Monday, November 27, 2006

 

Flickr Pool

I found it interesting to see how different people interpreted the statement of "personal design solutions for organizing and structuring everyday life and environment.” Personally, being a boring sort of person, I would most likely relate this statement to my home. It is there that I have the most control over structuring my environment and therefore it is the space that I would feel most clearly represents my design of my personal environment.
Fortunately for the creativity of the Flickr pool, contributors showed a variety of other interpretations. Interesting, none depicted their living space but many did show their general environment. Street scenes and photos of, presumably, their local community were more common. Does this reflect a desire for privacy or a self-concsiousness about home environments? This seems unlikely considering the personal nature of much of digital content in general. Could it rather be that contributors found my basic interpretation too boring and sought to explore more diverse ways to meet the task?
What was interesting was the tendency of contributors to post photos clearly from the same area. One posted three different photos from within a bookstore or library while another posted three of snow-filled roads lined by buildings and cars. Perhaps one photo was not enough to express their concept. All show a clearly identifiable sense or presentation of spatial ordering and design. Most were representative of 'positive' organization and design; the presence of a clear plan of design, i.e. shelving books, parked cars, stacked chairs. This seems to indicate that design corresponds for many to intention order.
The few exceptions to this were also interesting. If contributors chose to present a different vision of order it was the reverse; instead of objects carefully laid-out, they were strewn together in no discernable pattern. An example of this was the photo of a heap of fish on a patch of rock. It seems that there are no have measures to interpretation, we either accept or refute, dipicting full order or total chaos. This reminds me to some extent of the programs and websites that we have encountered throughout the class activities. Designers either opt for a clearly defined order or chose to make a radical departure from the norm.
This also ties in to a fundamental issue: how should information be presented? Clearly people have different interpretations. The most basic example of this is search terms; words and sentance composition can dramatically change search results without perhaps the full understanding of the searcher. Other times searches can be remarkably frustrating if you don't know the one or more terms tied to your results. How do we make a system orderly enough that everyone can easily understand and use it, yet flexible enough to incorporate individual perceptions?

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