Signal Orange

13 Jun 2004 - 2:54pm
10 years ago
6 replies
581 reads
Dan Saffer
2003

Another brilliant fashion/interaction design project:

http://www.signalorange.net/

"The organizers of the "Signal Orange" t-shirt campaign want people to
wear shirts displaying the identities of individual US soldiers killed
in Iraq. They say the project serves to remind the world that war
creates real victims on both sides. Signal Orange is a project to make
the invisible visible -- which is a premise and prerequisite for
democracy. The goal of Signal Orange is to unveil the faces that the
Bush Administration wants hidden -- and to stop pretending that its
actions in Iraq are inconsequential."

Dan

Dan Saffer
M.Des. Candidate, Interaction Design
Carnegie Mellon University
http://www.odannyboy.com
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Comments

13 Jun 2004 - 3:34pm
Josh Seiden
2003

Dan,

I know that we've discussed this before, but I am again
struck by the fact that you consider this an
interaction design project.

Graphic design, yes; Fashion, yes; even Experience
Design I can see. But where is the interaction? I don't
see it happening between the wearer and the shirt, nor
between the shirt and the audience, except in the most
theoretical sense--a sense that would require including
literature as within the scope of interaction design.

(I wonder if the Writer's Guild would make good allies
;-)

JS

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interact
iondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.
interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Dan Saffer
Sent: Sunday, June 13, 2004 3:54 PM
To: Interaction Discussion
Subject: [ID Discuss] Signal Orange

Another brilliant fashion/interaction design project:

http://www.signalorange.net/

"The organizers of the "Signal Orange" t-shirt campaign
want people to wear shirts displaying the identities of
individual US soldiers killed in Iraq. They say the
project serves to remind the world that war creates
real victims on both sides. Signal Orange is a project
to make the invisible visible -- which is a premise and
prerequisite for democracy. The goal of Signal Orange
is to unveil the faces that the Bush Administration
wants hidden -- and to stop pretending that its actions
in Iraq are inconsequential."

Dan

Dan Saffer
M.Des. Candidate, Interaction Design
Carnegie Mellon University
http://www.odannyboy.com

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14 Jun 2004 - 10:04pm
Jeff Howard
2004

I'm going to back Dan up on this.

On the highest level, it's interaction between the organizers and the government.

And on a lower, more observable level, the designers are facilitating
interaction between:
Wearers and Community
Community and Government

I think this project is in bad taste, but it's still a good example of
interaction design.

// jeff

"Joshua Seiden" wrote:

I know that we've discussed this before, but I am again
struck by the fact that you consider this an
interaction design project.

Graphic design, yes; Fashion, yes; even Experience
Design I can see. But where is the interaction? I don't
see it happening between the wearer and the shirt, nor
between the shirt and the audience, except in the most
theoretical sense--a sense that would require including
literature as within the scope of interaction design.

(I wonder if the Writer's Guild would make good allies
;-)

JS

14 Jun 2004 - 7:27pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I have to disagree.
Interaction Design is about the behavior of the product. What is the product
in this sense? Interaction design is not social manipulation and that is
what this is. The best kind ... Activist oriented and grassroots, but still
social manipulation. This might be experience design, but this to me is not
about interaction between a product and a person, but rather how a product
manipulates the interaction between two disconnected entities. The entities
these entities are already connected and interacting in some way. It is just
a guide post. I think it would be a diservice to label interaction design
like this, as it would just further confuse people about a very confusing
discipline.

"What don't we design?" I can make a bikini and say well it causes people to
interact in a certain way w/ the wearer. That is not interaction design ...
That is just fashion.

Now, if that bikini had a tanning protection gauge that a user had to
interact with directly, THAT is interaction design.

Lets not do to interaction design what people have done to IA, turn it into
such an "everything" term that it almost means nothing.

-- dave

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of Jeff Howard
Sent: Monday, June 14, 2004 11:05 PM
To: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] Signal Orange

I'm going to back Dan up on this.

On the highest level, it's interaction between the organizers and the
government.

And on a lower, more observable level, the designers are facilitating
interaction between:
Wearers and Community
Community and Government

I think this project is in bad taste, but it's still a good example of
interaction design.

// jeff

"Joshua Seiden" wrote:

I know that we've discussed this before, but I am again
struck by the fact that you consider this an
interaction design project.

Graphic design, yes; Fashion, yes; even Experience
Design I can see. But where is the interaction? I don't
see it happening between the wearer and the shirt, nor
between the shirt and the audience, except in the most
theoretical sense--a sense that would require including
literature as within the scope of interaction design.

(I wonder if the Writer's Guild would make good allies
;-)

JS
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15 Jun 2004 - 10:42am
Michael Bartlett
2004

I have to agree with the sentiments of others here in that this is rather OT
and I don't consider it interaction design at all. Actually when I saw the
first lines:

Another brilliant fashion/interaction design project:

http://www.signalorange.net/

I was expecting one of those wicked wearable technology things, like
building an iPod remote into the sleeve of a Burton snowboarding jacket.
Instead I got some one's political view, which I thought was a bit
frustrating - you don't see me posting my Anti Bush sentiments in this...oh
wait. ;)

_____

From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of Dan Saffer
Sent: 13 June 2004 20:54
To: Interaction Discussion
Subject: [ID Discuss] Signal Orange

Another brilliant fashion/interaction design project:

http://www.signalorange.net/

"The organizers of the "Signal Orange" t-shirt campaign want people to wear
shirts displaying the identities of individual US soldiers killed in Iraq.
They say the project serves to remind the world that war creates real
victims on both sides. Signal Orange is a project to make the invisible
visible -- which is a premise and prerequisite for democracy. The goal of
Signal Orange is to unveil the faces that the Bush Administration wants
hidden -- and to stop pretending that its actions in Iraq are
inconsequential."

Dan

Dan Saffer

M.Des. Candidate, Interaction Design

Carnegie Mellon University

http://www.odannyboy.com

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21 Jun 2004 - 9:42am
Dan Saffer
2003

I dropped this onto the list then disappeared for a week while the
discussion happened. My bad.

My reasoning on why this is an interaction design project:

We design products that facilitate communication and transactions,
mainly between people or groups of people. Although it is a lot of what
we do, defining the behavior of products is not the *reason* we do what
we do. The behavior of a product or system facilitates the interaction.
And while this can be pleasurable in and of itself, it shouldn't be the
reason we design things. We design things to help people do things. At
least, that's the reason I do.

Thinking that interaction design has nothing to do with social
interactions is a pretty limited view. In fact, I think it is this very
thing that differentiates what we do from industrial design,
traditional HCI, and human factors. Broadly, ID, HCI, and HF are
concerned with how the individual human body works with tools, digital
or analog. Human-Computer Interaction is just that: concerned with how
humans interact with the tool that is the computer. You can swing a
hammer or fly a plane by yourself. You can wear a bikini in the privacy
of your closet if you so choose. But try IMing yourself or calling
yourself on a cell phone or trading a stock online without a brokerage.
Interaction Design should be concerned with how humans interact with
each other, mediated by the products we use. What Dave calls "social
manipulation" has everything to do with what we do. We foster
interactions (aka manipulation) between people (the social part).

Thus, although the shirts in Signal Orange don't have behavior in and
of themselves (they are analog), they communicate a message from
individuals and one group of people to another in order to change
behavior. In a similar way this email message does.

This isn't clouding the issue of what we do; I hope it helps define it.
I too don't want to see IxD become a codeword for anything that resides
between users and the materials of the product (code, plastic, etc.).
But there is a joint where interaction design touches communication
design in the same way that it touches cognitive science, usability,
and a bunch of other things. We shouldn't turn away from it just
because it's a grey area.

Dan

Dan Saffer
M.Des. Candidate, Interaction Design
Carnegie Mellon University
http://www.odannyboy.com

21 Jun 2004 - 12:25pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Dan, but the product itself has no means of interacting. There is no
intelligence in the product. I think this is something that Robert Reinman
spoke about which is why he was trying to push us to use something akin to
digital in our definition, but I could live w/ intelligent ... This means
that the product itself is aware (or in waiting) for interaction by a
subject (human being) and will actively respond based on the trigger events
that it can understand and based on the context of those triggers can
respond with variability. This means that a rubber band is not an
interaction design b/c it can only respond in a binary way to force (stretch
and contract) ... There needs to be something more. Some more intelligence.

What the t-shirt is doing (and btw this is such an old design technique) is
creating a new context for two individuals to interact with each other. The
shirt itself is not involved in that interaction. The shirt is the same as a
punch in the face, or someone saying the same thing outloud. It has no added
intelligence. BTW, the use of clothing for the purpose of thought
provocation I think goes back to the invention of clothing itself and the
addition of tribe markings on the clothing to incite unity or detraction
within, between, and among groups with various degrees of success and
failure.

-- dave

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of Dan Saffer
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 10:43 AM
To: Interaction Discussion
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Signal Orange

I dropped this onto the list then disappeared for a week while the
discussion happened. My bad.

My reasoning on why this is an interaction design project:

We design products that facilitate communication and transactions, mainly
between people or groups of people. Although it is a lot of what we do,
defining the behavior of products is not the *reason* we do what we do. The
behavior of a product or system facilitates the interaction.
And while this can be pleasurable in and of itself, it shouldn't be the
reason we design things. We design things to help people do things. At
least, that's the reason I do.

Thinking that interaction design has nothing to do with social interactions
is a pretty limited view. In fact, I think it is this very thing that
differentiates what we do from industrial design, traditional HCI, and human
factors. Broadly, ID, HCI, and HF are concerned with how the individual
human body works with tools, digital or analog. Human-Computer Interaction
is just that: concerned with how humans interact with the tool that is the
computer. You can swing a hammer or fly a plane by yourself. You can wear a
bikini in the privacy of your closet if you so choose. But try IMing
yourself or calling yourself on a cell phone or trading a stock online
without a brokerage.
Interaction Design should be concerned with how humans interact with each
other, mediated by the products we use. What Dave calls "social
manipulation" has everything to do with what we do. We foster interactions
(aka manipulation) between people (the social part).

Thus, although the shirts in Signal Orange don't have behavior in and of
themselves (they are analog), they communicate a message from individuals
and one group of people to another in order to change behavior. In a similar
way this email message does.

This isn't clouding the issue of what we do; I hope it helps define it.
I too don't want to see IxD become a codeword for anything that resides
between users and the materials of the product (code, plastic, etc.).
But there is a joint where interaction design touches communication design
in the same way that it touches cognitive science, usability, and a bunch of
other things. We shouldn't turn away from it just because it's a grey area.

Dan

Dan Saffer
M.Des. Candidate, Interaction Design
Carnegie Mellon University
http://www.odannyboy.com

_______________________________________________
Interaction Design Discussion List
discuss at interactiondesigners.com
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to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
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Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
--
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