23 Mar 2013

Honorable Mention in SIDeR Conference 24-hour Design Challenge

Hauber diagrams the design space. Photo by Marysol Ortega Pallanez

Hauber diagrams the design space. Photo by Marysol Ortega Pallanez

Erin Hauber, along with fellow NC State MGD students Claire Kohler and Marysol Ortega Pallanez, received honorable mention for their contribution to the 2013 Student Interaction Design Research Conference (SIDeR) 24-hour Design Challenge. The conference, founded in 2005, has grown into a forum for students to contribute to the still-emerging field of interaction design. Hauber, Kohler and Ortega Pallanez competed with teams from across Europe and North America for the opportunity to present their work at the conference and 1000 Euros in travel money.

Known as team "mec_mec_mec" for the purposes of the challenge, Hauber, Kohler and Ortega Pallanez had 24 hours to respond to the prompt: "Design a concept that brings together users with different backgrounds, for their mutual benefit, thus showing how technology can empower through interaction." The outcomes were judged using the following criteria:

The following is the written portion of mec_mec_mec's entry; more information about the breadth of their process and the final submission can be found at their shared Tumblr


All of us need to think about the text we experience by interacting with others, for we know what we think only when we try to articulate or represent our thought (Booth, 2008)

We believe that in this multi-media, information oriented world it is increasingly important to create opportunities for people to think critically and creatively about current events. With projects such as TruthGoggles and the initiatives of the Knight Foundation we see people and news organizations working together to solve the credibility “problem” that has emerged in the age of the citizen journalist.   

The facts are important. But also important is the voice of the people in this participatory age. We are inspired by projects such as Emoto that seek to give form to the emotions people feel around particular events and cultural moments. We recognize that new forms of commentary on current affairs such as viral memes act as the “Flash bulb memories” of our age. We also agree with David Gauntlett that everyday people are creative and that for them “making is connecting.”

So we ask, what would it mean to the news and readers of the news, if the voice of people could be read and shared alongside the context from which they emerged? How can engaging with current affairs become a richer experience when news consumers interact with meme consumers? What are the possibilities when the information that fuels ideas shares the same space as the tools for voicing feelings about those ideas and those consumers transform into makers?

Our proposal aims at creating a bridge between and among context driven readers (the news consumers) and entertainment driven readers (meme consumers) despite geographic or philosophical divides. By capturing not only the spectrum of facts but also the spectrum of feelings surrounding the news, we can enrich our understanding of what we know and what we believe about our world.


Booth, David W. (David Wallace). It’s Critical! : Classroom Strategies for Promoting Critical and Creative Comprehension. Markham, Ont.: Pembroke Publishers, 2008.



Shihab, Ibrahim Abu. “Reading as Critical Thinking.” Asian Social Science 7.8 (2011): 209–219.