Presentation at the Design Expo

Presenting PoliCiti at the “World” stage in the Kodiak room at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond. Goofups and awesomeness galore! The jury had some interesting things to say, and questions that put parts of our project in perspective for us. I think it was the first time either of us went up on a stage this big. Quite a bit to reflect up on, but it gives us immense confidence to move forward.

It’s not over yet!

The fact that this blog post is written so late goes to show how awestruck we have been by the entire experience.  What started of as a classroom project has now turned into something we think of and want to improvise everyday. Project Plus has been a beautiful mix of so many things.

Design research, Insights and their correct application, a Systems approach, User Experience (very basic level) on an academic end and  script writing, presentation-giving, sharing ideas and thoughts on the other. If there was something to highlight it would be LEARNING! In all caps and bold. The project allowed us to think beyond what we would or could have, explore uncomfortable areas and gain huge amounts of experiences and exposure that we could have never done otherwise.

The project also gave us the opportunity to collaborate and work with people with various skill sets from all over the country and the world. We’re very grateful to all those who helped us in building and making PLUS. Jaimeen, the super-awesome-illustrator-who-can-give-anyone-a-run-for-their-money-and-still-be-so-awesome for making the most brilliant illustration on our scenarios, Sankeerth who handled the PoliCiti concept and brought it to reel life, Rahul and Stuti, who developed PoliCiti all the way from Singapore and made it available for us to show as a prototype. Mathias Rodriguez who allowed us to use one of the most apt images of the Indian Police.  Officials from the BPR&D Department, Delhi for sharing and explaining everything to be able to call it ‘Research’. Thank you for everything!

A big thank you to 

Rupesh, our project mentor and guide for all the support and encouragement throughout till the last day, Nithin from Microsoft India for cheering us all along the course of the Project , Roshini for making sure we didn’t strangle each other while we worked on the project, Bulbul and Akshay for the ‘Samay’ times. MP Ranjan for giving us new insights, Bhaskar Bhat for the one session on systems that will always be embedded in the head,  the entire PD batch 2011 who patiently sat through our project presentation, classmates, friends and family who believed in the cause and the many others who’ve supported and helped PLUS all along.

Microsoft for giving us this opportunity and supporting us ! We loved every bit of the Design Expo. Thank you!

Finally, if you’re someone who have any idea, comments or feedback to share, please do write into us and we’d love to talk!

Ok, its not over yet, PLUS has a long long way to go. We’ve just about started with things in real time. Keep watching this space for more!

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Best Cultural Design!

The Design Expo is not a competition but the hosts honour teams with a title that they feel that does most justice to it. Project Plus received the Best Cultural Design title. We gather that ‘Cultural’ design means a problem and solution grounded in ones own culture/context. Quite snazzy! :)

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Team India

Team India

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The smiles after it was all over!

Design Expo-Day 1+ The Grand Finale

It came, it happened and it was awesome!

Design Expo 2013 is what we were there for and over a course of two days, it was one of the most incredible things to be part of.  On day 1 we attended the keynote speech by Bill Gates and then got the chance to see things around Microsoft and meet some really interesting people. It was mad fun!

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Bill Gates as the Keynote speaker

After we setup our booth for the DemoFest to be held the next day, we got to see the Envisioning Center (ok, can’t say more, we signed an NDA). Lets just say it left us speechless.  :D Amidst all of this, we got to meet so many new people, know the work they did and even shared our own projects.

Day 2 was D Day. DemoFest and the Design Expo (Presentation) at the Kodiak.  At the DemoFest, we met people and faculty from all over the world and shared what PLUS was all about. Since we had our scenario videos and a working prototype of the idea, it became a lot easier for people to grasp the concept.  People gave interesting feedback, asked questions and encouraged us too. It was an enriching experience to be able share PoliCiti and what it would do for a community at large.

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The PLUS kiosk

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Team PLUS

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Talking to people about the Project

After the DemoFest, the presentations at Kodiak began.  It was the Grand Finale for all of us. Everyone showed and shared their projects and did a brilliant job of it. The projects helped us gain insight into the issues that students from across the globe addressed, approaches that the teams had taken and how their concepts functioned, with respect to crowd sourcing, data sharing and community building.

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Lili Cheng opening the Design Expo Presentation

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Team Seedlinks

Akshan and I presented PLUS to a huge audience at the Kodiak. The presentation started with a minor technical glitch (as always) but picked up as we moved on. The scenario video got an ovation from the audience and by the end, we’d done pretty well. The jury appreciated the effort and the project at large. A question we were asked was that how could we counter abuse of the app, by someone for e.g. who has a grudge against the Police. Bill Buxton mentioned in his feedback that it was good that we looked at the both the sides of the system (citizens and the police) and worked on the relationship between them.

And that was how it ended. On this brilliant note that people understood the concept and the idea and would love to see it in action. We also received interesting comments  like ‘Wouldn’t this encourage one area to become more prevalent of crimes and be less favoured by people to live in.’ Something we definitely hadn’t thought of. Many students and attendees at the Faculty Summit told us how applicable PoliCiti was to their own countries and areas where they lived. That was very encouraging. We couldn’t have asked for a better way of showcasing the Project at Redmond.

More than anything else, it was good to see that PoliCiti was a favourable concept and that it was something that everyone believed, is required.

(The link of the presentation recording shall be put up soon here)

Project Walkthrough

Sunday morning and a Project Walkthrough!

We entered the Microsoft Conference Centre and well, it felt quite awesome. We walked around, spoke to the other teams a bit and then finally had our own dry run of the presentation.

We got back into the feel the of the project, felt connected with it, faltered a wee bit here and there but felt a lot more confident! Lili and Mike gave us some very good feedback and points to work on. Rupesh was around as well and so was Deepak Menon from Microsoft India.

Following that, was the technical setup which actually went off better than the dry run of the presentation.

All Pictures here, courtesy Rupesh.

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The main events of the start tomorrow