You will continue to build off your “Designing the Self Prelude” assignment. Begin drafting some initial ideas for your system of self-care. I want you to return to modeling automatic feedback loops as a way of working through the opportunities for a design intervention.
1. Current state. Think about and explore what the current state of your topic of self-care looks like. Model what some of the current states look like including where the systems are breaking down.
Draw and develop as many models as you need to show the process of your exploration through modeling the various systems that are at play in your area of interest.
2. Goals. What are the higher order goals of your system? In other words, what is your goal of self-care?
3. Begin to identify all the specific components of the system and their different functions. Sketch and diagram in an exploratory way to help you work through different scenarios.
4. Describe the components in cybernetic terms including goals, sensors, comparators, actuators, etc.
5. Visually represent the relationships between components.
6. Start exploring titles for your system.
As you explore models of the current state and models for the future state, they should help the audience answer these kinds of questions:
a. What is the system and what is the environment. Where is the boundary between the system and its environment?
b. What are the components of the system that are important and relevant? These are ones that are required to understand how the loop of goal-action-feedback is closed.
c. How is information passed between components and what form. For example, how does the information that the sensor generates get passed to the comparator and then how is that information passed to the actuator?
d. What is the goal (desired state) of the system?
e. What kinds of forces might disturb the system or push it away from its goal?
f. What does the system measure and how?
g. What part of the system matches the current state (feedback) to the desired state (goal)?
h. What part of the system determines its response to its environment?
i. How does the system respond to disturbances?
Instrumenting Your Self-Care System
If we can’t measure it (sensing), we can’t change it. Self-tracking can provide a lot of insights about your behavior but self- tracking itself is a behavior and can be difficult to make happen consistently. QSers have high motivation and have the ability to make their own self-tracking tools. That may not be you. Integral to instrumenting your self-care system, there will be some kind of tracking component. But there are many ways to get at this. Ambient and passive tracking offers a different alternative. Involving others in various aspects of instrumenting you is another approach. Other approaches we probably haven’t even thought about.
You are to design a self-tracking component into your system so that it’s something you do habitually. Something that’s easy to collect and something that affords insight and learning, i.e., helps you compare a current state to a desired state.
Review your notes from the lecture this week by Fred Muench. Begin exploring different ways to instrument your system of self-care. Push yourself here. Go beyond what you expect measuring to look like. Sketch, model, take pictures, prototype, mockup ways of instrumenting and measuring.
DELIVERABLE: This should be any form you want that shows diagrams, sketches, models, images, narrative, etc.
DUE: By Midnight Sunday, Oct 28