Final Project Development Drawings

Project Development Drawings

“The Cold Jacket” –> “The Cold Room”

G02 Ginnie Lee, Nicole Chen

Initial Ideation

Our original idea was to create a jacket, something that is made to provide warmth, to turn cold when a certain volume of activity is detected in the mobile phone (in terms of notifications). The jacket, made to keep us warm, can ironically make us cold with the increase in activity in our phones.

The cold felt from the jacket is a physical manifestation of the loneliness. Furthermore, based on a study by Psychologists Chen-Bo Zhong and Geoffrey Leonardelli from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, social isolation can actually allow people to feel cold physically. A group of volunteers were divided into 2,  with one group recalling the personal experience of being socially excluded and the feelings of loneliness and isolation, and the other recalling an experience of being socially included (in other words, being accepted and hence not being isolated). The 2 groups were then asked to enter the same room and estimate the temperature in the room. Those who were told to think about a socially isolating experience gave lower estimates of the room temperature. In other words, the recalled memories of being ostracised actually made people feel colder and experience the ambient temperature as colder.

Hence, we wanted to amplify on the feelings of loneliness and isolation through the drop in temperature. The loneliness we wanted to project when we are getting “abandoned” or “abandoning” others in exchange to be connected online is translated into physical coldness.


To do that, we will connect the Peltier module to Arduino via a relay module, as Arduino runs on 5V while the Peltier module runs on 12V. An external power source is also needed, and we will use a 12V adapter to connect to the Peltier module to supply the 12V power the Peltier needs to run. Twitter will then be connected to Arduino via the blynk app and the IFTTT app to act as a button to control the circuit. A new tweet posted would close the circuit and allow the Arduino to send information to the Peltier to change temperature.

Because the Peltier module is cold on one side and hot on the other, the side which emits heat must be attached to a heat sink and also a cooling fan to help to dissipate the heat so that the heat will not spread to the cold side and affect the coldness of the cold side.

Research on loneliness



How does your audience experience your project?

The participants will wear the jacket and physically interact with our project. The jacket will be located in a room and this room provides the context and helps the participant experience the feelings more intensely with the surroundings set up in context rather than just with the item itself. The participants will feel a direct physical manifestation of an abstract feeling, loneliness, while tweeting. The participant will realise that his/her own actions (in the case of our installation, tweeting), will affect the temperature he/she experiences.

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

Our project aims to evoke the feeling of loneliness, and hence the environment the person is in must be void of other people and hence, our project is meant for a single person to experience it, one at a time. However, multiple participants can interact with the project one after another, but not together.

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

We’re creating a situation where the participant’s actions will directly impact the output of this project and the resulting outcome is an uncomfortable one, to simulate the negative emotions involved in this particular action.

What is the intention of this interaction?

The intention is to clearly allow the participant to experience the connectivity between social media and the feedback (output). The situation created (a person getting colder while tweeting) helps the participant link their actions on social media to their physical environment. This then helps brings out our message of the increase of usage of social media (i.e. the more connected you are online) affecting the temperature of the cooling pads (i.e the stronger the feedback projected).


How does your audience experience your project?

We intend to build a mock up of a room so that the audience can have a mental preparation on how to experience the exhibition. This means that when they walk into the “room” it is already set up with a homier feel. So when they pick up the jacket and start using social media, the coldness they experience would be more impactful and contrasting to their surrounds. This would enable a stronger reaction as well as understanding regarding what we are trying to put across.

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

We require people to go one person at a time, but the exhibition can allow for multiple participants, one after the other.

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

We are setting a space of a room, and showing isolation through usage of social media. The more you are active online, the lesser your offline persona experiences tangible. We are bringing this correlation into a literal aspect by making them experience coldness, associated with isolation.

What is the intention of this interaction?

It is to show the adverse side of what advancement in technology has done in our lives. While also rewarding the participant for taking time off from the online world.

Other ideas 

Idea #2

Hacking an Umbrella

Idea #3

Hacking an earpiece

Idea #4

Hacking a bracelet


Reason for choosing the jacket to hack for our final project

We were most intrigued by the idea of the cooling pad/ temperature changing modules and also thought that the jacket was something very close to the body and hence can enhance the experience of the participants.

We also think that the coldness of the jacket can also best convey the feelings on loneliness (based on the research done) and hence we chose to hack the jacket.

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