Project 2 | Ideation | Evoke body & movement without actual presence in space


W3 Assignment:

1-2 Project Ideas that evoke the body and movement without them being present in the spaces.


Digital Idea#1: <The Little Travelling Notes We Leave Behind> / <Travelling Notes>

Image result for piano travelling

An arduino will power up a “piano” in a room, which is also linked to a touch sensor and recorder (Microphone). The “piano” is actually made up of various buttons that could be placed in various places. This will be placed in an enclosed space. Whenever a person enters the space for five minutes per period, they can feel free to press any of the buttons.

When the buttons are pressed down, it will record the sound that is played while also playing a specific sound out loud. This will carry on for a whole day or period. By the end of the period, all the recorded sounds can be compiled in sequence to create a “music track” that will be a representative of the “footsteps” visitors have left behind in the booth during their visit.

Image result for arduino piano


Analogue Idea#2: <“All Schools are Good Schools”>

Illustration for article titled Hardcore Studying in China Looks Absolutely Frightening


Revolving around the concept of how the government constantly emphasizes that “All Schools are Good Schools”, yet it is increasingly so that parents are dumping their kids in hoards of tuitions and additional classes, such an idealistic dream is clearly a flop. Every student is forced to study madly and compete with each other against the bell curve in order to get into a good school, or to make their CV look good with that 5.0 GPA. My idea will be a photographic representation of how much each student studies throughout a school year.

This Art Piece will be presented in the form of a photo collage consisting a grid of 26 by 26 photographs. 26 students, consisting Primary School, Secondary School, Junior College and University students will take part in this art collage. 

Image result for students studying hardcore

At the start of the school term and for every two weeks, each student will take a photo of the state of their study table at a consistent angle (the table they use the most for studying at home or dorms). Their study tables do not have to be the same table throughout; as long as it is a table they study at. It does not have to look pleasant either.

Image result for students studying hardcore

This will be carried out for a year and the photos will be collected. By the end of this project, each student will have submitted 26 photographs. 

Each photograph will then be arranged chronologically from Day 1 to Day 365. As shown below, each column depicts ONE person, while each row depicts each day for each photograph taken. I.e. P1 is Person 1, P2 is Person 2, etc. while P1.1 is Person 1’s first photo, P1.2 is Person 2’s second photo, etc.


*Note that there should be 26 squares, not just 10 as shown in the picture above. 

In that sense, once all the photos have been published, we can compare side by side how each student studies throughout the year; the number of books they study, the stationery they use, the number of foolscap paper pads they have already gone through, stale and fresh eraser dust still left behind, etc. This can even include the game consoles they play at their desks during study breaks or during vacations where they do not have to study, etc. We can compare such photos to those of extremely diligent students who still study during vacation. It will then be an artistic representation of a student moving through their days within a year while studying. 

Image result for photo collage of study tables

How hard do students actually study, then? Ultimately, it can depend on one’s individuality, or one’s home environment.

Suggested Ideas by Profs:

  1. Make physical rooms rather than photographs, many different rooms
  2. Auto-snap camera — more natural

Atmospheres by Peter Zumthor


Reading; Atmospheres by Peter Zumthor

Text Inference:

In this text, Atmosphere defines what moves a person. This can come in forms (objects, people, air, noises, sounds, colours, material presences, textures, forms, etc.), moods, feelings and sense of expectations.

Atmospheres by Peter Zumthor elaborates about how Zumthor visions and observes when he creates an atmosphere in the houses he builds. Philosophical ventures into poetic and meaningful  atmospheres always begin with a location that links to a person, a literary event or a motif. Beauty is also taken into account when an atmosphere is being analyzed, where Outer Beauty is a measure of things, proportions and materials and Inner Beauty is the core of things. 

Atmosphere is perceived through emotional sensibility, which is instinctual in humans. When this is carried out, we are thinking linearly, otherwise known as thinking in a mentally organised fashion. This is usually largely influenced by the five senses and through the common experience.

Architectural atmosphere is also largely influenced by craft and graft. An atmosphere is a body and anatomy, which is established through collecting different objects and materials  in the world, and combining them (craft & graft) to create space. 

Image result for atmospheres peter zumthor summary movement through space

This process also involves movement, where thought can come from how people move through spaces. An immersive atmosphere, in that sense, would be a space that you can enter and begin to feel that you could stay there and not just pass by without further thought. It is a spatial art, as well as a temporal art.

Image result for atmospheres peter zumthor summary movement through space

In atmospheric design, there are also loopholes, where they are imperceptible transitions between the inside and the outside of the atmosphere. The inside and the outside of an atmosphere should communicate an impression that sends a message. For example, a person who does not like being seen will not have glass windows. Proximity and Distance then comes into play, alongside light perceptions in order to have a balanced atmosphere.


Personal Thoughts:

Through this reading, I am further enlightened about how we should view the invisible aura residing in the areas we are in; that is none other than an ‘atmosphere’. 

In my opinion, while Zumthor argues that it is the surrounding body of meanings and objects that influences our perception of how atmosphere can be, it differs slightly from my point of view. I agree that the 5 senses and experiences we have faced in our daily trials (such as movement through familiar spaces) will allow people to come to a common understanding about how an atmosphere qualifies. 

However, rather than only the experiences we face daily, I feel that our feelings and perceptions are the main driving force of what defines an atmosphere. If things are arranged haphazardly and messily, it is our feelings that tells us that the atmosphere is disturbing and hence uncomfortable. Our reactions towards the treatment of our own comfort zones is the ruler towards measuring how much a location should affect us.



How do we then differentiate a human perception defined by the location/place around us, and one that is affected by our pure emotions only?


“CAW CAW” means I like you | Interactive Devices Project 1 1st Sketch & Ideation



A major LED manufacturer wants to appeal to the crowd at their upcoming trade shows.

You have to come up with a prototype that will utilize their strips while drawing attention to visitors and triggering ideas to new markets.

Rough Sketch of the Caw Caw Machine

<“CAW CAW” means I like you> (thereafter referred to as the Caw Caw Machine) is a project revolving around the concept of Birds and mating, especially Peacocks. When birds want to mate, they start becoming extra flashy to gain the attention of their female counterparts.

With the brief stating that the device created has to be used to promote the LED lights in upcoming trade shows, what other better way than to flaunt these lights in the flashiest way possible? Like birds and their needs?

The Caw Caw Machine is a belt which has LED light strips (forming a tail) attached to it. When inactive, it will remain unlit, just like a sad and lonely bird who does not have any friends. However, when someone approaches the ultrasonic sensor attached to the belt, the detection will be a replica of a bird being excited and happy that he/she has finally found a new friend and would hence want to attract it. As a result, the tail will open up like a peacock’s tail and the music visualizer will be activated based on the music and start flashing everywhere.

Image result for fat and furry bird mating dance

notice me senpai

This idea can trigger new ideas to the market, such as creating aesthetic devices for other parts of the limbs that can be utilized for light events, parties, and even in clubs. These devices can also be used for performances and aesthetic showcases. The device does not necessarily have to be on a human either; interactive devices with moving LED lights interactions can also be created with this project as a basis, for example for a Chingay Float.

The circuit is made out of three different parts;

  1. Ultrasonic Sensor – This will detect distances. When it detects a certain distance set and below, it will activate the LED Strips and the Servo Motors. When it detects a distance higher than the set distance, the Servo Motors will return to its original position and the Music Visualizer will be deactivated.
  2. Servo Motors – Two of these will be responsible for opening up the tail. Although in theory it should work, but I’m not sure if two Servo Motors can go in opposite directions from the same Arduino…
  3. Music Visualizers with LED Strips – The Music Visualizer will beat accordingly to the tempo of the music like a Madman. Theoretically it should work, but I’m not sure if I can add this to the existing Arduino or whether I need to get an extra power supply..

I would very much have liked to test the whole circuit out (I already arranged it nicely in a way that I think SHOULD work) but after 6 hours of failed attempts in soldering wires to my LED Strips, I kind of gave up for now… I will need to seek further help before I test this theory out again.

Hopefully, I will be able to get everything working on one circuit and one Arduino. Otherwise, I might have to forgo the Music Visualizer portion and focus on making the strips light up and the servo motors to open up only with the use of the Ultrasonic Sensors. Bless my soul.


Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller (by Marjory Jacobson)


What the text says:

Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller by Marjory Jacobson talks about how the cyber revolution has caused people to both betray and fulfill promises regarding the global information culture.

With our proprioceptive senses heightened, our senses are easily influenced to re-imagine another reality even if we cannot actually see them.

As Jacobson mentions in her text, “The ultimate imaginary where scripts are deformed with fragmented tales filtered through a flood of information, plots may never conclude.”

“The digressive meander of narrative and the denial of closure imply for many thinkers an illusion of immortality and an affirmation of technology’s promise of eternal life.”

My Thoughts:

I feel that it is in human nature to want more things as soon as we have received what we initially wanted. There is a never-ending quest to please humanity, and the cyber revolution is key to letting humans enjoy a glimpse of what can help satisfy their curiosity and expectations.

Art pieces like Sensorium helps participants to delve into a world where their 5 senses are being overridden extensively, and provides another reality for them. In my opinion, bringing an alternate reality to participants is a way to escape the real world, as well as to explore a need to be daring and try new things. This need would only increase, and newer expectations will arrive.

Ultimately, spaces can also be imagined; it does not have to exist for real, but as long as our 5 senses are deceived to believe that they are experiencing something totally different, then a new space can be said to have been created. Exploration will never end, and new worlds will keep being born.

My Questions:

What is it that drives people to yearn for eternal lives and experiences? Why is it that people never stop wanting something new each time they achieve something already? What is this boredom and provocation that drives people to yearn for more? Would a cyber revolution also create more boredom once everything has been synthesized to match a common frequency not meant to disrupt everyday lives i.e. our senses become too heightened?


Thanks for reading! 😀

Space and Place (by Yi Fu Tuan)


What the Reading is saying:

What Yi Fu Tuan talks about in this paper is about how culture, the common experience and the human body is what defines our understanding of spatial values.

People differ in how they divide up their world, assign values to them, and measure these in quantities. The Fundamental Principles of Spatial Organization is firstly Posture and structure of the human body, followed by Relations between human beings.

In other words, space is organized to fit our biological needs and social relations. It is human-construed, based on the body’s coordinates and intentions.

Space offers Direction, Location, Distance, Language and Area. 

Direction influences one’s perception of cultures and beliefs in human terms. For example, being placed higher or in front means that you are more superior and better than the ones lower and at the back. The Right side also refers to sacred power and being good, while the left side is more commonly associated with the profane and the impure.

Location refers to our spatial awareness, and this provides the human body a sense of space when they have points and coordinates to demarcate their understanding of space.

Distance is measured and better understood (which will then be translated to how it is compared to space) through human body parts and our common experience in comparing our body and feelings with other objects.

Language can be locational. It directly guides you to understand how space is being organized.

Finally, Area is compared to the human body when it is treated as a container. The common experience determines how we measure capacity.


My Thoughts:

I feel that the human body requires all 5 senses to be able to feel the space around us. This includes how we believe a space should feel like, and what elements are included in this space. For example, there can be a sofa in a room, and only through sight can you identify where the sofa is, and only through the common experience of how wide your steps are and what way you can travel to reach the sofa can you travel correctly to the sofa and take a sit.

Ultimately, I feel that since culture (what we believe about and how we interpret things thereafter) plays a huge role in determining what we think of space, humanism can be seen as a scientific counterpart in its identification of geography. An actual space is influenced by the cultural process people have, where there is a relationship between the common experience and perceptions hereafter.

Even though both concepts are largely different, with distance etc. being largely practical and scientific and the body’s instinctual movements and identification of measurement being humanistic in comparison, they both have to work together to create a space that can be accounted for by people.


My Questions:

A couple of questions I would like to bring up includes:Since everyone are unique individuals and have different human perceptions as a result, how did they come to agree that body parts can be used as a good estimation or comparison with space? Wouldn’t their perceptions be vastly different based on how they understand things? Who decided that body estimation was a good idea? e.g. Foot, Mile, Feet, Thumb, Palm, etc.


Thaaanks for reading! 😀