Pausitive

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Abstract

"We have become such experts at being always in touch,
informed, connected. Now we must relearn how to be silent, disconnected,alone."
- Alain de Botton

As we emerge into an age of hyperconnectivity, technology becomes increasingly pervasive in our daily lives. And with this change, our behavior and values progressively shift towards instant access, constant availability and multi-tasking. Recent research studies have indicated cognitive effects due to these behavior shifts.

In this thesis project, technology’s role in our lives was explored, particularly within the context of home, a traditionally restorative environment. By identifying key problem areas from user research and drawing inspirations from slow technology and other relevant fields of expertise, key concepts were conceptualized.

Inspiration and Method

My impetus to this topic stemmed from my reflection on my lifestyle with technology. Despite the freedom I enjoy as a graduate student, I often found myself restless. My train of thought was regularly interrupted and I grew impatient with my lack of ability to focus. I realized this was related to how I used technology and chose to be connected.

My hypothesis is that virtual presence is rapidly growing and inevitable. To make sense of it, we need to reflect on both our physical and digital lifestyle. By focusing on home, a restorative environment, I tackled how digital information can support reflective experiences.

I used research as a mean to contextualize myself, in order to design for existing technology users and speculate for future scenarios. In the concept development phase, I drew inspiration from my critical design and slow technology. Concepts were then iterated by user tests and prototyping.

Result

Pausitive is a collection of four computer-mediated objects designed to support digital downtime and reflective behavior. The concept suggests a plausible scenario of the future by considering upcoming technologies such as internet of things. The objects embed in our living environment and interact with the inhabitants on a day to day basis. They work as a system and individually by each focusing on one key aspect of digital life: connect, consume and (re)collect.