A Curious Guide to Decisions
Reflective decision making tool-kits
This project was my final self initiated work for my MA in Design: Critical Practice at Goldsmiths, University of London. I designed a series of decision tool-kits to be used for engagement purposes. I was interested in the idea of decision-making steaming from my own concerns around decisions in our lives that we face everyday. I later got a chance to show this project at the London Design Festival, where I was able to engage members of the public with my various tool-kits.
How do we choose what we want (to do)?
Decision-making is an essential feature of our everyday existence, not only shaping the immediate situation around a particular decision, but also resonating with the future of an individual in their wider social spheres and environments. The title of the project, “A Curious Guide to Decisions,” came into being through various methods, developed through a research process that thematically looked at the different factors in decision-making processes, and how these change our decision outcomes.
This project is intended to be interpreted in various ways, one is the critical aspect of our reliance on certain systems when we make decisions, the other is to let people engage with decision making tools to think about it, alternatively it could also be a set of therapeutic tools, that help people actually make decisions based on different aspects of thinking about it.
Tool 1. Everyday Decision-making Chart
I developed a decision graph based on my own analysis of everyday decision I made in one day, to introduce people to the complexities of the everyday activity of deciding in which we take little notice of.
I made a series of different icons on them categorising decision factors such as; cognitive choices, non human factors, random choices to selfish choices.
I made some materials in relation to the chart including a diary where visitors could analyse a decision against a scale of time and difficulty. It got people to think about their own decisions in their everyday life before they tried other tools.
Tool 2. Logical Tarot Cards
Business often rely on problem solving methodologies and systems to make valid choices for their progression. By merging the worlds of logical problem solving diagrams with that of the tarot card, this tool brings about a performative and playful aspect to working through logical systems.
I also designed an engagement activity and this involved people working through their decisions, through diagrammatic means. I asked people to shuffle the deck of 24 tarot cards and pick three. These three were placed under acetate sheeting where people could go through and break down a choice visually. It brings aspects of business problem solving diagrams into the realm of the everyday.
Tool 3. Heart Torch
This torch makes visible the system of deciding by the heart, questioning through a slightly ludicrous device it asks what would happen in your day if you just relied on matters of the heart? I made it functional so people can use to it to picture themselves in these situations.
The heart torch is an interactive torch that flashes to the beat of your heart through a pulse sensor hooked up to an arduino board. A green light would turn on when elevations of the heartbeat is felt, relating to excitement over a certain choice. Through some blank target papers, I asked people to write down a series of choices, I then got them to point the torch at these choices to see if they agreed or disagreed with the choice their heart gave them.
Tool 4. Geometric Dice
These dice allow people to write onto the sides their choices. The dice can highlight the tensions seen in escaping the mundane and expected choices, to the random provocations in everyday life disguised as explainable patterns from stock markets to predicting the weather and trend analysis such as in fashion.
The dice simply got people to select a die from the tool kit depending on the number of choices they wanted to make or the shape of the dice. With a non permanent pen they could write or draw a series of choices, then roll the die onto the mat.
My work gives a reflection to others to think about their decision making in different forms through everyday life. The tools drive our thoughts, it makes people reflect on their own decisions.