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How we learned - our journey

Phase 1 of the COLLOQUY project began on January 8, 2018, with the kickoff of the two studio courses, Studio II and Studio IV as part of the CCS MFA IxD Program. 5 second-year students from studio IV reviewed the historical records of the original installation, including photographs, movies, flowcharts, and contemporaneous descriptions. Then, they passed the synthesis to 7 first-year students (Studio II), to build the prototype. Meanwhile, one of the instructors, TJ, who worked independently with fabricators, wrote the software, constructed the hardware, and used 3D printing to fabricate a 1/6 scale working mock-up of COLLOQUY in its 1968 operations.


In parallel, second-year students continued to the next sprint of ideation. With the help of Rinat Sherzer, students imagined extrapolations to conversational machines with capabilities for modern technology and context. Bruce Mcintosh also invited to do a workshop of documentation to help students building the concept of preserving and recording the whole process. The whole projects of students' work and the full-scale, 10’ by 12’ replica exhibit at 7F, hub area, CCS Taubman Center at May11th 2018.


Collect Materials

1. Collect Materials

Our team started from collecting materials from 1968 Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition, and Gordon Pask’s paper “A comment, a case history and a plan”




Analyze Materials

2. Analyze Materials

After reviewing the available content, members of Studio IV met and repeatedly formulated a hypothesis to prove/refute their observations, producing several testable assumptions for studio II so they can build the prototype and generate feedback to refine the deduction.

Decoding the important pieces of the flowcharts

Goal: To understand how the pieces function

Create Storyboard

Goal: To visualize how the pieces work together in a sequence

A framework, defining each piece and its functionality

Communicating the story with simple scripts

Discussing the storyboards with members of studio II

Clarify action sequence

Goal: Attempt to understand the mechanics, steps, and time-sequence for each action

Set up scenarios 1-6

Goal: To help Studio II members implement Colloquy 1968

Feedback and prototype provided by Studio II members

Conclude Phase I

3. Conclude Phase I

This is when the team developed a clearer understanding of Colloquy, and therefore attempted to create and use a conversation model to frame the overall interactions that occur between male and female mobiles.

Build Conversation Model

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