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For this project in my Interactive Product Design class at Georgia Tech, we had to meet the call for the CHI 2015 Student Design Competitions: “Appropriating Technologies for New Cultures”.

We are asking you to design a product, application, technology, or service that enable people who are a new and completely unexplored user group in any country to appropriate things and technologies around them. This user group may be a minority, an extreme case, or somehow disconnected from the mainstream. We ask you to showcase your best abilities of “maker cultures” to build new connections and to make less-voiced cultures be better heard. We ask you to use technology as a material for crafting and tinkering, and to make sure that you solve real problems, empower people in a unique way, and let them express their colors and needs.

An additional stipulation was that we had to use the capabilities of the Lego Mindstorms kit to plan and prototype our solutions.

I worked in a team of 2 for this project with Xuan(Lesley) Zhao.

Timeline: 3 weeks, Feb 2015

Tools: Lego Mindstorms, K’NEX Blocks

We chose to explore the adoption of Lego Mindstorms by street artists in places with limited freedom of expression to build interactive art installations. We chose the specific example of women graffiti artists in Egypt.

We prototyped an interactive billboard with three faces. The prototype had two modes of interaction: an obvious trigger that would transition to the second image; a hidden button that would reveal a third subversive image.

This is for the benefit of both the artist and the audience in a place with limited freedom of expression.

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Design Video: https://vimeo.com/120669995