Looking back at this semester in DTC 101, I can say it has become one of, if not my favorite classes I have taken at WSU. I am a communication major, however I want to go into documentary filming for a career, so I decided to minor in Digital Technology and Culture.
This class as an intro to the major is set up very nicely, I would say the unit that had the biggest impact on me was the unit on design/design thinking. From that unit I started to look at my everyday technology differently. I started to see the design concepts for the technology I use on a daily basis and how they helped with the usage of an app or how they would hinder an app.
Compared to other DTC courses I am currently in this class definitely focuses on the “why”. In DTC 201, we used Adobe to create different assignments but the focus is more on how to use a design product rather than why.
I also enjoyed the informality of the class. Hearing others opinions on certain topics and how they would interpret readings or concepts differently showed another side of technology culture I might have never seen learning from a lecture.
If I were to critique a part of the class I would say the blog post had the least impact on me. I do think the readings are important and I did try and read almost every one we were given, but the blog post created to explain our thoughts just weren’t as regular for me to feel like I was gaining anything from them.
I would definitely recommend this class to any student looking for a 100 level class. Being in the DTC program helps with interest level to the class but the class is engaging enough that someone with no knowledge on the topic could have a great time.
When I first read this prompt which asked “how does culture effect design”, my first thought was fashion. Our modern fashion is considerably affected by the day to day culture of modern society. There was a major influence of 90’s culture brought into our modern society in the past few years, this effected new clothing lines greatly. Things like chokers, denim skirts/jackets, and hairstyles from the 90’s are being worn today by teens and young adults.
Then when bringing up the idea of how design effects culture, I was a little more stuck. The website “make shape change” gave an example in their video of a classroom where the solar system jumps off the board and then floats in a circle around the learning students. This is an example of how design effects culture. There is a demand for new ways of leaning with the aid of new technology. We have created apps for studying and have made smart projectors that respond to the touch of a human hand. These are all examples of how design effects culture. The new designs put into our education change the way we learn and in almost all cases it is to be able to learn more, faster, better and in a more interesting way.
For this blog post I changed the overall theme of my blog. At first I looked into the full free themes provided by WordPress to look at different version of CRAP for my blog. I decided to change my blog to the theme “Ovis”. I mainly picked this theme because of the contrast it provides. The original background color was almost black so I customized the change to a charcoal like color to make the contrast not as dramatic. The letters are also a white color to pop from the background and add another level of contrast. For repetition I made the font for both the title and the blog post the same. My favorite part of this theme is the alignment. All the blog post and even the titles of the blog post are aligned to the left of the page. Finally for proximity everything is equally spaced from each other. From the blog post to the widgets on the side there is equal spacing between all areas. This new theme is a lot better in my opinion from the original I had and I can understand how the CRAP method can enhance a technology platform.
For this project I knew I wanted to make a video displaying nature in relation to technology. After reading the beginning of Lawrence Lessig’s, “Free Culture” and reading how free culture is viewed as troublesome to our society, I wanted to make the video about pollution from technology. But after going deeper into the reading a passage said “As every free market does, this free market of free culture would grow as the consumers and producers chose.” I took this as how technology has grown our society and made us bigger than before.
I then started brainstorming the positive aspects of nature and technology. I started to think of new “green” technology like water dams, solar panels, etc. My concept for the video in that relation would be to make it extremely visual. A friend of mine uploaded a song to the Public Domain called “Flower Child” and from that I decided to create somewhat of a music video.
The concept is to show the relation of technology and nature with the music as an enhancement to the visuals. I found a reading of T.S. Eliot reading Four Quartets and wanted to put that under the music to guide the story.
The video starts off talking about nature as a god which I related to the beginning of technology. Something as basic as a tree is used in technology to make things like a canoe, a beginning transportation technology. I then brought in the modern technologies I see currently in relation to technology and nature, such as the windmills and solar panels.
My favorite clip is when the visual in the video is of a subway tunnel time lapse. T.S. Eliot is recorded saying how the “worshipers of time” are “watching and waiting, just watching and waiting.” The worshipers are of course humans and society as a whole, but the watching and waiting I took as technology and it’s advancement over time. We are watching and waiting for makers to make new and more advance technology. All of the technology we have derive from nature.
For this assignment I wanted to look at some of the more creative archives created that I could access online. I found that the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York has quite a few very interesting archives on their website. One that really caught my eye was an archive created by Emily Spivack. The concept of her archive was to track the outfits of every guest to the MOMA starting November 1st of 2017 to January 28th, 2018. It allows you to actually reach the archive and read what each guest wrote about either their outfits or the outfit of a person they saw at the museum. It was very interesting to read the different ways guest would describe outfits. Some were very detailed, they would describe every article of clothing they were wearing, as where others would simply write “sweatshirt”. One of my favorites was from January 27th and it simply said “All-black-err’thang fashion”. I enjoyed seeing how personality can be shown not just through what a person was wearing, but also how they describe their outfits.
Looking at the metadata of the archive, everything is organized chronically by date. This allows you to see how often visitors entered the museum and peak hours at the museum. The data also shows trends in outfits by months due to weather, current pop culture and other facts described by the guest (such as being pregnant, handicapped, etc).
This is a very interesting archive that I ending up finding and is very easy to get lost in. The diversity at the MOMA is definitely shown with each description of an outfit and as a collective whole you can see the changes in culture throughout one year. I would recommend while looking through this archive to randomly scroll and stop to see the date, time, and then the descriptions of outfits during that time. Month to month the outfits change quite drastically and it’s very interesting to see the difference in descriptions from one guest to the next.
At the very start of this data collection period I found that I was constantly checking my battery percentage. Marking each hour of everyday made me compare one hour from the other and one day from another. I started to see the obvious first; how my battery would drop greatly after the gym or when I was listening to music while studying. I was surprised how fast my battery could drop in an hour. I’ve always known that It could drop quickly but in some cases I would lose up to 20% of my battery in just a single hour.
While I don’t think I can necessarily say what this data means, I can draw different ideas from what I can visually see. In the reading “Trouble with Timelines” there was a big discovery talking about how visual data can draw more conclusions and a new way of thinking about data. That same concept goes for me with my data. I had spent all week transferring my data from my cell phone to an excel sheet and other than comparing one number to the next I did not interpret anything significant. However, when I had finally put all of this data into a visual graph I saw multiple meanings to this data simply from a visual representation. I found around 5-6pm was when my battery percentage was the lowest. And for the majority of my days I had around the same slope of decrease with my battery throughout the day.
I actually had quite some trouble with making my data a visual collection. The way that I set up my data table in excel did not work well with a majority of the infographic making websites. It wasn’t until I changed the X and Y values by completely re-charting everything that my data was able to be read by the websites. I wanted every hour to be tracked in order to see a more well-rounded day. It started out as something much more difficult than I thought and I had to start setting alarms. I never would take naps in fear that I would sleep through my data collection alarm. But by the third or fourth day I fell into a groove of data collection. I would reset every alarm the night before on my way to bed, then with each alarm I would screen shot my battery percentage to put into my excel sheet later that night. If I were to do it again I would also try keeping track of what app I currently had open and different settings that I had turned on such as Bluetooth and Wifi because I feel as if those may have contributed to my battery percentage throughout the week.
Here is the visual representation of my project:
The “Power Of Ten” video was a powerful video in the fact that you are actually able to visibly see the comparison of a human being to outer space. By multiplying the screen by ten every few seconds slowly you realize how much space there is beyond just earth and even the milky way!
If all of the information from that video was put into an excel chart and we could only visually see numbers there would be nothing but zeros on the screen. As someone who is a visual learner having those comparisons to visually see makes a world of difference (pun intended).
When looking at the Australian massacre map there was a shocking amount of massacres that happened in the history of Australia that I was unaware. The history of wars in Australia is mostly between natives and settlers and what I found to be most interesting was the single blue dot that represented the only battle in which settlers were massacred.
The last reading about Joseph Priestley’s chart created of famous men’s lives was rather dense. Although I saw it most compared to the quote by Maureen Stone. This published chart was very influential and was shown as a revolutionary way to display data. By taking data and displaying it in a visual/artist way is a new way and easier method for finding visual patterns and theorizing different interpretations of the data.
Overall the two readings provided by the video were interesting to read and watch because of the visual representation, it’s a nice step back from looking at basic day to day data.