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feelings, slow and fast

The web is full of feelings beyond “like”, today we go online with an open heart.

what’s new?

discussion: the internet is full of feelings

Damon Zucconi, Co-ordinated Mars Time

Pippin Barr, It’s as if you were doing work

Pippin Barr, It’s as if you were making love <!– Using metaphors for the the web. Look at the history for such metaphors. How have they expanded?

Pippin Barr as if u were making love / doing work, Laurel’s plane thing, hard and soft websites research?

Adversarial interfaces. –>

ASSIGNMENT: It’s as if you were…

Studio Assignment #1: It’s as if you were…

For this assignment we are going to use the web design tools you have learnt so far to explore a metaphor, completing the sentence, “it’s as if you were […]”.

A metaphor is understood as a translation between conceptual domains, a way in which we understand one thing in terms of another.

For this exercise, we can take certain cues practical and philosophical cues from the texts we read about “a swan” and “metaphors we live by”.

For example, consider first of all the affordances that the web offers you, at this time. Not everything that is possible but whatever is achievable by you in the skills you have learnt so far. These might include:

The use of links.
The use of images.
The use of text formatting like p and li.
The hierarchical structuring of divs.
The use of colours, rectangles and borders offered by css attributes like
“width”, “border”, “background-color”, “background-image”, “linear-gradient()”,
“opacity”, and so on.
The use of :hover.

And from the browser itself, the scrolling of a page, in one or two axes.

With the above methods and more, simple in themselves, you can create complex and interesting experiences and structures on the webpage. Recalling Lakoff and Johnson’s “orientation metaphors” in “metaphors we live by”, consider:

How the webpage creates a sense of space and scale, whether across the flat space of the screen, or by creating a sense of depth (remember deep sea or Powers of Ten?, both play with depth through a flat surface).

How the webpage can play with time, directionality and orientation, and therefore create narrative by having a place you start, a place you can go and a place you can end up. Remember Olia Lialina’s My Boyfriend Came Back From the War

Through the metalogue about the swan, we can see that there is no one thing that is a “swan”, or a “person”, or “dancer”, just as there is no one thing that is a “website”. The user doesn’t directly experience all the structures and elements that build up a website, but rather they have a holistic experience (like Joy said). Using these building blocks of s and <div>s, the website becomes a collection of experiences and feelings of which you are the author. Remember how Pippin Barr’s games created tension, frustration, relaxation or anxiety. Consider the possibilities of making your website an experience of:

Smoothness and friction?
Transparency and opacity/obscurity?
Sharpness and softness?
Frustration or Serenity?
Loud or quiet?
Work or play?

So, for Thursday’s calss I want you to come with a metaphor in mind — a way which completes the sentence “it’s as if you were … “.

It’s as if you were flying.
It’s as if you were trapped in a cupboard in someone else’s house and can’t escape.
It’s as if you were a cat.
It’s as if you were a forest.
It’s as if you were falling.
It’s as if you were not here at all.

^ As you can see the prompt is very open to interpretation. However this doesn’t mean you should float around a dozen ideas! You should think of one that you want to explore, and bring it to class on Thursday, so we can prototype it together, give each other feedback, and you will have until next Thursday to complete it.

This assignment is not a test of your technical ability, although you should have a grasp of basic HTML and CSS by now through lab. It’s about challenging you to use your creativity and resourcefulness to create compelling and poetic solutions with very few tools at all.

e.g. Even if you’re not confident at all with CSS, you can do really powerful things just by using links! Don’t only think visually, also think structurally about how things are connected, how to create and manipulate attention, and how the user moves through your world.