Saturday, March 21, 2009

Human Centered System

These are some little diagrams I've made, representing what a person needs in life and what they produce. I tried to focus on things that are currently considered 'waste', such as grey water, that could be re-used to provide something else they need. By creating a diagram I can see what needs will be fulfilled by the house itself.
These could be a great way to get some collaborative input from people, they're quick and easy to do. If you have a chance to draw one yourself, I would love to see it posted!
Doing a diagram exclusively of human 'output' was pretty revealing. I found it a lot harder to do, and the concrete items were much fewer. Most of the things on the 'output' chart were things that are generally considered "waste", but with some ingenuity they could actually be used to provide for more of our needs. The other problem was that although we consume lots of food, it's hard to quantify what we actually produce with it aside from living.

Click on the preview pic for a bigger, more readable image.


  1. neat I really like these!

    For the exhibition I'd suggest that we simplify the charts a bit so that they are easier to read from a distance and communicate ideas quickly. Colors will help with this, but I think reducing the number of things each images says would also be good... It's certainly easier to trim things than to expand them at the last minute though, so don't worry about drafts being to large. We'll keep/post full copies somewhere.

    To highlight the cyclic points, I'd aim to have one color for the immediate inputs to the person, one color for the immediate outputs, and one color for connections that outputs back into inputs. I like the choice of a cooler color for inputs, I'd chose a darker (perhaps less saturated) color for the outputs, and then something different for the connections (perhaps green would work well?). For anything else that isn't one of these, I'd suggest keeping the lines thin and unobtrusive (black or brown?).

  2. For the poster images we submit, it might help to include a prototypical chart with just a single cycle of: 'human->output->connection->input' with the colors used. This would be posted beside the more complex maps that actually have content and might act as a bit of a legend to help people get a quick ideas of what the colors mean.

    Also: has anyone looked at collaborative online mindmapping tools? We'd still use proper tools to draw nice images (Illustrator), but to map out ideas and to diagram comments something like this might help...

  3. This may be a good activity to choose for an interactive experience with the class. Other thoughts?

    Just read scott's posts- si si
    we'll be putting together vectors, so your suggestions will be very easy to integrate. Not sure where Lori is at with those atm, but we should have files/ rough versions by tomorrow. Will continue to edit them for a little longer after that.

    I like online mindmapping tools...