Social Object – Lifestyle essential reactive object




At this stage It has become apparent that creating an experience that reacts to the circumstance of resources being used, needs an object that is tied to the use of that resource and by extension a object that plays a vital role in the users lifestyle.


Research into the social object


Actancial Model


Social Objects:


Survey Social Objects essential to lifestyle


Purpose of identifying a social Object



Purpose of Survey


Plan of Survey


The combination of node red and an edimax plug as a means of surveying and collecting resources as part of the database provides opportunity in monitoring how energy is used in are most essential appliances as social objects.


Questions relating object to lifestyle


The questions


Contextual Survey of Kettle


Survey feedback


The kettle is confirmed to have an essential part in lifestyle routines.


Community is open to the use of cooperative communication as a means of sustaining their community




Applying Collective knowledge/Tales and resource materialisation towards appliances



Research of collective knowledge



Purpose of research


Homi Bah bah theory of story perspective


Generation’s tales of sustainability


African Cultural design influence: sketch/carve


Ideon Storyboard method









Influence of Tales


Storyboard content




Storyboard plan










I am taking the tales of sustainability from one context and am applying them in a different concept, here in the UK.






Social Life in danger


Issue in sustainability



Method of sustaining life



Alternative energy source



Effect on life





Tale for alternative energy applied to device

Plan of methods to materialise data


Purpose of planning method of materialising research


Through my thesis I found that cooperation through design could be achieved when providing the circumstances for a group of people to address a issue they all share. I plan to create a materialization of resources used by a community to provide them the knowledge to overcome the issue of sustainability they share, using the object (tools) to they need to sustain themselves.


Node red and projection plan





Expanded plan for the reacting to devices


Smart home:

These series of materialized resources and knowledge through objects, could to a smart home for sustainability


Issue in prototyping:

The issue I am having that is most pressing is how to materials the resource through object and allow the user to sustain their resource by interacting with the object as seen in my tales


Possible application:

I have thought of using wearable technology as an object or tool that allows the user to feel and effect the change in resources.


The technical method for materialising resources


Prototype plan for energy resource

I plan to use what you have seen above and apply it to using a kettle as an object that we can all relate to needing within our homes. The kettle will be used as the tool in which the materials resource can be sustained. Tales and energy usage as a community can be projected according to the circumstances created by the database.








Experiment of materializing resource through projection



Purpose of materializing resources from database



Resource materialization design


Using a response communication based on resource use, a cooperation between members of a community can a take shape as they are able to share experiences, methods and allow individuals to see the energy resources used within the community as a whole.


Reacting from database


Whether it be a neighborhood or a shared household

The kettle will materialize the energy used and

Provide the community with a visible time for how energy

Can be shared according to the best times during the day


Prototype reactive projection: Reacting to off peak times


This prototype materializes the best times to use energy in accordance with peak times in the power grid. Allowing the

Community to ration their use of the resource to the most ideal times.

Merging people personal habits in sustaining basic needs in their lifestyle with the ability to use the kettle at the best times times for sustainability.


Analysis of projection


– Resource Awareness


– Communication


– Sharing


– Collective knowledge for community




Application of plans




Experiment methods of materialising resources through icons



Purpose of materialising resources


I am creating a series of designs that express how the database and technical equipment of node red and projector can be used to materialise data under the context of variety of forms of communication.




– Resource Awareness


– Communication


– Sharing


– Collective knowledge for community



Energy awareness


Using an edimax smart plug, node red flow and a visual interactive interface, the user will be able to see how much energy is being used in the moment.


Energy sharing


Communication through kettle and harnessed using energy and data


Node red communication flow


  • Access collective knowledge
  • Community communication
  • Responsive resource


Cooperative Community Communication


Using the social thing, through a pre selected variety of responses based on interview with the residents, the members of the community can community to each other through the


Collective intelligence


Collective knowledge for methods of sustainability can be accessed. Using the social object, members of the community can access the collective knowledge of various topics and methods towards sustainability.





Refinement of materialise resource interface icons

Purpose of refining icons


While the development of various forms offered variety of Icons, it became apparent that the key means of materialisation came in the form of resources being used in the moment and the sharing of the energy. Originally the design followed the reflection of the node red interface that would come to operate the system,


Research analysis into info graphics


A key reoccurring them in my design in the materialisation of the resources in their similarity to info graphics and a expression of the statistics behind the use of energy converted into data. In order to refine these designs I need to research in expressions of energy use and group representation in the form of info graphics.


Statistical Graphs


In my research of info graphics I felt that diagrams that represented statistics of data was most effective due to the relationship between electricity and data such as watts.


Line based info graphics


Line based diagrams gave form to the direction of energy use and the intensity of data that can be used to reflect a quantity of electricity.


Pie and circle based charts


Pie charts and circle-based icons are effective in their method to show information occurring within a single set of time rather than event occurring over time. Py providing a contrasting set of colours within the circle a different of information within that moment can be created. This could be used to define the change of low energy use and high energy use within a moment.


Map info graphics


My research into info graphics I cam across design that used maps to define groups of a people. These took the shape of countries and town that represent a potion of the population or ethnicity to define a group of people. If the info graphics could used to define the population and ethnic background, then I could apply it to create a representation of my tribe as a group in the form of a neighbourhood mapped out.


Application of research on awareness and sharing


The communication needed improving as the resource awareness had too much of a mix between imojis and statistics. The sharing while effective in-group use, gives me reason to simplify the design into an individual use of energy using circle growth as a design feature.

Plans icon experiments of refining icons


Following the influence of research into the communication of resource manifestation through info graphics, I plan to create a series of basic sketches of how to apply these qualities to my designs and select plans to convert into illustrations for the interface


Statistical info graphic


Here I plan on using designs based on the representation of statistics that will express the change in energy use.


Line based energy use


Time Line


The line based design style as suggested in the research, is more effective in communication the direction of the energy and therefor can be used to establish a timeline of energy used.





Geological Sharing


The use of a line design style for direction can also used to link locations, such as creating a link between the locations of the neighbours as an equal group that energy travels through equally.


Circle in the moment representation


Looking back to the research into the pie and circle based charts; it was revealed that the design style is effective in representing a single moment. I found that this relates well with what we see with light when energy travels through. The lights begin blank, as energy raises the light goes from dim to bright. This plan reflects that state of energy as circle that reflects a dim light and a large circle that represents a bright light.


Emotional responses


Following influence from the previous resource awareness that used a graphics of an emoticon with a negative emotion linked with high energy use, `I sought to design a variant that is more minimalist in a way that reflects the facial expressions transitioning from unresponsive, for no energy use, happy for low energy use and sad for high energy use.


Neighbourhood map energy sharing


In order to best create a design that allows the neighbourhood community tribe to relate the energy use to their environment, I took influence from geological info graphics in order to represent the community as a group

Experimentation illustrating and animating plans


Timeline – Peak times


This illustrated line based info graphic is associated with peak energy use times such as the mornings that use a lot of energy for morning routines.




The emotions illustrated use a variation of colour illustrating mood, taking inspiration from movies such as “inside out that used red for grumpy and yellow for happy. I chose to use a grey tone for neutral emotion.


In the moment


The use of a Blue and red colour representation with text that reflects the low and high points of energy use. The rise of energy from low to high in the animation was based on the way sound grew in response to a kettle boiling and the transition from blue to red was influence by the lights transitioning from dim to bright as mentioned in the plan.


Colour-blind application


As some one that is colour blind I see colour shades as different colours, So in response I looked for colour that I saw in between the shades of red and looked to use purple and pink for the transition from blue to red. While subtle it gives the same sense of transitioned from a bright colour to a dark colour


Merging line info graphics to map


Taking inspiration from the plans from the Line based info graphics that represent overtime energy use and the map info graphics that represent people location as group; I delved into merging these design features into a single icon that can represent the community. The Lines show the energy between the households of the community illustrated as a line that travels equally to the centre, regardless of whether the house is large or small, giving a sense of equality.




Looking over these designs I find my self favouring the icon representing the in the moment energy use, however the variant of colours that I used towards me perception might be harder to understand and therefore it may be best to use the more subtle use of pink and red for high energy use as the transition from low to high. While the initial map design of the neighbourhood illustrates the group as a whole, the use of a line based graphic relates the map more with energy use and expresses a link between homes as if we are all part of circuit that powers makes the community work.


Application of designs


While it is evident that I have expresses my own reflections on the design, these Reponses can be considered biased as a result I intend to use these designs as part of a contextual survey that relates to the experience that these icons are designed for in order to identify what design best communicates with the tribe.






Research into social thing


Research into social thing


Sustainable Social Thing: Natural fusion


Frugal Innovation


Smart control devices


Design influence:




Cubes: 3 Sides illusion


Folded cube design

























Plan of social thing the power of many cubes


Purpose of planning cube as social thing




I am providing a system for sustaining resources using one context (from SA) and applying it to another context through local neighborhood communities. This will involve an Interactive social object, which connects the community through resource awareness in relation to how they use a kettle. More with less is a sustainable method of regaining energy for the excess energy used with a kettle.





Experimentation of applying materialisation to social thing

Purpose of materialising through cube


Applying Tales to Cube


Context of SA applied to another context


When the lights go out and there is no electricity, the cube provides a story that can be followed along the sides of the cube


The tale of the snake that was saved


This Tale is a method of producing heat without electricity and follows how this method was used to save the life of a snake in a power outage


Cube Plan adapted with tales




Prototyping tales cube


The Wooden cube reflecting the African culture design feature makes use of Low-tech tales applied to object. Making use of the narrative of