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Thesis 1: Anezka Sebek Fall 2011


I. Introduction: Short intro of project issue, dilemma (context)—your audience and your solution—your medium and why this medium?

As excess in media consumption fall into critical domains, what can we do to create awareness in parents on kids video game consumption? It seems very hard to separate kids from electronic devices specially video games. According to a new study kids 8 to 18 years of age give more than 8 hours a day to an electronic device. (Jordan, Dave. "Kids Consumed By Phones, TV, Computer, Video Games”). I think that there is a way to monitor and have a type of control, a powerful one, towards these lost hours of continuous video play. My target audience are kids from 5 to 12 years of age as well as their parents. My solution is to create a series of 3 torture designs, through critical design thinking and show awareness through these designs. My medium is product design and I will be using a variation of materials. After thinking through my thesis idea and getting some advice, I’m going into a deeper research through interviewing parents and kids in my demographic area, this will help me specify my age rage and see if this is a both parent and kid project emphasis. Its hard to get into a subject and then when you get to a two way road how to take a specific side. I want to make a critical design project. I think my most important step is to talk to a critical designer for them to help me take that path that is hard for me to express myself to be able to get there.


Contextualizing your design concept: Make a visual map of the research or knowledge fields covered by your project.

My system map shows the specifics of a healthy and discipline household that every family should have in the United States. It shows starting from the left side the specifics like: play outside, sports, homework, health, discipline and games. Attached to games, is video games which consists of bad parental control when it is in its excess, showing what happens when there is an excess in video game play; lower grades, play inside, obesity, less active, mood change etc. So through bad parental control I show control, by a system that controls kids in video game play and shows parents the discipline needed for excess in media consumption.



Research and Design Questions: What do you hope to prove? What is your central question?(Big Idea) Who are your inspirations and precedents and how and why is your project different from your precedents? Explain your precedents’ work and the reasons for your iteration of a new work?

I chose this issue because a lot of research need to be done and I can get more knowledge

of my concept and solution. I would talk to a social psychologist on how first kids will react to the loss of control over their games, why are kids so vulnerable towards video gaming, and this will help me to create a better solution, and maybe more gadgets for this robot. Throughout this semester I want to be clear that a critical design is what I want to achieve. Designing an object, physically make it, and make it work, that will be my goal. My next steps will be more research and find out other ways people have pursued this specific issue and learn from their results of the solution. I would also like to experiment the reaction to people with a simple prototype and record it. Through research I found that not only kids are completely manipulated or hypnotized to say the least, they also change their behavior depending on the type of game they are playing, Palo Alto Medical Foundation informs: this behavior can change and influence on their daily lives because a game requires you to become a character in a script and play the part.1 So, I read into depth the tips on managing your child’s media consumption. This research came from Palo Alto Medical Foundation: set limits on how often and how long your child is allowed to play video games, do not install equipment in their room, monitor you child’s media consumption. What I have highlighted in bold is what attracted my attention, all these keywords to help my


“The Impact of Video Games on Children”. Andrea Norcia. Palo Alto Medical Foundation. preteen/parents/videogames.html

plan follow through and get the result I need. Dunne and Raby are critical designers in which helped me a lot to understand what critical design is about and apply it to my project. Dunne & Raby use design as a medium to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers, industry and the public about the social, cultural and ethical implications of existing and emerging technologies.2 I came up with an idea that emphasizes the interference of play inside the house after an amount of hours. Focusing already in one concept, my mind is free to different ideas to solutions to this issue I’m referring to. I decided to go with issue that not only kids have an addiction to media but everyone today has it, the amount of media consumption addiction we have is overwhelming and I wanted to address it. When I was sitting in my screen-printing class and saw how relaxed I felt not having any media around me, no phones, computers, just came down to what it felt like prehistoric art making. I felt relieved and somehow my imagination and eyes had extended to infinite alleviation and thought. So I came to the conclusion that I was obligated to have this relief and freedom because I had this class, so what obligation do kids have to stop the absurd amount of hours of play? Control, Parental control? I came up with an idea, one terminates the amount of hours of play, a type of object that after an amount of hours the child or parent will not be able to play anymore, through video game consoles. It controls the amount of hours and disciplines them. All this through a critical design object that knows how long you have played so parents and the children are obligated to do something else, and explore other activities. All this in which the object controls everything. The physical design appearance of the object is essential so it can form part of the environment not the feel of adding an extra technological equipment. When I say object it’s because I haven’t quite refined the object that I


“Dunne and Raby”. Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby.

want to place in this area and confront humans and their media consumption. I designed some chairs that made it almost impossible to be comfortable to be sit on for a long time. All these forms and ideas came from my research of uncomfortable chairs like the cheese chairs from Cosimo Covallaro, the ice chairs of Tokujin Yoshioka, or the pencil chair by Kerstin Schulz. 3 I also researched some Feng Shui living room social psychology. Feng shui creates energy depending on the arrangement of furniture, color, and as a result good energy. So I decided to apply this to my object. In my first iterations as shown below, you can see how I applied these unconformities to my chairs.


Target Audience-Who will see/use/appreciate your project? (Target Audience/Users). Give us a description of who they are (example: college students from urban centers or children between the ages of 7 and 10 from affluent homes? ) Describe what audience loves, hates, etc. Describe how your audience/user will use your project when it is done (Make a User scenario).

My target audience was specified after doing my second iteration which was the uncomfortable torture chair, in which consisted of different sides of unconformities, this is explained below in my prototyping process. My target audience are kids from 5 to 12 years of age that are consumed by media consumption and have a lack of discipline in their household, also triggering my other target audience being the parents of these kids. Kids love to play video games, and follow through the growth of technologies, however parents hate how much time they consume of it and that they have little control of the media that kids are growing up with. My audience with each prototype/ critical design, will have an info- graphic poster that shows how to use my product


WebUrbanist “Oh Sit! The World’s 13 Most Uncomfortable Chair Designs�. By Steve in Furniture & Interiors, Gadgets & Geek Art

and what the result should be. My audience will read the info- graphic poster first and then start using my designs, so they know exactly how to use it.


Prototyping Process: Your methodology and reasons for each of your experiments (project iteration). Description of what worked and didn’t.

However, through these past weeks iterations I noticed that I went into the psychological way on how to stop media consumption, or at least reduce it. My first iteration was a chair “torture chair” that people where obligated to sit on if they wanted to have any type of media consumption. My first iterations with the torture chairs are shown below. The purple chair that is very unstable to sit on and has hairy spikes that are itchy making the sitting very uncomfortable. The green round “puff” shows spikes that when sat on it controls you because you have to position yourself so it is stable for you to sit on. The gray chair has a very abstract shape in which the kids legs are difficult to position and there is no back rest. And finally the red stool chair, in which consist of balancing your weight and the back rest doesn’t work. I want to make some type of critical design, making people aware of the role of technology that plays in everyday life. A critical design that makes us think of the use that they’ve had on media consumption and think about their surrounding environment. Critical designers Dunne and Raby critize the role that technology plays in everyday life, they are inspirational in my project because they make different products like the mask for a dog that it makes it go somewhere else that has the lease magnetic waves. Through these precedents I decided to go in depth in the study

of gaming in parenthood and children in the ages of 5 to 12 years of age. I would put myself in their situation and see what is the best way to make a solution to my issue. After my first iterations I saw the response of my peers that I should go all the way and exaggerate what I’m proposing to my audience. In my last iteration which was my cube torture chair, which had 4 different sides to it; one side had acrylic rods in different heights so it would be very uncomfortable, one side having a push sensor that when sat on it would start a heating pad and release unbearable heat, another side having a plastic sheet in which inside consisted in different sizes of acrylic balls, and form of rocks, that moves when sat on, and the last side being sticky so when you sat on you could not move. In the science fair, I recorded people’s reactions and comments about my prototype. One person said that it should be deceptive and not so direct, so when the kid sits on it, it seems comfortable, but after time passes by the chair starts doing things to make it uncomfortable. I like this idea but it seems that most people and myself, want to see what they are sitting on and have a greater reaction to it before and after sitting on it. I got great feedback, some said make it unbearably uncomfortable and some said to make a sequence of things that reduce video game play. My greatest concern about my prototypes is if they are usable, and it came to my attention to ask myself if I really want it to be usable or not. Going back to the idea of making a sequence of torture products, I started making sketches of different types of torture products that can be used when playing video games. While doing these sketches, another question arose, if I only wanted to trigger kids sitting down to play video games, or also games that are for “physical activity”. For example; Wii Fit and Sports, Xbox Kinect Just Dance etc, that they are needed to stand up to play these games. So I thought of an installation in which individual ropes were tied to feet and hands, and through time that the kid is

playing the ropes become shorter and shorter until it gets to the point that they can no longer move. I hope to make another iteration after seeing the reaction to people to this rope torture prototype and getting new ideas to apply them to my next iteration, which is shown below in my last prototypes called “Rope Torture�.

Works cited

"Dunne and Raby." Dunne & Raby. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. <>

Jordan, Dave. "Kids Consumed By Phones, TV, Computer, Video Games." WITN - Eastern NC News & Weather - Greenville NC, Jacksonville NC, New Bern, Washington NC - Home Page. WITN, 20 Jan. 2010. Web. 12 Sept. 2011. <>

Norcia, Andrea. "The Impact of Video Games on Children." Palo Alto Medical Foundation | Best Doctors in California. Web. 12 Sept. 2011. <>

Sharon Beder, 'A Community View', Caring for Children in the Media Age, Papers from a national conference, edited by John Squires and Tracy Newlands, New College Institute for Values Research, Sydney, 1998, pp. 101-111.

Steve. "Oh Sit! The Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 13 Most Uncomfortable Chair Designs | WebUrbanist." WebUrbanist | From Urban Art & 3D Graffiti to Abandoned Cities. Web Urbanisy. Web. 05 Oct. 2011. <>.

Cold Ground- Outline  

Outline of my thesis paper