Final Project – Watch Where You Are Going

Watch Where You Are Going

by Feriga and Sherry

“Watch Where You Are Going” is a provocative object, aimed to raise awareness about “distracted walking”. Almost everybody are guilty of walking while distracted, yet many people seemed to think that the problem only involved others, and never themselves, as they believe that they are totally capable of multitasking, and have “never” caused an accident or disruption. Hence, the objective of our project was to put the user into the role of an unaware distracted walker, and the audience in the surrounding whom are most probably guilty of distracted walking in real life as well, into the shoes of the people whom would be affected by such actions in real life.


Why should we care?

The number of accidents caused by distracted walking are on the rise in both Singapore, and globally. These accidents does not only occur in the vehicular traffic flow ( on the roads ) but in the pedestrian traffic flow as well, and they range from minor mishaps such as bumping into a person or walking into a fountain, to more serious mishaps such as getting fractures and concussion, or even walking to your deaths.

A local survey in 2015 found out that despite 84% of the people who participated in the survey acknowledged that distracted walking is dangerous, 93% of the people admitted that they still does it anyways. Another survey in the United States found out that 74% of the participants felt that “other people” were usually or always walking while distracted, only 29% said the same about themselves, and 46% acknowledged that it was dangerous.

Many millennials felt that there are no serious consequences to walking while distracted, and that the most “serious” consequences would probably be being in an “embarrassing” situation. Most of them have the widespread belief that they are capable of multitasking while walking, and it was absolutely safe as they often look up from time to time. However, many a times, people would tend to get totally immersed in using their phones, and would often forget about looking up from time to time, as well as the surroundings altogether. Furthermore, research have proven that the human brain can never truly pay attention to more than one thing at a time, and that our peripheral vision can drop to 10% of normal when we look down at our phones while walking.




We wanted to simulate the situation at busy walkways in places such as MRT stations and Orchard Road, where there would be a high human traffic flow, and where “distracted walking” can be commonly seen at. It is in these areas that “distracted walking” tend to cause lots of disruptions and inconvenience to others.

However, as the walkways in school are wide, and we are unable to really get a crowd, we decided to cordon off half of the walkway with tapes to make the walkway smaller, and the signage to prevent people from walking at the cordoned off area. Hence, there would be higher traffic flow in the smaller walkway, and the impact of “distracted walking” would be larger – simulating the crowded and busy walkways in public, as well as the situation in areas which are cordoned off.


Observational Documentation

  1. The user would be helped to put on the hat and the fanny pack.
  2. The user would be handed a handphone, and would have to follow the instructions stated on the screen.
  3. Instruction on the screen: “answer the question stated below as you walk towards the other end of the corridor”

Feedbacks & Observations from Testers & Audience:


      • One tester did not know that there were instructions on the phone, as the screen was on a whatsapp chat page ( the instructions were sent by a person in the chat, and the user was supposed to reply the question in the chat – mimicking texting while walking )
      • Cannot feel the vibration, which was supposed to annoy her
      • Vibrations felt ticklish / comfortable instead of annoying
      • Stopped midway in the walkway to take a closer look of the contents on the screen – which caused disruption behind
      • Cannot type properly
      • Able to see the reflection of the lights on the screen
      • Audiences were not reacting to the lights; they already know about the output
      • The setting was too casual
      • It would have been better if the people were randoms / planted


Design Process Documentation

Previous Posts:

Project Development Sketches
Bodystorming Exercise

Initially, we wanted the hat to be worn by a planted person, walking through the crowds of people while using his / her phone, and occasionally stopping abruptly to mimic how people often stops walking abruptly while they are using the phone. We also wanted the person to walk and stop abruptly in front of the real distracted walkers in the crowd as well.

The brightly lit LED strip was to draw attention onto the person, and to enable people to look at what he / she was doing. It also acts as a warning for people to avoid him / her from behind – the red light lights up whenever the person is using the phone and might stop or slow down abruptly. The bright lights also enable people in the surrounding to help take note of him / her, who might walk to close to the staircase and such, and causes an accident or mishap to happen.

The provocative message, “watch where you are going”, were sewn at the back of the hat. People behind him / her might feel triggered by the message; as the wearer himself / herself was not even watching where they are going, but is telling people at the back to watch where they are going in case they were to bump into him / her. We wanted the sarcastic / ironic message to provoke thoughts and self-reflection by the people who are seeing the message – people who are probably guilty of distracted walking as well.


We decided to help the user to wear the hat and fanny pack as we did not wanted the users to trigger the output accidentally by tilting the hat when they are wearing it. We wanted them to remain oblivious to the attention grabbing output of the LED strip, as well as the provocative message at the back of the hat, to mimic how a distracted walker in real life remains oblivious to the disruptions and inconvenience that he / she was causing.


Initially, we wanted to use a photocell to prevent the false triggering, as the users might accidentally tilt the hat while they are putting the hat on. But we were unable to get the code to work despite several attempts – if the photocell works, the tilt sensor would no longer be in use. Hence, we decided to help the users to put the objects on instead to prevent the false triggerings.


We also decided to use a crowd marshal vest to relate to the idea of the flow of human traffic.


Materials Used & Steps

Materials Used

  • Tilt sensor
  • Vibrating coin motor
  • Addressable LED Strip
  • Jumper wires
  • Resistor
  • Arduino Uno
  • Breadboard
  • Powerbank


  • Cloth ( same colour as the hat )
  • Black duct tape
  • Needles
  • Threads ( same colour as the hat )
  • Embroidery threads ( vibrant colours )
  • Fishing line


  • Bucket hat
  • Fanny-pack


  1. Testing the angle of the tilt sensor
  2. Testing the LED Strip & Adjusting the colours
  3. Coding & circuit
  4. Sew the provocative message at the back of the hat
  5. Attach the tilt sensor and vibrating motor onto the insides of the hat
  6. Attach the LED strip onto the hat
  7. Tidy up the wires
  8. Place the arduino, breadboard, and powerbank into a fanny pack.

  • Step 1: Testing the tilt sensor

    Gauge the angle of the tilt sensor by using it to trigger a simple LED circuit.

  • Step 2: Testing the LED Strips and adjusting the colours

  • Step 3: Coding & Arranging the circuit

It took us quite some time before we are able to trigger both the LED strip and the vibrating motor at the same time using the tilt sensor.


  • Step 4: Sew the provocative message at the back of the hat

    We used embroidery thread as they were thicker, and are in red and orange as they resembled warning colours, and are almost the same colours as the colour we have chosen for our LED light light strip.

    Initially, we tried using the usual cotton / polyester thread, but it was too thin and flimsy.

  • Step 5: Attach the tilt sensor and vibrating motor onto the insides of the hat

    The tilt sensor is sewn at the side of the hat, at 15 / 20 degrees instead of it being fully upright.

The tilt sensor and vibrating motor are first taped onto the insides of the hat to ensure that it remains in position. Sew the sides and corners of the tape to ensure that it would not come off. Use the black cloth to cover them, and sew the cloth onto the hat.

Hide the wires underneath the internal flap of the cap.

  • Step 6: Attach the LED strip on the exterior of the hat

    Remove the tape from the back of the LED strip. Attach the LED strip onto the exterior of the hat. Then, use a black thread and sew the LED strip down onto the hat, by going around the orange / chip-like area – so that the black thread would not be blocking the light of the LED.


Sew the wires of the LED strip down onto the back of the hat. A black cloth can be overlayed and sewn over the wires to cover the colours.

Step 7: Tidy up the wires

Tie the wires tidily using fishing lines, then wrap the wires using black duct tape to make the wires look less frightening due to the amount of colours.


Step 8: Place the arduino, breadboard, and powerbank into a fanny pack





I felt that our final demo was probably too casual as well, and seemed to be rather untidy. I agree that the reactions from our peers were not very successful, as they were already aware of the outcome, and it would probably work better on people who are not familiar with the project and are unaware of the outputs. We initially wanted to do a demo video in the crowded areas in public, but eventually decided against it as we would probably seem too suspicious with the wires and all.

Nevertheless, I was rather satisfied with how our object turned out to be, and it was a fun experience trying to make something a design which implemented coding / interactive elements, and it enabled us step out of our comfort zones and try out something new.



Project Development Drawings

By Feriga & Sherry


Sensor: Tilt Sensor
Actuators: Vibrating Motor, LED Light Strip

How does your audience experience your project?

A person from the audience will put on a hat and a small bag ( containing the powerbank, arduino and breadboard ), and be tasked to use their phone while walking – similarly to how they would use their phone while walking. When he/she tilts the head down to use the phone, he/she would feel vibrations would be felt at the back of the head, and the people around would be able to see LED lights on the hat being switched on.

Is it for a single person to engage with your project or for multiple participants concurrently?

There would be multiple participants. One main participant will be the one who would put on the hat and use their phone while walking, whereas the other participants would be either planted or just people whom were walking along the same corridor / area – as spectators.

What is the interaction or situation you are creating for your audience?

We are trying to create the situation of how the main participant would be unaware of his / her surrounding when he / she was too engrossed using their mobile devices, and how the people around the surroundings would feel.

The uncomfortable vibration felt at the back of the head was to represent the self-reminder which was often pushed to the back of our minds.

What is the intention of this interaction?

The objective was to raise awareness about how people whom are engrossed with using their phone while walking in public are unaware of their surroundings, the inconveniences / problems they are causing to the people around them, and as well as the possible dangers.

The main participant being probably unable to understand the main objectives of the interaction fully if he / she was the main participant, was similar to how the people whom were using their phones while walking in public are unaware of their actions.

We are trying to put the main participants into the shoes of these people. As well as for the other participants, whom were probably guilty of doing this in public as well, into the shoes of the people whom were affected by such actions in the public.

Research Critique – Design Noir


‘Design Noir’ was a term came up by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, in their book about the Critical Design Movement, which focuses on the relationship between humans and the rapidly developing technology, and how electronic objects shape our lives. Both Anthony and Fiona were the founders and pioneers of the movement, where design embodies alternate social, cultural, technical, or economic values to challenge the conventional values of today, and as well as to critique the established ‘problem’-solving role of design. The term ‘Design Noir’ was inspired by how the characteristics of Critical Design was similar to noir films; especially the part about “trying to escape from the normalisation in urban settings”, where normalisation is design being functionality-centric, and are mass-produced.

In today’s culture, the role of design is transforming into an agent for capitalism, with the main purpose of creating and maintaining the demand for newer and improved products. Corporations are more focused on meeting the consumers’ expectations and are often reluctant to invest in a more responsible and pro-active role within the society. Hence, Critical Design and human oriented values are often neglected in favour of designs which focuses solely on functionality, practicality, and popularity. The alternate possibilities of the designs, and important human-oriented values are often disregarded, and are slowly being deemed as only fictional.

According to the authors, design can be classified into two broad categories – Affirmative Design, in which most designs today fall under, and Critical Design. The main purpose of Critical Design was not to appeal to the masses and to generate sales, but to raise debate over the social and cultural values that we deemed as real or fictional, the aesthetics of our electronically mediated existence, and as well as the given roles of existing designs. Unlike Affirmative Design which are created for the market and are mass-produced, Critical Design can never be popular, as they are questioning and challenging the industry’s agendas.

As Thomas Frank wrote in his book, One Market Under God(2001), “the marketplace is viewed as the only reality”. A design is only considered successful if it was popular, and was able to sell in large numbers. Designs which are not meant for the market are regarded with suspicion and are often dismissed as elitist. Hence, Critical Design, which tends to be provocative and challenging in nature, and its main purpose of stimulating reflection and challenging industrial agendas, would tend to only remain as prototypes, as they are “not suitable” for the market, and are unlikely to be funded by the industry.


In order for conceptual designs to be effective, it must be able to provide a form of ‘pleasure’. Often causing contradicting or complex feelings, Martin Amis has called this experience provided by such designs as ‘complicated pleasure‘. This experience happens through the development of ‘value fictions‘, which are the scenarios we imagine in our heads. In such scenarios, the technology is realistic, while the social and cultural values are highly ambiguous, to question viewers about what they deemed as real or fictional. These designs are usually alternatives of existing designs / objects, and are often provocative in nature. One of such design was Afterlife, by Jimmy Loizeau.

The idea of an afterlife was something intangible, which nobody can prove, and there are no scientific evidence to back that it do exist. As the designer was an Atheist who did not believe in any gods or a spiritual afterlife, he wanted to “prove” that an afterlife do exist, in a physical and tangible way through the usage of technology. Although it does not actually prove that a spiritual afterlife does exist, it was able to prove that it was possible . Not only does the design act as a ‘proof’, it also serves as an object that helps people to cope with grief.  Apart from all these, I felt that it was also questioning our “electronically mediated culture”, and how “a battery might become as significant than an urn”.





Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects – Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby


Micro-Project 1: Creating the Third Space

When I think about a place of significance at ADM, the first place which comes to my mind would be the other end of the outdoor area at B1.

I decided to photograph this place, as I enjoyed the tranquility it was able to provide – the calming sound of moving water in the background, picturesque glass windows reflecting the sky, greenness of the verdant turfed roof, light breezes from the wind, and as well as a dose of the much needed sunlight. It was a place where my friends and I would go to almost every day; passing by while we make our way to and back from lunch, stopping there to consider about lunch options, and occasionally stoning there during our breaks from classes. The short exposure to this sense of peacefulness helps to take a little amount of anxiety away.

Although this space was probably just a walkway for people to get to and fro ADM, this space would change if a person or a group of people were to simply stop there, or hang out together there. It becomes not just a walkway but a space for breaks, inspirations, conversations, fond memories, and more.


Through this project, we were able to experience the concepts of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and Do-It-With-Others (DIWO). We were tasked to individually take photographs of our own significant places, and upload it with the hashtag to contribute to the #1010adm feed. The feed becomes a collage of ‘places’ in ADM, and although many of us might have similar photographs or ‘places’, they are all different in how they were significant to each of us, and the way we ‘uses’ these ‘places’.