Box You

Made by Harley Guo · UNLISTED (SHOWN IN POOLS)

Created: February 3rd, 2022

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RME1 from Harley Guo on Vimeo.

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Intention

At the dawn of web3.0, the topic of information and data gathering is becoming increasingly crucial. The practice that has enabled our modern day internet convenience and experience is under more scrutiny than ever. We as end users, and as both the beneficiary and victim of our own data, have to decipher whether the current system of data generation and collection is an adequate solution to our information needs.

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Process

I began with recalling details of my own experience with recommendation algorithms and customized ad services. Specifically, logging into each internet service I use and compiling how my personal data are being collected and used towards or against my interest. During this process, I was not only surprised by the amount of data collected but also by data being used to create my online portrait, without my explicit knowledge nor consent. I quickly realized the scope of this issue, and the potential impacts online portraits might cause on a massive population. This led me to design an installation that aims to boost public awareness of hidden data collection and usage.

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Outcome

The design outcome is both a concept device, and a short video explaining my discovery journey and design ideas behind this installation. This room scale box parses your online portrait and showcases how much internet companies know you, in the form of identity and interest labels.

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Reflection

The current installation design serves its intended purpose well, but only under relatively defined settings (e.g. museums, public buildings, etc). It would be desirable for future designs to have smaller physical footprints while maintaining similar levels of immersiveness, and also more curated ways for users to share their thoughts after experiencing the device. On the other hand, the showcase video could be more thoughtful edited, with more informative and relevant graphic representations.

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