Carnegie Mellon University_ Masters of Human Computer Interaction
Course: Reactive Spaces Studio
Duration: 3 weeks
Skills: Research_ Low- and Mid-Fidelity Prototyping.
The goal of this project was to design a public installation for a community needing to be heard. It was an exercise in using design to raise awareness and educate by leveraging of data and technology. My pick was Women in Tech.
The project was inspired by David Colangelo and his concept of Massive Media. My design aims at shedding light on the gender gap in the tech industry.
It is a media installation that juxtaposes a preferred future with current experiences of discrimination at workforce as captured by women through text messages and tweets in real time.
As a male studying Human Computer Interaction at CMU, I was very much aware of struggles and concerns that my female colleagues and friends faced.
My project would provide women a public platform to share their experiences, and uncover the prevalence of the struggles they face. The installation would also facilitate a conversation as to what a preferred future could look like.
Choosing a Location
Given the public nature of this project, the location would decide who would be the audience, interacting with the installation. The location also determines the potential impact and the reach of the message. I chose San Francisco Financial District.
Positioned in the heart of San Francisco, the intersection of Market and Montgomery sees everyday hundreds of employees from different tech companies pass by. It is the perfect platform to raise the issues that women face in the tech industry.
After several attempts, I designed a monument in form of an Obelisk. It is a 20 feet tall pillar with a tetrahedral cap. The phallic shape is a representation of the male dominated work place.
The content is divided into two parts:
- The preferred future with meaningful roles for women in the tech industry.
- The current experiences women have at work.
1. Current Experiences
The side walls and the cap are made up of dotted LEDs and display what women tweet or text about their experience at work.
2. Preferred future
The front wall of the obelisk is LCDs with modified Polarization layers, which means that you cannot see anything on its milky glow, until you look through the glass shield.
Here is an example of how LCDs with Modified Polarization Layers have been used by others:
The content there comes from artists, writers, journalists, etc exploring a preferred future.
Here is what the monument would look like.
Here is how the data would flow through the system.