What

‘Film instances as a rhetorical devices to explore social and cultural issues with a technology.’

This is inspired from Pastiche scenarios that draws on fiction as a resource to explore the interior ‘felt life’ aspects of

User experience and complex social and cultural issues raised by technological innovations. There is a detailed and very interesting paper written by Mark A. Blythe and Peter C. Wright on the topic ‘ Pastiche scenarios: Fiction as a resource for user centered design’.

Pastiche scenarios as described in the paper can be generated by ‘ cutting and pasting lines of source text and then modifying the story line to allow for the introduction of the technology in question.’ For my final paper, since I am focusing on films which is rich media in terms of visuals, I have decided to use film instances (screen shot of film scenes) to explore the social and cultural issues. I am not sure if these instances can be called as pastiche scenarios.

Also, I have picked ‘Indian films’ as a case study for my capstone (final paper is derived from it) and I am choosing films based on Mumbai culture, specifically those scenes that I believe have captured the context and cultural specificity very well. (I am placing myself as a strong subject in this.)

Why

  1. Films meant more to me than a just another source of entertainment. I feel deeply moved after watch some of the Indian films mostly due to the richness of context portrayed in it. It’s the groundedness of these films, story lines, music and actors acting in it that left a long lasting impression on me. I knew I had to do something about it in my capstone.
  1. Almost in all of my RDSC projects, I have used stories to communicate design. These story, I felt, weren’t very rich. Of course , user experience designers are not graphic artists but I thought we could still stretch our imagination to think about different ways a technology could be used/adapted by people considering different social and cultural context during ideation.
  1. Expansion of third wave HCI that stretched beyond workplace and started considering user experience holistically.

One of the quotes from ‘Critical and cultural approaches to HCI’ paper from Jeffery Bardzell –

‘Cultural HCI should have less to do with telling us about culture and more to do with helping us improve culture. It would be wrong, I argue, to see cultural approaches primarily as another research lens to tell us what is out there in the world; the social sciences are a better fit for this direction of inquiry. Cultural approaches should be used to help HCI improve our lived environment and improve ourselves.

Prior work/sub-domain of HCI

My research and audience group is hugely influenced by these two papers

  1. ‘Pastiche scenarios: Fiction as a resource for user centered design ‘ by Mark A. Blythe *, Peter C. Wright

In this paper, pastiche scenarios have been used to for three purposes and explained in details by three interesting case studies:

  1. Pastiche scenarios are used to explore ‘felt-life’ issues.
  2. Pastiche scenarios are particularly valuable in participatory design situations, since they engage users in the way that characters in novels might.
  3. pastiche scenarios can be used to explore social and cultural issues with imagined technology.

I am more interested in exploring the third purpose and appropriate it by using films.

  1. Design Documentaries: Inspiring Design Research Through Documentary Film by Bas Raijmakers, William W. Gaver, Jon Bishay

I liked how they started. Their approach really helped me articulate why I chose ‘films’ as a medium to understand and explore cultural and social issues.

One specific quote that resonated the most with me –

” We suggest that, for design research in HCI, film can be much more than a note-taking tool; we can use it as a means to explore, understand and present the everyday, and benefit from film’s capabilities to preserve ambiguities and paradoxes instead of resolving them into univocal conclusions.”

How

I am planning to make a card deck of film instances and conduct a small activity of ideating and exploring different possible technological solutions.

My intention is to help designers empathize with and consider different cultural and social issues that could shape the usage of the technology they design.

” It is possible for designers to shape how technology is used but not to determine it.” – Mark A. Blythe and Peter C. Wright in ‘ Pastiche scenarios: Fiction as a resource for user centered design’.

Besides these, few papers that I am planning to refer are:

  1. Critical And Cultural Approaches To HCI by Jeffery Bardzell
  2. ‘‘A great and troubling beauty’’: cognitive speculation and ubiquitous computing Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell
  3. Interaction criticism: An introduction to the practice Jeffrey Bardzell
  4. MACHINIMATIC REALISM: CAPTURING AND PRESENTING THE “REAL WORLD” OF VIDEO GAMES Jeffrey Bardzell
  5. Cinema and touch
  6. Crafting User Experiences by Incorporating Dramaturgical Techniques of Storytelling
  7. A User-Centric Adaptive Story Architecture – Borrowing from Acting Theories
  8. Carroll
  9. Elliot W. Eisner, connoisseurship, criticism and the art of education

These are some of the collection I have. I am going to refer readings from Foundations, Experience design and Interaction culture paper.

If you have some advice on the paper, or suggestions, or critique, I will be happy to receive it .. 🙂

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