The 7 Wonders Project was my first manifestation of the Ideas in Form project series. The Ideas in Form Project is one where I take, one single fixed idea with fixed criteria, goal and design statement and express it in various forms – with medium to high fidelity prototypes.

Discipline: Graphic Design, Speculative Design, Web Design
Timeline: 3 weeks | September 2017
Technology: Adobe Suite, HTML, CSS, JS, WebVR
Association: Parsons School of Design, MFA Design+Tech Studio

 

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 hardcore 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, or are confused and are comfortable ignoring this, because apparently, not many actually care much about the 7 wonders, at least as much as I do.

 

Constraints

Keeping the design statement and criteria constant, I shall proceed to create designs in the 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
  • 6D: It can have more or a combination of the above.

 

1D: Design Statement

Writing down the idea is the first form you can give to anything.

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?

 

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: Stop-Motion

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: Interactive

Try it here

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.

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

 

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.

Note
The scope of this project does not include user-testing or user-reactions and hence not all deductions are free from assumptions.
The voice narration is by Amazon Polly.