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Story-driven vs Technology-driven desgins


Having been inspired by a six-word story for my noodle design, in the last week I've gone about testing my "magic" noodle with a handful of people. 

It's literally 3 noodles attached by an old tire inner tube on end, and held together with a stand-up paddle leash. 

broken image

This week, I wanted to step it up a notch and figure out a way to actuate the noodle. However, I couldn't figure out what kind of actuation would be useful for my in-water design.

That's when the question of "am I building a tool?" vs "am I building a toy?" came to the fore.  

A tool is used to help achieve a desired result. A toy is used to delight and ingite the imagination. Which of these was I designing? Niether, both, something more?

broken image

I struggled with this question for most of this week and then it hit me today after virtually attending CHI PLAY 2021.

What I'm looking to design isn't just a tool. A noodle as is stands is already a tool for bouyancy support. It's not a toy I'm aiming to design either with clever technological bells and whistles. INSTEAD, I'd like to design something that brings imagination into real life!

Imagination coming into life should be the inspirational force behind my designs!

I realised this after attending Casey Ging's talk on "Play" from his Disney Imagineering persepctive. 

His talk, brought into sharp focus that in the last week I had been trying to let technology drive my designs rather than let the impossibleness of fictional stories (filled with magic and superpowers) drive my designs. 

However, to do that, I need a more fleshed out story than my one  6-word story and post-it illustration from last week. I need multiple of these 6-word "flash fiction" stories, each having their own post-it illustrations. 

So the next step on my journey is to find/create a storyboard visual template and write multiple 6-word story scences and post-it illustrations and see where my imagination takes me. 

From there I will seek how technology can help bring that magic of imagination into real life aquatic experiences.