004: Digital Firefly & Secrets


Secrets and surprises are part of my childhood memories. They were my superpower, I could hold on information that I never wanted anyone to know, I could use it against my little brother (a very smart tactic) and I could have fun with the idea of just keeping them.


The best surprise/secrets that I remember is playing with my brother in the garden at my grandmother house, opening my hands and transform them in my head into a bag or a container, catching a bug and hold it between my hands. in this very second - I had a secret.


I would usually find my little brother, we would look at my hands, opening slowly, giving the light to expose my secret and finally revealing the surprise = 20 ants / a bug / a butterfly. he used to love it so badly.


Having this secret in your hand is a great power one can have. I loved it when I was a kid. surprisingly, I am not using this simple gesture. I would like to ask this questions using technology and design, can we design a secret? A surprise? Can I recreate that experience I had so many times with my brother when we were kids? . This week, I created a digital firefly, it made my week so much better, I kept wanting to come back to the code and write everything, play along with it. feel that hapiness even if these aren't fireflies. even if these are just LEDS that I am chasing after. I think I found after a long time what I want to do.


I want to create a forest full of digital fireflies.




Observation: telephone booth




These old telephone booth are at least 1 km on every street, I think it by law that they should be out there, even if no one use them. you can use them only with coins, can call any number that YOU know. a lot of people that are walking in the street are treating these as old metallic machineries. some are even disgusted by them, they are not clean and often relate to the homeless people of the city.


I saw 3 girls taking pictures next to it, as if it was an old artifact.

I saw one person make a very loud call

I Saw one person using it to prevent the rain to fall straight on him.

I feel like this is one of the most simplest and straight forwards design I know, they only thing that you can is MAKE A CALL. you have to have 2 things: 1. a coin 2. a number and you are good to go. there is only 1 very specific hole to put the coins and 12 button to dial your digits. the only phone call I saw been made took 30 seconds to start, than they guy was talking for a least 4 minutes and he was done.


After reading Norman and Crawford essay, I feel like whoever chose to design this telephone booth thought about the person, and about the smallest things that someone would like to do: I want to make a phone call, I have quarters and I want to be as fast as possible. I love that I managed to find something so simple and nice still out in the streets of 2018.




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