For this master’s project, I have been working in a team to make an interactive environment to stimulate the creative mood. We were greatly inspired by Pieter Desmet’s “Holistic Typology of Human Mood States”. The creative mood is not incorporated in said typology, so we created our own.
Our goal was to enable users to overcome creative blocks, by designing a space that would stimulate the user to explore, move around an create something just for the sake creating.
The video below shows a user story of someone using our final prototype.
The Design Process
For this course, we had to come up with a (partly) new concept and prototype each week. Every week, we had to test these prototypes with random people walking around at the faculty. This made this project a proper “design by doing” project, which was fun. Below are some impressions of the prototyping and testing we did.
For the prototypes, we almost exclusively used materials from ScrapXL, a store in Rotterdam that sells discarded materials. It was really interesting and educational to go there and to just work with whatever they were selling. After the exhibition of our final prototype, we took our prototype apart so a significant amount of the materials could be reused.
Note: I didn’t include pictures of participants testing our prototypes to respect their privacy.
Designers often experience a feeling of being overwhelmed by information and stuck in their own mind. Even though they are creative people, they get mentally blocked. Fluxit is meant to help people who feel stuck in their (creative) mental process. It is meant to get people out of a mental block, into a creative mood. This creative mood consists of a positive, productive and confident energy that gives you new inspiration that helps you finish your project!
Fluxit is in interactive room, made to get you into a creative mood. It consists almost entirely of refurbished materials, which creates a space where exploration is encouraged. By unusual interactions that require you to use your whole body, you can create a visually appealing, symmetrical drawing on a screen. Afterwards you get to take away a flyer with tips and tricks to remind you that you can break your mental blocks by doing fun and unusual things.
How does it work?
The room itself is decorated in a way that provokes inspiration and exploration. Different objects are placed inside the room that users can use to draw something through body movement. A camera tracks the movement and translates it to a kaleidoscopic image on a screen. It is creating for the sake of creating and moving to get your blood flowing to renew your energy. Lastly, it’s fun! This results in a more energetic, positive, confident and inspired mood.
What I learned
- I further developed my rapid prototyping skills. Especially the making of relatively bigger installations was new to me.
- I further developed my skills to prototype with whatever materials I have around me.
- I further developed myself in design by doing.
- I learned some basic Arduino programming skills.
- I learned about different theories about mood, rich experiences, and creativity, which I can apply in my future work as a designer.
- I learned how to quickly setup basic user tests with low-fi prototypes to rapidly test and move on to the next idea if necessary.
- I unconciously learned some basic principles on how to apply playfulness to design (about which I followed a course a year later).