communication Relay

 

Workshops: Observing systematic communication methods between designers.

field relay workshop

 

Performed in a open space, this workshop was modified from a workshop that I made using legos (shown below). The purpose was to explore a universal language that could be communicated between 3 or more individuals.

 

Setup

 

On one side of the field we arranged a series of blocks and letters in different orientations to act as a message that would have to be recreated at the other side of the field. The message was hidden from all but one person on a team. This person would go back and forth relaying information on what the solution looks like and hope that the next person understands it enough to let the next person know. That person would have to relay that information to the next person and so forth. Think of it as a large game of telephone. Once a team believes that they completed the solution they would get checked and a verdict is given.

 

Workshop creators : Ann Frohbose, Randa Hadi, Harrison Lyman, and Grace Herndon

outcome

 

Throughout this workshop each team devised their own system to communicate the solution so that they can replicate it faster if they got the solution wrong. The end results ranged widely in accuracy and completeness. After the workshop we regrouped and discussed the workshop and communication methods.

LEGO building workshop

 

The origin for this exploration was derived from this workshop that I did for a graduate level class in 2018. I was tasked to teach designers how to think like a machine. I started by taking inspiration from my mentor Derek Ham who created a puzzle that required silent communication.

 

I designed this workshop to use the same goal as the puzzle with a scenario of coding a virtual reality space using Lego's and a cardboard box with a small hole in it as a vantage point. To start, participants would form teams and assign one person to be a builder while the other part of the group would devise a system of silent commands.

DESIGN IS always evolving

 

The reason I love this workshop so much is that the participants learn just as much about communication as I do. Observing their struggle to break down communication to its simplest form so that it can be translated with hand signals shows just how difficult coding can be, however it doesn't have to be. Bridging the communication gap between humans and machines can give us more control in the future, faster learning of machine capabilities, and powerful tools to solve bigger pain points.