The Me In Coffee

At face value it appears that this project is about coffee. In reality for the purpose of my thesis it is a metaphor for a social experience correlating directly with my interest in the design process and intended to bring a positive social experience to my viewers.

When you ask someone to join you for coffee you are asking them to engage in a social experience. This thesis is the result of study in participatory design blended with my interest in pattern design and development. Seventy-two mugs, each with a different pattern were developed representing a different individual because for coffee there are six ounces in every cup and twelve cups in a standard pot of coffee.

As a designer I value pattern design. Patterns became the vernacular for my communication of participant’s individual responses to survey questions because it facilitated me to design a system to represent elements using icons that are relatable from one individual to the next. In addition it provides the opportunity to display the unique aspects and characteristics of their responses. Pattern design represents a sense of freedom, a turning point and independence. This is demonstrated through the patterns I’ve designer with the hope that the viewer can feel both the individuality and independence that I have felt.

As society has shifted to a do-it-yourself culture with social media leading the way to create social experience and engagements among a variety of people, I was interested in relating this idea to participatory design and active engagement. Through social media I shared a survey to which I received over one hundred responses that were varied, often strong and emotional highlighting individual expression. Developing a process that marries participatory design through the social experience to generate pattern design will be equally satisfying for the participant and the viewer. The individual’s personal experience and emotion can now become a visual, social experience for others to enjoy.

Common-every day coffee. Unique individual stories. Participation design. Social experience.