Disruptive Design
Hacking Object Experiments
When we become entrenched in our way of living and working, we sometimes lose touch with our surroundings. These two design experiments hacked into mundane objects and redesigned them to disrupt our environment in a playful manner.
Table Hack
Prototyping a Digital input to a Physical Output
September 2012

The challenge was to design a network communication between a digital input and a physical output using Firmata and breakout.js. Our group decided to hack into our school's height adjustable tables. We created a replica of the existing cable wires and used an Arduino, Xbee shield and wireless communication between the computer and the Arduino board.

Then we made a web app leveraging breakout.js to control the tables remotely, leaving the existing table controls to still function.

We tested it on our schoolmates, with ninja sliding techniques, we exchanged the original wiring for the replica, pranking them while they were working.

Collaborators: Miguel Peres, Maria Zenkevich

The replica of the height adjustor with the wifi shield
Setting up test trials with our replica on our own tables
Pink Roll Experiment
December 2010

Pink Roll was a consumption experiment to build awareness around the student use of paper towels in the student kitchen. It was found that 75% of the paper towel used was for drying hands and dishes, 21% for cleaning and 3% for sneezing, and 1% other.

The objective was to see if student behavior could be effected by hacking into the paper towel dispenser and implementing sound and light layers. Turns out, sound played a major role in determining where students would tear.

Collaborator: Linus Persson

The study consisted of three phases:

1. capturing the control and its averages

2. capturing the effects of adding a real-time feedback through light and sound indicators that adjusted based on average tear length of users.

3. tampering with the average to be permanently at a short length to see if it would shift and reduce the amount use.

Student Interaction Design Research Conference
A report of the design experiment was accepted for the Student Interaction Design Research Conference (SIDer). The paper outlines the process in detail and can be read below: