Persuasive Anxiety: Designing and Deploying Material and Formal Explorations of Personal Tracking Devices

Researchers in the CRIT group have used critical design as a method to investigate concepts relevant to Social Computing and persuasive technologies.

Fractured View

The Fractured View, designed by Shad Gross, employs the act of squeezing as a means of relieving stress, but also employs that action as part of a creative process. Made from liquid latex, acrylic paint, PVC pipe, an FSR sensor array, and a web camera, the device captures an image when squeezed, distorting it based on strength and duration. Through combining embodied action with creative expression, the Fractured View allows for the channeling of anxiety into creation.

Melody Bot

Melody Bot, designed by Shad Gross, is a device that explores the implications of algorithmic living, that is, using quantified metrics to measure and guide decisions in everyday life. Made with polyester resin, a web camera, and Java, the Melody Bot records and distorts video of computer use and transform them into fun and kinetic motion of music videos. These videos defamiliarize the act of sitting in front of a computer for lengthy sessions in a playful way.

The Candy Camera, designed by Shad Gross, explores the potential for constructing meaning from mundane eating habits. Made from a traditional gumball machine, lcd screen, webcamera and Raspberry Pi, it takes a picture when it is used and adds it to a slideshow that is displayed in the bowl. By capturing moments of indulgence, the Candy Camera gives the user the opportunity to construct their own narratives about their consumption of candy without imposing specific judgment.

Shad Gross, Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell & Michael Stallings (2017) Persuasive Anxiety: Designing and Deploying Material and Formal Explorations of Personal Tracking Devices, Human–Computer Interaction, 32:5-6, 297-334, DOI: 10.1080/07370024.2017.1287570