The ZoeBike is a spatial device that allows the user to project a zoetrope animation onto the walls of a dark room that uses the power generated by pedaling a bicycle.
Initially, we wanted to do project an animation of the growth of a plant from seedling to adult tree. However, we realized that in order to present the life cycle of a plant, we needed to work with more frames then what could be contained within the dimensions of the zoetrope. So instead, we decided to go with the projecting the walk cycle of the animal that is regarded as the guardian of the forest, the deer. The animation consists of 17 frames. Below is a video of how the movement of the deer should look like when it is projected onto the walls of the dark room:
Assembling the ZoeBike
Here are the tools and materials we have used to construct the ZoeBike:
Bicycle (with the back tire removed)
Black Spray Paint
LED Light Strip
Portable Power Bank
Here are some photos to show of how the bicycle component of the ZoeBike is being constructed:
Here are some photos to show how the zoetrope was constructed:
Below is a video to display the process of making the ZoeBike and how it works:
Upon seeing the results of our ZoeBike, we realized that there were several areas of improvement that we should work on before moving on to the next step of digitalizing our project for the final submission.
Plant the bicycle on a platform to ensure that it does not tremble when participants move the pedals. Relying on the bicycle stand might be somewhat hap-hazardous for the participants and the people standing of close proximity to the ZoeBike.
Use a better support to substitute the bamboo pole that holds the zoetrope upright to ensure that it eases its rotation as well giving it a more balanced spin.
Stabilize the zoetrope. It appears to be tilted when it is being spun which resulted in an angled projection of the animation.
Use a spotlight instead of LEDs to project the animation as the light diffuses and messes up the silhouettes that were created on the walls of the dark room.
Provide a division in between the frames of the animation to make sure that it plays smoother.
Place the ZoeBike in a darker and preferable a smaller room to ensure that the light is projected well onto the walls.
“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.
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?
Wear You All Night by Sarah Choo Jing 2017 Two-channel video with sound Duration 4:38 mins https://vimeo.com/217993621 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. Response: 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. (http://www.sarahchoojing.com/about.html)
Making Chinatown by Ming Wong 2012 Mixed-media installation featuring a five-channel video Dimensions variable https://vimeo.com/46673548 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 (http://www.mingwong.org/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. Response: 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. (http://www.nafa.edu.sg/admissions/why-nafa/featured-alumni/profile/ming-wong)
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.
Stepping into The Oceanic exhibition at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, the Tamoya Ohboya, an installation by Tue Greenfort, caught my attention. The neon cyan light that glows beyond its display with the very organism that the piece was named after, hovering and floating inside the aquarium was a visual ecstasy. It exposed me to the feeling of calmness yet a certain degree restrain as it immerses its viewers into an artificial habitat.
The Tamoya Ohboya is a species of box jellyfish that is native to the waters of the Dutch Caribbean islands. The species have been in existence for over 500 million years, and thrives only in ideal temperatures and water conditions. Due to the warming of the ocean’s temperatures, researches have observed an increase in the migration of these organisms to new geographical waters.
Greenfort, a Danish artist mostly known for his works revolving around the themes of ecology and the environment, delved into replicating the ideal habitual conditions to sustain the Tamoya Ohboya. By combining art and technology, he was able to create an artificial habitat for these jellyfishes with a tank that was designed to closely resemble the ocean, and devices that maintains and regulates the perfect temperature. This piece was a response to how the environment is changing and proposes a way we, as humans and as a community, could take to preserve delicate life-forms like the Tamoya Ohboya from dying out due to years of destructive human interventions with nature. The concept ties in well with other pieces in the exhibition that urges environmental and economic issues.
Although I find the work compelling in its ways of creating awareness to the mass while highlighting the importance of conserving the environment and how it correlates to the human society, stripping the jellyfishes off its natural habitat and confining it in a small aquarium in the name of art is not an appropriate measure to take. Greenfort’s attempt to display these creatures could be seen as an adverse response to the problem itself rather than the message that he initially intended to tell.
But is there an ethical issue here that needs to be straightened out when it comes to having works like this publicly displayed? Was it necessary for the artist to take live specimens of the creature itself to bring across a message? With the concept of tapu being discussed in the lectures and how we are very informed that there are certain rules and prohibitions practiced in the Polynesian culture concerning the conservation of the very home we live in, are we really protecting the environment? Or is this just another evidence that we are simply causing more harm to it?
Project Title: Telematic Lunch
Done by: Anam Musta’ein, Isaac Chu, Mirei Shirai, Win Zaw
Telematic Lunch is a collective Facebook Live broadcast between 4 people streaming from 4 different locations, having a conversation over pizza in the third space. The project aims to emulate all the elements you get from having a meal with friends in the physical space and bring it into the virtual space, eliminating distance while preserving the actual atmosphere of sharing the same dining table.
We got inspired by several examples that were discussed in class which were successful in their attempt to imitate physical human interaction in the virtual space.
‘The Big Kiss’, a performance installation by Annie Abrahams, allowed participants to engage in a communal kiss with strangers without any physical contact. The participants were captured from different cameras and then merged into one screen to make it seem as if they were kissing in real life. What has set this interaction different from its traditional counterpart is that participants did not get the sensation of touch while engaging in such activities. The element of play became more apparent and unlike physical kissing, participants were able to see themselves on screen, making them much more self-conscious of how they portray themselves.
‘The Big Kiss’ by Annie Abrahams
Another example that we got inspired from is ‘Telematic Dreaming’, an interactive installation done by Paul Sermon in 1993. The installation was meant to put two lovers, who were miles apart, together and converge them into one shared space. The individual video images of each lover were projected onto each other’s bed, allowing them to lay next to each other and immerse themselves in an intimate connection, much like how it is in real life, without any physical contact. Video calls were not in existence at the time but this installation is imperative to make many realize that distance could no longer be seen as a barrier.
‘Telematic Dreaming’ by Paul Sermon
‘Hole In Space’ by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz was another piece that inspired our Telematic Lunch project. This video installation linked bigger-than-life displays in two different cities, one in New York and the other in Los Angeles, with a satellite feed. With no public announcements to let the word out about the project, it managed to stop passers-by on the streets to interact with people in the video and on the other side of the screen. It got the people to interact with friends and family members that they have seen in years as well as strangers to engage in conversations.
‘Hole In Space’ by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz
There are several attributes from these examples that we have adopted in our final project. We were able to communicate with each other despite the not being in the same room, we were able to converge our individual videos into one screen, and most importantly, we were all sharing the same virtual space in real time.
Collective Broadcast Process
The idea of this final project was to have pizza and play a game of ‘Never have i ever’ in telematic space within two ‘window’ grids to make it seem like we were all sharing the same dining table from each other’s remote places. 2 of us (Mirei and Anam) positioned ourselves in the foreground with orange screens nailed onto the walls behind us while the other 2 of us (Isaac and Win Zaw) positioned ourselves in the background within the space provided in the area of the orange screens which has been chroma-keyed out. Our tables were then aligned to give the illusion of it being just one table with the pizza box placed in the center of the screen.
In terms of recording the broadcast, Mirei and Anam used the webcams on their laptops while Isaac and Win Zaw used their smart phones to stream live. We were all using different rooms in ADM to perform our broadcast. With all of us streaming on our own Facebook accounts, Isaac equipped himself with a laptop to fetch all those streams into OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while overlooking all the activities on-screen and collectively stream a second video on Isaac’s Facebook account. Since Mirei, Anam and Win Zaw were not able to see each other in the collective broadcast, we decided to communicate through Skype call instead.
On top the having the orange screens as ‘windows’ for the broadcasters in the background, Win Zaw wore a green suit to have a starry GIF animation chroma-keyed into it, creating a third level into the chroma key and make the broadcast much more interesting.
Setting up the orange screens, the tables and the position of the cameras took us 3 hours before the collective stream. We needed to make sure that everything was aligned and that the videos were working in order. Our mode of communication through Skype call was only figured out after we realized that Mirei, Anam and Win Zaw would not be able to see everyone else during the broadcast. Isaac doubled up as a control room for all our broadcasts as he oversees all the activities while giving us specific instructions to make sure that we were on the same page. Video latency was a huge problem, especially with Win Zaw being in a room where bandwidth was pretty low. But the audio was much more in-sync since it was done through Skype call.
After the collective stream ended, we did realize that we came across several technical issues while broadcasting. Due to the latency, some of our actions were delayed and audio was not recorded on the collective stream. Fortunately, the audio from Anam’s stream was clear and we managed to edit it into the video in post-production.
Overall, Telematic Lunch was a success as we were able to execute all the objectives we had during planning. The lessons we had over the semester have certainly helped us come out with a final idea that incorporates so many different elements from different topics that were discussed in class. We explored the possibilities in the third space extensively and pushed the boundaries of physical distance and virtual communication.
Win Zaw and myself had the idea of broadcasting from two different setting in Singapore, one being a residential area in Pioneer where I was and the other being in the business district area in Raffles Place where Win Zaw was. We have also decided to film it in the evening to capture both the difference and similarities in Singapore’s night lighting whether it came from street lights, buildings, or vehicles on the road. The stark contrast in the number of people appearing in our individual videos offers two perspective into the night scene of Singapore – with mine being slightly relaxed and quieter while it is more congested and busier on Win Zaw’s side.
To give the co-broadcast experience even more comparison, we have turned on our own tracking app in the background to allow us to see the trail that we have traveled in throughout the broadcast. It is pretty interesting to see the difference in the amount of turns we make and the direction that we both went on our broadcasts. I went on a more linear route while Win Zaw made more turns and loops in his. Below are two screenshots of our movement throughout the broadcast:
Win Zaw’s Movement:
We had some very interesting moments during the broadcast where we tried to match our visuals with building lines, horizon lines, perspectives, trails, and passing vehicles. There were moments where we had nearly symmetrical compositions, while some looked like we intentionally positioned our cameras to align the objects appearing on our broadcast across the dividing grid.
All in all, the experience was an exciting one as we struggled to coordinate with each other’s screen. We did not communicate much during the broadcast, but having to coordinate lines within the grid was almost intuitive. It made me realize that there is a degree of synchronization in everything we do, especially we put them side by side.