CrossLab — Sensory Shopping

Investigating the power of senses, shopping and new media

Archive for the ‘assignment’ Category

The best summary so far…

Posted by arno -- CrossLab on June 24, 2008

In reading all your blogs this past weekend, I came across some great and interesting research and findings.  What struck me most was a post by Debbie Agnes in 3DC, over interactive shopping…I’ve copied a quote from it, since I think it clearly defines why we would even try to put new media into a soapshop:

When thnking about how to evolve your business with new media, think about what you are already doing that makes you successful and your products and services valuable. That is, the experiences you provide for your customers. So, here are some questions to ask yourselves about interactive shopping and about what you are already doing. Interactive technologies can help you do all of these, but not without a focus on the experience itself.

The full posting can be found here at Debbie’s weblog.


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Back from the holiday …

Posted by arno -- CrossLab on May 6, 2008

So we’re all back, refreshed, relaxed, and ready for the next challenge.

Last class we reviewed your presentations and your research, and I gave some feedback. This coming term we are going to execute our concepts in model form and build digital visualizations from them. Many of the concept directions are very interesting, and technically challenging to realize.


Our goal is not to solve the technical issues, but to create a strong concept that incorporates an idea of how the technology might work. Our goal is to create a space that triggers the sensory aspects of soap, with no soap in our store. This gives you licence to dream, and be creative. You are proposing technologies and media that most definitely can be used…though I do not expect you to be able to implement and develop the technical solutions yourself.

You are seeking a design and experience solution. Someone else will be doing the technical part if the project is to be realized. Your job is to sell your client (me) that your design concept and direction is worth investing in to implement at a later date.

To give you an idea, I will be showing a quick presentation that I made for NS and Prorail while in Eindhoven regarding a project I developed that uses new media to collect memories and movement of travellers in Amsterdam Centraal. The presentation will help to clarify that I am not asking you to make technical objects, but you are still able to propose them.

Bring some materials for sketching and drawing to the coming classes. Next week I also expect you to be bringing modeling materials (foamcore, glue, knives, images) to help you realize your model. In the coming weeks we will transferring your models into digital format to create our final presentations.

See you in class!

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Presentations due today, Friday April 18

Posted by arno -- CrossLab on April 18, 2008

Today I am expecting your presentations to be posted onto your blog. A couple of things to keep in mind while you are doing this:

  • powerpoint or pdf? Either format is fine. Keep in mind that if you have used effects in your powerpoint, such as sound or moving text, these will not be seen in a pdf. It might be easier to just post your powerpoint instead.
  • powerpoint version? Some of you have worked on your powerpoints at home on another computer. Keep in mind that your powerpoint must be saved as version 2004…if you are working on a Windoze machine, with Office 2008 (the extension will be .pptx), you have to SAVE AS…and under format, choose PowerPoint 2004…or else I cannot read it.
  • technical problems? If nothing works, and you cannot post to save your life, you can contact me at G.A.Verhoeven(at) for technical advice, I will be online all day Saturday reviewing the work. If an emergency, you can email the presentation to me directly…EMERGENCY ONLY.

Good luck.

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Maarten Wijntjes

Posted by arno -- CrossLab on April 8, 2008

It is unfortunate that Maarten could only be present on Tuesday, because I think everyone deserved a chance to see him present his own work, and to ask him questions directly.

However, either way, it went very well. Once again, what seems to be a simple assignment opens up lots of interesting questions. How do we know what we touch, where does that information come from? Do we create visualizations of shape in our heads? How do we store this information? How do we translate touch (or words!) into visuals and recognize them?

And on the other side: how do we as designers make sense of the touch vocabulary we have to describe various physical things? We discuss things such as hard or soft light, warm or cool colours, heavy or light moods….these are all descriptors related to touch, but we can not touch any of these things! What do these descriptors mean, and why do we relate them to physical features we understand with our hands? How can you really tell if light is hard, or soft, when you can’t actually touch it?

Photos to be posted very shortly.

Speaking of touching light, check out the work of Anthony McCall who recently had a retrospective exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London. A must experience work if you want to have a discussion about the physical aspects of light…

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This weeks classes…

Posted by arno -- CrossLab on April 8, 2008

This week (wk 15) we will be looking at the information we’ve collected and learning how to put it together into a useable, presentable format. In this case, the blog is not going to work, since it is our digital sketchbook and research materials.

In order to make a digital moodboard, we will be using PowerPoint.

Why PowerPoint?

You may find that as a future designer you will be making many presentations to many clients. Often, it won’t be convenient to carry a large portfolio and a collection of images. A powerpoint presentation, along with a beamer, gives you the power to carry your images, research and concept proposals on a memory stick. It is an important skill as a designer to be able to create a good presentation to communicate your ideas. There are other tools available (InDesign, Acrobat, Flash), but we will start with the most basic, and widely used, being PowerPoint.

Todays lesson will get you up and running, as we learn the basics. After today, your assignment (HOMEWORK) is to put together a concept presentation with PowerPoint (10 minutes), outlining your direction for term 4.

What should your PowerPoint look like?

Your presentation should be 30 slides with the following information:

  • Your experience with senses: describe what you’ve collected in your blog, both in images and in text.
  • Why are the senses important to a designer?
  • How can you use them in your design concept?
  • Which senses do you want to work with?
  • How do these senses relate to the concept of the zeep winkel?
  • What new media will you use to create these sensory experiences?

The presentation should be due by the end of next class (week 16).
The presentation should be saved from PowerPoint in .pdf format, and posted on your blog.
We will discuss next week how to make a .pdf from PowerPoint.

On Friday, we are in a different location: 3DD is in 1.6B (ochtend) and 3DE (middag) will be in 2.6, both in Blaak. See you in class!

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Assignment #2 is now online

Posted by arno -- CrossLab on March 24, 2008

This coming week we’re going further with our trio of experiments.  In the coming week we’ll be conducting the 2nd of these tests of our sensory experience to try and figure out just what is going on.

The assignment is posted, under the banner above.  Like before, there’s a .pdf file for downloading if you prefer a hard copy.

See you Tuesday, or Friday…

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Your 1st assignment is online…

Posted by arno -- CrossLab on March 3, 2008

If you look at the top of this page, under Assignment 1, you will find your first opdracht has been posted.  You can print the assignment with the link at the bottom of the page.

Don’t understand what I’m talking about?!?   Click here… 

Good luck!  See you in cyberspace….
By the way…keep the earplugs and blindfolds for your next assignment. Bring them to our next class which is week 12.

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Text: Smelling the Brie

Posted by arno -- CrossLab on February 19, 2008

Each of you were given a text in the first week, called Smelling the Brie, taken from William J. Mitchell’s book Placing Words:  Symbols, Space and the City.

Your assignment is your first blog post.  Write a review of this text.  Consider the following questions:

  • why is this text important?
  • what concepts in this text  are relating to our sensory investigation?
  • what ideas does this give you about the importance of sensory experience in the shopping environment?

The text doesn’t need to be long.  It is a chance to get to know your blog and how to use it as a researching tool.  Remember to cite your references with links, as I’ve done above.  I hope by next class to see an entry about this text from each of you, as well as your required 3 entries per week.

Good luck!

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important, important, important

Posted by arno -- CrossLab on February 19, 2008


Be aware that the information you are posting on this blog is part of your research! Posting, linking or use of information in this blog is being monitored by arno and your faculty.

NO inappropriate materials!

And link to your sources… aware of copyright laws and blog ethics.

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Why a blog? – explanation

Posted by arno -- CrossLab on February 19, 2008

Today is the first day of real work in the Sensory Shopping class at WdKA. Yesterday, I started this page, the main blog, for a number of reasons:

  1. to facilitate the course materials, objectives and assignments online
  2. to demonstrate how to do some basic design research and analysis in a public forum, which each student is also expected to do
  3. to assist in understanding the potential of new media within this assignment by using (what is now) a pretty standard form of communication within the Web.
  4. to be a central repository for the entire set of blogs the students are about to create themselves.

Why do I blog this?

There are some places where I have to admit I’m not the expert. And again, that’s why this format is interesting: I can link, post, and otherwise reference other experts in a quick, timely and broad fashion. For example, if the blog format is the new notebook, I have to be honest and say that I’m pretty weak in my HTML coding. But no worries! The HTML Encyclopedia has all the explanations and examples of how to use coding to your maximum advantage.

Now, on to tackle CSS…

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