Better With You @ the BRIC Hack-A-Thon House Party / by Ernie Gerardo

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of presenting Better With You in the wild for the first time. My hosts were BRIC in Brooklyn, who were having a family day party. The open demonstration occurred on either side of performances by the brilliant Ken Butler, as well as fellow Berklee alum Julia Easterlin, who is way too prolific and talented for me to share a stage with. But it happened! And it was awesome!

I used the opportunity to do a little research with both kids and parents in order to hone in the design a little more. However, since a picture is worth a thousand words, how about I just show you what happened? I mean, that's got to be like a million words then, right?

Actually, I was turns out that video is worth even more words. So here's a minute-long version of what ended up being five hours of people using this thing:

So what did we learn? Mostly that parents love this thing. But also that in situations where there will be kids (and trust me, there will be kids), Better With You needs to be about a hundred times more durable and stable, since this prototype fell over and had to be re-taped several times throughout the afternoon. Luckily, it only took a minute, but I just have to be ready for the possibility that this thing will be handled roughly.

I also learned the value of investing in one of those big Purell pump bottles when a lot of people will be touching your installation art.

However, I have found some materials that will let me make a version of Better With You that can withstand a little abuse. And come March 5th, I'll be able to put it to the test. More on that later.

Be good.

- Ernie