Week 4: Observations & Prototypes

Finding love in an urban metropolis like NYC was never easy even before the digital age. The rise of dating apps speeds up our worst behaviors and magnifies our frustrations of this so called “modern romance”.

By now, I have officially interviewed 20 millennials about their dating experience in NYC and also gathered about 15 stories and various opinions on modern romance through unofficial conversations. It has been fun listening to people sharing their dating stories and hugely rewarding learning that so many millennials as well as the generation before us love talking about their love lives. Re-visiting all the audio and written notes I took from those interviews has made me realize that many of us have exceptionally similar frustrations with dating in digital age NYC as online dating become the norm.

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Week 1: Dream, Vision, Goal, Plan


Since Tinder’s launch in 2012, many similar apps appear. Online dating became popularized among the millennials. Meeting new people was much easier than before. Modern romance was born. Terms like casual but not a hookup; exclusive yet not too “serious” become recurring discussion topics you have with your potential partner, your friends and also conversations you overhear at restaurants, on public transportation or in universities. It seems like the introduction of these dating apps have effectively work in our new favor of promoting non-binary relationships over the conventions. However, I heard so many complaints about commitment issues, conflicts between expectation and reality, losing faith in dating and love. Why are so many people frustrated about dating nowadays? Has our expectation and perception of love really changed? My dream is to find answers to these questions.

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Violence and necessity of context

I visited the Whitney Biennial in 2017 knowing that the exhibition consists of work that reflects racial tensions, polarized politics and economic inequities. After checking out an installation about forest and mythology my friend was monitoring, I saw from a few feet away a long table with metal bars with people in VR headsets and a long queue around. Intrigued by why visitors were queuing up for that one particular piece, I walked over.

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Rola Love

I want to explore the discomfort of interpreting human emotions through a synthetic voice that is easily recognized as a conventional voice assistant. Rather than just presenting it as an art piece, I also speculate whether giving personal devices personalities to better simulate their owner’s situation could work as a product.

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