Assignment 3: Everyday Things

Due Monday, November 28, before class.

This assignment focuses on the power of physical objects as provocation for thoughts and as companions to our emotional life.

For background about the power of objects read What Makes an Object Evocative by Turkle, and Knowing What to Do by Norman (both available on e-reserve).

Task 1: evocative objects

Your first task is to write a brief personal essay (up to 1 page) that reflects on the power of a particular object in your life.

Discuss how a particular object helped you to connect with new ideas, to people, or to grow through a transition in your life.
Such object can be natural such as an apple, a tree, or a rock. It can be an artifact such as a musical instrument, ballet shoes, a stuffed animal, or a globe. Or it can be an object that you made such as a sculpture or a painting. Your essay should discuss the role of this object in your life and what qualities made it unique and powerful. You may include an image of the object (or a similar object) in your essay.

Task 2: everyday objects

Your second task is to create a 2-slide Google presentation that brings the following two examples:

  1. An everyday object that is unworkable, outrageous, or otherwise ill-formed. Describe your object both verbally (text) and visually (sketch, photo). What makes this object frustrating to the user? How does your object defy Norman’s principles of good design?

  2. An everyday object that is an example of a good design. Describe your object both verbally (text) and visually (sketch, photo). What makes this object easy to use? How does your object apply Norman’s principles of good design?

How to submit:
Add URLs to the submission document. You may want to post your essay and object descriptions in your blog. In such case just add the link to your blog in the submission document. You can choose to share your essay with the course group or only with the instructor. Share your presentation with the instructor.



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