Assignment 3: Response to ‘Thoughtful Interaction Design’

“Every design is a change of our life world; the designer influences our overall experience of the world as a pleasant or ugly place to spend out lives in.”

Thoughtful Interaction Design, while heavy and complex in its content, provides a comprehensive and extensive guide to good design approaches without compromising the responsibilities of the designer upon execution. One of the most important points that was consistently brought up in the reading was the impact that a particular design may have on the user’s end. Designers, either working individually or in a team, needs to be able to see themselves as a material of the design itself. Every aspect of the design process, which includes the resources, and the situation at hand, will ultimately affect the end-users and therefore, has to be thought out carefully. It is vital that designers keep in mind that they have been given the power to influence the lives of others as well as the existing conditions of a premise.

One example of a work that I feel has been successful in its application of thoughtful interaction design is the Connected Mall by Simon Property Group and eBay inc.. The company that aimed to enhance the digital shopping experience came up with an interactive mall directory that allows shoppers to navigate their way around the mall and assist them in making informed shopping decisions.

Connected Mall is a high def six-foot LCD touch screen distributed sparsely inside the mall at the convenience of all shoppers. It includes 3D maps of every floor in the building that maps out directions to every store to ensure that shoppers not only receive a wholesome experience in the mall, but also optimize their shopping efficiency. The touch screen is made adjustable in height, allowing easy access for children, and wheelchair-bound shoppers.

Alternatively, shoppers could also access Connected Mall through an app on their mobile phones. This enables them to refer to the mall directory at any location within and beyond the perimeters of the mall. In terms of its interface, what can be seen on the big LCD touch screens are also displayed in a miniature version of the map on the shoppers’ mobile phones. With the existing installation of Connected Mall in Stanford Shopping Center, it has been proven to ease the user’s shopping experience.

Screen-captures of mobile app:

Here is a video to show how the interface looks like:

Connected Mall has definitely gone through thorough consideration in the design process while developing the application. They have successfully came up with a product that not only pushed retail technology a step further, but managed to find a solution with the challenges of navigating around a huge mall. It is evident that they have applied thoughtful interaction design here.

Assignment 4: Response to Kim Goodwin’s Designing for the Digital Age

This reading assignment has definitely redefined my perspective on design. Kim Goodwin highlighted a very important point that separates the idea of being an artist and being a designer. An artist is one who creates to display their vision in the en-product,whether it is a narrative, a form of expression, or an avenue for exploration in the artist’s point of view. Whereas a designer would keep in mind that he or she creates to fulfill a purpose, whether it is in the functionality of the end-product, to serve as a solution to problems, to meet the demands of the client they are working for, or to satisfy the needs and goals of the user of the product or service.

Goodwin has also covered the skeleton and workflow in design by touching on several examples, such as interactivity and experience, to help readers understand how it all works, and how we as designers should go about before jumping in to execute our ideas. I find myself prioritizing aesthetics more than function when it comes down to thinking about designing a particular product. However, I often neglect an important aspect of design itself and that is the user that I am making the design for. As artists, we do get carried away with the beauty of our works that we sometimes disregard the purpose of why we even come up with the work itself. Goodwin’s breakdown of the Goal-Directed Design, a user-centered methodology by Alan Cooper, made me realize the key elements to pay attention to in every step of the workflow.

Goal-Directed Design consists of four different components: principles, patterns, process, and practices. This serves as a framework and a guideline for design teams and companies to follow to ensure that they are able to translate the demands of their clients into designs that meet their needs and satisfaction. Goodwin mentioned how we as designers should think of principles as the rule of grammar in design (creating a good solution), while patterns as the designer’s vocabulary (types of solution that could be useful). However, Goodwin was more focused in explaining the two latter components.

Goal-directed process was dissected into so many more layers that carries more weight in design. He highlighted the importance of personas, where user profiling is crucial in order for a designer to truly understand what their clients really need and from there, make better design decisions. Goodwin also discussed how practices is essential where project planning and consistent communication within the team and with the clients play a huge role in achieving better design.

I have yet to implement this set of rules that were discussed in Goodwin’s writing. I could clearly see how the information that I have gained from the reading could make better improvements to my work and attitude as a designer.



1. Is the goal-directed design methodology applicable across all the different disciplines in design itself?

2. How do we as designers go about if we ever lacked in personas?

Cinerama Analysis: Wear You All Night & Making Chinatown

Cinerama Analysis

  1. Wear You All Night by Sarah Choo Jing
    Two-channel video with sound
    Duration 4:38 mins

    Description & Analysis:
    Wear You All Night depicts a man and a woman coexisting in the same space, yet they are separated by the split screens, which evokes romantic estrangement typical of cinematic conventions in films like Wong Kar Wai’s “In the mood for love”. The characters are isolated and can be seen going about their daily routine without interaction with one another. Although both characters were filmed separately, the unspoken connection between them was evident, through the alignment of the screens, and lighting and the room setting.

    Quiet, sneaky actions suggest the act of leaving, escaping and abandonment.

    Characters are framed strategically by the rooms and luxurious objects and the stationary camera shooting from a distance creates the CCTV-esque effect that the characters are being watched. At first glance, one would think that the installation is for a luxury brand commercial. However, there is a sense of tension between the two frames as a result of the framing of the scenes and the detached gazes of the male and female character. Yet, certain camera angles suggest that the rooms may be conjoined or exist within the same house, further highlighting the emotional estrangement despite their physical closeness.

    The war-zone soundscape was a very interesting addition to the piece, which helped us understand the relationship between both parties. A stark contrast to the visuals, the soundscape significantly heightened the emotional intensity and magnified the emotional textures of the narrative on screen. As such, a slightly aggressive, melodramatic relationship is suggested, from the exaggerated nature of the audiovisual experience.

    About Choo:
    Sarah Choo (b. 1990, Singapore) is known for her interdisciplinary approach to photography, video and installation. Her work depicts identifiable moments and characters within contemporary urban society suggesting a plethora of private and often solitary narratives. The artist is concerned with the gaze of the flaneur, voyeurism and the uncanny. Her research process involves reflection and writing. She begins and ends her work with sketches and ramblings on her journal. There is not a specific, linear storyline in her works as she believes that any piece of artwork that can capture the viewer’s attention and make him/her contemplate/reflect upon what is presented at face value, makes for a worthy piece of art.

  2. Making Chinatown by Ming Wong
    Mixed-media installation featuring a five-channel video
    Dimensions variable

    Description & Analysis:
    Making Chinatown is an immersive installation where each of the five videos are played and positioned against the printed backdrops from their respective scenes. As a parodic reinterpretation of Roman Polanski’s seminal 1974 film ‘Chinatown’, Wong re-enacts the iconic scenes from the film while playing all the key characters all by himself. Through the usage of backdrops from ‘Chinatown’ film stills, he aims to capture the cinematic qualities of Los Angeles neighbourhoods and focuses on the topic filmmaking in the American context.

    Stills from Making Chinatown (

    Stills from Roman Polanski’s ‘Chinatown

    Key roles played by Wong:
    J.J. “Jake” Gittes (originally played by Jack Nicholson), Evelyn Cross Mulwray (originally played by Faye Dunaway), Noah Cross (originally played by John Huston), Katherine Cross (originally played by Belinda Palmer)

    The gallery is transformed into a space resembling a studio backlot, bringing the viewers into a behind-the-scenes setting of the film. Through this setup, Wong highlights the artifice of cinematic productions by deconstructing the making of the film and presenting them in the simplest way possible – large props like cars and room settings are printed and mounted on flat surfaces, and strategically positioned to produce the illusion of a 3D space.

    With the re-interpretation of Polanski’s classic film, Ming Wong did not only attempt to explore the comedic aspects that were being pushed with creating his parody, but it was also a response to the cultural reading and stereotypes of Los Angeles’ Chinatown in the earlier days when the original film was being made. It was a period of yellow peril and discrimination against the Asian community in the United States at that time. By casting himself in the main roles of the Hollywood classic, he hopes to address the issues of how the Asian community was perceived and reflect on the nature of cultural identity.

    Ming Wong not only took the roles of the actors in the film, but also the role of producer and director, and often costume designer, set designer, cameraman, editor. He felt that having a holistic part in every aspect of making the film is essential for him as the artist to a point that it obscures him as a person. He referred to the premise, props, cast, costumes, and camerawork as illusions to further imply the notions of how our identity are easily manipulated without us realizing it.

    At first glance, the work looked rather simplistic and plain with its two-dimensional backdrops. Our attention was caught instead by the comedic qualities of the videos where every character is played by Wong himself, dressed in heavy makeovers to portray several roles even within the same scene. The parodic elements were highly immersive, from the props, dressing, and weirdly taped eyebrows to the overly-dramatic plots that were being reenacted on screen.

    It was truly remarkable how Ming Wong brought upon the issue of how the Asian community, particularly the Chinese community, was being portrayed in mainstream media beyond the layers of humour and light-heartedness. We realized how important it is for us to see the importance of having our cultural identities included in the art that we view and make, and for it to be representative of us in an appropriate manner.

    Another important element that we thought was commendable in his work is how versatile he was in taking the roles of the cast and the crew in the production of the project itself. He touched upon breaking the rules of gender by playing the iconic role of the femme fatale in Making Chinatown, Evelyn Mulwray. More than that, he has shown us that as an artist, it is crucial for us to go behind the process of every single detail of our work. He was able to dissect the roles of the production and get his hands on every part of it to ensure that he understands it from a greater perspective.

    About Wong:
    Ming Wong (b. 1971, Singapore) works with visual styles adapted from iconic films, and performs a reinterpretation of world cinema classics. He often explores foreign cinematic languages, social structures, gender and cultural identity and introspection, and ‘mis-casts’ himself into playing multiple roles in his own re-telling of world cinema.

By: Joan Li, Tiffany Anne Rosete & Anam Musta’ein


Exercise 2: Centuplanes


Done by Anam & Cher See


Suspend 100 paper planes of different sizes and at different heights in two different spaces – public space and a personal space.


To create a therapeutic and an almost meditative space for people to improve their stress levels, and stimulate better brain function. The plane is used as a metaphor for failure due to unrealistic dreams (the crashing of planes), overcoming obstacles and rising to a new level of prominence (taking off in planes), and an important transitional phase in your life (transferring of planes). This space hopes to offer a myriad, or even an amalgamation, of feelings which results in the realization of where one is in his/her life and to enable them to figure out their next course of actions.


We folded 50 A4-sized paper planes and 50 A5-sized ones and attached them to cotton strings of various lengths with a hot-glue gun. The lose ends of the strings were then pasted and distributed across the ceilings of the two spaces at different heights.




Personal Space (Anam’s Room):
Public Space (ADM Level 2 Lobby):