Inquisitive Devices are (mostly) wearable communication tools that use materials, sculptural form, and embedded electronic components to explore possible, probable, and fantastic futures

of body-based communication systems. They speak to the needs and longings not currently represented in existing device culture. They are design probes that look towards the future but do not try to create or predict it. They are physicalized “What Ifs”.

Here is our process:

  1. Each person generated 10 ideas per week.
  2. Each person generated 1 prototype or mockup of a device idea per week.
  3. We created a deck of physical cards for all 120 ideas that include their titles, descriptions, and sketches.
  4. We created a mind map of themes by which the devices could be categorized or tagged.
  5. For tags we took two approaches. For larger or oppositional themes we did a physical sort, laying out all related cards together and then adding tags to them. After many rounds of larger sorts we went through each device card individually and marked it with any tags that seemed to be missing.
  6. We then grouped devices based on collections . This was a curation process that pulled together devices that could be considered pairs or sets. This includes devices that are worn similarly, devices that could interact to each other, or devices that follow a common theme.
  7. From there we tried to think about putting more than one device in a shared situation so that we could expand our “universe” and think about how the devices relate to each other. We chose different scenarios and pulled out devices that could work together within shared narratives .
  8. Finally we awarded superlatives - “Best Of”s, “Most Likely To”s, etc.
  9. All tags, collections, narratives, and superlatives were entered into our database.
  10. We chose select narratives that we could bring to life using our existing prototypes and did a photoshoot against a green screen to produce a few photographic comics of these Inquisitive Devices in their element.

These are our “Notes to Self” - the guidelines we used for ideating and creating these devices…

About the Intent:

Our intent is to build a database and a universe, adding to it every week. Sometimes the devices will be completely new and sometimes they will be responses to or derivatives of devices that have come before. The result will be 120 Inquisitive Device ideas.

About the pace:

We will be working fast. This will be challenging but will push us in a good way to become more efficient with our ideation, prototyping, and documentation. We will work cleanly and thoroughly so we don’t need to go back and redocument things later. This means not everything will be perfect and many things will be ridiculous. We will push to complete and upload things on time so that we can maintain our desired pace.

About the prototypes:

These are demonstrations and physical instantiations of our ideas. They can be a device that you came up with yourself or one that was invented by someone else. Their primary purpose is to show what is in our head in a form that can be touched and sometimes worn. They do not need to use the actual technology but they should allow us to imagine it. The look is really important. Feel free to make them very obvious so they can clearly communicate the idea. This can be accomplished through color, material, size, etc.

About documentation:

We will use photos or video to better explain the story. Every prototype will be documented with a human or humans using it. We will document them from the third person. No selfies.

Back to the devices.