Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Break

This has been a really crazy break for me. For the first time in a long time I didn't do a lot of work. My nephew came to New York, from California. I haven't seen him for a year. He was born when I started graduate school in the Summer of 08, and so it was really hard for me to concentrate because I was so excited to see him. My first nephew. Anyway, I spent a lot of time with him looking at Elmo, Barney and Mr. Noodle. I was really inspired by the power that music and this kind of entertainment has on him. We did take a trip to the beach in Rockaway that has lost all of its sand. It was sad to see how a natural storm can destroy a communities land.

I also came across this video:

Pictorial Webster's: Inspiration to Completion from John Carrera on Vimeo.



I was really taken by it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Big Picture Thinking word dump.

Why?

When I started out the project, I knew immediately that there was a need for beach safety didactic materials. Having grown up in a beach community, I knew every summer that when I heard helicopters flying close to my house, that someone had drowned. The emotional toll that this takes on a neighborhood is intense. People live in fear of their surroundings and their tenuous relationship with the ocean. Over the summer, after having recently been attacked by someone on the train, I went to the beach and got caught in a rip current. I felt a total loss of control and felt that my body was abused as I was thrown onto the rocks. Although I am an extremely strong swimmer, having swam competitively in high school and college, and professionally as a lifeguard, I needed help out of the water. Although as New Yorkers we are constantly made aware about hiding and protecting our possessions on the subway and being mindful of ourselves in those situations, we are rarely taught how to react or protect ourselves from the innate environmental conditions at the beach. This was my entryway into the project.

I immediately reacted to the recent slew of drownings in Rockaway Beach that caused the beach to be closed early.
However, as I did more user testing and had the opportunity to really meet local beach goers and children in schools, I learned that there was a much larger issue in that people are not aware of the environment surrounding them and in turn their relationship to water. Additionally I learned that beach safety and awareness education seems to be dispersed on a priviledged basis. Students, for example in schools that are in whiter and wealthier neighborhoods had the benefit of getting swimming lessons, or even parent teacher associations that payed for regular field trips to the beach and or the Y, while students in poorer neighborhoods often did not even own bathingsuits.

I now realize that I want to create a project that will offer educational support on beach safety and awareness to elementary students regardless of their race, neighborhood or wealth.

This will expand upon efforts to develop urban beach communities in NYC as well as teach basic life skills in an unique and engaging way.
-community- based
-learn by doing system


Assumptions

- So starting off I assumed that people had relatively no knowledge about basic beach visitation practices

After user testing my assumption was confirmed and then altered because I learned that people had knowledge it was just that they were being sent mixed messages by the parks department and various organizations dispersing information. As I met my user, I came to realize that they also needed support with understanding info not just about beach safety, but about beach environments.


- when doing u.t. i assumed that creating a narrative interactive experience for elementary students would help them to learn about the topic while engage them with technology.

- after testing i have learned that i need to craft something that allows students to run with it. interactive is no longer the thrill. they are used to getting information in bite sized chunks and having the ability to customize it, so they need something that appeals to that nature. Although this assumption is forcing me to face my fear of this kind of technology, I feel that this progression is fluid.


personally invest in their learning.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Elevator Pitch

To a Grandmother:
Do you take your grandchildren to the beach? Did you know that every year dozens of children just like your grandchild drown or get seriously hurt every year on NYC public beaches? Well they do because they don't have basic beach safety skills like knowing what the right conditions to get into the water are, making sure that lifeguards are looking over the beaches or even on a bigger level how to swim. I am creating games and activities for parents, teachers and elementary aged students to learn these basic life skills so that they are prepared to go to the beaches this Summer.

- STILL NEED TO: bring it right to the grandmothers concerns. its hard to keep up with those kids at the beach.... wouldnt it be nice if you need


To a Principal:


Did you know there are students who go to this school, don't even know where the beach is- and it is three blocks away?At the moment there is no educational initiative in any NYC school to prepare students for beach visitation prior to the Summer. This is an issue of public safety and we need to do something about it! I am creating a multi- media tool kit for elementary students that can be implemented by teachers within a 45 minute period. The idea is to teach students a life skill in a manner that is in harmony with the way that they receive other kinds of informal education. The kit will include lesson plans, printables, games, animations, activities, a website and an mobile urban game for an in and out of class integrated educational opportunity to acquire both beach safety and awareness skills.

STILL NEED TO: Connect the project with the intelligence of the students

Friday, November 13, 2009

peer review/open house presentation

Surfer Dies In Queens

Today in the Times is this article about a surfer dying in Queens. It really saddens me. The issue here is beach safety and public awareness of beach visitation practices. The man was surfing alone when the incident happened. A lot of times surfers feel that they are above standard beach practices. They go to the beach when it is closed, without lifeguards and in remote sections of the beach. This is often because of the conditions required for optimum surfing. However, at the root of it all is the fact that beach safety is something that needs to be innately embedded into our culture so that people would never think to go to the beach and swim or surf alone.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

test


my thesis class voted for this style and to continue with sea monsters.
i am still feeling insecure about it. I'll do some more tests this weekend with it.

backgrounds






the game

what I am doing in respect to the urban game:
- I am coordinating a viable test group with the help of the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance
- I am taking photographs of the surrounding area
- I am creating a treasure hunt
- I am coming up with scenarios
- I am researching persuasive mobile design, augmented reality, urban games
- Going to buy a SIM CARD!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just a Test

testing out some more things: movement, background textures, and text treatment

another movement test

still trying to figure out style.

a little test

Typographic Inspiration










http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=CA&hl=en&v=y9LlnLTH87U

art.






Monday, November 9, 2009

Urban Games Research and Meetings

Over the past week I met with two really helpful professors at school: Nick Fortugno (Friday November 6) and Mike Edwards (Monday, November 9). Both Nick and Mike gave me some great advice on how to get started with planning out my urban game.

Nick recommended that I go to the locations of the schools and figure out what assets are available in the environment. He said to start thinking about the game mechanic and to just take a stab at it- not worrying about the big picture.

Mike directed my attention to the book Space, Time and Play. We talked about a few ways to get started including making a scavenger hunt and investigating mystery games and clue.

In terms of research and what has been done, my friend Grace Salem pulled together a delicious page on urban games.

My research to do list/brain unload also includes:
research educational games
qr codes
go to the beach and look for landmarks and things that they can use in their playground
give them a problem to solve
point system?
get parents involved?
give them missions, get in groups
are people working together/ against eachother
how does someone win game
sea monsters are helpful- giving them hints
sea good and bad
seashells: bad
sea can have good and bad things
seashells lose points if you get a sea shell card
if you find one
what i need to teach them.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Animatic



This animatic has a scratch track with my voice.
I have set up a recording for this Wednesday with a guy who I believe has the kind of voice I want. The animatic has minimal camera movements- not really intense animation but I just wanted a sense of how long it will take to get this snappy video across. I think that with some sound editing I can get it down by 20 seconds so it will be a nice crisp minute. I am going to show this to a few people to get their feedback this week.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

storyboard



Here is my storyboard for my beach safety in a minute psa.

PS3 User Testing/ Research

The classroom was really awesome. The kids had their own domain maps!







Note the "screen" that we had for watching a video as a class.
Said screen ran out of power, but I had a back up.








Monday, November 2, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wireframes, Website and the big picture

I made some wireframes for the project website. Basically the components will be:

* I italicized big deliverables

ABOUT
mission
friends and allies
contact
fact sheet
day of action?

SPREAD THE WORD
tell a friend
logo, banners, video
posters, stickers
social networks


ANIMATION
PSA
GAME AND QUIZZES
fact game bubble game mobile/map game
PARENTS AND TEACHERS
fact sheet printables lesson plans




My thinking behind these two versions of the wireframes is that the visual hierarchy will be:
1. brand
2. what you can do on the site
3. a taste of the content
4. ways to connect through the site

I am not 100% in love with the way either of them look right now. I am going to take a break for a day and come back to it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mood Board



As I am warming up for a weekend of making storyboards, wireframes and such, I decided to quickly throw together a little mood board. This is helping me to get a little closer to a style for the psa. I need to really get my act together on this. Production is happening now. I really appreciate the hands on aesthetic of all of these styles cumulatively.


so the credit business:
-charlie and lola (top left)
-monster by artist lori joy smith
-keith haring
-yee haw industries
-Y water
-the happy corp
-the electric company
-vimeo

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

new domain map

hello world.
here is where I am at with my ever- changing domain map. I think that it might be fun at the end of the year to look at how many times my domain map has actually changed, but i digress. for the moment, this is my map.


(click it)

I have added "media literacy" as a domain that I am focusing on more. Revisiting my domain map every few weeks has given me the opportunity to gage the ebb and flow of my project. While two weeks ago I was more about drowning, now I have broadened my focus to water safety. I also had the domain of community up there lingering on my domain map, but it wasn't until last week that it really felt like I was tapping into that area of interest. As I explore more and more I am sure that all of the areas will continue to dynamically change, but I happy with the core topics that I am honing in on right now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

water safety psa

This is typical of what I am finding.




I think that:
it's creepy
targeted at parents
doesn't actually give any positive reinforcement

Saturday, October 17, 2009

School Beach Survey

link

Here is a survey that I am preparing for bringing into the schools in Rockaway

Friday, October 16, 2009

Midterm Presentation

Yesterday I had my midterm critique. I was really nervous about presenting. I wasn't feeling like I am at the point in project that I should be (full on production). But I presented (I didn't go way over on my time limit like I thought I would), and I got some really great feedback. Overall it was a positive experience and one that gave me the ability to step back from my work, re-contextualize my focus and start considering the nature of the fieldwork that I have already done.

My critics were Anezka Sebold and Cynthia Lawson.
Cynthia said that I should really appreciate the way that I have localized my project. She said that I should think about surveying how many New Yorkers feel connected to water and the beach community. She felt that I could tie my thesis in with the positive effects of urban dwellers. She also agreed with me about how I should analyze my user group. How independent are they from their parents? This is an opportunity to collaborate on projects. How can I best position this as something that the community helped to create?


Anezka noted that I have done due diligence and that I still have much to do. She told me to think about the inherent access issues with google. She asked me to consider expanding upon my interest in the domain of media literacy. Finally she noted that I should think about pushing to implement the idea in the curriculum for a longer term.

I feel a little bit like I need to go back to the drawing board and think about my project not specifically in terms of drowning, but in terms of overall water safety and awareness. I know this should have been an obvious move, but it didn't really dawn on me until after my crits yesterday.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Taglines

Coastal Safety Locative Media Campaign
Coastal Safety Locative Media Tools
Coastal Safety Locative Media and Narrative

Beach Safety and Awareness Locative Didactic Media

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

complex plots for courtroom proceedings

I just happened upon this funny project. The description says "Client: Private Lawfirm
Goal: Coordinate and design complex population plots for use in courtroom proeedings." It made me think about my project and about how some people really just view maps as a more complicated way to approach a topic. I agree, but I also feel that it can be used to uncover mysteries and hidden stories, which is why lawyers implore this technique so often. Lawyers after all are just telling their clients stories...




Animation Test

Although I am pretty sure that I am not going to continue with this style, I am posting my most recent test because it deals with a moment of panic and drama and it's my first attempt at animating that. Some of the animation is a little quirky and if I gave myself more time on this I could definitely tweak things here and there...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Presentation: October 6,2009

This is the week before my midterm presentation- presentation. All the ingredients for the midterm are here but I need to figure out the recipe a little more.
The feedback I got was super helpful.
For next week, things I need to look in to:
  • make a domain map
  • make a slide that breaks out my schedule into a map
  • incorporate statistics and citations into a slide
  • pull together a style frame with the images in the map
  • precedents but only for shaping domain etc
  • storyboard the narrative
  • incorporate the notion of 21st century learning goals and media literacy (deploying technologies in the classroom, kids not just being consumers, but producers themselves, feeding into the hackability and re-mixability factor).
  • think about flickr or videos for backgrounds
  • scenarios

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Where I am

I haven't really had time to post my thoughts, but I am chugging along. What I have been doing for the past two weeks is clarifying my narrative, talking with my professors at Parsons (Anezka, Dave, Chris, Josh), talking with my contacts in the advocacy groups (mainly Jeanne Dupont) and starting to write and sketch up ideas for the ever-important narrative component. The picture posted here is a screen shot for a prototype that I am working on. I have not even addressed style but this is my 2nd go at making something very vectory. Anyway, I will post that when I make more progress on it and have specific ideas for questions about it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Plan

Here is my first attempt at pulling together a plan of action- each month I have a goal. The 2nd half of the year is less focused at the moment but I will rewrite that. (You can click to get a better view of the chart)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

presentation-2nd attempt

Ben Fry and Data Visualization

I never really understood data visualization. I love the look of many data visualization graphics, but as a whole field- it's somewhat of an enigma to me. I understand info graphics, and graphics created for specific results, but mostly the data visualization that I was seeing seemed pointless to me. Then I saw the work of Ben Fry. It started to come clear to me. The work was beautiful, yet purposeful.

Dave explained in class that "the purpose of data visualizations is to identify a pattern that would otherwise be invisible."

That sentiment is beautiful in a way.

I hope that my work will reveal the patterns of drowning and accidents that could have been prevented.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Domains

interactive narrative
storytelling
non-linear narrative

3 for the list.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Summer Reading Review

My thesis writing class is having a quiz on the summer reading today. Since I did the reading in June, I felt that I had to re-read everything. In doing this, I took some notes on the reading, and tried implementing a few of the techniques to my current concept. I found the reading useful and it made me feel more confident about writing and speaking about my idea. I pulled together my ideas into a little slide show while I was writing. Although I did this because I didn't have any note paper around when I was reading, I did find it helpful. I do have a few questions even though the reading packet was VERY thorough. For one, I am unsure how the "iterative writing process" works when I completely change my concept. Do I go back? According to the reading, I don't because that is recursive. Also, I am still a little unclear on how much I need to document in my interviews. I conducted 4 phone interviews the other day. I had a hard time writing every single thing that I said along with the responses down, am I supposed to document every part of this communication?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Where I am

I realize that if you are reading this blog that you have no idea what's really going on with my thesis. This is partially because I have just been using the blog recently to collect sporadic thoughts, meetings, classes and inspirations. Anyway, enough excuses, this is where I am.

I thought about water.
I read a lot about water.
I got mad about the water crisis.
I learned about sustainability vs. resilience.
I thought about thinking global but acting local.
I turned to the NYC waterfront.
I initially learned about watershed and sewage issues.
I read and read, articles and books (which I will talk about in detail another time)
I learned of another issue that is deeply affecting NYC waters.
I learned that every year people are drowning, dying and getting hurt on NYC beaches
I learned of the lack of education support tools for NYC beachgoers
I learned of the lack of an educated beach culture in NYC.
I talked to some people from the parks department
I talked to some lifeguards
I talked to some beachgoers
I talked to some kids
I felt compelled to focus my project on developing needed tools.
I freaked out a bit because this is a big departure from my original concept.
I wrote a survey to get an idea about what kinds of questions I should be asking
I am now trying to get more specific about my design questions and user group.

So, that's where I am. I am letting things resonate in my head right now and am starting to come up with ideas for what kinds of deliverables would be appropriate. I am somewhere between website, psa series, flags, print materials and an interactive map. It's a lot, but at the heart of it all are the PSA ads... so I am going to think about that first. yikes. craziness.

Friday, September 11, 2009

BEACH SURVEY!

Here is my first attempt at data collection. Please support the cause:
Click Here to take survey

New Yorkers for Parks

Today I had a great conversation with Cheryll Huber, Director of Research and Planning for New Yorkers for Parks. Cheryll and I discussed my interest in beach safety and education and she was very interested in my creating resources that could raise the overall awareness and understanding by New Yorkers of these issues.

Initially we talked about Rockaway Beach and how one issue that is quite apparent is that there are different levels of coverage and resources for beaches depending on the region, which is particularly odd considering that they are all maintained by the Parks Department.

She mentioned many great resources for me to look into, some which I knew of and others that I didn't. These included:

Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Gene Dupont
The Parks Department swim to safety and learn to swim program
The NYC health dept tracks info on beaches swimmable
-safety inspections of beaches
The parks dept goes out and hires lifeguards
The Parks inspection program- regular inspections of beaches
The Surfrider foundation -Doug Parent chair of nyc chapter
DOITT
Mayor's Office

We talked about the need for a website that links all of the resources into one user-friendly cohesive site. We also discussed how NYC doesn't have the same kind of beach culture that other coastal cities have, and therefore there is a lack of self awareness and education that a general beach goer should have when they walk onto the beach.

Cheryll said that I can continue to be in touch with her about my research and work.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Filet o Fish

This article on the Filet O Fish goes into detail explaining how places like McDonalds are putting a strain on the marine environment of the ocean. Not that I have been eating at McDonalds or the like, but now I understand how deeply people are affecting the world as a whole by buying foods from wholesale seamen instead of employing local shipperies. Additionally, there is a real need for people to think resiliently about the oceans. We talk about sustainability but clearly that is not enough, we don't want things to be maintained, we need systems to be reconsidered completely in order to make positive changes for a sustainable future.

Notes from 9/10 Thesis Studio

Immediate To Do:
- define thesis question
- define "user group"

Iteration Cycles:
  • decide on critical part of thesis inquiry that must be solved
  • planning the iteration schedule and breaking down tasks to address one or all aspects of the project (look and feel, production delivery, implementation and distribution)
  • verify and advance
  • contextualize
  • document and evaluate
Upcoming Schedule
9/7- make and brief writing
9/14- test and brief writing- research supported
9/21- evaluate and brief DUE

Advisors
identify advisors within the faculty and in the outside world
identify a mentor
identify a cohort: a core group of people that i will regularly be working closely with. (identify audience.) a twitter group is fine.

General Notes
Think about what I can do to play with my idea in a non- goal oriented, exploratory way.
Think about how I am framing my questions for each iteration
My thesis question should include one or more hypothesis

Concept Brief: most important/ best paragraph you've ever written in your life
Impetus Brief: why is this something that I and others may be passionate about

You can say that you are making an exploratory experiment with no predictable outcome

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mural by Os Gemeos


I was really inspired when I went to Coney Island this Summer and discovered this mural. (I found that someone collected the images in a Flickr link! I'd put my photos up but they are vacationing on Adrian's camera still). I like that the work is dreamy and fantastical. There is a plethora of color but the piece holds together.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fish Fertilizer



I did this quick study on Fish Fertilizer which really helped me to realize how many different kinds of processes go into making something which seems so pure. I found some great links while I was researching:

How A Fish Becomes Fertilizer
Also How A Fish Becomes Fertilizer
Info on the Omega Protein Corp- major processor of fish
Another Process Website

Friday, September 4, 2009

Nike Ad

Onwards from AKQA on Vimeo.



This was done in 3D to look like 2D. It's really unique and beautiful. It's style is tangible yet crisp. It flows but is stiff. I guess that it really just works.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Muir Webs


Yesterday I learned of a data visualization tool known as the Muir Web. (I found the most coherent explanation on the Manahatta Project website). I am not sure how I can use this as a tool, but it certainly speaks to issues of interconnectivity and how the ocean is part of a living dynamic system.

According to my professors Iain Kerr and Petia Morozov from Spurse, these webs need to be heterogeneous, nested, multi-scaled, emergent and multi-modal.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Presentation Notes

My first presentation of my summer work went alright. I think that I could have articulated my ideas a little bit clearer, but perhaps that is just a sign that I need to define my project a little bit more clearly even for myself. I did get some good feedback :

- think about distribution- where will my project live?
- why am I not interested in creating a PSA?
- i need to focus on my craft and jump into prototyping.
- i am interested in creating something that is visually magically and emotionally tangible (not so much feedback but it was really interesting to hear someone describe my interests as such).
- have my thesis question solidified

I know that these are all questions that I have been asking myself, but I think that hearing other people say that outloud was good.

Grizzly Bear Music Vid

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear from Gabe Askew on Vimeo.



This is an interesting piece because it nicely explores what a handmade world could look like.

Artist Amy Casey


Artist Amy Casey creates really interesting urban spaces in her paintings. I think that it is good to keep in mind when I start thinking about the worlds that I am creating.

Baidir

BAIDIR from slimane aniss on Vimeo.



I really like the use of camera angles in this piece.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I finally found it!


Watch La Maison en Petits Cubes in Animation | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Perspective

“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

— Martin Luther King Jr.

In respect to the water crisis, I find this quote apropos. Everything that the bottled water companies and governments are doing throughout the world is legal, and because of that millions of people are suffering from starvation, illness and torture.

Wave by Suzy Lee

This weekend I "read" the wordless picture book Wave by Suzy Lee. I was recommended this book by my colleague at Sesame Street, Margot, who had thought I would be interested in it stylistically. Not only was I interested in the aesthetic beauty of the piece, I was struck by the amazingly universal sensory experience of interacting with water at the beach. The entire book was painted in a light blue and accentuated with the whimsical charcoal lines of the character.

In terms of my project, I am very interested in creating a piece that can work on several levels. I feel that Wave achieved this by being both engaging to young readers and nostalgic for older ones. Additionally, this sensory experience is something that I feel is very important to pay attention to when you are speaking of environmental awareness issues. If people can feel connected to an issue, then that is the first step towards activism.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

flowers: Lynda Dourthe

These pieces by Lynda Dourthe are so delicately intriguing. I appreciate how you can really see all of the veins and vines.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fiji Bottled Water in Mother Jones

Article on Fiji bottled water which essentially reinforces everything that I am reading about in Blue Gold.

Amazing photography: Zena Holloway




gorgeous

Monday, August 17, 2009

Inspiration: Esteban Diácono

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Inspiration: Mark Mawson

jaw dropped.

see more

Inspiration: Celeste Potter

As I am spending most of my time reading, here are some beautiful inspirational videos that I found by an Australian illustrator Celeste Potter:

Click on this link (I am having trouble embedding).

and this one:

Click here for this video.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Short piece on Global Warming

I really appreciate the style and message of this piece.

3650 from Ubik on Vimeo.

Beautiful Aquarium

This video is pretty amazing. It is of the world's largest aquarium. I love watching the movement of the various fish and sharks in the water. Some are like- birds of the sea. That might be a Jessica Simpson reference..oh wait, no she questioned if tuna fish was chicken because the label said chicken of the sea.

Kuroshio Sea - 2nd largest aquarium tank in the world - (song is Please don't go by Barcelona) from Jon Rawlinson on Vimeo.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Research

I had a really productive day today. I took a visit to the library and have picked myself up some great reads for the next week. I started reading Blue Gold and am already really inspired and into it. Reading all of these statistics about water, I am completely amazed that this topic is not discussed more frequently in terms of environmental action and politics. For starters, the fact that less than 1% of all the water in the world is actually consumable is not at all what I expected to find. I know that I am really naive about this subject matter, but I when you look at a map and see all of the blue covering the world, and then think to yourself that this is not potable water that people in poor countries who are starving and DYING from their need of water canaccess, you begin to feel a little hopeless. But I don't think that this subject matter is hopeless. I am going to continue reading about this as well as the privatization of water which also is a much more complex and widespread concern than I ever realized. I feel like after today I am seeing the world around me with new eyes.

I also see that there is a Blue Gold movie available on amazon. I am going to try to purchase that this weekend as well. I am excited.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shifting... and returning

As I mentioned earlier, I am taking steps to completely reconsider my domains of interest. After doing some soul searching and real zoolander like questioning, I have focused my research on water. Why water? Well for starters, it is something that I am passionate about, growing up in a surfing community, water is something that I came in touch with in a very real way. Water is something that has heightened my relationships with my neighbors and distanced me from others. However, water is something that plays a role in everyone's life. It is a necessity. Water is also one of the most deeply problematic environmental and political issues of our time.

In The Post American World, Fareed Zakaria wrote about this issue. He said,

"... our ability to manage and conserve water is not growing nearly as fast as our consumption of it. World population tripled in the twentieth century, but water consumption increased sixfold. Americans use more than four hundred liters of water a day to drink, cook, and clean themselves. People in poorer countries today are lucky to get forty, but as they get richer, their rising demands will cause greater stress. Violent clashes over water have already broken out in Africa and the Middle East. Historically, populations have moved to find water; if water sources dry up in the future, tens of millions of people will be forced to start moving." Zakaria, Fareed. The Post American World, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc, 2008),30.

And so I am pushing forward. I am returning in essence to a lot of the core issues of my initial game concept, however with the intent of creating more of a heartfelt narrative- like my later prototypes.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Assymetrical vs Symmetrical Relationships

Doing some research on one of the central themes of my thesis project, that is the kind of relationships that are produced in the social networking world- I came across some interesting new terms:

Relationship (or Follow) Symmetry
Relationship (or Follow) Asymmetry

I initially came across the terms on this post that theorizes that Facebook will eventually turn to an asymmetrical relationship structure. But I will get back to that. A symmetrical relationship is a mutual relationship where both parties benefit and enjoy the perks of friendship in full agreement. Facebook currently has this structure, where you need to accept a friend request in order for both of the users to become friends. An Asymmetrical relationship, however has no requisite mutuality. This is the relationship structure that Twitter uses.

Why is this interesting? Well to be completely honest, this is interesting because it increasingly allows for a non-mutual relationship. What is that? A non-mutual relationship is not a true relationship in my opinion. It is more about one party disemintating information about themselves, almost as a form of P.R. However, the relationship that is then forged when someone enters into this relationship is not reciprocal. As the post that I referenced earlier states, the internet world of social networking is moving towards asymmetrical follow. How will this affect the kinds of relationships that are created on these sites? Are relationships on these sites becoming less authentic?

In my thesis I hope to touch upon how these kinds of imbalanced relationships can alter ones perception of their own friendships.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Having a Moment

I haven't posted in a while and I feel that it's because I am a little stuck. I don't even know if I should write this here because I feel somewhat annoyed at myself. I know that I always do this, where I get started on a project and then start doubting myself and rethinking the project and then I have a ton of false starts before I can get anywhere.

I am thinking of totally re- thinking my story and making it more conceptual. I would reduce the number of characters and I would like to eliminate all dialogue. I know this sounds good but I don't know how to get from where I am to there. I am basically dealing with the same theme, but instead of having humans, I am thinking of having more of an animal or creature.

On top of all of this meandering in my mind, I was mugged on the subway yesterday and my phone was stolen. I feel all disgruntled now. ugh.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Character Design- Getting Closer

I actually did these about a week ago but I forgot to scan them! I know, I feel like I have been holding out. Okay, so I am feeling happy about the first image below (which is actually a diptych with the second image). The other boy images below were progression sketches until I got to the top two. The last image below is my first attempt at the mom- having a general idea in mind for Mica.

This week I started my storyboarding. Man... storyboarding. Half the battle for me seems to be getting over the mental hurdle of dealing with the actual animation of my idea. But, I did storyboard the first 2 scenes and am feeling good about it. I will post when I am a little further along on that project.