The 7 Wonders Project was my manifestation of the Ideas in Form project in Major Studio at school, Parsons School of Design. I had to develop a concept derived from a question or inspiration and then push the same design question through a series of forms in different media. – creating prototypes of the idea in different forms.

Discipline: Transdisciplinary – Graphic, Speculative, Instructional, Web
Timeline: 3 weeks entirely | September 2017
Technology: Adobe Suite, Premiere Pro, HTML, CSS, JS, WebVR
Association: Parsons School of Design, Major Studio

Problem and Context
Taking a simple concept, I wanted to address the fact that people are unaware of the ancient and new 7 wonders of the world, and that bothers a traveler like me. The concept of 7 wonders has amazed me since childhood and hence I wanted to explain its clarity to people.

Research
It was clear that people are unaware of the facts and are satisfied with assumptions.

 

Design Statment and Criteria

How can I give a minimal but clear understanding of the 7 ancient and new wonders of the world, using an element of curiosity, without overwhelming the user?

Proceeding with Constraints
Keeping the design statement and criteria constant, I shall proceed to create designs int eh forms of:

  • 1D: The idea that created the design statement itself.
  • 2D: It must fit on a paper to be hung on a wall
  • 3D: It should be tangible, movable
  • 4D: It should have an element of time that affects it
  • 5D: It should have interaction

1D: The idea narrative itself

2D: On a sheet of paper

  • This is a sheet of paper, minimal in itself with the countries with the new 7 wonders shaded grey.
  • Iran, Iraq, and Greece are torn away to show the current destabilization of these great ancient civilizations and also that their ancient 7 wonders do not exist anymore.
  • With the exception of Egypt that still hosts the Pyramids and so I decorated the most ancient civilization in aluminum foil. This at a glance, will try to arouse curiosity.
  • This will prompt the user to educate himself about the wonders and their history.

3D: Tangible and Movable | Model 1: T-Shirt

  • With my experience in designing for t-shirts, I thought this will serve me well if I still keep my design in 2D (graphic) but put it on a 3D object like a t-shirt.
  • This design will be carried all around, to educate, and the graphic can also generate curiosity or be a conversation starter! I tried to keep the graphic as minimal as possible.
  • This was all done in a day, with a cotton t-shirt, transfer paper with an ink-jet print of the design, and iron it on the t-shirt.

This was just a concept of using a “wearable” and hence I extended this to build a speculative design product that is 3D in whole, like a ring.

3D: Tangible and Movable | Model 2: Ring

Considering precedents like the Mozilla Seabird Projector Concept Phone for flat-surface projections or simple DIY 3D holograms, I proceeded to make this concept prototype:

  • We can place this entire apparatus into a 7-ringed “multi-ring” where each ring can generate a 3D hologram bounded by the inner surfaces of the other rings.
  • These 7 rings can be attached to an 8th ring which could be the battery power to this entire apparatus, and also serve as a conversation starter or ice breaker as to “Why the 8th ring?” adding to the factor of curiosity. The design is still kept minimal.

 

4D: Factor in Time: Stopmotion

Stop-motion was the first form that hit my mind when I thought of 4D, and it was something new that I wanted to take up, as I never did a stop-motion before. The criteria was satisfied by:

  • The element of stop-motion is always interesting and generates curiosity.
  • The video itself is an educational video and is kept minimal.
  • Stop-motion exists as an element of time (for the 4D criteria)

5D: with Interaction

This uses jQuery behind a simple HTML-CSS frame that helps achieve the following interactions:

  • Switch between New and Ancient maps with the music and feel, and noting the map markers of the New and Ancient 7 wonders
  • Shuffle between New wonders when in the ‘New’ main title and old inside the ‘Old’ title with the relevant information and music. Shuffling is within the era only.
  • The #hashtags in the side help you shuffle through both ancient and new, both taken together and the shuffling is based on concept attached to a wonder, and not the era.
  • The animations and music add the curiosity factor, the entire experience helps educate and the interface and information exposed are kept minimal.
  • Try it here

Interaction using WebVR

This is not a perfect prototype for my design statement and criteria but only an extension of the 5D version above, that I built with WebVR and Aframe.io

Note

  • The scope of this project does not include user-testing or user-reactions and hence not all deductions are free from assumptions.
  • These ‘final products’ are merely prototypes of one single idea in many forms.
  • The voice narration is by Amazon Polly.

Takeaways

  • Helped me to take my time to conceptualize
  • Do what is necessary and aesthetics comes second.
  • Constrain the form and technology as much to help identify what is really the best tool to be used.
  • Being empathetic to the idea and its form is as important as empathy to a user.