CIID, Design playground, Thoughts

Final project time…. ‘Superabilities of perception’

This is final project time in CIID and things are just about to start getting heated up.

I started thinking about this notion of super-abilities , especially that of enhanced sense and perception.
This was inspired to a lifelong interest in myth, science fiction and fantasy, which I wanted tap into as inspiration for my project.

If you try to analyze these stories, for example take the X-men Dark phoenix saga , we can see how the writer uses the story to push us to think, he uses the characters to push the story and each other, and finally uses the powers they possess to actually drive the character’s development.
In going through this process the reader ,in a well written tale, goes through these stages of :
Provocation … where an idea / a plot / or the sheer power of the imagery engages your interest and thought
Imagination … where mental images are formed irrespective of the images in the story , which enables you to fill in gaps
Transposition … you shift from being a reader to a participant in the story , actively engaging in the events as if you are part of the book. A stage of immersion if I might say that
Shift of perception … where your engagement changes your way of thinking and how you perceive the world around the book / comic/ graphic novel. This I think is what the very good writers accomplish.

I began asking myself What do super powers/abilities mean today ? and What might it mean to people if they could possess these fictional powers (which I could possibly deliver using some present day technology)?
I wanted to investigate whether enhanced senses could change perception eventually leading to change in behavior.

In the meantime during my talks with Matt Cottam (Tellart) and Mac (a fellow student at CIID), I realized that in the present internet age and the era of connectedness we live in , access to Data is a tremendous superpower. The ability to engage in long distance communication , arrange flash mobs, access raw data from the UN etc is changing our perception of the world.
So I started thinking about how this access to Data and linking it to the senses would work in a design process.
Could it be possible to enable a person to touch an object and find out about its past present and future states (an ability called PSYCHOMETRY , possessed by Abe Sapien in the BPRD tales)
Could shopping in supermarkets be a more sensory experience by perhaps enabling you to hear products rather than scanning through them visually (abilities matching those of COMPENSATION and MAGNIFICATION as seen with the Daredevil or Superman)
Could you engage in collaborative performances or communication with plants and trees around you (ECOLOGICAL EMPATHY as seen with the Swamp Thing)?

These are the (somewhat crazy) questions and thoughts I was working with initially…


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