Carly Simmons
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The Datalogue

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The Datalogue 

A physical personality quiz disguised as a carnival

Type: Experience Design, Performance Design

Context: Artificial Intelligence, Data Collection

Guidance: Sinclair Smith

Team: SVA Products of Design Class of 2019

Role: Fabrication (Team Co-Manager) & Photography


Description: The Datalogue is the 6th project to be exhibited at Wanted Design, a part of NYCxDesign 2018. It is a four-part stationary machine which simulates and unveils the consequences behind data collection. The exhibition physicalizes the process of data mining that exists on digital channels like Facebook. Participants answer a series of four questions to reveal their personality archetype. To make things site-specific, guests are paired with a product (based on that personality) shown by others exhibitors in the space.


Background & Context

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The Datalogue aggregates participants’ data points (satisfaction, conscientiousness, extraversion and relationship status) through a series of four tactile interaction stations. At each station, guests are prompted to answer seemingly innocuous questions. Each of their answers is marked on a card that they receive upon entering the exhibit.

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After the guest completes the final interaction, it is revealed that each of their “arbitrary” responses translates into a surprisingly accurate assessment about their personality—such as level of extraversion or conscientiousness. The four categories and choice architecture for answers was drawn directly from this PNAS scientific paper. In the paper, Kosinki et al (2015) detail the significance of “liking” specific Facebook pages and correlation with an individual’s personality traits what it can disclose about an individual’s personality.

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The Hamster Wheel

The Hamster Wheel entices guests into the exhibition with its carnival-like nature. When a participant steps into the wheel, they are asked, “Whom do you admire?” and given four choices: Indiana Jones, Mother Teresa, Marie Curie or Steve Jobs. Participants select their answer with a full-body interaction: walking in the wheel until they reach their final response. Later, they discover the real meaning behind their answer is correlated to their satisfaction with life.

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The Claw

Next, participants are asked, “Which of the following individuals would you want to interview?” Again, they are given four choices: Police Commissioner, Emergency Physician, Serial Killer, and Wes Anderson. They are instructed to maneuver a mechanical claw and grab their answer. This answer corresponds to their level of conscientiousness, whether they are spontaneous or well-organized.

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The Crank

Participants make a speculative choice about their future. They select their new career, beacause of course, their current job is now fully automated by robots. The participant’s response after moving this multi-gear determines their level of extraversion.

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The Selector

In the fourth and final interaction, guests are asked about their search history. Their final response reveals whether or not the participant is single or in a relationship. When they have make their selection, they ring a bell, signifying the completion of their personality quiz.

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The Final Reveal

Throughout each participant’s engagement with The Datalogue, their responses contributed to the development of an intimate psychographic profile of themselves. At the final stage, guests are given a summary of their profile that includes specific personality traits, along with a product selection at Wanted Design that matches their personality profile.

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