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CUBE

Younji Choi

The CUBE is an art installation to create introspective experience by recording voice and image.

http://itp.nyu.edu/~yjc272/cube



The beauty of communication is listening. What makes a conversation successful is how good at listening we are. The meaning of listening is to convey message that the listener is accepting a speaker's feelings as it is, without judgement. Relationship gets yield in the very process of ‘Listening’, because the experience as we accepted as we are.

The Cube is an interactive installation, purpose of the ‘Healing’ and the ‘Listening’. Also, it is a project, deriving from users to do the self-examination. Thus, the ultimate goal of the Cube is to encourage users in order to face and embrace their feelings. In term of this purpose, it is not against with professional therapy, but rather heading the same direction.


Background
The term of creativity and innovation are often used interchangeably in the literature. To avoid misunderstanding, the terms will be used here according to a classic definition. “Innovation is the discovery of a new, novel, or unusual idea or product by the application of logic, experience or artistry. This would include the recombination of things or ideas already known. Creativity is the origination of a concept in response to a human need – a solution that is both satisfying and innovative.” (Beakely & Leach, 1967, p. 402). Creative activity can be defined in the simplest way as searching for multiplicity using various modes of searching. There is a specific transformation of information, with particular utilization of rare, peripheral information in the cognitive system (Berlyne, 1965). Creative thinking manifests itself in problem situations that have a divergent character (Guilford, 1967). It consists of two stages: (1) generation of conceptions and (2) evaluation of conceptions. One can suppose that a high request for stimulation correlates positively with creativity, mainly in the conceptualization stage. On the other hand, low self-confidence connected with anxiety reduces creativity significantly, probably in the evaluation stage (Barron, 1957;Goudy & Spielberger, 1975; McKinnon, 1964lPnina & Leiner, 1975). It seems particularly important to study the relationship between the intellectual domains (i.e., fluency, flexibility, and originality of thinking) of creativity and emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Moreover, the relationship between reduced personal accomplishment and impoverished self-confidence deserves our attention. Many studies agree that an individual in a state of burnout often has a negative self-image (Gaudinski, 1982). From this point of view this is especially essential because a negative self-image is likely to lead to blocked creativity. This blocking will probably take place on all three traditionally distinguished dimensions of creativity: fluency, flexibility, and originality of thinking. Reduced personal accomplishment is closely related to a negative self-image (Schaufeli & Van Dierendonck, 1992). An individual’s negative self- image certainly influences his or her self- acceptance and life approbation. It also invokes a decrease of the spontaneity that determines active programs of life. It can weaken one’s ambition and motivation, or even make it impossible to solve distant problem.
Emotional exhaustion and lack of personal accomplishment weaken one’s ability to cope with anxiety and can raise the level of anxiety in the problem situation (Gentry, Foster, Froehiling, 1972), as well as the level of neuroticism. Personal accomplishment is related to a tolerance of cognitive dissonance in that lower personal accomplishment causes lower tolerance for discrepancies. Thus, the person will have more difficulties in handling the conflicting demands of different job roles (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Furthermore, incompatibility, divergence, and lack of information increase emotional exhaustion, which impairs one’s ability to use various methods of problem solving. The readiness to generate new and original solution is decreased. Emotional exhaustion also damages one’s ability to defend one’s viewpoint against external pressure. At the same time it minimizes one’s energy of action.
( Jagiellonian University, 1993)


Audience
Ideal users will be individuals who need creative solutions, and creative organizations.




User Scenario
A Small cozy cube in public space isolating sound and space properly from out side.
Audio instruction layout is below:
" Hi, there. How was your day today, same old day? I can make your day memorable now for 5 minutes. Do you want to stay? You can lock the door by pressing 'Commit' button so that no one can interrupt you.
Great. (3 sec pause) (random query) Why don't you think about who is the most annoying person, and why? "

Distance sensor will trigger audio instruction through Jitter.
Buttons are connected to magnetic door lock.
Subject will be captured by concealed camera and microphone operating through Jitter.
In terms of Jitter patch performance, as the first step, it records quick time movie both video and audio by 'commit' button on, secondly plays random part in 3, 5, 8 second length after 2 minute of start. Last, when users finish, they leave email address which will be password in order to access to whole video one the web.

Implementation
The cube would be placed in public space isolating sound and space properly from the out side. It is dimming itself from the outside to trigger people. Once it is occupied, the adjustable lights turn on the inside and turn off on the outside.Audio instruction will starts by Infra Red sensor detecting distance; " Hi, there. Welcome to the Cube. The Cube is for those who want to know more about themselves. In the Cube, you can resolve any personal issues through introspection. You will be presented with carefully selected questions, designed by counselors, one at a time. It might take a moment to answer them. Please take advantage of the personal time and space the Cube will provide you with. If you decide to participate, please stay for the entire experience.” Buttons are the main controls. Users can choose to leave or stay by pushing a button that says Commit. There are two more buttons that say Next and Back to proceed series of questions. When a user pushes commit button the following audio instruction will start; “Thank you. You will now be presented with a few questions. Please vocalize your answers. There is no minimum or maximum response time. When you have finished answering, please press the 'Next' button to proceed to the next question. Now, please press 'Next' button.”
When a user hits the button, the following questions will be presented one at a time in order;
question 1> Recently, what has been your most significant source of stress?
question 2> How does stress effect you?
question 3> How do you respond to stress?
question 4> How do you want to respond to stress?
question 5> How does this response make you feel?
question 6> Why would that response bring you satisfaction?
question 7> If given a choice, where would you want to be for the next few moments?
question 8> Become some one else for the next few moments.
question 9> Vocalize who you always wanted to be.

Subject will be captured by concealed camera and microphone operating by computer. Users will vocalize the questions one at a time. After finishing the process, Review instruction starts; “Thank you. Please take some time to review your answers. If you're not satisfied, you can start over.”
And remix version of recorded video will be played on the ceiling projected from a projector inside of the cube, so that only a user inside will experience the moment. The remix is non-linear, randomly selected by words that user spoke, so a user will see and listen certain words repeatedly. The idea behind is that we get greater recognition of emotional status when we are in outer perspective.


Conclusion
To provide rest, getting users’ trust has to be priority. Since user will be separated and isolated, the interface and spatial design had to be critically safe and private. However, at the same time, the interface should be enough to lead users’ attention and ask them to talk. It is hard to find balance between keeping users experience good and achieving goal as a designer. Once, I considered trapping users to make them desperate so they are forced to finish the assignment that is to talk about personal topics. However, it conflicted with concept as trusted interface. To get trusted, the experience that users have should not be confusing and over controlled. Instead of control the environment, I decided to ask users commitment, giving as an option to not participate. The lower of risk users get, the more of trust the cube would empower to the system. In addition, using psychological aspect is a nice trick. A button says Commit could bring certain emotional engagement and authority.