University of California, Los Angeles WK19 Observation at the School Café please just find some common objects such as coffee cup something just like that

University of California, Los Angeles WK19 Observation at the School Café please just find some common objects such as coffee cup something just like that Critical Design Practice | Assignment 1
Re-scripting an Object
DUE AT THE BEGHINNING OF CLASS, Thursday, October 10th
For the first assignment, we want you to experiment with how the “conduct of
conduct” at UCSD might be altered by changes in the material configuration of a
mundane object. The assignment should be completed individually.
Design Challenge
Part 1: Observation
Find a place on campus where you can hang out for a while and observe people (or
even just one person) doing some activity. Focus on people who are doing
something in a particular place, rather than just passing through on their way
somewhere, so you can observe the situation carefully for a while. Pay attention to
what is happening and how it is happening. Observe the activity in as much detail
as you can and pay attention to every living and non-living thing that is involved in
the activity: who or what is doing what with or to what else and how? Be as specific
and precise as you can based on what you see happening and include all of the
human and non-human actors that are participating in the activity. Document your
observations with hand-written notes, sketches, and perhaps pictures or video if the
person(s) that you are observing give you permission. Focus on what people are
doing rather than on what they are saying.
Part 2: The Script
Write up a small section of your observations in the format of a scene from a movie
script. Treat both the human and the non-human actors that were part of the
situation as CHARACTERS in your script. Be specific about what each
CHARACTER is doing with and to the other CHARACTERS at any given moment in
the scene. For example, if in Part 1 I observed our TA, GOOGIE, taking notes in our
class, the beginning of my script might read as follows:
Students sit in rows of seats in a crowded classroom as PROFESSOR SIMS
drones on and on about the politics of design.
GOOGIE, the TA for the course, sits on a PLASTIC SEAT in the front row. She is
quickly writing with a PEN on a PIECE OF PAPER.
The PLASTIC SEAT pushes up against GOOGIE, who is perched several feet off
the ground in a squatting position. The PLASTIC SEAT also pushes down against
four METAL LEGS that push up against the PLASTIC SEAT and down against the
CONCRETE FLOOR. The CONCRETE FLOOR pushes up against the ends of the
metal LEGS. The SEAT, LEGS, and FLOOR are at a stalemate and GOOGIE
remains suspended in the air in a squatting position.
GOOGIE is holding a PEN in her right hand. GOOGIE’S MIDDLE FINGER pushes
up against the tip of the PEN while her THUMB and INDEX FINGER pinch the tip
of the PEN from above, holding it steady. Her hand moves somewhat slowly
from left to right over the PAPER, then moves quickly from right to left, and then
again more slowly from left to right. GOOGIE repeats this action with the PEN
and PAPER over and over. The PEN pushes back against GOOGIE’S hand as
well as against the PAPER. The PEN has a metal BALL in its tip that rolls over the
PAPER as GOOGIE moves her hand back and forth. When the BALL rolls inside
the pen it is bathed in BLUE INK. The BALL rolls this ink onto the PAPER as
GOOGIE moves her hand.
… [and so on]
Use the script formatting instructions that are posted to Canvas.
Part 3: Brainstorm
Pick ONE non-human actor from your script and quickly brainstorm 20 different
ways that that actor could be substantively different from the one that you originally
observed. For example, if I picked the PEN from my script above, I could imagine a
pen that was three feet long, another that exuded Silly Putty instead of ink, and so
on. Write down each of your ideas and include sketches of some of your ideas if
you like.
Part 4: Re-script
Select your favorite idea from your brainstorming session. Then rewrite your script
with this new character substituted for the original non-human character that you
used for your brainstorm in part 3. Be specific about how each of the other actors
would act if this new CHARACTER was put in the scene. Some of the original
characters may act very differently, other might not act differently at all. If none of
the other characters are acting differently than in your original observation, then go
back to your brainstorming ideas and come up with some more strange
Part 5: Reflect
Write no more than one page addressing the following questions:
Think of as many people as you can who could NOT be substituted for one of the
human actors in your original scene without significantly changing the original
script? Why do you think some actors can be substituted without substantively
changing the rest of the script while others cannot?
Part 5: Assembly
Assemble your observational material from Part 1, your script from Part 2, your
brainstorm from part 3, your re-script from part 4, and your reflection from part 5
into a single stapled document. Bring a hard copy to class on Thursday, October

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