Olive You

Olive You Comic

Olive You comic Script

ACT I

The day is Tuesday, and also Olive’s only sort-of free day. Olive doesn’t have class until 7pm on Tuesdays, so she purposely left Tuesday mornings free for errands- laundry, groceries, and other adult stuff. However, this Tuesday is different. This Tuesday The Boss at Big Corporate Ice Cream has called her into work because they’re understaffed. Of course they’re understaffed. Ever since the digital takeover, Olive is the only human being other than Boss that still works at the ice cream. The thing is, her job there isn’t even to serve ice cream. Her job there is to maintain the computers that do the actual serving of the ice cream.

The first thing Olive does each morning, after she turns off her alarm of, course, is to check her phone for notifications. On a regular morning, there is the typical daily spam emails, a text from her best friend Rae, and a reminder for some bill that is due. This morning is different, there is actually a missed called from Big Corporate Ice Cream with a voice mail from Boss.

The alarmingly urgent looking voicemail from Boss waiting for her:

“Good morning, Olive. It is Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. I am calling because I need you to come into work today. The computers are malfunctioning and we are a little understaffed at the moment.”

Rolling her eyes in annoyance, Olive mumbles to herself as she begrudgingly gets ready for work on her day off:

“Of course, you’re understaffed. You have no staff! I’m the only person that works there!!”

Olive gets ready for work. Typically, to work in food service, the employees have to wear hats for sanitation reasons, but because she doesn’t actually come in contact with the food and her hair is way too big to fit in a hat, Boss has granted her permission to wear a visor. Accompany the visor is a baseball tee with bright pink sleeves and a lighter pink body with an ice cream logo in the front, and also a name tag so people don’t confuse her for an ice cream scooper (she’s just the IT person at BCIC).

All dressed, Olive leaves for work. Olive doesn’t generally bring her backpack to work because she lives within walking distance, but she brought it today so she doesn’t have to run home before going to class.

Olive arrives at work. BCIC is a huge factory-like establishment. It started off as a small home made ice cream shop, but has grown exponentially throughout the years. With the growth of technology, Ice Cream Shop has evolved into Big Corporate Ice Cream.

Olive arrives at work with a whole list of computers that need to be fixed. It’s amazing how often they need to be checked on. And she’s also annoyed that she is the only IT personnel on staff. There are too many computers and too many problems for her to be doing this all alone. But, Boss would never approve a second IT personnel. “It cuts into the profit”.

Not long after Olive starts working, a former customer walks up to Olive and greets her:

“Hey, Olive! How are you?! Where is Vic and everyone else? I need to order some ice cream.”

Working in retail, Olive sees hundreds of people per day and has greeted a hundred times that in her time working at BCIC. So, naturally she doesn’t recognize this man, but he obviously recognizes her.. (awkward). So she takes the appropriate reaction by responding awkwardly:

Face distorted with discomfort “HEY… you.” *flicks the finger-gun gesture as she responds*

Reverts back to normal: “Uhm, Boss fired Vic and everyone after The Digital Takeover a little while back. NOW you order your ice cream from the computers you see here…”

The customer’s eyes widen in shock and confusion:

“Digital… takeover…?”

Olive, bored with the question because it’s been asked by literally everyone since the transition:

“Yea. we replaced REAL people employees, with the brand new SHINY digital employees. You press a couple of buttons on the screen, wait a few minutes, and miraculously an ice cream cone appears from who knows where”

Brows furrowed with confusion, the plain faced customer leaves to order his ice cream from the computer, leaving Olive peacefully back to her work.

Olive is busy slaving away at all the computers that need maintaining. She is working so fast and efficiently that it appears as though there are multiple Olives working at the same time. Just as she was starting to get into the zone.. :

“HELLLO?!!??!?!1”

EXCUSE MEEEEEEE?!

I NEEEEED HELLLLLP.

HEEEEEELP”

Olive sighs, and reluctantly makes her way over to the source of the whining. She enters into a new panel to a woman tapping away ferociously at a blank computer screen:

O: “Hey ma’am. Is everything okay?”

Triggered by this question, the customer starts spewing out questions one after another without giving Olive a chance to even answer them

“WHY ISN’T THE COMPUTER GIVING ME ICE CREAM?

WHERE IS THE ICE CREAM?

WHY ISN’T IT LET ME ORDER?

I JUST CAME TO GET SOME ICE CREAM.

DO YOU NOT WANT MY BUSINESS?”

O: “Ma’am. I am sorry for the inconvenience, but it seems as though this computer screen is temporarily malfunctioning. If you like, we have like twenty other computer screens that would be more than happy to take your order”

“THIS IS SUCH AN INCONVENIENCE TO ME! I would like to speak with the manager.”

O: “The manager is currently busy at the moment. If you’d like I could take a message and pass it along to him.”

“NO IT’S FINE. BUT JUST KNOW I WILL BE WRITING A REVIEW ABOUT THIS!”

The complain-y customer moves along to the next computer screen. Despite her threats of taking her business elsewhere, she will still continue to get her ice cream from BCIC. (Because they have the freshest ice cream you will ever eat!)

After the customer leaves, Olive shifts her attention to the malfunctioning screen.  Olive spends some time working on it, but does not make any progress. It is still broken. Out of ideas, Olive decides to call a third party IT company.

Olive pulls out her phone to look up the closest IT company with the fastest response time, the Super Nerdy IT Fixer Uppers.

And we wait. Fastest response time doesn’t always mean the fastest arrival time.

The IT guy arrives, and Olives is unimpressed by the guy’s lackluster appearance and mannerism. Where is the professionalism? Olive brings him to the screen in question.

SNITFU: Oh hey! It looks like there is something wrong with your monitor

O: No BUTT!! That’s why I called you here.

The SNITFU examines the monitor for some time, often referring to his own laptop “Googling” for the results. Every so often, Olive catches the guy checking his phone for personal texts and phone calls.

SNITFU: Welp, I have no idea what the problem is, and I’ve checked like EVERY single forum there is out there. BUT I did find this wire that goes into the wall and just disappears. Seeing as I have no access back there, I can’t tell if that is the problem. Oh, and “Google” also does not have a forum for the mysterious~ wire.

O: Thanks~ for your not-help

SNITFU: You’re super-nerdy welcome! Here is your bill!

ACT II

Boss: BILLLLLL?!?!?!

The mysteriously angry voice came out of nowhere. But, Olive knows that this is not going to end well.

Face bright-red flushed with a sudden rush of blood. Features distorted with anger and dismay. Finger pointing down at at Olive as he overlooks her with mighty authority:

Boss: What is this I hear about a bill??

O: Well, Da-Boss this monitor was broken and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. And Vic isn’t here to help, so I had to call someone else in.

B.: Don’t you think you should’ve asked me before you called someone in to look at it?

O: I would’ve asked but you were nowhere to be found-

B.: “NOWHERE TO BE FOUND?!” I am always, ALWAYS, in my office. You can ALWAYS find me there. Next time you decide to make a decision that costs the company money, you better ask first, young lady. I am still the owner of this company and will be for a long time to come, and you need to know your place first. And in regards to Vic, we had an understanding when I relieved him of his managerial position up here.

Boss slowly descends the stairs as he is finishing giving Olive a lecture.

O: Well, whatever the fixer upper didn’t find the problem. And it’s not like you’re paying anyone else around here anymore. I don’t see what the big deal is. Would you rather have broken equipment?

B.: I am currently not taking suggestions on the way I run this business. When it is your time you can make those decisions.

O: I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there. In the mean time I am just go find where the mysterious wire leads. It looks like behind this wall?

B.: Just figure out what the issue is. And do not call another third party company. And do NOT go behind the wall or the basement.

O: Wait. Why can’t I go in the basement? What’s down there?

B.: Nothing. You can fix the wring without going down. Just do it, and do it fast.

O: Why can’t you tell me what’s down there?

T.B.: It’s not time for you to know.

O: I can never ask question. You never tell me the deet. You didn’t give me a legit answer for firing Vic and now the secret basement? Why can’t you just be open for once?

B.: You will know when it’s time for you to know. Now. That is the last on the subject. I am going back to work in my office. Fix the monitor. And don’t go in the basement.

When someone tells Olive not to something, she can’t help herself but to do the thing that they don’t want her to do.

O: Pffft Butt that. I’m going to the basement.

As soon as Boss closes the office door behind him, Olive’s face contorts with mischief as she plans her adventures to the basement.

Olive starts packing a bag full of supplies that she thinks she might need for her trip to the basement. In fear of not having enough supplies and having to run back up and getting caught by Boss, Olive over packs a little.

O: *mumbling to herself as she packs* Pfft! What’s his deal? What’s even down there? Why is he always so secretive? He’s always like this c’mon, Olive! *puts her finger up to nose to imitate his mustache* Don’t go in the basement. Merh. Merh. Merh.

Filled with suspense, Olive heads to the basement door. It’s a magnificent door, sturdy and strong with a big “DO NOT ENTER” sign in the front. Funny enough the door is secured with an electronic combination lock, which Olive can crack in a matter of seconds given her computer science background.

Sheepishly studying the lock:

O: An electronic combination lock?! Now, how will ever I  get in?

Olive enters the door and is immediately relieved that she remembered to pack a flashlight. It is pitch black behind the door, and the only thing Olive can see are stairs in front of her. However, when she flashed the light in front of her there is nothing to be seen except for infinite darkness. She musters up as much courage as she can and starts descending the stairs.

Olive walked, and walked, and walked. The stairs seem to go on forever, and she starts to doubt whether there is an end to these stairs.

“Maybe I should go back? Maybe there isn’t even anything down here.  He’s probably making a big deal outta nothing as usual- oooof”

Expecting a step where there isn’t, Olive is surprised by the sudden stop. In front of her is a faint outline of what appears to a door.

“So, I entered a room of stairs to end up in front of a door. Interesting.”

Olive opens the door, and is suddenly blinded by the brightness on the other side. It takes awhile for her eyes to adjust, but when it does, she is overwhelmed with astonishment.

The basement is a magical place! There is a farm down there with cows. Lots and lots of cows. However, they’re not ordinary cows. There are big fluffy cows of all different colors, brown, green, pink. Olive cannot believe her eyes. On the outskirts of the farm, there are what appears to be greenhouses and a shed. Olive can’t see what is growing inside the greenhouses, but she can’t wait to find out. There is also a barn down there. But, it’s not a typical barn, because there is a huge monitor on the front of the barn. It doesn’t say anything at the moment, but it looks similar to the ones at the ice cream shop.

Olive makes her way over to the cows, she really wants to pet one and be their friends.

“Do you wanna be friends?”

The cow lets Olive pet her, but is skeptical about whether or not she wants to be friends with Olive. Olive notices that there are buckets all over the place with different types of foods in them, strawberries, mint, chocolate, and so on. Olive picks up a handful of strawberries and tries to feed the closest cow to her. Olive brings the handful of strawberries up to the green cow’s mouth, but the cow flicks her head away, refusing the treat.

“C’mon, guy. You don’t want strawberries?”

The cow ignores Olive’s hand, and from nowhere comes a voice:

“MINTY-MINTY DOESN’T EAT STRAWBERRIES!!”

O: VIC! OMG! IT’S VIC. VIC! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? WHAT IS HERE? HERE? WHAT? WHAT IS THIS PLACE? COW!! WHY ARE THERE COWS DOWN HERE? HOW ARE THERE COWS DOWN THERE? AND THE COWS ARE DIFFERENT COLORS? WHY? WHAT IS THIS PLACE? WHY WON’T THE COWS EAT? OH! Hey Vic! What’s up? How are you? Where’ve you been? COWS! Also, why are you dressed in winter clothes? But, whoa I just realized it’s so cold down here. Why? Is that also why the cows have such thick fur? Because it’s so cold down here?

Vic waits patiently as Olive finishes spewing her questions at him. He forgot how excitable Olive can be. Once Olive has had a chance to calm down and Vic was able to process through all of Olive’s questions he begins to explain to here where The Farm is.

V: So, this is The Farm. It is a farm.. as you can see.

O: The Faaaaaarmmmmmmm?

V: Yes. The Farm was established after the digital takeover. Business was doing bad. There was too much competition out there, Big Corporate Ice Cream was losing much of its business to other ice cream shops. Boss suspected that he was losing to the newer and hipper ice cream shops. He also felt that he was losing morale in his employees and they didn’t care as much as they used to, therefore causing a loss in profits. So, to save his company, he felt like his only option was to go completely digital, to take the human-error factor out. Cutting out the labor force meant that he didn’t have to distribute paychecks. And also, by using these computers, the serving size was always precise reducing food waste and over-serving, there aren’t mistakes made during food preparation with the computers. Also, the computers are programmed to complete tasks on time and in a timely manner.

Then, he turned the basement into this farm, so that he can keep cows on sight to produce the freshest milk for the ice cream. There is a reason why BCIC’s ice cream is the best and most coveted now. That is that the products are completely natural. I mean, it’s not healthy for you because its ice cream, but people will feel good eating it because at least better than the next best thing. Boss keeps the cows on sight so that he will have the FRESHEST ice cream. The product doesn’t have to travel from the manufacturer to us. It literally just shoots up from here and it is served to the customers. They are produced when ordered, so there is no chance of the ice cream ever expiring. Again, reducing waste.

As you’ve noticed, there is a variety of cows down there. Yes, that is because for each ice cream flavor there is, a particular cow that produces the milk. Each cow is a specific color that corresponds with their particular flavor: pink is strawberry, brown is chocolate, white is vanilla, green is mint, and so on. And each cow has a specific diet. Minty-Minty eats mint. Chocolat eats chocolate. Strawbrrrrr-y eats strawberry. This is to prevent cross-contamination, but also we found that by keeping the cows on a diet like this, the milk they produce is more flavorful giving the ice cream its rich flavor.

When a customer orders an ice cream, the flavor that the customer wants flashes on that big monitor you see on the barn. The cows are trained to recognize and respond when their flavor is called. Inside the barn, the cows are milked at the milking station. The milk is extracted from the cow with love and care, of course, and always to the exact amount necessary, preventing waste. Once the milk is extracted, they will go through the fast freeze machine. Fast freeze dat milk, u’kno. Anyways this process also ensures that there will be no ice crystals or freezer bite in the ice cream. It also reduces the amount of air that gets into the ice cream, allowing the ice cream frozen much longer. And once its nice and pretty, it gets sent up to the customers.

We also grow all of the cows food down here in the basement farm. You see those greenhouses there? Each greenhouse houses its own crop. Again we keep everything separate so there is no cross contamination. But we also do this so to make sure that the cows foods are completely natural as well. We need to know what is feeding the food that we are feeding to the food.

But, basically I am the you of the farm. My primary job here is to take care of the computers that run this place. The cows are taken care of and even groomed by the computers. The crops are harvested by the computers. There is even an automated system that cleans this place. Even their poop has a purpose here! I live in the shed down over there. I mean you know me. I used to be late all the time, so Boss put me down here so that if there is ever an iss—

ACT III

Coming from out of the panel:

“MOOOOOOoooooooo”

Filled with anxiety Olive and Vic whip their heads around.

V: Oh scoops! The COWS!!

O: Oh BUTTS! What happened?!

The two rush over to the pasture to check on the babies.

V: Chocolat! What’s wrong dude?! Are you okay?

C: *weakl* Moo~

V: This is bad, Ol. I have to call Boss.

O: Noooooo. He doesn’t know I’m down here, man.

V: Okay, dude. Go hide first.

O: RIGHT.

Vic waits for Olive to hide before calling up to Boss.

V: Hey Boss, one of the Chocolat is sick and I don’t know what to do, dude!

Boss’ face lined with distraught as he hears the news from Vic.

B: Chocolat is sick? Okay I will be right down.

Within minutes of hanging up the phone, Boss is in the Basement Farm. Olive is amazed by how fast he got there.

O: How did he get down here so fast?

Eyebrows furrowed, voice shaking with worry, Boss walks up to Vic and the sick Chocolat.

B: What happened here?! Why is she sick? Did you feed her something bad?

V: No, man. She only eats chocolate. What do we do? What if she doesn’t get better? Are we gonna have to call a doctor down here?

B: No, Vic. We CANNOT call a doctor down here. And calm down. Now is not the time to be panicking. Go get some hot water and a towel.

V: Okay. Okay. B.R.B, man.

Vic runs off to go grab some hot water and towers, leaving Boss alone  with the cows. Olive still hiding in a bush a few yards away, is interested to see how Boss interacts with the Chocolat. She is carefully observing him, and she is surprised to see how tender and gentle he is with her. Boss is comforting Chocolat so tenderly and is nurturing with Chocolat in a way that he is never with her.

Vic rushes back to Chocolat and Boss with the bucket of hot water and towels, spilling water everywhere along the way.

V: Here you go, dude. Hot water and towels.

B: *sigh” Stop calling me “dude”. Okay, now hold her head steady. Put the hot towel on her head. I will feed her some wa- WHOA BUTT! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

Vic and Boss are both shocked by what just happened. It appears as though Chocolat was actually pregnant, and she just had a baby calf!

V: Whoa, man! It’s a kiddie-sized Chocolat. Awwww

B: Chocolat was pregnant and you didn’t know? Vic. You have to stay on top of it.

The cute little baby chocolate calf comes up and nudges the Boss’ hand, and his face immediately lights up with love and tenderness.

B: Well, hey there little guy. How are you?

Calf: mooooo~

Boss is playing with the baby calf, and really enjoying himself as he does so. He is smiling, laughing, and jumping around with her.

B: You are just the sweetest little girl.

Hearing Boss say this, Olive loses control of her emotions.

O: WHAT THE BUTT, DAD?!

B: Olive?! What are you doing down here? I thought I specifically told you not to come down here?!

O: Yea, I didn’t listen to you. BUT that’s not the problem here. Dad, why are you being so nice and loving to the calf?

B: Olive, what are you talking about?

O: The calf, Dad. You are being so nice to her. And so playful. And nice. And warm. And loving.

B: Because she’s a baby? I still don’t know what you are talking about Olive. You aren’t making sense. And I am still furious that you came down here without my permission.

O: Really? You don’t see the problem here? You seriously don’t see why I am so upset?

B: If I am being honest, no.

O: Dad. All my life growing up, you’ve been so distant and cold to me. And no matter how hard I tried to have conversation with you, you never reciprocate. You were always so wrapped up in this company that you never made any time for me. I first came to work here, so that I could be closer to you, and hoping that if we had in common, you would be more open with me. But, I am only staying here now because it is the only place that will hire me for a computer tech-y position. And VIc? Vic is here? If you didn’t fire Vic why didn’t you just tell me? Why didn’t you just tell me about the farm? And Vic? And the cows?

V: Well, Olive I’m sorry that you feel that way. I never realized.

I was always really focused on the company because I wanted to grow up feeling safe and secure. And I want you to know that part of the reason for the digital takeover is that, even if you couldn’t get your dream job in Computer Tech, this could always be your back-up. It’s not the most ideal, but at least you would be doing something that is relative to your field.

As far as Vic and the Basement farm I couldn’t tell you because I wanted to keep you safe. With the sudden success of BCIC, there were a lot of threats coming in, and I couldn’t having the company secret leaking out or there be a suspicion of a secret. So, to keep you safe I had to keep you in the dark.

I’m sorry I’ve been so negligent to you Olive. I wish I had known, and taken the time to be open to you and listened to you more.

Olive is having trouble processing through all of her emotion right now – she is overcome with emotion and is trying with all her might not to shed a tear.

Olive and Boss got so caught up in their conversation that they completely forgot that Vic is down here with him. Vic’s stares blankly at the baby calf, and trying really hard not to listen. Awkwardly to segue the conversation in a different direction.

“So, guys. What do you wanna name our new baby calf?”

Olive You Research Paper

Olive You is something that I have been working for some time before I started the MFA Design and Technology program. As my Major Studio 1 project, I thought I would expand on the initial storyline and to create a complete and tangible piece. Through the course of producing this comic, I learned a lot about story writing, comic book design, book binding, and much more. One of the toughest things in creating this comic book for me was trying to write the story itself, and trying to fit all of the information and plot lines I was thinking about into one comic book.

I feel satisfied in completing this comic book. I really feel I learned a lot from creating this piece, not only in story writing, but also just the amount of work that goes into printing physical books. There are a few paths I can take in taking this project further, I got some really good feedback in that regard in my final review. In going further, I think I will have to do some more research for the next best step before I proceed.

Advertisements

Week 10 Reading Response

In the Practices of Looking, Sturken and Cartwright discuss in detail the differences between the gaze and the object. The object is the thing being observed, and the gaze is the thing that is doing the looking. This reading is referring to the power relationship between the object and the gaze, being that the gaze holds all the power. As the object, there is not really much that thing can do to protect itself in its situation. Throughout history, women have always been viewed as the object, always subjecting to the male gaze. Sturken and Cartwright bring up an interesting point, in that even when men are put in the position of the object, they are often not viewed as vulnerable as women are in the same situation. When women are placed in ads, the poses in which they are positioned in are always that of vulnerability- arched backs and exposed necks. However, when men are placed as the gaze, they are often posed in a dominant manner in stances that signify power. This ties in with their point about voyeurism, and obviously the gaze as the voyeuristic figure. The gaze has the ability to observe the object at any given moment without the knowledge of the object, therefore giving the gaze all the power. This idea is illustrated with a humorous depiction of a still life painting of fruits in which the artist composited eyes on the bowl of fruits. In many cases, fruits in paintings are the object, powerless to the interpretation of the gaze. However, in this painting, because they are given eyes, they have been given the power to be the observers in this case. By doing this, the artist is playing with the power relationship in this situation, in that the viewer, who should be the gaze, becomes the object. Their roles have been switched and the viewer is now the subject of interpretation to the bowl of fruits.

Week 07 Reading Response

Maciej Cegłowski’s, Web Design: The First 100 Years, he went into a great detail about the development of technology starting with airplanes and comparing it the internet. His outlook on both is that, developers are constantly trying to make these technologies faster and better, that they become too expensive to produce, therefore making them obsolete. If they are too expensive to produce, they would not be profitable on the market. Ceglowski also makes a good point, why would normal people need an 8TB hard drive? Unless you work in a field that requires that much computer space, it is an unnecessary to have that much storage space. In Ceglowski’s eyes there are three ways people use the internet: “CONNECT THE WORLD”, “EAT THE WORLD”, “END THE WORLD”. There are people who use the internet for purely entertainment purposes, to talk to friends and family across the world and to watch cat videos. The second group are people who want to save the world with technology, but the problem with that is that everyone would have to connected to the web. There would sensors connected to everything we use, and we would become completely dependent on technology and the web. “But what if after software eats the world, it turns the world to shit?” Lastly, people who want to “END THE WORLD” are people that are pushing for artificial intelligence, sentient computers, and nanotechnology. “Why do we need to obsess on artificial intelligence, when we’re wasting so much natural intelligence?” It feels like technologists and scientists are becoming more and more obsessed with technology and depending on technology that without it, we would not be able to survive. We are so obsessed with intelligence that we are constantly trying to replicate that intelligence in computers. What would be the upside to creating artificial intelligence? I think his main point, though, is that technologists are constantly pushing to make things better that we get to a point where there is nowhere left to go, and we are left at a standstill.

Instructions Set For Strangers

For this group project, I took on the role of conceptualizing ideas and planning our workload. During most discussion sessions, I would take the lead in pitching ideas and expanding upon the ideas, and once we settled on a path I would kick off the crafting process by delegating tasks and planning meet-ups. Seung Ho did the documentation in all three iterations that we presented: the time lapse at the Bow Bridge, and both times at Washington Square Park. He also wrote the excerpt that went along with our concept, and I helped with its revisions. For the picket sign iteration, Seung Ho made the small picket signs and I made the bigger signs. Noshin was away for the weekend, so  she helped us set up for the first round of user testing at Washington Square Park. Noshin made the designs for the balloon cards, and the two of us made the thought bubbles while Seung Ho was in class. Overall, I thought we worked well as a team, we got along every step of the way and were communicative about any issues or disagreements we had.

Working with Noshin and Seung Ho, our first concept is called “Love is in the Air”. Love is in the air is a concept that is universal to all, but it’s something that most people have forgotten. With all the hate happening around the world, we hope to combat that on a small scale. We are proposing to spread the love for a day at the Bow Bridge in Central Park and to remind people that there is in fact still love amongst us.

Our initial location was the Bow Bridge in Central Park, NY. The Bow Bridge is one of the most recognized symbols of love, and has been featured in many well-known romantic films. Because of its reputation, we thought that this would be a perfect location to spread our message of love.

“Love is in the Air” documentation

Our idea was to have notecards that had uplifting messages on them, tie them to balloons and have the balloons fly around the Bow Bridge. The messages would also be written in the most popular languages spoke in New York, so that the majority of the population would be able to understand it. Our goal was to see if people would hand the balloons off to one another, and to see how far the balloons would travel. These notecards would also have a hashtag on them so that people will be inclined to take a picture and post them to social media. This was mainly for us to track these balloons and have a means of documentation if the balloons were to travel too far away.

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-11-55-54-am

fullsizerender

We scrapped this first iteration because we felt like balloons were not the most ideal method of communicating a message. After some deliberation, Noshin, Seung Ho, and I decided to move our location to Washington Square Park. After our first delivery, there were some things we scrapped and some that we kept. We liked the idea of spreading a message, and having strangers communicate with one another, however, we decided to scrap the balloons and to go with a more sophisticated form of conveying messages.

project-2_1024

For this next iteration, we decided to do picket signs in Washington Square Park. The concept evolved into fighting the fear of others and overcoming xenophobia. The intent was to have picket signs in which people could write on to engage in strangers, and to have picket signs that said “#PhotoWithAStranger” to get people to interact with strangers. We chose picket signs because picket signs are generally used as means of displaying messages during protests, so we felt like that was a fitting symbol for our project. Picket signs were also fitting for Washington Square Park because that location is historically known for the being involved in many cultural movements.

material_1024

slack_for_ios_upload_1024

This iteration did not go as we had hoped. Many people were confused by the picket signs and did not know what to do with the signs. After some discussions, we came to the conclusion that maybe we had given people too many instructions; they had to write to strangers, find strangers, take pictures with strangers. We also felt like the wording was a little off and people could not really grasp the idea behind our message.

“Hello Stranger” documentation

After weeks of planning, discussions, and critics, we arrived at “Your Thoughts?”.  For the final concept, we went through what we liked of the first and the second iterations and combined them into “Your Thoughts?”. We did move away from the picket signs and decided on thought bubbles. One of the thought bubbles said “Hello new friend, you look _______” and the other said “Hi there! I like your _____”. This was an incentive for users to interact with the bubbles and allowed users to create messages that were meaningful to them that they would want to convey to other strangers.

Screen Shot 2016-10-10 at 4.09.55 PM.png

The final piece was a success. We received a lot of positive feedback from participants and bystanders. There was a lot of interactions from people in the park, many of them interacted with the bubbles, creating messages for other people to see. Some of the groups created messages of their own and took pictures with them as if they were thoughts coming out of their heads. My favorite interaction was one of the girls decided to organize the words that we had placed in a pile on the ground and rearranged them neatly. This was interesting for me because she was first playing with the thought bubbles, but then after she was done she decided to neatly place the replaceable words before leaving the piece. 

The best interaction we got was when two students from the Mannes School came up to our bubbles and started making friends with other users. They were posing and taking pictures with strangers that were also interested in the project as well. The couple went a step further and took our thought bubbles around the park and started photo-bombing other people in the park. Before they came over to play with our thought bubbles, I noticed they were running around the park and interacting with other performers. At first, I thought they were being weird because they would just creep up next to strangers and stand there until they were noticed. At one point, I thought they were trying to be mean because the message they created seemed sarcastic. However, the two just seemed to be enjoying their day and just had a mindset of having fun and being playful. “At first people are salty, but when they read the message they smile”, one of the photo-bombers. This is evident that our project succeeded and we achieved in reaching our goal with this project:

“Your Thoughts?” is a movement that encourages strangers to interact with one another. With these thought bubbles, we hope strangers can share uplifting thoughts with one another to spread a positive message. By allowing strangers to form connections with each other in a fleeting moment in time, we hope to combat the fear of the others, and fight xenophobia. As a collective, our movement will reinforce the message of compassion and tolerance, in hopes of instilling the ideology of acceptance in future generations.

This was a success in that we had users overcoming their anxieties of meeting new people and making new friends and actually going up to strangers and interacting with them. We feel that “Your Thoughts?” is also successful in that this could have a life outside of Washington Square Park and live on to spread its positive in other parts of the world.

“Your Thoughts?” documentation

If I were to continue to show this project, some improvements I would make would be to make the thought bubbles heavier. The foam core material was not the most ideal since it was windy in the park and they kept on falling off the stand. If this project was placed in an indoor space, I feel like foam core could work because it is light and people will not have trouble picking it up. I would also consider having two stands, so people can see both signs at the same time, and that might encourage more interactions from multiple users as opposed to just one user at a single time. Lastly, I would make the replaceable words more playful. One of the critiques we got from our class presentation was that the replaceable words did not match our thought bubbles very well design-wise, and if the type or shape were more “fun” the whole piece might have tied together better.

Week05 Reading Response

Prototyping is an important step in creative production. Normally, during the prototyping stage, the creators are looking to see how they can better improve their products, so that it is easier for the user to interact and utilize that particular product. At least that is the case in more forms of design, like industrial design. However, when prototyping for games, this process is a little different. When prototyping for a game, the creators are looking for ways to make the games more engaging, which can sometimes mean more difficult and challenging for the player. In gaming prototypes, designers are looking more so at stylistic choices, functionality of the game, and mood of the user in reaction to the game. Prototyping for games is essentially an eight step process starting with paper prototyping, and ends with complete game prototyping. By starting with a rough sketch for a prototype, the designers can solidify their ideas without getting too attached their initial ideas therefore allowing their concept to grow. Then the idea goes through physical prototypes, playable prototypes, art/sound prototypes, interface prototypes, code/technology prototypes, core game prototypes, and complete game prototypes. Paper, physical, and playable prototypes are essentially three different stages that determine how the user experiences the game, and how they feel about the game. They are testing for the same results but in different forms, so that the designers can see how to best improve the game. Interface and art/sound prototypes are testing the aesthetics of the game, and how everything look together on screen and the ambience of everything combined. Code and technology prototypes are testing to see how the game works on different platforms, whether or not the game works on all gaming systems, or if the game is suitable for different mobile devices. Core game and complete game prototypes are testing the games as a whole. Core game prototypes are testing how the players reacts to the game from beginning to finish, start menu to end credits. Lastly, complete game prototype is the final step for user testing, it is essentially core game prototype, but on a more finished level. Throughout your prototyping process, it is also important to document all of your findings: questions that may arise, answers to those questions, and next on your to do list.

Week 04 Reading Response

In the reading, Whyte mentions in the reading that before building a space, in fear of over crowding, to see how people utilize the space they are provided with. They started a project called “The Street Life Project”, in which they would observe the space throughout the day to see how people fluctuate and move about the space. In conducting there were working from the concept of “good urban spaces: supply creates demand”. What they found was that the plazas did not, in fact, create overcrowding- people fluctuated in and out of the space throughout the day. The plaza was busiest during rush hour, when people were on their breaks, or had a little free time. Also, as the day went on, and as the sun moved throughout the day, people would follow. In doing so, this allowed for movement, and therefore a constant flow of traffic in and out of the space.

This reading and “Tactical Urbanism” remind me of a video I recently about social conformity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AegLdB7UI4U

(In this video, there is a girl in a public waiting room with a room full of actors. The actors will all stand and sit back down at the sound of a buzzer in the room. They do this for a few times, at first the girl does not participate, but eventually she gives in)

Embedded in each person, is the action to follow the crowd, and we do this as a survival tactic. In the reading, For example, in the Whyte reading and film, people naturally follow a pattern without being directed to- moving with the sunlight in the plazas, or the act of “brushing hair” or disinterest. The latter are actions that people take on when they’re trying to attract a mate without being too forward, these are actions that are inherent to everyone and everyone perform these actions even subconsciously. Another example Whyte gave is that of women and public spaces; women are more prone to sit in a populated plaza, however, they will not sit in a public plaza if the majority of the population is male.

Social conformity is an idea that, I feel, is also prevalent in the “Tactical Urbanism”, however instead of talking about people as individuals, they are talking about people as groups (in cities and towns). Tactical urbanism is the improvement or expansion of city resources starting from a small scale. I think of it as giving the residents the least amount, and without being pushed to so expanding upon what they were given. This is also interesting, because when people are told directly to do something, oftentimes there is a backlash to it, NIMBYism. However, if people are asked to participate, or if they are introduced an idea gradually, some residents might even be inclined to finish the projects themselves (like the painted sidewalk). Guerrilla urbanism is the term that they used in which city repairs are not done from the city, however, from the residents themselves. This can sometimes be more effective, because there will less likely be backlash from the residents, therefore being more receptive of the change. Also, by allowing the residents to make the changes themselves, the city sometimes will save a lot of money in allowing the residents make an improvement on their own (which will be more fitting to their needs), then expanding upon it on a larger scale.

People are social beings, and we’re made to “fit in” (whether we are receptive of that idea or not). To participate is to to feel accepted, otherwise there is a sense of awkwardness.

One Subject, Many Projects

The domain that I researched with my group is the evolution of storytelling. Our concept statement was “We are studying FORMS OF STORYTELLING  because we want to find out how IDEAS ARE CONVEYED THROUGH TIME  in order to understand THE EVOLUTION OF STORYTELLING- FROM THE EARLY BEGINNINGS TO THE FUTURE”.

Branching off of that, I sought to create an installation that would project cave drawings in a simulated cave space. The idea is that in this future scenario, there would be no more natural resources left, and this is how historical records are kept. The animations of the animals is to show how they are meant to be seen, in motion.

img_1352

 

Along with the video, is a voice over telling the story of the cave drawings done the generic voice of this future world. The text goes:

With the advance of technology and the depletion of natural resources, the only way to experience historic cave paintings is in a simulated environment. In this cave experience, the characters have been documented and are now projected in front of you, the viewer, in real time. Cave drawings in their original format, are still images layered on top of one another to symbolize the characters moving. But, with the technology we have now, we can project them as they are intended to be seen.