Graduate Thesis: Design Through a Psychosocial Lens

Date

August 2017–

March 2018

Deliverables

Research

Installation

Book Design

Overview

I sought to design a space that simulated groupthink as it concerns our trust in technology. The space subverted norms related to public areas and surveillance, and promoted comfort, rest, and discussion. I speculated that walk-in visitors would be less likely to enter, or engage with the space without a partner present.

 

Visitors entered a small gallery in Chinatown, seemingly empty, but covered in astroturf from the floor, nearly to the ceiling, equipped with pillows for rest. Those who entered were greeted by a voice using AI technology that would ask if they wanted to converse. Hidden behind the turf, I observed visitors’ interactions with the space, prompting the technology’s responses if the visitors exceeded beyond small talk.

 

In one day, two out of ten walk-in visitors left immediately once greeted, while the remaining eight visitors entered in pairs or groups, asked questions to the space, and even cracked jokes. One pair stayed and engaged for twenty minutes.

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