What will I learn?


Building relationships with intelligent systems

Autonomous cars will soon be a common reality, and will affect our lives in ways we can't imagine. In a world where cars drive themselves, talk to each other, and interact with the built environment, how will they get along with people? In return, how will people affiliate with and trust them?

We know that when people develop relationships with each other, they rely on interaction rituals, that help them establish common norms and values. What do those interaction rituals look like when the norms are few, and boundaries are undefined -- and when it's a person on one side and an intelligent system on the other? Whose values will a car count on when they begin to make decisions, and how can people navigate this new kind of relationship in reassuring, empowering, and delightful ways?

In this class we will tackle these questions with the lens of ritual design. We will be designing ritual interactions to help people build rich, meaningful relationships with autonomous cars. We will focus on car to driver/rider, car to pedestrian, and car to car contexts. We will tackle challenges of affiliation, trust, playfulness, and more. Building off past ritual design classes, and cutting edge autonomous car research, students will run through quickly, lively, creative ritual design sprints. They will get the chance to prototype novel interactions in car environments. They’ll also use photo and video storytelling tools to capture their design work.

This is a prototype driven studio, meant especially for students interested in rich interactions and bringing playfulness and meaning to experience design. We welcome students who are interested in how to create novel interactions, and who want to explore humorous, strange, magical, and curious ways to do so.


Kursat Ozenc, SAP
Margaret Hagan, Stanford Law School
David Sirkin, CDR


Any questions?