Rename - An Interactive Installment

Speculative Design
Individual Project
Novenber 2018
Project Overview
In both US and China, most people give family names on fathers’ side to their newborn babies. Why does this phenomenon happen? How do women and men in different ages look at this phenomenon? An interactive installation game, Rename, is created to explore the idea of naming practices, and reflect on naming customs.
Research
Surname in Different Historical Stages
Surname Tradition in Different Cultures
Surnames have not always existed and today are not universal in all cultures. The use of family names is common in most cultures around the world, with each culture has its own rules as to how these names are formed, passed and used.
Ideation
Prototype
My design is to create an interactive board. Each circle on the board represents one family member in my family. The questions in the circles are typical problems or choices related to gender under their historical backgound. The bottom boxes contain three last name cards in each, which audience can pick up and put in the circles. Only one audience can interact with it each time and recreate my family tree accrding to the questions.
Final Design
Feedbacks
I invited around 15 people to take part in the installation game. Here are 3 typical audiences, and their game results and responses.
Generally, it is difficult for audiences to put themselves back in past generations’ age, and think from those perspectives. Audiences usually reflect on gender equality and naming traditions at the same time. But for people with relatively untraditional views, they usually stick with their original thoughts.