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Experimental Design

Melina Petsolari

Melina is an Interaction Designer and Creative Technologist based in London, UK. Her practice is situated in the field of Human-Computer Interaction, focusing on the development of novel applications and systems with the goal to enrich and empower humans in the digital realm.

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Degree Details

School of Communication

Experimental Design

Dopamine-Driven Feedback Loops’ (DDFL) is an interactive game that prompts for users to realize the behavioural change they endure online through social media manipulation. I am attempting to generate narratives that alter the user’s viewpoint through the deployment of misinformation, a phenomenon that is more prominent than ever. DDFL rewards the user based on the data they identify either as fictional or factual. The individual’s score increases or decreases depending on their course of actions. DDFL is a representation of the scale at which persuasive technology is utilized for the distortion of reality.

Character Elements

Physical and Digital Models of UI

Sonifying Fake News

We are living in a time where communication modes have escalated the transfer of information and misinformation, making it harder to track or identify. Dopamine Driven Feedback Loops requires the players to identify the information or misinformation they are presented as factual or fictional.

In this game, the user is presented with a series of questions both fictional and/or factual whilst trying to escape from the maze. Each answer to the fictional or factual questions either get the user a step closer to the exit point or increase the difficulty level to reach it. The maze gets more complex if the user answers more fictional than factual questions.

Upon the players reaching to the final level, an overall score assessing their correct/incorrect answers in factual or fictional questions is generated. This final score from the interactive game, allows the user to critically reassess his rationalisation and to start thinking more critically on why did he get persuaded to believe the fallacious data. The opposite can also hold true where in this case, the user manages to identify the misinformation presented and as such "break" the maze.

For the WIP show, I have primarily experimented with the design elements of the game. At this stage, I am presenting audio-visual experiments which make up part of the audio-visual language.

The elements that are presented include the generation of sound through the sonification of fake and real news. The sound will be played after the user answer's either the factual or fictional question accordingly. The sonification of the data has been incorporated to enhance the user experience whilst relying on sounds from news that spread propaganda. This element is also there to help the user critically assess the sounds/transitions that occur during the game and the relevance to the answers he provides with aim to enhance his emotional intelligence and critical abilities upon reaching the final level.

Moreover, showcased are several experimentations of the game interface which will have as its final form a maze-like structure. At first, I utilised generative design to experiment with potential web structures and as the experimentation progressed the maze interface fit organically in the overall narrative. I have created both a tangible and digital interface as the final manifestation of DDFL includes both a board-game and an AR experience embedded within the same narrative. Finally, displayed are several tests of scenes and potential characters for the digital version.

Medium:

Generative Design
GamificationInteractive DesignSpeculativeVisualisation of Sounds

FP Metrix

FP Metrix

GAN Fingerprints

Nowadays, it is easier to steal someone’s fingerprint and access the systems they operate than hacking one’s password. I imagine a future where it will be seen as subversive to have private conversations any- where. Questions such as: Why did you spend thirty-seven minutes disconnected last Tuesday? What are you hiding? Why would you not want family, friends, and potential employers to have access to everything you said on March 17? will become the new norm in the modern era of failed democracy. This is just the beginning of privacy violation and as such, this project is a response to the current exposure and exploitation of people’s unique physical and behavioral patterns facilitating their identification and access control. FP Metrix is a speculative project that aims to tackle and challenge biometric technology.

I have created an artificial, unique, GAN generated fingerprint. The fingerprint can be used as an accessory that comes with a phone, providing maximum protection of one’s identity and belongings. FP Metrix prints can be also acquired separately and placed on a person’s finger as an implant for long lasting performance. Moreover, this technology is also untraceable, not only because the friction ridges used in each device are unique but additionally, because the material used does not leave moisture and grease in surfaces, which is generally how fingerprints are left from the friction ridges of a human finger. Material experimentation was conducted, which resulted in the discovery of a compound that is traceless. I have realised a working proof-of-concept through the production of a functional, three-dimensional, artificial fingerprint.

Different applications might use the same biometric traits, if an adversary acquires an individual’s biometric trait in one application, they could also use it to gain access to other applications. FP Metrix provides the solution due to its unique features and replicability.

Medium:

Wax, Acrylic, GANs

G7+1 Installation view

G7+1 Installation view with guest

G7+1 is a collaborative project that aims to address the climate crisis. We created a seven-screen installation within a dinner setting. We carefully chose the people that would be on this dinner. These included Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Hawking, Greta Thunberg, Donald Trump, Billie Eilish, Pope Francis and Josh the cop. The spectator is encouraged to join them as the 8th person at the table. As the conversation progressed, tomato sauce is thrown on their faces covering their mouths and jaws. 

Whilst writing the script I focused on a dark comedy approach and the discussion these figures induce deprived from thorough research of interviews, speeches and more on what they have said in regard to the climate crisis. By taking away their public authority and placing them in a private setting, the meaning and power of their language has changed radically. The concept of people having a feast with the empty plates created an ironic juncture. 

By creating a metaphor were food is thrown at them instead of it appearing on the plate we induced a commentary on food depletion, finally we addressed the endless consumption and ceaseless debates around climate change. 


In collaboration with Bolim Jeon, Alessandra Jeanneret and Jiajing Zhao


Medium:

Installation

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