User:Andre Castro/2.1/semniar-2012-10-10-assignment

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General Work Methodology

  • Problem / frustration
  • Tinkering and research with the elements of the problem and its context
  • from tinkering ->> a approach (not to solve the problem, but play with it, revlue it
  • bring the idea to presentable stage


The methodology I have employed in the constructions of my works generally begins by encountering problem or frustration. I come across something in which I see a great potential, but due to some constraint, its potential is underexplored. As an example, I found out the great wealth of audio material available at Internet Archive, however its interface tends to conceal most this material. I then began asking myself how could the diversity and quantity of material become more apparent and accessible?


A stage of experimentation and research generally follows. At this point I try to broaden my question, find possible angles to approach it, find other approaches to similar problems, and most importantly experiment loosely, not concerning myself with the outcome, as this is just an field exploration and a testing ground. Returning to the IA sound library example, I went on looking at other online audio archives, focusing on their access interfaces, I explored IA in depth, and tested strategies for accessing large quantities of audio material. From the loose exploration or, to use another term, tinkering, a more precise idea of the materials, and the system I am engaging with forms. Tinkering also allows the choose approach surface, almost by itself. It can be seen as process of exclusion and adaptation of ideas, through doing. By the end of this stage an approach is decided upon.


The following stage is one of concretization of the elected approach, bringing it from its experimental stage, through various prototypes to its presentable shape. It is at this level that most decisions are made, such as what to include or exclude, where should the project exist, how it will function, what will be its appearance. In the example I have been giving, I decided for an online radio, exclusively based on audio material from IA, that would group the sound materials under given programs with specific genres, it could be listened through a website consisting of an image of a radio.


The resulting object is rarely, if it has ever been, a solution for the problem which initiates the whole process. Rather that providing an answer it be an imaginative solution that ought pose more questions, and show the problem under another, perhaps unexpected perspective. Hopefully such approach will challenge the value of the system/object in question, and allow it reveal itself to us in another form.


  • hacking - discovering and delivering more capability and value.