Tim Devine

Device Shifting

For The Curious Listener

Invite strangers to listen along with your music or podcast on public transport with a playful brightly coloured, ear shaped additional headphone jack.

For The Curious Listener aims to break the environmental disconnectedness of headphones. Is simply the possibility of entering the aural-scape of another person enough to shift the inherent disconnection MP3 players exude? It is intended to invite strangers to enter into your private sound world: it is both an experience for you and the person listening to it. By using the form of an ear the user can be playful, leaving it in nooks and crevices that show no sign that they are the source of the audio. It is a playful exploration of the altered perception MP3 players afford. Furthermore it affords or fulfils a fantasy element whereby no longer do you look at a person wearing headphones and wonder, ‘What are they listening to?’ you can plug in and listen in.

Device Shifting – shift the behaviour of how a human relates to a device by either occupying it, lowering its level of required or possible engagement or transforming its input or output with a mass produceable accessory.

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This research takes a critical design approach as defined by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby{Anthony Dunne, 2005, Hertzian Tales – Electronic Products, Aesthetic Experience, and Critical Design} to explore our evolving interrelationships and interdependencies with devices. Critical design uses speculative design proposals to challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions and givens about the role products play in everyday life. Accepting that our interrelationships and interdependencies will only intensify as we become more connected to each other and to cyberspace through devices, we will require a more intimate and humanly experience of connection.

Paper Application

Device Shifting – shift the behaviour of how a human relates to a device by either occupying it, lowering its level of possible engagement or transforming its input or output with a mass produceable accessory.

Device Shifting is applied critical design. By designing accessories it is possible to affect and engage with established interrelationships, interdependencies and behaviours with the devices. The four accessories documented in this thesis are as close as I could come to creating the appearance of mass produced accessories for mass produced products. Being not designed for a gallery, they are designed to be consumed in the same environments we purchase our devices. By achieving a high standard of production they engage with the rhetoric of consumption and can be effectively critical. The more believable they are as ‘real’ products the more functional they are as applied critical design.

Adhesive paper for the top of laptops. Paper Application explores our relationships with computers and distractions. It can only be used when your computer is switched off or sleeping. Paper is still an integral part of our everyday and the computer is as yet incapable of replicating it. Paper Application could be seen as an enhancement for a computer. Although simple, it an accessory that in a consumer context functions as applied critical design. It is satirical with plausible rhetoric.

Viewfinder & Screen Cap

Device Shiftingshift the behaviour of how a human relates to a device by either occupying it, lowering its level of possible engagement or transforming its input or output with a mass produceable accessory.

Device Shifting is applied critical design. By designing accessories it is possible to affect and engage with established interrelationships, interdependencies and behaviours with the devices. The four accessories documented in this thesis are as close as I could come to creating the appearance of mass produced accessories for mass produced products. Being not designed for a gallery, they are designed to be consumed in the same environments we purchase our devices. By achieving a high standard of production they engage with the rhetoric of consumption and can be effectively critical. The more believable they are as ‘real’ products the more functional they are as applied critical design.

The Viewfinder & Screen Cap is an attachment that fits over the viewfinder and preview screen. It suggests that as digital photography is less costly and consequential you can ‘focus on the moment’ and trust that the automatic functions will work. As a result it also retains some of the surprise when you download your photos and leads people to use the automatic functions of their devices.  Moments are no longer seen and experienced through the body of a camera. Attach the viewfinder and screen cap for your particular brand of camera and set the camera to automatic.

Each model of camera has it’s own cap so as to integrate seamlessly into the design and further reinforce its perception as a mass produced accessory.

This is designed for the Canon G9.

Faraday Handkerchief

Device Shifting shift the behaviour of how a human relates to a device by either occupying it, lowering its level of possible engagement or transforming its input or output with a mass produceable accessory.

Device Shifting is applied critical design. By designing accessories it is possible to affect and engage with established interrelationships, interdependencies and behaviours with the devices. The four accessories documented in this thesis are as close as I could come to creating the appearance of mass produced accessories for mass produced products. Being not designed for a gallery, they are designed to be consumed in the same environments we purchase our devices. By achieving a high standard of production they engage with the rhetoric of consumption and can be effectively critical. The more believable they are as ‘real’ products the more functional they are as applied critical design.

The first Device Shifting accessory is the Faraday Handkerchief. Using the inherent faraday properties of conductive fabric it is able to block network signals to a mobile device. A faraday cage functions by creating a lattice that is smaller than the wavelength of frequencies it is intended to block, acting as a net that disperses and absorbs the signal.

The weave of the conductive fabric used for the handkerchief is Med Tex 130 ? 99% pure silver plated polyamide and elastomer. Med Tex 130 has natural antimicrobial properties and is normally used in medical applications. The silver absorbs the radio waves and the nylon gives it soft fabric qualities. The resulting effect is mysterious whereby wrapping a seemingly normal piece of cloth around a mobile phone cloaks all of its functionality except for maybe an alarm clock.