Boundary is the Evaluation of Trust
This was my senior thesis project. That semester, our word was Boundary. In this project, boundary means the invisible shield we build around ourselves to protect us from being hurt. By the end of each test, the physical distance between participants visualizes their invisible boundary.
Surprise, Fun, Popular
Before I started my thesis, I wanted to create a project that would encourage physical engagement. The goal was reached. At the senior show, the project attracted more than thirty participants and draw many waves of attention. Laughters, claps, sweet kisses… It was one of the most popular spots in the house.
Think Beyond Flat Surface
Nope. Not another poster, or a website, or an app, or a video… When I started generating ideas, I meant to break the graphic design defining boundary—two-dimension— and think about objects and space. I imagined an experience that revealed participants’ mutual trust, which I questioned whether they should talk about or surprised by. The latter felt more exciting.
The idea of physical engagement won the vote. With a camera, a GoPro, cheap carboards, a marker, a roll of duck tape, and printouts of some trust-related questions, I set up the project’s first prototype. The participants ranged from students to staff. The post-participation survey shown that people enjoyed this little test, a lot.
The Trust Questions
“Do you trust” questions are essential for the project. The first prototype made me realize that the questions were too easy for participants, who already knew each other. To make the test more challenging, I utilized social media to crowdsource more authentic, genuine trust-related questions. Then, based on relationships and contexts, I divided the questions into five levels, from the easiest to the hardest.
Test It Again
With updated questions, I started the second prototype. This time, I created a digital site that automated the questions being asked based on relationships. That day was also the filming day. That’s right. It’s the film at the beginning of this project page that demonstrates how this experience works.
The trust wall triggers a moment of surprise at the end of each test. This was the most anticipated part of the experience—the revealing moment. I wanted something fun yet convenient, so I asked furniture artist Nathanial Hall to help create a wood frame that worked with a wireless blind. Minimum, on point.