Design Frictions: Physical Lightbeam

Each week, Jon Rogers and I have a brain-jam where we talk about the [Web With Things](

Here are some rough notes of our chat this week:

**Escape from a Room:** Michelle recently played a few Escape games. The reward and mechanics of collaboratively solving puzzles under time pressure. You look at the objects in the room in a new way, thinking about all the ways they could be used to solve your puzzle. During her most recent visit, the Room used 3D printers, 3D scanners and tablets. The format and constraints could be interesting for Design Friction workshops.

**City as an office**: Jon has been working with the MET Office, which recently started an open innovation team. They don’t have an office, but instead use **the city (cafes, libraries, etc.) as their place of work.** Design Award nomination: Jon has been part of the Design Museum’s nomination process, where the BBC’s project at Mozfest was nominated.

**Design Classics of the Future.** “What would be the design classics that ioT would create?” Let’s imagine we’re at the Design Museum’s Retrospective 50 years from now. What iot classics would be on display? This is a theme that could be part of a larger investigation of design frictions. Maybe the exhibition would need certain set of values, like around openness, and developed using participatory methods. Reminded Michelle of her friends’ project to make a **”Taxidermy of Future Cyborgs”** exhibit in Paris.

**How are design classics displayed?** Traditionally, design classics are in white cubes with small plaques of information and objects on plinths. In our context, **is Github our plinth?** Maybe more interesting to think of a **special edition of WIRED,** with exploratory tools to take prototypes further. **Magazine as curator and museum.**

**Fill in the blanks:** Jon mentioned the UK’s current bestseller is a children’s book where you have to fill in the blanks. We could do a series of prototypes/design frictions that invite you to fill it in.

**Freedom in a framework.** For participatory projects to succeed, you need to invest in a framework. These are the parameters and the process that get people participatory and truly owning their experience. **“Is friction the framework?”** for our project? Responses start to be emergent, balancing the tension between open & curated content.

**ThingsCon workshop.** This brainstorming is in preparation for our joint workshop at ThingsCon in Berlin this May. Here we can **test an evolving framework.** Agenda ideas: bring in an object > tell me about the empty space next to it. Get junk objects on tables > augment with iot behavior. Now reflect on the ownership and contribution to company

**Physical Lightbeam.** Going further, our workshop could be about making the data of objects more visible. Write the data inputs/outputs doors onto the objects, how it’d become visible, tie strings to the ports. Color tape / ribbon between objects. Gift exchange: give object to someone with a data thread. tag with emotions: hope, fears, etc. Make the metadata physical and map its connections.

**Civic Friction**. What’s the end point of the workshop? What friction are we asking participants to explore. “data frictions”. domestic / space next to the object / what are you going to lose (homes won’t get bigger). de-applianicification. civic friction — what’s going to help you participate more in your community?

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