Week 9: We’re building a time machine!

On Friday last week, Ola hosted a brainstorm session at her place after our prototyping workshop with our coach Mick. We sat down together with a couple of her friends whom she thought could help us in generating ideas for our prototype. Laura Ghitoi, a researcher, consultant and journalist, volunteered once at TNW and gave us insight on what kind of people we should be expecting at the conference and what the environment was like there. Other than Laura, there was Erik Anyone, a creative, storyteller and builder who helped us visualize the form in a more realistic way. There was also Marco Grandia, a director and storyteller. Ola presented our process to them and afterwards, they just started proposing different ideas and approaches we could take on. It was a fruitful session that paved the way for narrowing down our focus and settling on an idea.

On Monday, we started with the notes Neel and Ola took during Friday’s brainstorm session and while discussing them, Ola came up with an idea. We found that it kind of combined all the aspects we want the prototype to include. Sascha also had a refined idea so we voted to choose one between both and Ola’s idea had the most votes. It was centered around the idea that the participant is a reporter from the present time trying to explain the current developments in tech to someone from the past in the 1970s when AI was just starting to bloom. We thought it would give some sort of a reference/context to the participant while answering the questions. For the rest of the day, Lama worked on the sprint review’s presentation and creating a list of everything the team will need to make the prototype. Neel spent his time trying to find digital platforms to use instead of programming something from scratch. Sascha wrote a version of the script and created a word-web of the results of her workshop with the community at DSS. Ola was trying to find a location to shoot the video. Also, Martin, someone from another team in DSS showed us how to get started on a game developing software called Unity to setup the input/output system for the prototype.

On Tuesday, Sascha, Neel and Lama went to the Ministry of Justice in The Hague for the third sprint review and presented the team’s progress so far and the final idea for the prototype at the TNW. It was the same audience as the last sprint review plus Sandra so we did a quick recap of what happened during the last two sprints to bring her up to speed. The sprint review went smoothly and at the end we had some time to brainstorm for amendments/additions to the prototype idea. Ron said that he would like to have the next translate session for revising the questions with us before we shoot the video. We scheduled a meeting with Emma next Tuesday as well to work on the questions. Ola stayed home and worked on her thesis.

On Wednesday morning, we had the peer pitches during which we gave a more concise presentation than the sprint review’s.

Neel had food poisoning so he didn’t come and we worked from the Makers Lab that day. Martin showed Lama how to navigate on Unity while Ola and Sacha worked on the script and the questions. Sascha read the summary of the Online Harms White Paper Emma sent us and Ola found a couple of sets for shooting the video. 

On Thursday, Sascha and Ola went location scouting and found a very good one at HvA’s Amstel campus so they booked it for next Wednesday right away. Sascha spent the rest of the day finishing up the script while Neel focused on learning how we can use Unity for our input/output mechanism. He also checked the studio for some electronics we might need for the prototype. After meeting up with Martin, he sketched the scenes for navigating the video and created a coding to-do list. Lama worked on a more general to-do list for the whole prototype and wrote the week’s WordPress blogpost.

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