As a designer, I have learned that I have a particular process and that I proceed with my projects taking specific actions. I have learned that I need to use different mediums to get the best from what I need to achieve. For example, during the Biometric Feedback project, I started with a mix of simple desk research and doodling, looking for inspiration and trying to visualise and process onto paper what I thought. I often rely heavily on intuition and what feels right. For this project, my intuition was that by visualising concepts that are abstract, you could make people understand them better. This became the start of our project.
I was at first inspired by how children draw and visualise their emotions. This led me to search and discover the various areas where this has been done by adults, and I came across art therapy. Influenced by this notion, I felt that by giving life to depression and forming it as a living thing, I could help patients understand their emotional state and diagnose their ups and downs. The outcome was that the project quickly took form as a creature as I began sketching what I knew of depression. In my early sketches, it was a heavy, black, monstrous thing, functioning as a parasite upon its host. However, this seemed slightly too dark, and after questioning around, I decided that the creature must be a reflection or a representative of the emotion and not the emotion itself. By taking a more empathetic approach and viewing the creature, not as the cause of depression or depression itself but a representative of it, I was able to create creatures that were far friendlier and looked -dare I say- cuter. From the early sketch, I made seven character concepts, each of them based upon a different take or a person's view of depression.
From these seven characters, one was eventually chosen from the user testing and Instagram poll which was then translated into a clay model to help me understand it in 3D. I then turned to cinema 4D to model the character in 3D using the clay model and drawings as a reference. Dancing between Unity and Cinema 4D, I was able to iron out the technical difficulties which I have explained in other sections of this reflection. This was also while I was working with Maria on the more technical sides to make it functional and responsive to the user data.
If I was to do the project again, I would add smaller but more frequent sessions of user testing to support my intuition. I would also like to have experimented with more than one creature. All in all, I am very proud of the process as it contains multiple stages that support and benefit each other.