Digital Serendipity


Riffing on the idea of message in a bottle, this speculative system sends user serendipitous messages based on the “natural forces of cyberspace”:  internet speed and political weather of online media. A message will travel to recipients with internet access and shaped by the weather along the way.

Taking inspiration from nature, I approached the “echo chamber” effect poetically and proposed an alternative interaction between internet users who are isolated by predictive algorithms and search preferences. 

Exhibiting: Digital Serendipity in the Street Windows

Concept Video

User Journey

Visual Challenge

What does it mean for a message to get weatherly distorted?
What is the legibility of the pixels?

How does censorship and firewalls play a roll in this speculative system?

Experimenting “Weatherly Effects” of pixels

Visual experiements in Processing 3.0

User Interface

Message caught by firewall

Reflections: Unintended Consequences

As designers, how do we contribute to the becoming of filter bubbles? We design beautiful, intuitive interactions for someone to access information quick and effective. We design system that predict what they might like, based on their clicks and browsing history.  But we have forgotten to ask about the unintended consequences, especially on a larger, societal scale.