We chose to expound on Provocative object.

Project concept: Our project is based of trying to break the notion that ‘mensuration’ should not be talk about freely. Especially in an Asian context, we see girls who tend to hide their pads as they head to the toilet or even to not bring up the pad talk when there are guys around. Hence, we are here to break that taboo and also to get people to strike conversation about anything mensuration related.

In order to get people talking, after consultation, we decided that our entire project should should head towards the direction of making it palatable for other to talk about it.

The initial idea was to have a gum ball machine where it will dispense an egg, with an SD card in it, after a tweet with our hashtag been posted. The contention was to get people talking online and to social engineer conversations in the third space. In return for contributing, they would get to hear tips/tricks/hacks derive from someone else’s experience.

The gum-ball machine was representative of the uterus and the egg-the unfertilised egg.

However based of out first user test, which can be found here: https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/fenellaz001/project-development-body-storming/, we realised a few things that needed to be changed.

  •  Form

Mainly that the slope was not steep enough and made worst with the weird shape an egg was in, hence we had to change that.

After the test, 2 other reiteration of the slop was being made. The right was made without the consideration of where to hide the electronics where as the left one was the latest rendition.

Next, based of Alicia’s comments of the gum-ball being too prominent and the message was unclear, we decided to have the gum-ball machine as a the shape of the uterus. Fenella suggested using paper cut outs with this as the inspiration.

Next was shopping for the container of the gum-ball.

We went sourcing for the perfect sized container.

These were mainly the parts we had to fix with regards to the form, working towards final project.

  • Coding

We needed a tweet with a particular word to activate a servo.
As for the coding, we went through 4 main stages.

  1. Blynk+IFTTT+Arduino
    For this stage, we mainly had Lei to take us off into the world of coding and had alot of help. With Blynk as the middle man and IFTTT as the one securing the Internet for the tweet that was made by us, the issue we had with this system was that it took too long before the tweet was sensed and a signal is being sent to Arduino to move the motor. Also, we also had to find a way to get the servo to move back and forth. Hence, with a tad back research, we decided to try Processing instead.
  2. Processing+Arduino
    Processing file:

Mainly at this point, we got to using twitter API which we realised mainly that this was a reoccurring element that need to be used through out the various methods we hopped around.

Basically, what what wanted out of this system to work was the same as the previous. However, the problem with this was that what processing did was to collect the latest 10 tweets to bounce around instead of filtering real time. This caused our servo to just be executed once even though now it solved the previous problem of not being able to move back and forth.

3. Python+Arduino
In the midst of still trying to solve the tweets real time, we stumbled across Python and we did it!

code found here: http://nickbester.com/send-commands-to-arduino-using-python-from-the-twitter/

With the library: twitterAPI , we manage to get the tweets being filtered out real time! This can be seen in our previous post here: https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/ho0011an/project-development-body-storming-part-2/ 
We attempted to link this to Arduino however, it was a struggle. I tried using the module Pyserial.

After consultation at this point, we concluded that it could possibly because Arduino uses C# which might be why the connection is wonky/doesnt work.
Hence, we decided to use either circuit playground or raspberry pi.

4. Python+Raspberry Pi

We settled on Raspberry Pi eventually because of the same language that is being used. 

At this point even though twitter APIs are being used, we decided to change it the library to Tweepy instead of TwitterAPI. We also used Pigpio to control the PWM being released to Pin 11 because initially without this the servo kept jittering.

And with the Raspberry Pi it worked!

After the code was done, it was to decide what shall be in the egg.

The initial plan was to have an SD card and get people to hear another story. However, after much feedback we decided to scrap that because the ‘reward’ factor was not appealing enough to engage the audience. We thought of using a QR code, we also had the idea of even stuffing a pad into the egg so that we give other the opportunity to touch a pad in public if they hv no done so to normalise that scene but after discussion we decided to settle on a gift. We decided to sew cute anthropomorphic pads out of white felt and stuffings.

This was coupled with a note.


(Back) Either of this tips

We went along with this because we wanted to the keychain to be a conversation starter for others even in the physical whelm. To have this project go on even after presentation crit.

On the actual presentation, we decided to go for a more cooperate style set-up.

We decided to live stream the hashtags that was coming in as well as instructions.

and finally our end product!
This disposing box was also a suggestion we incorporated from our first body storming.


Personally, this project has taught me a lot.
Coding alone, I am proud to say that I have gotten the basics of it down through the long tedious process. It was truly that a lesson of you don’t learn until you personally try it out. Even though there are is still so much I don’t know, and also still a little slow, at least it acts as a stepping stone towards something bigger.

As for the contention of the project, I also felt connected to it. Coming into this mod, I knew I had interest for the Social Media Sphere. I am thankful that in this project I was able to drive it into that space as well. Indeed, even for the second portion of what should be in the egg, I am also constantly in the process of questioning ‘What is the point of XXX from happening?’, soon I came to learn the psychological ‘rewards’ system of a human behaviour. That was incorporated into the project with trying to come up with a ‘high reward system’. The keychain might be small however, it has lasting effect hence, I am glad we went ahead with it even though it was relatively time consuming and I had doubts about it initially.

This project was packed with a good interwinning of technical and emotions which I really appreciated because in the border picture, I could really see technology being bridged with the arts.

I am really glad that the audience loved it as well! I believe the palatable aspect of the concept have also been embedded nicely with the use of a fun gum-ball machine and keychain.

Thank you for this project!

Mirco-Project 4: Disobedient Object

To view all photos at higher resolution and gifs, please proceed to: https://drive.google.com/open?id=17KCQ7ZUC2A8KgOx18z-wq2roRWGXF5mH

Shao Jie and I initially wanted to come up with an idea that would help someone. Hence after much brainstorming, we decided that the people who needed most help were those were constantly late. We settled on bringing forth a ‘You’re 10 min late already!!!!’ clock.

After our idea pitching, we were told that it was feasible and that we could do up a card board prototype with just 1 hand.

 <gif 1>

Initially the idea was simple, <gif 2>,
all we had to do was code a motor that spins 360 degrees and combine it with another code that moves the motor faster to 90 degrees position when the sensor detects something and moves back when the sensor does not have a reading.

However, we came to realise a lot of problems with this concept.
1. Biggest problem was making the motor spin 360.

2. We wanted for the clock hand to continue moving even when it is moved 15 minutes faster because we wanted it to show the original time when the clock hand reverts back to the original time.

We gave it an extra thought and realise we thinking too much already. We just needed to hack a working clock because it was already moving 360- this would solve the above mentioned problems.

Since at this point we have lessened our load, we decided not to settle and added a buzzer to enhance the user experience.

Materials need for our Micro Project 4:
1. 11 cable ties
2. 1 ultrasonic distance sensor
3. 1 Arduino Uno
4. 1 servor motor
5. 1 1000ohms resistor
6. 1 buzzer

Process of coding:

First, we learnt how to code on using a ultrasonic sensor to control a servo motor.

Initial code taken from the internet, the video above, to control the servo motor using ultrasonic sensor.

Code modified to the pins that we connected our sensors and motors to. Problem was that the distance we changed for the sensor to detect was not what we wanted and the servo motor rotated anti clockwise instead of clockwise like a handle of a clock would.

Here we changed the distance at which the ultrasonic sensor will sense a movement as well as changing the rotation of the servo motor to clockwise.

Next we added a delay of 0.3 seconds because due to the ultrasonic sensitivity, the servo motor keeps flickering, random movements/ rotations. The delay solves this issue and stabilises the flickering.

Finally, we added the code for the alarm to alarm when a movement is detected, i.e. the user stands in front of the clock.



Materials needed:
1. Another cereal box
2. A lot of masking tap
3. Glue gun

  1. Cut a square hole for the face of the clock to be stuck into
  2. Cut 2 circle holes for the sensor to be fitted into
  3. Stick the bread board to the side panel of the cereal box
  4. Glue gun the blade of the motor to the gear of the clock
  5. Ensure the body of the motor is fastened down so only the blade moves
  6. Seal the box and do minor adjustments in the box to position the other components comfortably
  7. Insert a portable charger to make it portable


Video responses + clock working in-situ:


  1. The sensitivity of the clock was the least expected for me personally. In my head, in theory, it sounded right and I never took the element of ‘sensitivity’ ever into consideration. Hence, when the hand started flickering when theres even a slight movement, I panicked. The delay was actually started by another of our friend Rui Hong because we never thought about it and we were kind of stuck at that point.
  2. The participants were actually kind of confused and I am guessing it is because on a normal basis, you just wouldn’t interact with a clock- its just a mere looking at the clock. However, I also noted that because the sensors actually was visible, people started to reach their hands out towards the sensor. When the hands of the clock started to move, then people were surprised. Most were also confused how we made it. Upon revealing, it took most by surprise at the relatively easy set-up.
  3. The biggest challenge initially was trying to code an analog clock, especially since most Arduino clocks out there are digital, and made even more challenging when we had the special feature. We also didn’t even have a basis to start with since the motors we had could only go 180 degrees. We eventually overcame that but going back to our original draft and brainstorming again. Next time, we are going to spend more time to develop and come out with a concrete plan before diving heads down first.Personally, I feel the flickering problem could be rectified further if we actually used an IR sensor which I only came to find out after Micro-Project 4. IR sensor, sensing whether someone is there or not, versus an ultrasonic sensor, sensing how far a person is, would help to reduce the varying results and hence the flickering of the hand of the clock.If we really had additional time, maybe we could have an interesting audio module, like a ISD1820 instead of just a buzzer, to further enhance the ‘stress’ factor.


  1. Our Final Disobedient Object behaves in the way we intended it too, to alarm and to move forward 10mins when it detects someone looking at it by standing infant of it. During the process of making it, it certainly behaved in the way we least expected it to be. The first was actually the servo motor rotating anti-clockwise instead of clockwise like a clock because the code we found on the internet for rotating servo motor using ultrasonic sensor was {servo.write(90);} else {servo.write(0)}. To solve this issue, we needed to understand the whole code before changing the code {servo.write(90);} else {servo.write(180)} to rotate the servo motor clockwise. Also, because the ultrasonic sensor is very sensitive, the servo motor keeps flickering. To solve this, we added a delay and tested out different delay time to best suit our clock which is {{delay(30);}. Besides this, we modified the code to include the alarm as well.

2. From their reaction, our participants were generally intrigued by our object both the concept and the making. They wondered how it was made and were surprised about how we attached the servo motor to the clock.

3. First problem surfaced when we wanted to make the whole object from scratch, using just Arduino and motors instead of having an existing clock. There were difficulty finding a code for using servo motor to make an analog clock as a servo motor can only rotate 180 degrees and not continuous 360 degree. For this we wanted to but another motor but realised we could just buy an existing clock and hack it which will be so much easier to achieve the same results. Hence we scrapped the making the clock part and since we only needed the motor to move about 15 degrees clockwise and anti clockwise, we still can use the existing servo motor instead of buying another. Other problems that surfaced during the process are in 1. which leads to the object not behaving the way we intended. A thing to improve will be the finishing if we were to continue building upon it but since it’s a prototype, cardboard will suffice.

Research Critique 3 – Critical Making

First coined in 2008 by Matt Ratto (seen on the featured image), the term ‘Critical Making’ was used to describe the process behind combining ‘Critical Thinking’ and ‘Hands-on Making’. This meant using physical material and technology to analyses and show a deeper understanding for social issues. In Critical Making, there is no longer a divide between critical theory and artistic practice, but the practice itself is critical and philosophical.

Standards methods of technological design has placed too much emphasis on efficiency and productivity. This has been so overpowering that it has led to the lack of emotions, cultural richness and human-oriented values in our daily interactions with objects and daily activities. The phrase “man conforms” is technology-centered, rather than people-centered. We have unknowingly allowed technology and its products to take first place and lost focus of our intrinsic human traits such as curiosity. Hence, this propelled the establishment of Critical Making which addresses what technological designs lacks- or lost.

Critical Making is noted to have similarities with Critical Designing because both of these practices are out to provoke emotions, thoughts and feelings within our fast-paced, efficiency-driven environment. However, unlike Critical Designing which is centers around an end-product, Critical Making has placed its emphasis on the process. With that, I have a video to visually aid this concept.

This video shows a professor trying to put forth a proposition that students should put away their expectations that weighs them down and goes on to smash his laptop. This provocative act clearly demonstrates the very fact that students have too much pent up notion of how a typical class was suppose to be, maybe possibly built up by other professors as mentioned in the video, leading to the mention of expectations. Amidst this, students has lost themselves and this was reflected when he unknowingly took his laptop and smashed it. It is more than just the sudden peak in volume why students got shocked and I believe it points back to the pre-conceived assumptions students already have in-build within themselves.

This entire act did not end the professor with an object but instead his message was driven through the “final prototypes existing only as a remnant of the process”-the shattered laptop due to the smashing.

By re-inventing approaches and creations, it can open up new possibilities that was once rejected or unthought of. Critical making help both the the public and the designers focus on the lived experience of making and the role this plays in deepening our understanding of the socio-technical environment. In conclusion, I would also like to suggest that Critical Making has an invitational element to it. It invites people to connect to the world. Being a maker basically gets the public to acknowledge that someone somewhere made something and it didn’t just fall from heaven. Hence, the choices made by the designers, which may often be open sourced, implemented into the object will impact the public and in case of Critical Making, intervenes in societal issues.


Micro-Project 3 – Together Split

I would like to title our piece (done up by Alicia, Brian, Shaojie and myself) “family house”. It depicts how despite objects are being passed around the family members in different rooms, it still stay within the same one house- almost presenting a paradox just like the project title “Together Split”. With this concept, we translated it to our video, the multiple screen being the rooms in the house, the entire video representing the house itself, the dish/bowl/pot/water being the objects and lastly us as the family members.
It was a scene in the house of the process of a dish being made, cooked, eaten and washed.

This was shot at multiple locations. The various locations were outside ADM, Alicia’s dormitory, the pantry and the toilet. This stretch was due to logistic issues.

With these 4 lines,
(Q1) “wow this vegetables looks so fresh”
(Q2) “ah boy cook finish already come and eat”
(Q3) “mm delicious”
(Q4) “ok time to do the dishes”
we tried to establish the garden, the kitchen, the dining room and the kitchen again respectively.

In order to execute this, we took visual cues directly from the screen. Perhaps the only few instructions given beforehand was everything was to be in the middle so the grass was dropped in the middle, the plate to be shot in the middle as well.

But of course, not everything turn out according to the plan (40min plan to be exact), we actually realised that the final cycle was actually slightly laggy and at the same we also still found it so short– fickle minded us!

Personal reflection:
Yes it might not necessarily but the best production level or entertaining however at least to me the dishes/eating family home scene is relatively clear. Found the exercise actually pretty fun- maybe it’s because we took this so seriously and even went to the extend of taking the pot that made me want to join in the spontaneous-ness of my group or the tedious process of swopping phones just to get the screen order right that gave me a sense of satisfaction when we finish it ON TIME.

Out of all the Micro-Projects,

  1. Which project did you feel you had the most creative control? Why?
    It has to be “Creating the third-space”. It could possibly be because it was a solo curation project. This project was done on my Instagram and the fact that I knew my account followers, following and tendencies best, I could curate content I knew would get my participants to act a certain way and maximise participation– which was humour. (almost like SEO but social media context)
  2. Which project had the most unpredictable outcome? Why?
    “Together Split” had the most unpredictable outcome. There was too many deciding factors as compared to the other 2 projects that could possibly go wrong. Wifi connectivity, coordination, logistics to name a few. The biggest factor would have to be that fact that it is live. This very factor means that we are unable to edit, and also that it is one-time off, the moment anything or anyone even screws up we have to redo. It is made even more challenging because we are all in extremely difficult locations speaking over 1 platform. This aspect made it the most different from the other 2 projects.
  3. Which project best illustrates the concepts of DIWO & Open-source? Why?
    I would like to say “Creating the third-space” honestly. Even though it was curated by 1 person from my perspective, its participation reach expands to those following that account(“others” within DIWO) and the hashtag(“openness of the project”). In fact, i feel like we have to look at it from a broader perspective, the hashtag #1010adm was created by 2, Serena and Lei, and their students executed it in their various style, creating a community together with their followers and those who participated. 
    I bring up this screenshot as evidence:

    The characteristics are so evident that it has sparked conversations!Another characteristic is the fact that this project allows for maintenance and up-keeping to keep it alive. This further elaborated in the post I made for this particular project.

    Personally, I have enjoyed these projects alot! It has opened my eyes to how interaction can be enhance on social media. A lot of times, (with reference to my project “Time is our zero-sum game.”), social media is branded and experienced in a very self sufficient, self centered manner which is such a paradox considering its reach! 🙁 So, I am glad to be able to enjoy social media in the interactive manner it was meant to be and to see its beauty again!

Micro-Project 2 – Crowd-Sourced Art

My team (Shao Jie, Carol and myself) decided to use our Instagram feeds as our mediums. Our concept was to have the act of reliving our ‘dead’ feeds as our art pieces. We wanted to get people to come to a thought that once a post has past its engagement period, and out of the Instagram algorithm, it MAY JUST BE considered ‘dead’, and it can only be brought ‘back to life’ only through interaction with others.

The instructions were simple. We sent out message to our friends getting them to comment anything on any past posts.

Here were the responses on my feed:

Through this, I have made some interesting observations.

  1. One of the biggest takeaways I had was how everyone is different and interprets instructions differently no matter how simple it can be. I have friends who were confused if they are suppose to comment ‘anything’ or in general anything which was something that didn’t occur to me. Also, some only commented once while some commented on almost any available posts, hence, further emphasising my observant.
  2. Upon comparing my experience with my team mates(who has relatively lesser responses), I have came to realise that the number people who respond to the instructions doesn’t not define social interaction. This work involved social interaction because there was a community who had authority/ rights and knowledge on what to do with our feeds and (one or many) did it. Their response to the interaction was what constituted as social interaction.
  3. Our crowd-sourced project is different from one that is created by a single artist because our vision from the beginning has already got to, in a way or another, involve someone else. Our project was reliant on having participants participated in the commenting that make the feed ‘come alive again’. The process of having an open call for responses, which is (often) not necessary for a single artist/creator, sets our project apart.

Micro-Project 1- Creating the Third Space


The lift in ADM was really significant to me. I faithfully use this facility any day I am in ADM. It is a paradox in itself- in that it remind me of how lazy I am and would not take the stairs yet also reminds me that I need to rest after a tiring day in school. However with that said, the biggest reason why it’s significant to me is still the mirrors used line the inner perimeter of the lift because I live by the slogan ‘Stressed Depressed but Well-dressed’ SO using the mirrors aids me in living out my life motto.

This alternative virtual space, this post is ever-changing and public. Contents-wise, it’s personal (yet relatable looking at @/lielnicole’s comment) and wrapped with a little humour.

Having established that this post is ever-changing, this post will change when prompting is given.

For example, after uploading this particular screen shot on my Insta-story, 

I have observed that more comments were coming in. This shows that a simple alert could bring in more interaction or even just simply more attention to the post. This also further boosts the ‘public’ factor of the post.

Another interesting observant is that because of the humorous tone(as previously mentioned) that was given to the caption, the comments that were left were actually funny too. I had puns, sarcastic comments, interesting hashtags etc.

This simple exercise showed me that co-creation can happen in a space even if parties are not physical present. I choose to believe even in simply by relating to others– that’s a form of interaction happening. Another interesting thought to add is that, for those who did not like/comment on my photo and instead chose to scroll pass adds onto as a form of interaction because it creates a exclusivity between just a group of us who contributed to the post.  Hence, by having a central post, I was able to facilitate and create a DIWO situation within just a small-scale community.

To wrap it up, I also left comments on my friends’ posts and choose to get myself to be part of another interaction happening.