Reimagining the future of decision-making
This school project required us to rethink the design space for a smart city, allowing the public to approach the smart city from a different perspective and engage with the values that matter to those who live in cities. Our group created a speculative design called "We Make Your Choices" (W.M.Y.C.), a new technology that aims to alleviate the burden of decision-making for people and is targeted towards those who want to make the best choices in life. It hopes to encourage people to rethink what "best" means to them and how the dominant culture's emphasis on productivity has influenced our priorities.
Role in the project
In the group project, I proposed ideas and direction to guide our progress. I actively sought out my teammates' ideas and thoughts and documented our progress in Notion. My interest in observing people and being genuinely curious about their lives led to valuable input for the group project and the initial idea for W.M.Y.C. My curiosity also motivated me to conduct research on theoretical frameworks to evoke thought and create a vision for the brand. I am proud of my contributions to the project's success and for assisting in guiding our collective efforts.
Feb - Apr 2022
Explore and reimagine the design spaces for the smart city using creative tools and methods, proposing a device, service, or infrastructure that alters the experience of the city and impacts people's lives. The final idea should be a well thought-out proposal or prototype that opens up a creative space for design and rethink the smart city from a different perspective, engaging with values that matter to those who live in cities, and inviting opportunities for new types of relationships.
Instead of using a traditional design thinking approach, we are motivated to use creative tools, techniques, and methods to explore design spaces. These tools have helped us to generate innovative possibilities and narrow our focus to our interests. They have also assisted us in detailing every aspect of the final product of W.M.Y.C.
We started by using a problem-solution perspective during brainstorming and identifying our shared interest in the topic of surveillance. From there, we generated a list of potential ideas and organized them into themes using affinity mapping. Each team member individually selected two themes to further ideate on and develop deliverables for our next meeting.
During the meeting, we presented our ideas and voted as a group to determine which concept we would like to proceed with. The result of this vote was that W.M.Y.C was chosen as the direction we would like to work on.
To understand the daily decision-making process and why it can be stressful, we began a group activity of logging our indecisive moments throughout the day and analyzing the prevalent themes related to decision-making. A common theme among our group exercises was a sense of not making productive decisions. This prompted us to consider the dominant "cult of productivity" in our society and how it relates to the value of W.M.Y.C. As a result, we decided to integrate this concept into the core value of W.M.Y.C, viewing the most productive decision as the best decision.
To develop a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of W.M.Y.C., our group identified areas for expansion, such as marketing content, business vision and values, merchandise, artifacts, manipulation tactics, and the branding of the technology. We then worked together as a group to make decisions, provide feedback and discuss areas for improvement.
Developing branding guidelines
Making a concept video
Creating a mood board
Researching the psychosocial aspects behind decision-making, theoretical framework on individual identity, the influence of neoliberalism and manipulation tactics
Let's dive into the world of W.M.Y.C.
The goal of this project was to inspire individuals to critically evaluate the underlying motivations and considerations behind each decision they make. Specifically, it sought to encourage individuals to question whether their choices align with their values and goals, and whether they are being swayed by external pressures and societal expectations of productivity. Instead of taking a definitive position, the project aimed to empower people to make more thoughtful and purposeful decisions.
As part of the coursework, I maintained a design blog, "Drowning in the sea of creativity" to document my thought process and contributions during group projects. Are you still struggling to envision a world with W.M.Y.C.? Or are you interested in learning about the design process for this imaginative project? If so, I invite you to explore my individual blog post which delves into the process of this project.