETC which will provide immense amounts of feedback on the direction we will soon be headed. We look forward to the exciting weeks to come.