22 Oct Update

These weeks has just been trying to focus on building the materials and assets that I need.

Updates according to timestamp:
00:03 – 00:07 Plastic simulation 1 using noise
Using instancing was ODD. I was expecting the instances to move according to the noise it was fed but instead, it was just noisy particles coming out of the original model

00:08 – 00:12 Plastic simulation 2 using particles
Instead, inserting a particle system and populating the model with it and then adjusting the wind/turbulence played out better. Though if there is a way to redraw this such that it does rebuild itself in rectangles that would be better.

00:12 – 00:17 Bottle cap underwater simulation
00:17 – 00:22 Glass shard underwater simulation
This rendering works better for solids with distinct features such as the ridges around the rim

00:26 – 00:41 Moving the pt cloud 1
Connected to kinect and the pt cloud seems to just be rebuilding itself at the ‘new’ spot

00:42 – 00:57 Moving the pt cloud 2
Using an attractor makes it move smoother but now it’s just shooting everywhere

00:58 – 01:03 Populating a system with multiple assets

8 Oct Update

Interview https://ntu-sg.zoom.us/rec/share/Y_QJz9PSy5zlO9tckY1FL1PPm741IfUMzkG79I4AS5745bZnkDrmxDdS25y9qLRq.qIjfbe_NZyqyynjy?startTime=1632402207000

Interesting pointers:
Bounce through different periods of extinction
For resurgence, colonise the deeper water first (low sunshine) then proceed upwards shallow waters
Grows very slowly, solitary
Symbiont shuffling in different environments
Algae take up a small sac(small space) in a coral (big space)

Line that I was very excited about: Structure wise, a mm thin active layer just building crazy structure, everything underneath is dead

Shinning line of polyps that travels upwards, grows vertically over a long period of time. In the moment, it looks like nothing is happening but actually tiny polyps are growing slowly to reveal “the bigger picture” which is their skeletons. Skeletons + environment of the space will correspond to the different eras of time.

Experimenting on projection

Enjoy the holographic-y looks and medium related back well to the topic

Thinking along the line of natural movement/organic growth/ wild occurrences, I was reminded of fishes, ocean creatures flocking. Collective animal(insects, birds, etc) behaviour arising from simple rules followed by individuals resulting in a large swirling pattern by the mass. Algorithmically 3 rules are separation, alignment, cohesion. We're Terrible at Distinguishing Real And Fake Schools of Fish | Smart News | Smithsonian Magazine Main Purpose: to protect themselves from the threat of predators
(could possibly be to stay warm also)

Relating it back to trash, problem that arise because we are trying to protect ourselves from inconvenience.

Potential areas of exploration:
Actually using Boids, mimics the motions of a bird flock using computational algorithm by Craig W. Reynolds in 1987
Cloth/Plastic simulation movement underwater
Rendering of BG – Photogrammetry? Could the BG also be affected by the number of people?

15 oct- decide on which software, get the boids thingy going
22 oct- tracking boids positioning to person, interactivity with others
29 oct- under water cloth/plastic simulation, trash models
5 nov- under water cloth/plastic simulation, trash models, putting it together for first prototype showcase (human reflection)

30/3 Update

Stage Creation/Platform!!!

Step 1: Idea

Step 2: Get materialsInstead of getting a foldable stage, getting crates were just much cheaper and makes more sense since they already had slits. There is space to insert the bulbs. 

Next was trying to get the electric circuit out and the placement of the bulbs. Mainly it was inserting 4 bulbs (2 at the edges, 2 in the middle). Initially I was thinking of doing 3, but the middle part of the crate was blocked with wood, instead of  trying to drill into the wood, (which would have been dangerous since it might not be able to support the weight it was originally intended for) I decided to just have 2 in the middle. 

The parallel circuit mainly consisted of the 4 bulbs, 4 starters, 4 ballast. Additional 12 clips to hold the bulbs in place.

Step 3: Installation left the paper sleeve on because 4 bulbs was brighter than I expected

Underside view of the crate

, Since there was too much light penetration through the slits, I think I will cover it up with a cloth to achieve a the more diffused look.

Left to do: Attach the 2nd crate below to make this platform higher, sand the crate for safety and add attach the cloth


Interface update from https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/ho0011an/ill-work-on-the-oss-ltr/


Updates from the previous stage: I have added such that the spawned object is moves randomly within a bounding box, and experimented with the call to spawn the object.

What I realise is that we don’t speak in one breathe, so because we break our sentences up as we speak, this would cause many many objects to be spawned because of the pauses in between.

Instead, I think another more efficient way of doing this would be to have a button participants can press while they are speaking.

Right now, still not too happy with the way it moves, I wanted more of a zero-grativity floating kinda movement but its like doing the zoomies now.

Also, it’s not the way it spawns is also so ugly, it is just appearing at the target point, but I am looking at a more like blowing bubble like vibe.


Reflections on Designing for The Digital Age Reading

These days, I find that the term ‘UIUX’ has just been randomly thrown around, a buzz-word of our time. I have also always just assume it was for only related to the tech field but after this reading, I have came to realise that this principle can also be applied to physical products, and services. Such designs are grounded by the root idea that it serves human needs and goals within certain constraints.

The reading makes mention of Alan Cooper’s Goal-Directed design.

One interesting thing I picked up from the reading is the question: Will it help users minimise work? under Principles. Work can be cognitive, visual, memory and motor. Truly this is why user survey is important. Sometimes, there are challenges that cant be seen because they are internal struggles. It seems that to have the best user experience is to have smoothest and simplest pathway towards the user’s goal. However, I have came to realise how skewed this idea can be. Speaking from personal experience,  sometimes, because an experience is so seamless, the fact that there is almost no “thinking” needed, I have managed to sign up for brands newsletter that I have no recollection off or auto check boxes has got me signing up for trials that I am not keen on. While reducing the work overload would help with the user interaction, however, going a further step to enriching the experience would be to balance the manipulative patterns. Afterall, if I have to take the extra steps to be aware of these dark methods used against me then it back fires the initial idea of minimising work.

Another interesting pointer shared is Framework definition under Process. It mentions that Persona and scenario are the primary drivers of basic framework. It is broken down to interaction framework, visual framework and industrial design framework. Being an interaction designer, sometimes I struggle with idea of “how functionality is grouped and how the personas will accomplish the most critical tasks”. I am starting to feel that there is a streamlining of design styles and everything are starting to look similar. EG old person naturally means bigger fonts, teens means more new technology to engage, kids means nothing sharp, intuitive movements. Hence, I think if I were to follow this scheme of using personas into my FYP, the personas need to be distinctive, unique individual, that should not be able to be blurred together with everyone else. Completely fictional stories of imaginary people based on little or no research bring no value for the design process and in fact, can in turn back fire. Poorly constructed personas is very much linked to the credibility of this technique.

I really enjoyed this quote: Any good method is a living thing that continues to evolve and grow. Indeed, while there are many recommendations, and structures around, I think human behaviours is consistently evolving and what this means for designs is to not just blindly follow trends or get stuck in frameworks, but to consistently be innovative that are targeted and well-researched for its user.


Reflection on Project Management Reading

Chapter 2 started off with “Project Management is an outcome-oriented process”- Daunting.

Of the 6 project management goals, I would like to elaborate more on ‘To reach the end on time” and also “To reach the end meeting everyone’s expectations”

‘To reach the end of the project”
Through out my time in ADM, I never understood what it meant to reach the end of a project. Every submission, if given more time, I could always think of pointers on how I would further improve the project. Sometimes, makes me wonder, if really I was given the time, how much time would I need? Is there really such a concept as ‘The End’? When will I ever be done with a project?

This reading opened my eyes to the idea of goals vs objectives. It describes ‘goal’ as universal targets that are common to all projects while ‘objectives’ are specific to your own projects. The idea of an “end” is not so much a dead end, but instead being able to meet a set of objectives. In the my head, how I saw this was, objectives has different degrees/ extent to them, and so if I am aiming to fulfil level 2 objectives and met them, even if I did not make it to level 3 objectives, because I have identified what I wish to achieve at the beginning and achieved it, I have ‘reached the end’. And this obviously will not be the end-of-the-road for the project, instead I would view it as an emotional closure for anyone working on a project. In my opinion, knowing just when to declare a work of art finished after working it for months can also get very blurry, so setting objective that are measurable and quantifiable as mentioned would also help artists build a healthy relationship with their art pieces.

“To reach the end meeting everyone’s expectations”
Personally, if given a chance to work as an individual, I would gladly choose to because I have pretty much spent my uni days running away from potentially disappointing my group members. So, I was quite surprise to see this as a goal. Reminds me that as much as I seem ‘alone’, I really still have to rely on others to get things moving such as eventually the person coordinating the FYP show, my mentor prof, even to the smallest role of people running the various machines. I foresee FYP teaching me to be open to feedback, what others have to say about my progress. All while I do not loose myself incorporating others into the process.


Personally would wrap up Chapter 5 with the sentence “Properly planning the greatly increases its chance of success” in however I choose to define success. As my own project manager, I have to understand my work well enough to plan it properly and be wise enough to know when to seek advice. While I am still not entirely certain of what a FYP entitles, I also wish to be someone flexible to adapt to unforeseen sceen circumstances.


Response to Social Practice Art

Not sure why, I always had the impression that ‘Social Practice Art’ was isolating, that it was only available and created for the ‘alternates’ of society. After delving into the reading, I have came to realise that it was the complete opposite of ‘anti-social’.  However, I have to admit I struggle deeply with the contention of such a practice and having it labelled as ‘Art’. Hear me out as I attempt to break down my thoughts through the various points brought up in the reading.

“merely a vague aesthetics of progressive uplift”

This phrase, perfectly sums up what I was struggling with as I read the article. It really pushed the boundary in terms of how I viewed Art. Made worst because I assumed I had a pretty liberal view of Art.

While this is definitely not the focus of the artist mentioned in the text, but I can’t help but question “Are people just listing this sort of practice under ‘Art’ just so as to allow what they are engaging with, to be made legal under Art cultural property laws?” “Are people just trying to protect what they have done to help others under the name of Art?” Especially since most of these pieces always seem to alert law enforcers because of its subtle rebellious nature.

the category of “social practice” attempts to forestall the problem of its own incorporation into the system by deliberately removing itself from commerce and making outwardly avowed political solidarity part of its defining trait.

This line paints ‘Social Practice Art’ as an in-between of politics and art. But upon more research, to me, it seem that no matter how much emphasis it has put into it being detach from the notion of commerce, by wanting to have a foot stepped into the Art field, it almost seems impossible to escape the commercial market.

In the above video (at 17:11), it demonstrates how a gallerist was vying for the gold tarps of Olga Koumoundouros: ‘A Notorious Possession’, which was a social-sculpture-cum-housing-protest. This suggests that components making up the process of executing such a genre of work has unintentionally became a sort of commodity.

Bridging across, then it got me to think if this sort of art then unintentionally practices the sort of notion behind: “The White Man’s Burden”(1899). The (imperialist) interpretation of this poem proposes that the white race is morally obliged to civilise the non-white peoples of planet Earth, and to encourage their progress (economic, social, and cultural) through settler colonialism.

When an artist attempts to bridge sociopolitical driven into art, where do we draw the line between being exploitative of the marginalised communities for the sake of Art and truly wanting to create Art to bring action to a certain cause/community?

In fact, the ability of this brand of art to still enrage social and aesthetic conservatives may well be the strongest evidence that it is still worth engaging with.

One of the most interesting aspect of this Social Practice Art Form that intrigued me was there being no need for excessive call for participation. These days, an exhibition going on at a certain museum is always coupled with (flashy) advertisement around. If there was to be a performance happening, collaterals would come floating by. But with this Art form, is seems as if people just stream into, participate, contribute, to the project at hand without the need for persuasion. I think this seems to enhance the fact that- exactly because people subtly recognise an issue around, which is why is it so easy for audience to just be drawn towards part taking in the project. There doesn’t even seem to be a need for a call to get people to being aware of a particular issue, and wanting actions need to be taken, subconsciously a mob is gathers to complete inherently good acts. It presents people with purpose. This in an of itself is a powerful tool to get the community to questioning the paradigm society has created.

Just like how the ‘Art and Craft’ movement in the mid 19th century played out to provide an alternative to the cookie-cutter industrial boom then, there seems to be a parallel when analysing ‘Social Practice Art’. ‘Social Practice Art’ exemplifies a strong desire within the community.

In conclusion, through wrestling and tearing apart this reading/ and more, it made me re-evaluate on my (twisted) perception on Art and my own artistic practice. What is it exactly do I want to bring across with my Art? I have always framed Art as an umbrella of aesthetic structures that is meant to provoke ideas, anything beyond that what an idea I have never explored, or never questioned. Hence, to me right now, by bring ‘good acts’ into the context Art, seems forced (even though I know it’s not) and unnecessarily extra. But one thing I cannot deny is, looking at the bigger whole, it is just our duty to humanity, Art or not, to help where help is due.

Final Sem Project: BALLance



The goal of BALLance is to balance a ball for as long as possible without having to physically touch it. By redefining the idea of physical toys, BALLance is made to exemplify the idea of telepresence. It gives participants a façade of being present at a place other than their true location. Being able to play BALLance remotely, this system renders distance meaningless.


General Flow of setup:

Leap motion takes the:
– angle of HandPitch which translates to the front and back movement of Servo motor 1
– x position of the middle finger which translates to the left and right movement of Servo motor 2

In order to release a ball:
– When a pinch is detected, Servo motor 3 is activated.

Tracking High Score:
– When an orange colour pixel is detected, the timer starts. When an orange pixel is no longer detected, the timer stops.




From where I left off, the low fidelity prototype, here are the updates to the structure:

The main issue with this structure is that I totally forgot the body of the motor needs to be mounted on the structure so that only the rod turns. Thats why in the photo it is held on by rubber bands. After dealing with the mounting, the corners were in the way and needed to be shaved.

Also the snout of the motor was SO tiny the rod barely held on so I needed to find another way to attach it.

Changes made:

The other motor for front and back.

Calibrating the board

From the video above, the next alteration from advice of LP is to add a cloth and thats what I eventually settled with. Works great!



Basically works on: looking for a pixel closest/is orange and starts timer when that pixel is found aka ball rolls in. Timer starts. Timer stops when pixel is gone aka when ball rolls away. Compare this time to previous high score time. If it is longer, becomes new high score.

Initially had some problems with setting up a camera, but problem solved using Processing 4. Also, managed to set up DSLR with Camera Live and Camtwist through Syphon to set up a virtual webcam.

Final thoughts:
This project was so SO much trial and error. Because there was not one fixed result I was looking for, sometimes I was not too sure if the ball is rolling off because the ramp is at the wrong angle? Or was it the board is small? Or simply because I was lousy at the game and lack hand eye coordination. I had to try many various calibrations, keep picking up balls to try my best in finding a good in between. I also had to brainstorm a way to get the ball onto the device without having to physically touch it, since I felt that could vary the gameplay depending on how the ball was placed onto the device.

Overall, if given more time, having the feedback from user testing, I believe if I could some how calibrate the board toward the Z-axis, this game could be a-lot more convincing.

Final Pitch: BALLance

Previous pitch: https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/ho0011an/final-project-pitch-build-me-up/
Short recap Basically, I was too fixated on the idea of using weighing scale as the input just because I wanted that specific aspect to tie the project to the theme ‘Distant Body‘. But, overall, the initial pitch didn’t really make sense and I was left off with the question- what more can you do with ‘reflection’? & advised to do experiments first.

So- that’s what I did.

Using TouchDesigner, I tried to move a red line to where there is motion.

Trying to replicate Daniel Rozin’s trash mirror but on a digital screen. This led to a couple of random ideas.

Brief explanations on some ideas
Idea 2 Thinking along the lines of trying to create a tangible user interface perhaps where the physical ball is able to move according to the projected graphics or vice versa where the projected graphics changes according to the placement of the ball.
Idea 3 Maybe a screen based device and user can manipulate the graphics in ‘3D’ space?
Could be in a form of 2 screens or maybe 1 screen but with acrylic to give a hologram look

What Harvey Moon said: “you don't need disguise or unreal or stype to do the virtual production stuff. you can do it…

Posted by TouchDesigner on Saturday, 26 September 2020

Idea 4 Individual modules will move up to replicate the shapes of what is detect on the webcam. EG pin needle toy

With all these ideas, I was further challenged to do something with the ball. To perhaps make it into a game.

So after deliberating more, my final sketch idea is an expansion of Idea 4.

It going to be a game and the only goal is: control the plane, remotely with your palm, such that the ball stays on the plane for as long as possible. Time starts when the hand is detected and stops once the ball drops off the plane. Longest time = Highest on the score board.


Arduino IDE

L298n driver + Dual/Double Shaft DC Motor + Single Shaft DC Motor
Arduino UNO

Week breakdown of tasks:

DOW Multimodal: Ball

Images taken from https://www.behance.net/gallery/60769739/Ball

Ball is a smart fire extinguisher. Ball was created with the blind in mind. The whole product comes with a sensor, the spray and a refill capsule.

Here’s how it works:

In case of fire, the sensors placed around the house would detect heat and smoke.

It will alert the user via the speaker on the fire extinguisher. It will also guide the user on how to use it.

When the fire extinguisher is activated, the nozzle is able to rotate and automatically find the source of fire using the heat detection camera.

So essentially:

The very obvious advantage of this product is how is it able to make up for the user’s visual capabilities. Through audio and heat detection, Ball is still able to give the user control but at the same time aids the user with this control they have. It could very well have been a vibration/smell output instead of audio, they would all be able to alert the user anyway. But in the context of a blind person who still has to get to the fire extinguisher itself, I felt audio was the smart and better mode because blind users are usually more sensitive to auditory information and use it to locate objects faster.

The mechanics is also easy. Ball sprays with a simple pull of a loop.

Considering that this is only aimed at small initial fires, I think there should be other forms of outputs to alert the user when the fire is too intense/ too close and when they should ditch the fight against the fire. This way Ball is able to maximise the potential of the information it receives to not just become a defence mechanism but also a guide to get out of the situation safely.

I am also not too sure what is going to happen if the fire is behind the user.

In conclusion, I chose to look at this device from a multimodal point of view because I believe it has potential to grow, to collect more data and transmitting them into other various forms of output. Maybe it’s able to somehow tap into the user’s mental perception of the space using audio beacons? Maybe it’s able to give hepatic feedback based on intensity of fire? Nonetheless, I can deny this is an innovative piece of assistive tech, tapping into both “low” and “high-tech”.


DOW Health: FreeStyle Libre

Here’s how you can be one step closer to being a Cyborg. First, have diabetes and then, get yourself a set of FreeStyle Libre.

FreeStyle Libre is designed for diabetic patients as an alternative to the traditional way for monitoring blood glucose levels. In past way, to check blood glucose level, patients had to prick their fingers with a lancet (sharp point needle) and then add a couple drops of blood onto a checking strip. This strip is then inserted into a meter, which would then give off their blood glucose level. Patients would have to do this procedure a minimum of 4 times a day (depending also on the type of diabetes) to manage levels and to reduce their risk of developing a range of diabetes-related complications.

So what FreeStyle Libre does for patients is that it eliminates the need for a fingerstick routine and with each scan, provides:

  • A real-time glucose result
  • An eight-hour historical trend
  • A directional trend arrow showing where glucose levels are headed

Freestyle Libre system consists of a small fibre which pierces the skin into the interstitial fluid, a thin layer of fluid that surrounds the cells of the tissues below your skin. It takes the glucose readings and stored in the sensor. A ‘reader’ device is passed over the sensor and the last 8 h of readings can be transferred to the reader. It is simple and discreet.

(And to sound less like a commercial:)

Think barcodes at the supermarket, but now you’re the product. A quick scan of the barcode and you get the price of the product. Similarly, a quick scan of the sensor and you get your glucose readings.

This is an image I took from their website, which you can see that besides the reader and the sensor, there’s also LibreLink, which is their app that can be used in place of the reader through NPC connection, and there’s LibreLinkUp App, which allows for your data to be shared through that online cloud system.

With that, it brings me to one of the biggest pros of this device. We all know that the world is currently in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and having this system would mean that patients to continue to connect with healthcare professionals remotely. For diabetic patients, having their healthcare team be up-to-date with their progress means being able to strategise effectively and eventually shortening the time to achieving key clinical targets. So, by not having the virus outbreak break be a hindrance to patients recovery journey makes this device a real advantage.

Another pro point to this set-up would be the convenience that it brings. As compared to a simple scan on the phone/reader, I would believe the traditional finger pricking method to be a total nightmare- can you imagine the process of having to find a clean spot, wash your hands, sterilise the lancet, force out blood etc that many times a day? And not to mention, this process feels so intrusive! If it was me, I am not sure how much discipline it is going to take for me to keep up with it everyday. There bound to be patients out there who finds it hard to sustain this routine as well and in turn deteriorating their condition; so, having the option of eliminating the whole hassle seems like a huge plus for me!

One point of improvement could be an implementation of live feedback when glucose levels fluctuate drastically. It could simply be a visual indicator or a hepatic vibration, I think this would help patients be notified of their symptoms especially when they are distracted and can then take immediate action before situation gets worst. Such implementation would improve the device to a continuous mentoring system rather than one that only works in the flash.

I’ll be leaving out the analysis of scientific concepts and accuracy in readings because for obvious reasons that I too have no idea how to make it any better. But in conclusion, I do think the design of FreeStyle Libre is a real good example to show how much technology can improve the mundane chores of everyday life. By creating something up-to-date, something revolutionary, not only makes things so much more efficient but I assume it would also encourage patients become more engaged in their care and recovery process. FreeStyle Libre’s idea of a quick scan is undeniably life changing.