When people live away from their families, they have to invent new practices for maintaining contact with their loved ones. Despite their efforts, dispersed families lose touch, and with every year, they grow further apart. My thesis responds to this fundamental shift in family dynamics. Consisting of a series of design explorations, my thesis employs new technologies for the purpose of bridging distance gaps and helping remote families communicate better.
The social controller is a phone that grants selective access. The social controller would only allow certain friends to call directly. All these privileged friends are compiled in an “allowed list” on the phone. All other calls will be automatically transferred into the voice mail. Using the social controller, the user will be able to better control his social interactions, and also experience new ways of operating a device.
During a two-month internship at Namahn, Belgium, i worked on developing an interactive navigation guide for bikers. With the help of a PDA attached to their handle bars, bikers could enhance their biking experience by having access to better navigation support as well as to audio and video information about the sites they would pass by. The tool was designed for predefined bike tours in Limburg, Belgium.
We all move through various social groups. Our good friends don't necessarily know each other. FriendShare is an application that would allow friends from one close group to communicate directly with friends from another group. The application is a part of a system that is supported by a mutual agreement to share one's personal support networks with other friends. This way, first-degree friends can browse and ask for help from people outside their own support network.
FavorLink is a service that gives working mothers a network for favor swapping. The service would be offered by a school to all the parents whose children attend that institution. The service links the parents together, provides a system for favor exchange and also enlarges the parents' support network.
Audiograffiti is an installation that creates a space with a visible history. The installation is placed within an inflatable space, using two parallel sets of microphones and speakers. The people who enter the space can leave an audio message, which will be played back, looping until it fades out. Those who come later will be exposed to the audio history of the space.