Arising from L’École de design 2008 graduate Pierrick Thébault’s dissertation, “Designing for augmentation in the Internet of Things (IOT) era”, the Blobjects conference was aimed at getting students in the User Experience Design/Tangible Interfaces Master’s program on the design of hybrid “Objects/Systems” together to tackle the question and pool their perspectives on the meaning and uses of these augmented objects.
User scenarios and formal language
- Clearing outlining the thought process with emphasis on the subject’s complexity;
- Building user scenarios based on the cross-breeding and functionality between simple (electric) objects;
- Nurturing creative abilities through a new formal language that not only better gauges new territory balancing between the tangible and digital realms, but also takes away the metaphorical filter in order to make way for a more natural handling of data and things; and
- A disruptive design approach, providing food for thought to the final year project.
The augmented clock radio?
Four groups of students joined by four Master 1 students from Télécom Bretagne worked on the very same “clock radio” object they augmented using new, web-bred functionalities. With pre-models made out of cardboard/modeling clay, they delved into the different types of logical interactions using physical factors while keeping in mind both form and function: Does the product do what it was designed to do?
The Mi (3) project is one such example, and offers to experiment with radios by featuring a theme-inspired navigation system (weather, sports, economy, music, etc.). Rather than blindly going about the list of stations available, the screen becomes a multi-criteria display unit, and makes user input user-friendly.
Pierrick Thébault will defend his dissertation at the end of May at Arts et Métiers ParisTech followed by post-doctoral studies at MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] in Boston, MA (USA).
The term “blob” is short for “Binary Long Objects”, and refers to a specific type of data (database). In Product Design terms, it also refers to the design of objects with curved shapes. Plus, the conference title alludes to the term employed by Julian Bleecker: “Blogjects.”