Students Aim “High” With Interaction Design Projects

 

High-school students in New York City are part of an ever increasing digital generation. They not only have an extensive knowledge about social media tools and technology— but also use it on a daily basis. A few of these teens participated in a workshop series at Cooper-Hewitt on interaction design, or design that focuses on human interaction with objects, environments, and digital technology.

During the workshop series, the students learned that the process of interaction design involves discovering, identifying, brainstorming and prototyping products and experiences that engage the senses. Interaction designers Katie Koch & Carmen Dukes from “Project: Interaction” led the program and facilitated that learning experience.

 

Beginning the workshop with the challenge to brainstorm new social tools to communicate with others in the year 2030, the students immediately began thinking about interaction design in a way they never have before. Students discussed their ideal way to tell a group of friends to meet up for a burger twenty years from now. “Mind Messages”, “Robot Messengers”, and “Teleportation Phones” were all identified as design improvements to current technology. 
The students were also treated to an adventure above the streets of New York City at the scenic High Line Park. Besides soaking in the sun and the atmosphere, the students were observing the kinds of interactions that took place at the High Line. They interviewed visitors about their experience and motives for visiting the High Line. Armed with this information, the students returned to the museum with the objective to design new interactive experiences that could improve a visitors’ experience of the High Line.

The results ranged from High Line iPhone apps to an interactive tram transportation system. 
The variety of their creations reflected not just their personal preferences for communicating but also the vast array of possibilities for people to connect and interact with each other in the future.