Dynamic Media Institute
Thesis Books

Let's Be Dost

By Mayuri Saxena

There is a sense of comfort to know that people have gone through something as we have. Knowing that you are not alone builds a sense of intimacy between people. We end up with a strong feeling of belonging and affiliation.

My work builds connections and forms communities through collecting and sharing stories, experiences, memories that people are passionate about. I want to remind my users time and again that we are not alone. Our experiences are universal.

My work is inspired from my own experience of solitude, homesickness. These experiences taught me how important it is to our physical and mental health for a person to be connected socially. Dosts (friends) are what gives us motivation to keep going in the present.

One of my key strategies is reminiscing in my work. Research shows thinking about the past helps people focus on the most important thing for a good life: family, close friends, community, and the rituals and traditions that help preserve a social and cultural fabric. This results in an urge to connect.

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No Country For Dangerous Faces

By Hessam Daraei

Interactive Storytelling. Cinematic Language. Moral Dilemma . Empathy.

The challenge now facing human evolution is how to transfer insight from person to person, nation to nation, generation to generation. If we could transfer our insights more deeply, many problems would not be repeated — such as prejudice, discrimination, racism and worst of all, terrorism.

In this thesis, I transfer the knowledge and insights I have gained from political and social experiences to my audience. I use Dynamic Media asa tool for designing an experience that challenges people’s ethics, behaviors, and judgments towards race, nationality, and religion. When we look deeper into these matters, we discover the core issues that lead to stereo- typical beliefs which can then misrepresent people and their culture.

I consider racism and discriminatory behaviors to be pronounced disorders in the human ethical system. I use design as a solution to address this very human problem. Art, theater, and cinema have all been used to transfer insight. I use these media, as well as the power of storytelling that focuses on empathy and moral dilemma. I use interactive media to discov- er possible ways that ordinary people can compose, express, and transfer their intuitive experiences related to these topics.

As an Iranian who has experienced racism first hand and has many stories to tell, I design interactive experiences that bring users into the immedi- acy of the story that I am creating. These stories will make its audience open their minds, think about important matters in a new way and gain helpful insights about them.

Make It Ourself

By Leo Rossoni

Play is an integral part of humanity. Through play, we learn, develop, and share ideas and skills that are essential later in life. Play is embrac- ing the boundaries of a system, interacting with it in a way that brings enjoyment. By this definition, playing with anything means enjoying the process of exploring the possibilities. In a rapidly changing world, we are subjected to never ending streams of data, media, things, people, and systems. We consume vast amounts of information. From personal experience, the rate of consumption far outweighs the rate of produc- tion.

As a designer, I wanted to pursue a life of inventing, creating, and making new things for the sake of enhancing the lives of others and myself. Designing and making is a creative outlet; it is the way I share how I see the world. Through improv comedy, I was able to channel random thoughts into (sometimes) funny situations and characters.

I became better at playing with the possibilities and communicating those ideas within a team. I learned to let ideas run wild and to commit to making it as real as possible. Through both design and improv, I learned different ways to take in the ordinary and make something extraordinary.

In this thesis, I explore different ways to jumpstart the creative process through introducing randomness to inspire imagination, using rigid systems to accelerate play, and encouraging personal expression to create meaning. Through designing playful objects and interactions, guided by philosophies of improv and the creative process, I construct different ways to enter the world of making, designing, and playing.

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A Shift In Perspective

By Michael Boyle

We evolved for efficiency. The animator Richard Williams points out that when walking, we “lift our feet off the ground just the bare minimum.”

By not exerting ourselves any more than necessary, energy is conserved for those times when it might really be needed. I believe our perceptions are equally guided by efficiency, and efficiency serves us well most of the time. But as Richard Williams further explains, it sometimes only takes “a small crack in the pavement” to tip us over.

Our perceptions are shaped not only by our senses but also by our experiences, motivational states and emotional states. In the pursuit of efficiency, we develop our beliefs as well as our biases and prejudices. When young children encounter new stimuli, they experience it with fresh minds. What we think of as mundane and ordinary is fantastic and new for young children. As a parent, I didn’t expect that my young son would open my eyes to the magical world that surrounded me. If we permit ourselves, it is possible to see the familiar and ordinary once again with wonder. Perceptual leaps come from unlikely places.

Distortion, disorientation and different perspectives challenge efficiency. By making the familiar unfamiliar, they require us to look at things more closely. They challenge our beliefs, biases, and perceptions and enable us to experience our surroundings with renewed wonder. Through my research, I intend to become a better observer and listener. Because dynamic media is interactive and can engage multiple senses, it is uniquely suited for these explorations. Dynamic media will be my crack in the sidewalk.

Selected Works

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