We will group these two posts because it wasn’t entirely clear what belonged where since we went back and forth a lot. It’s an iterative process after all.
We left off with the dollhouse version of Avans and its buildings. Where we would explore the data by changing perspective. But we felt it was not enough. It didn’t click yet for us. It needed something more. We kept asking ‘what’s it really telling the audience?’ and usually came back with ‘not very much’. That’s not to say that we think it always has to have a deeper meaning however it just did not resonate that well with us.
In the meantime we decided to start prototyping anyway, for our dollhouse. To see if we could get anything just by trying and tinkering. To that avail we created the houses that would fill the landscape of our Avans comparison model. One made out of wood, one out of plexiglas and one made out of sanded plexiglas. The idea of changing perspective still remained as it would force us to keep thinking about the added value of the third dimension in our design.
We still liked the fact that the user could switch between buildings, perspectives or data. So we decided to go back to what we found earlier. Which is the comparison between kWh per m2 and kWh per user. But we decided to take a few steps back first. So we wrote down all the things we wanted to communicate or things we thought were going on.
- Avans is working on sustainability.
- Avans seems to be consuming a lot of energy.
- Avans is working to be more sustainable on the one hand but has huge waste on the other hand.
- A lot of students and employees are aware that Avans is trying to become more green.
What are some opinions that we found?
- We are wasting energy and resources, no exceptions.
- Good to be working towards being more green, as long as I (personally) do not have to do that much for it.
- I don’t give a shit.
- The system is broken regardless, half ass measures. i.e. the bins used to seperate the garbage, sometimes there are 3, sometimes only 2, sometimes even only 1.
What are some of the developments around Avans going more green?
- Avans is getting more green and is clearly communicating about it.
- Avans is putting out half measures.
- In general people in society are starting to become more aware of the effects of our usage of energy.
- Within Avans the cooperation between different bachelors could be better so as to come up with better ideas and solutions to the problems.
- Faculty staff.
- Higher ups who actually get to decide on changes.
When we wrote out the entire field again of our discoveries, mind you most of it was still opinion based from what we heard from fellow students and teachers alike. We decided to check what we really wanted to achieve with our installation. Which was to facilitate the higher ups to get some perspective on the problems of the current energy usage. This touches upon the service design and design thinking in general. We might elaborate on this in a later post.
We then checked the actual data again, the usage per user and per m2. Which leads us to believe that in comparison to a regular household for example Avans is really not doing that bad. We’re comparing users mostly.
[edit – removed the data, apologies for putting it up! Had not thought of the need for secrecy]
We decided to come up with brand new concepts from here on out since we were still stuck in our old ways. We won’t go into much detail about these new concepts except the one we picked and have prototyped for now.
Mark’s new idea:
Mark tried to just show the data and let the user decide on their own. The idea is to build a table with a hole in it and to build the model so that on the outside it shows the regular buildings with a wall or forest surrounding it so you cannot view inside until you actually go into the installation and play with the dollhouse. Forcing the user to change perspective literally and figuratively.
Bram’s new idea:
Here it’s for the user to relate the energy usage to themselves. Too often the user blames external factors for the usage but in fact without the users present we would not have the spikes that we see in the data. Bram’s idea uses mirrors so the user can actually view themselves as they are looking at the data and create a perspective that focusses inward rather than outward.
Joep’s new ideas (yes plural):
- A billy jean style model where you see how much 1 person use of energy.
- A box where you stick your head in so you see the energy usage as time goes on, indicated by LEDs.
- A building which grows bigger or smaller powered by fans. You compare multiple buildings to see the differences.
- A stenograph which writes the data as you’re viewing it, in realtime.
- Cloud 9, a cloud that shows the energy usage by the amount of thunder. It sparks more brightly and faster when there is more energy usage.
The Cloud 9 idea literally put us on Cloud 9 as well since it was an idea that we all became really excited about. It speaks to us in a way that the other designs did not so much. The data is still there, we made it slightly more abstract but in our opinion more meaningful at the same time. We are still working out whether we want three separate smaller clouds so you can compare at once, or one bigger cloud where you switch between different buildings. So where do you go to find the materials that we needed? The megastore of course. We were looking for something to serve as a frame, to get cotton or something fluffy (ended up tearing pillows apart) and some LEDs to serve as sparks of lightning.
So we’ll conclude with our first working prototype that is being fed the data and roaring with thunder. You can already see the difference it makes when the energy usage rises and how fast it blinks in the three animated gifs!