At Fablab, we were introduced to Elizabeth Koprucki- the Assistant Director of Fab Lab and Design. We were also joined by Leo, a designer who'd joined the centre the very same day! We wanted to claim we were his first ever clients. He laughed and informed us we were third on the list already.
Through a brief look at the lab, we could see what partly resembled Yuxin's studio at the Logan Centre. But the majority of our meeting ended up happening in a rather nondescript meeting room next door.
Yuxin explained how she'd conceptualized the initial design. It was meant to resemble a first aid- since we were after all, talking about survival kits. In that same vein, there could be a little paper manual tucked inside. Leo added that the top should flip open, much like a regular flip phone
Elizabeth suggested speaking to Lab Schools and selling at scale there to bring costs down.
The other concern was whether people will engage in storytelling.
We tinkered with the idea of connecting the users of the kit with alternative ‘leisure’ items to use their newfound free time on. We also considered whether there could be mini adventures or tasks to be built into the box. Through the Office of Engagement, we would reach out to the 9 communities that constituted Hyde Park. You could tell people to go explore a place they'd never been to.
Laurence admitted his key fear- that someone on the detox would face negative outcomes that would not have occurred if they still used their smartphone. Elizabeth replied that the presence of a phone was probably more of a danger. Distracted folks texting while walking on the street could become a public liability. Having a simple less flashy phone could reduce the odds of you getting mugged. And with only simple tasks to run on your humble phone, the odds of getting your battery drained would reduce considerably.
The aim would be to satiirize the addiction to smartphones. The ringtone for the flip phone could be something on the lines of ‘I will survive’
Elizabeth suggested that for the next week Yuxin prepared the simplest possible version of the kit, with just 2 items. She also suggested we look at Box Templates Leo recommended ‘How to Wrap Five Eggs’- which seemed fitting since that's the number of items we currently saw in the survival kit. https://www.amazon.com/How-Wrap-Five-Eggs-Traditional/dp/1590306198 Elizabeth introduced Yuxin to some of the workshops that the Fablab conducted every month. She'd missed the first one, but said she would look them up. Danielle at the front desk also told her how she now had access to the Hyde Park Art Museum. Yuxin was on Cloud Nine- finally, a space which she felt completely at home in as an artist.