In Lowgren’s paper “Articulating the Use Qualities of Digital Designs”, he talked about the use quality “identity”, cell phone skins, and the “desire to project just the right image”, but what about a design that has an identity inside of it, a design that has the power to transform its user… rather than projecting an image, the design would have the power to influence how the user acts, behaves, and subjectively feels, it would in a sense transform their identity.

So instead of projecting just the right image or identity, I’m curious to see if it’s possible to design something in such a way that just by interacting with it the person changes how they act or behave.

Here is how I think I might go about designing such a thing. For this example, I will attempt to design a cell phone that has contained within it the general characteristics of the alpha-male identity.

First, I need to clearly define some general characteristics of the alpha-male:

– Bigger, visually arresting appearance

– Enjoys themselves and the moment

– Moves slowly as if in control of time itself

– Focuses on the world around them in a relaxed manner

– Are in control of themselves

– Able to take control of a situation and resolve it

– Strong, martial, skilled, intelligent, and a leader

– Their unfailing strength restores the strength of all

Next, I need to take these general characteristics and transfer them into a cell phone. Here are some considerations to take into account when designing the “alpha-male” cell phone.

– A little bigger (to help it stand out and appear stronger)

– A little heavier (to give it a feel of strength and control, and also to cause the user to move more slowly when they hold the phone and bring it up to their ears)

– A little more solid (once again to create a sense of durability, strength, and immovability)

– It has a visually arresting appearance (to give the phone a look of leadership and make it stand out)

– Is both soft and hard; its softness/hardness comes from being relaxed unto a powerful frame that possesses a beautiful gravity (to make the cell phone appear steady, powerful, and trustworthy)

– Its ring tone is deep, resonates, and is unhurried (this will push the user to interact with the phone in the manner of the alpha-male, when they go to answer the phone, they shouldn’t be in a hurry to do so, but rather they should answer the phone in a slow, aware, and controlled way similar to how an alpha-male would)

In this example, I wanted to design a phone that has an identity contained within it When the user interacts with that phone, that identity will “seep” into them and transform the way the user acts and appears, so that they gradually in time begin to resemble that object’s identity – in this case the identity of the alpha-male.

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