Weeknote 15.0

Framing and Post-Production

This work touches upon so may areas of interest—Big Data, data visualization, tangible user interfaces, behavior change, feedback loops, quantified self, personal activity trackers—it has been difficult to frame it in a seven minute presentation format. One way of framing it is as a tangible user interface. These interfaces are “physical objects, surfaces, and spaces as tangible embodiments of digital information and processes.” In Thesis Presentation this week, I attempted to frame it so, with poor results: classmates pointed out that the display doesn’t feedback input into a system, like a touchscreen for an iPad. I replied that the definition of tangible user interfaces includes displays, but still, it was hard for them to get past the immediate and direct feedback “interface” implies. Toward the end of the week, I began thinking about this work in the same way I began: quantified self—metrics for visualizing tracked activity—and information design—forms beyond numbers, sparklines, and charts.

I began transcoding the uncompressed footage shot last Saturday the next day to begin a week of video post-production. I’ve been really influenced by ORIENTATION, a film by an RCA graduate that my thesis advisor Jackie Steck shared with me. I loved how it was shot, styled, and sound designed. I immediately sought out the creator to learn more. It turned out, its maker is speculative designer, Ilona Gaynor. Gaynor and I crossed paths on Twitter earlier this year; ever since then I’ve been an admirer. An exchange with her set me off on a hunt to track down ambient sound effects that have names like “room tone,” “drones,” and “hums.” I discovered online communities devoted to recording, sharing, and commenting upon these sounds. I finally land upon the charitable Web site of recording artist Moby, where he offers his music and sound effects for free to independent and student filmmakers.

The remainder of the week was devoted to video post-production and graphic and information design studies.

A sensor user interface study

A graphic design study

An information design study

A motion design study

I ended the week in a flurry, updating the branding, system diagram, and recording the voice over with an actor.


System diagram

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