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Mars City Design

 

Immersive Mars Dinner

 
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I was brought onto the project nearly 2 weeks before the event. Partnering with Mars City Design and Hank & Bean Catering, I worked with the Collective Future team in designing and producing an interactive experience. 

This was my first time working in Experience Design and Design Fiction. Although I never realized it till I started working on this project, I only ever imagined either dystopian or utopian futures. But there’s a very real middle ground of Future Design thinking: it’s not about predicting the future, but rather a way to tell stories about alternatives.

I had three objectives in my work with Collective Future

  1. Research: Ensure that elements used in the experience were accurate and appropriate for the setting that was to be created. 

  2. Production: Gather all of the elements through third party sources, and with the use of run throughs and journey mapping, affirm that the users will have an easy and joyful experience throughout the evening. 

  3. Social Media: Plan social media marketing to gather notice and attention before the event, and continue original and creative posting both during and after.


 

According to studies, chopsticks will be used on a more international scale in the future.

Research

Why: The focus of the experience was for it to be an accurate portrayal of what life on mars would look like, using design fiction thinking. I needed to learn what trends were out there, that I could bring into the experience.

Process: There were three aspects to my research. First, I needed a better understanding of what design fiction is, and how to use it. Next, I looked at what life in general would be like in 2035. I looked at exhibits and studies about how humans will dine in the future, what kind of dietary habits we will have, etc. Lastly, I brought these two elements into my research into what life on mars would be like: What kind of community will it be, what food and items will be available, etc. All together, I built a world to create an experience around.


 
 

Event Production & Budgeting

Why: SIMILAR TO HOW A UX DESIGNER MUST MITIGATE PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY EVEN ARISE ON AN APP OR WEBSITE, AN EVENT PRODUCER MUST DO THE SAME. LOOKING THROUGH THE USER JOURNEY, I HAD TO THINK ABOUT WHO NEEDS WHAT, WHEN.

Process: I WALKED THROUGH THE SPACE, AND SAT DOWN WITH MY CLIENT TO BEST UNDERSTAND THE EVENING THROUGH THEIR EYES. I WENT STEP BY STEP TO FORESEE POSSIBLE HICCUPS IN THE EVENING, AND ADMINISTERED EASY, BUDGET FRIENDLY SOLUTIONS FOR EACH.

 
 
 

Soundscape of Mars

Interaction Design

Why: We can invite the guests, and create an accurate and immersive experience for them, but we also needed to connect the two. How will the guests interact with the space that they are in, and how can that design create a better overall experience for them?

Process: This part came down to creative storytelling, and understanding how people best connect to their surroundings: Through taste, sound & smell. With the use of diffusers, light effects, and sound, users and better interact with the experience we created.

 
 
 

User Personas

Why: To get a better sense of the type of people who will be attending the event, and the kind of experience they would have

Process: i created 3 different personas, focusing on the type of people we were marketing towards/expecting for the event. when creating the personas, i focused on how they normally attend events, their influences, etc.

 
 
 

Journey Mapping

Why: Once the personas were done, I needed to get a sense of how they would interact in the environment, and see what areas can them be improved upon.

Process: while parts like phases, thoughts, actions, etc. were all important to include on the map, i also wanted to include where the environment they were and the people they will be interacting with. It was imperative that I highlight the aspects of the evening that i can change and improve upon.

 
 
 
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Social Media

Why: Due to research and the user personas, i imagined that the users will be using social media heavily during the event. It will inevitably be a part of the experience, and so i needed to create a strategy so that the social media coverage of the event could be used to an advantage.

Process: because i couldn’t dedicate a large amount of time and effort to social media, i narrowed it down to one major channel: instagram. It’s the most conducive channel to use when covering events and sharing media quickly. I started scheduled postings before the event, and created a game plan of what to cover, and when, both during and after the event. we saw an 180% increase in instagram followers after the event.

 
 
 
 

Takeaways

I really enjoyed this experience for quite a lot of reasons, but probably the biggest reasons was that it introduced me to a brand new design thinking process.

I had never practiced design fiction before, nor heard of it. But now that I have, it seems like a necessary part of every design activity. a designer should think about how their design will hold up in the future, and the kind of changes that it may need.

design fiction may not be foolproof, but it certainly gives better assurances to a superior and longer lasting product.

 
 
 

To learn more about the event