The Dark Side of Coffee – Carla & Julie
Week 1 – Environment Setup
Environment: Coffee Shop
What are the significant aesthetics or elements of the environment? Smell: roasted dark coffee being poured from an italian coffee machine and fresh pastries baked every 30 minutes. Chairs/tables: Brown wooden chairs with striped cloth seats, wood coffee tables, fresh flowers on each table, cloth napkins, silverware, china. Sounds: People talking, background jazz music, faint sounds of street noise. Haptic: warm, soft and cozy.
Consider the environment as a character itself – what are the affective qualities of this organism? Friendly, inviting, caring, motherly, generous, touching/moving, helpful. Sometimes quiet, sometimes more chatty depending on mood and time of day. Morning person
Think about the experiential qualities – how does color operate, how do shadows fall, is it dry or wet, lively or barren, dangerous to humanity? Pale pastel colors Light shines through windows early morning to afternoon. A lot of big white windows allow for warmth of sun to come through most times of day. At night, small faint lamps and tea lights, creating a darker cozy atmosphere. Fairly lively at most points of day at least a few people are there. Normal air humidity, not to humid or dry, ideal Spanish spring day outside Feel breeze when somebody opens the door, cooler outside than inside. Dangerous when people are hungry or in need of coffee, people get agitated.
How does it feel to inhabit, or traverse this landscape? Not a place for people in a rush, meant to be a sit down cafe. A place to meet friends or be alone if you want, but take your time and enjoy a coffee and pastry. Always full but not overly crowded. One or two waitresses (in aprons) taking care of customers in the space so they can enjoy without moving. Customers sitting in the same spot for an hour or two at a time. Mostly full of regulars who know and greet each other.
Week 2 – Crisis and Prototype
Imagine a place where you can have the best coffee in town. Not a place for people in a rush, meant to be a sit down cafe. A place to meet friends or be alone if you want, but take your time and enjoy a coffee and pastry. Always full but not overly crowded.
One or two waitresses (in aprons) taking care of customers in the space so they can enjoy without moving. Customers sitting in the same spot for an hour or two at a time.
Mostly full of regulars who know and greet each other.
What makes this incredible space that amazingly cozy that cannot be unrelated to what happens around the world? Coffee?? Coffee it is.
Coffee beans are one of the most actively traded commodities in the world, and that’s not surprising if we have a look into our day-to-day habits. American society is well known for making a huge consumption. “The United States imports about 2.8 billion pounds of green coffee every year, and Americans consume just over nine pounds of coffee per capita annually.”
Just with sound and haptics, this utopian space can be felt, always perfect, always appealing, but suddenly, something changes. The user starts altering the space, just touching what is surrounding him. His interactions are not alienated to his reality. Every actions has its own consequences. Is not just about coffee, we want to reinforce the idea of conscious consumption. It’s disturbing how compromising for our environment could be just a simple, and savory cup of coffee.
Focus on audio: 2 Computers with two different volume
One pleasant utopian coffee shop sounds
Other effected by the choices of the participant.
Different props that create interaction between the audience and the different sounds.
Smell: roasted dark coffee being poured from an italian coffee machine and fresh pastries baked every 30 minutes.
Chairs/tables: Brown wooden chairs with striped cloth seats, wood coffee tables, fresh flowers on each table, cloth napkins, silverware, china.
Sounds: People talking, background jazz music, faint sounds of street noise.
Haptic: warm, soft and cozy.
Photos of Prototype
Week 3 – Final Prototype
This week we worked on making the prototype more directive on the narrative in hopes to give people more clarity on the story we are trying to tell.
Additional Props/Prototype Details
Smell: An opened bag of fragrant coffee beans (Starbucks Breakfast Blend) sat near the table, hidden from view.
Sight guidance: Ultraviolet mask to see clues (of light beams) that would be otherwise hidden. We chose to guide the user through the story, due to time constraints on finding a more sophisticated logic, but also to make sure the user was going through a desired narrative. Whenever the user touches an object it then triggers the sound.
Small room – one person at a time. The experience starts at the moment the person approaches the entrance of the room.
Crosses room, sits down – silence – ambient sound- audio output
Ambient noise was used to give the feel of people being there around you. Sets the scene of full, but not crowded.
We talked about in the future adding a candle with a light scent to add warmth and more coziness to the room, to give more of that coffee shop impression, also since the building is quite cold and plain that we were working in.
Sits down – trigger / jazz music – audio output
Jazz music to give the coziness and atmosphere.
Picks up coffee cup – coffee trigger / grinding coffee audio output
The first time the user interacts with the coffee, like the start of a coffee drinking routine. Therefore we chose a coffee grinder because it can sound slightly negative if you don’t know what it is, leading towards the crisis.
Touches plate – pastry trigger / oven beeper audio output
Since we didn’t have the smell of a pastry, we used a kitchen timer noise to signify something that would be baked and then eaten. However, it also signifies time passing by. While you wait for your coffee/pastry, other things are occurring without you knowing, or caring. People consume coffee everyday and many don’t know the stories behind their beans.
Touches fork/knife – trigger / machinery/chains audio output
The start of the crisis, when coffee drinking becomes less pleasant. When the user touches the fork/knife we wanted machinery sounds, setting the scene for coffee production in factories. Furthermore, many trees have been cut down and is usually where cheap coffee comes from, they call these farms “full-sun farms”. You can make sure you are not buying from a farm like this when you buy coffee certified by the Rainforest Alliance and Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.
Picks up coffee cup – trigger: fire truck audio output
Now that the crisis has begun, the coffee drinking prop is less pleasant. We wanted one element that had multiple meanings positive and negative. Since it was a coffee scene the coffee cup was a good prop to do that with.
The fire truck was chosen to portray coffee roasteries burning down, which harms and kills already badly paid and treated workers.
Picks up book – trigger / shooting audio output
Columbian coffee producers conflict.
Uses napkin – trigger / brooms cleaning sound audio output
Fungus (commonly referred to as coffee rust) wiping out 40% of coffee crops. It has always been a problem with coffee farmers, but it used to only be an issue to those coffee farms close to each other, however recently it has become an issue for even remote coffee farmers. Many farms have lost their entire production; many others have been unable to produce the quality of coffee their buyers requires. Reference
Also the end of our conflict narrative and start of things cleaning up with brooms.
Take cup of coffee trigger / pouring coffee audio output
Unconscious consumption. Coffee is the world’s third most popular drink behind water and tea. The conflict and story of the coffee has ended at this point, but to a normal coffee drinker who did not experience the crisis may not know all the conflict around their consumption.
Touches tray – all better trigger: just the jazz again audio output
Leaves coffee shop – trigger: silence