4D II | The Library Final

Group members: Rochele & Ling Ern

Project Title: What we SEA in You?

Location: ADM Library

The objective of this installation is to increase the level of interaction between people and people as well as with the space around.

It’s interesting to see people engage with your work and how they interpret things compared to what you originally had in mind. For instance, I created the “sea card”, merely as a background image for people to write stuffs on it. However, I discovered that people made use of that image as literally “background”, where they create art on it. There are people who make use of the tiny rectangular box at the bottom to answer our question too.

Apart from that, a strategic location for site-specific installation is really important, for example, placing our work at the side of the table near the aisle could have different effects compared to placing it at the middle or far right. This is because the side near the aisle increases the chance of getting noticed when people walk to the study area.

The main struggle that we faced in this project was during the conceptual stage when we couldn’t get our heads around what this project needs and our proposed ideas were just OFF – not feasible. We kinda tried too hard in finding solutions to improve the library experience that we didn’t put much thoughts on the creative elements. Through this project, I have a better understanding of how an installation work in the public space. There are a lot of things to be taken into consideration; details which we never would have thought of such as the scale of your work and its location, the way you place the items to make them look like a family, materials used etc. Put yourself in the shoes of the user or ask for feedbacks help you discover specific issues and get a clearer view. It ain’t an easy task but it is such a cool experience when it accomplished what you set out to achieve.

All in all, the past few months were good. We get to explore different types of work and think a little deeper. Thank you Prof. Michael for all the guidance!

For now, I can safely say that installation is fun (tiring at the same time) and I will continue to explore! But this time I would like to play with media work.

Improvement to be made:

  • User experience is crucial – some of the slits are not deep enough for people to place their cards easily.

 Links to previous posts:

  1. The Library Research
  2. Idea Development
  3. The Library Process


4D II | The Library Process

Group members: Rochele & Ling Ern

It’s time to develop our prototype!

We decided to work with foam that we found in 3D studio. We sketched the shape that we want – “M” because it provides more space to make the slit.

Working with such a huge foam was never easy. Due to the lack of skills, we literally broke the wire four times. Thanks to the people in the 3D studio for all the help (we were so so sorry!!)

aaaaaand WE MADE IT! Looks pretty alright tho.

Also, we used the leftover foam to make our stamps! 

Moving on to papers, which we cut and paste onto 100 pieces of vanguard sheets.

Draft #1: Due to the colourful vanguard sheets, we decided to print our installation title on white papers for users to write messages or create their own artwork.

Draft #2: After sitting on it for awhile, we find it boring to have a white background. Therefore, we proceed to use own photos as background image. 

Photos taken in Lorne, Victoria (2016) ^

When you left with too much acrylic paint and you thought to yourself..why not using it on this large foam? This 4D project starting to feel like a combination of 2D, 3D, FD work.

Oh wellz.

5am color test

Off to set this up in the library!

Creating the sign for the installation –

However, it was lacking something. So I tweaked it and added a step-by-step guide at the side. 


4D II | Library Installation Idea Development

Group members: Rochele & Ling Ern

From the site research, we have come out with some ideas for the site-specific installation, mainly based on people’s perception of the library as well as feedbacks received from the interviews.

3 Proposed Ideas:

  • Idea One – Lost Age

Project Synopsis

Technology has greatly improved people’s reading experience these days, and it is  proven that there has been a diminishing use of the library. Libraries these days are  considered merely a “warehouse” for the prints with unused content. There wasn’t any  people browsing the books whenever I drop by the library. The books are arranged  almost too neatly as if they have never pulled off the shelves. One possible reason may be when there are too many books, people don’t know where to begin with. “The Paradox of Choice”, where excessive choice can produce choice  paralysis. When there is a large display, people are less likely to make a choice as they feel overwhelmed. Hence, a small number of books on display allows viewers to do a quick browsing and thus enhance the perceived value of the books. Also, there is a sense of discovery when people come across books they never knew they wanted to  read.

Description of Installation

Clear up an area of the shelves or it can be on table. Place a number of “unborrowed” books (approx 50). The books can be wrapped up with brown paper and interesting quote is written on each of the book or arrange them according to book jacket colours/alphabetise them.

  • Idea Two – I Chope Like That

Project Synopsis

We realised that a lot of people often leave their stuff on the table to reserve the seat at the study table. By observation, there are times where the person has not come back/ reappear after more than 45 minutes to an hour. To maximise the usage of the study area, “I Chope Like That!”  helps one another to be more aware and mindful of their behaviour.

Description of Installation

A deck of cards will be produced and placed at each study table, enclosed with a stopwatch at the front. The user has to press and activate the stopwatch before being able to open the box to retrieve the cards. Each card contains words like “I am off to the toilet! Will be back in 5 minutes!” / “Please wait, I will be back in 10 minutes” / “I am printing my stuff, be back in 5 minutes” / “20 minutes break time!” etc. The maximum chope-ing time for a person will be capped at 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes is up, the stopwatch will beep and the librarian on duty has the right to remove any belongings on the table.

  • Idea Three – Hall of Fame

Project Synopsis

How can a library transform itself into a hub where people and ideas are connected? One of the major issue we found is that library can be too quiet for some people and it becomes uninviting somehow. Besides, the level of interaction between people in the library is extremely low. In order to tackle this problem, mini entertainment is necessary while not causing too much noise and chaos to the quiet space. Through this installation, it helps to create a livelier environment where library users are able to see themselves mirrored in their surroundings. This enriches the library space and reflects the diversity of our users.

“People are always drawn to words and words fragment themselves into graphics and photos which tell a story.”

Description of Installation

Library users are able to view the installation from the study area through the glass window.

Power sockets are available at the side for convenience.

A set of stamps with basic shapes are provided on the wooden table with stack of A5 white cards and pens. Viewers are free to create the image they like using the stamps provided or even include messages on his or her artwork. After which he or she needs to hang their art piece on the blank black wall together with others’ artwork. //OR the metal panels in front of the photocopy area where we will loop the strings through the panel together with fairy lights for people to hang their artwork.

Mini Ideas –

People’s Library – Users can bring their books to the library and place on a specific area to share it with people.

Silent Disco – A pair of wireless headsets provided at the grey seating area where two people can have their own “party”.

Stickers – Paste stickers on the floor starting from the entrance to guide people to specific shelves; stickers may contain sentences like “When in doubt, walk five steps and turn to your left”

After consultation, we decided to pick #Idea Three for further development.

Some of the questions/issues we are left to ponder upon are –

  • Is there a need to display people’s art publicly on the wall?

Instead of putting up their artwork on the wall, shall we explore other ways of art display? For example, on the table. Will it become more inviting for users if they could just “submit” their artwork instantly after they have completed or better to walk to the wall? Therefore, it is important to take note of certain issues such as “stage fright” and eliminate it for better outcome – People may not want to publicly display their art as some may feel a degree of nervous apprehension in such situation when they are in the center of attention. Even though the art is anonymous, the sense of being watched may put people off.

  • Incorporating moving sequence/still image or sound.

How do we add in the elements required in the brief instead of pure interactive installation? By providing a theme as a guide for the users, we can create cards with found imagery.  This helps to limit the possibilities (because too much freedom can be tough too!) yet there is room for people to use their imagination. 

  • Proximity issue between the working station and display area.

There has to be a link between the making of the work and where it displays. Due to it being a non-gallery installation, we don’t have a large space dedicated for it. Hence, placing the work station (where people make their art) further away from the display area may break the connection and causes confusion.  

  • Will people interact with the installation/Is it inviting enough?

How do we make the installation stand out in a space so crowded or do we want it to be blended into the environment so much that people will not think that it’s an art installation? We definitely want it to be an interesting project which people get to involve and together we make the library a better space. However, we are going to test out the installation work after setting up in the space. 


Title: What we SEA in You


How can a library transform itself into a hub where people and ideas are connected? One of the major issue we found is that library can be too quiet for some people and it becomes uninviting somehow. Besides, the level of interaction between people in the library is extremely low. Through this installation, it helps to create a livelier environment where library users are able to see themselves mirrored in their surroundings through the exchange of art. This enriches the library space and reflects the diversity of our users.


A collection of stamps with basic shapes are provided on the brown table with stack of A7 vanguard sheets and markers/pens. Library go‐ers are free to create the image they like based on the theme, using the stamps provided or they can include messages on his or her artwork. After which he or she will display their art piece on the slitted foam platform on the table. With every piece of artwork contributed, participants are free to take one of the art piece done by another participant.


*This installation idea is inspired by my visits to Art Science Museum and Capitol Piazza.

4D II | The Library Research

Group members: Rochele & Ling Ern

Project Three requires us to explore the idea of site-specific intervention, by incorporating images, text and media. So what is site-specific installation?

“It refers to an artist’s intervention in a specific locale, creating a work that is integrated with its surroundings and that explores its relationship to the topography of its locale, and to restructure the viewer’s conceptual and perceptual experience of that locale through the artist’s intervention.” 

Below are some of the interesting examples:

An Earlier Account by Allen Topolski | 2010

In this site-specific artwork, Topolski based his concept on his understanding of domestic residences and personal experiences when he moved to a home previously owned by Jews – what it had, what it has and lost.

“…our habitation of the house obliterated a record of a family and its routine intersections with objects and spaces”

In his installation, Topolski projected images such as pots, into the remnants of an abandoned kitchen. The “pots” images are doubled to represent the Jews’ practice of the separation of dairy and meat – a custom which is not practiced in today’s kitchen.

Bookbed by Ruth Beale | 2014

An installation in a playful environment which consists of a giant book-shaped bed featuring duvet pages of story titles on top drawn from creative writing workshops, a bookshelf and typewriter for simple book-making.

“Libraries are one of the few meeting points between society and the individual, public and private. However mediated, they represent more than the sum of their parts because they offer us both practical services and the potential for educational and cultural development on our own terms…”

Beale’s theme in this installation is “dreams, aspirations and imagination”. It is a comfortable, surreal, magical experience set in a night-time dreamscape which helps to connect the audiences and opens conversations for them. I love the idea of Bookbed which allows audiences to explore the library in the context of 21st century technology. For instance, flipping the “book” on a bed is somehow similar of how we read from Kindle – a “book” with quotation marks.

Untitled (Selections from Truisms, Inflammatory Essays, The Living Series, The Survival Series, Under a Rock, Laments and Child Text) by Jenny Holzer | 1989

Untitled is a site-specific installation which employs a variety of voices and express a wide spectrum of biases and beliefs, aim to encourage the audiences to be an active participant in determining what is legitimate and what is not.

Holzer transformed the museum’s rotunda into an electronic arcade with her own one-liners from different texts, displayed on the LED board that was installed along the winding inner wall of spiral ramp.

Before this, all her messages were printed on posters and pasted on buildings/walls around Manhattan. I love the idea that by bringing street art to the museum, Holzer could switch her target audience to people who really care about the consumption of art instead of mere passersby on the street.

Making Visible the Invisible: What the Community is Reading by George Legrady | 2005

This is another site-specific installation which uses similar display method – an electronic artwork that presents different ways of analysing and visually mapping check-out data from the Central Library.

Legardy installed 6 LCD screens above the librarian reference desk to display titles of books and other items patrons have checked out in the past hour. For example, the titles enter the screen from the far right and slowly move to the left until an entire hour’s worth of materials have passed by.

“The concept is to try to show what the community is thinking based on the flow of books leaving the library…”

In today’s age, social media has become a tool/guideline for people to make decisions. “People tend to believe in what their friends recommend” – and YEAP! This is an issue for me as well. Therefore, I find that the idea of having book titles displayed on the screen for everyone to see can help audiences to decide on which books they could borrow in the future.


In this project, we are tasked to reflect on the library as an encounter that connects and disseminates information.

Library is an extensive place yet there are good constraints for us to generate ideas on how to improve its role on campus. It is a centralised location where new technology can combine with the traditional. It helps to establish an intellectual community contrary to the virtual platform i.e. internet, which tend to isolate people. Library ought to serve as a place that provides user a sense of inspiration when they set their foot inside as well as strengthening the community involvement.

My initial impression of the library is that it is a pretty cold, static place, not very inviting to me and definitely not a place that I will stay for long except queueing to print. I guess a huge part of the reason is because of its quietness that makes me feel like I need to be extra careful inside.


Existing furniture/fixture in the space

Sofas, bean bags, printers, computers, tables and chairs, shelves, books, DVDs, easel

What surrounds the place

Occasional tourist, roads, pretty view

Who goes there

Mostly ADM people but there are students from other faculties as well, especially when it’s nearing exam period. Lecturers do visit the library too.

How people engage the space

Generally, I find that people (those occupy the study area or bean bags) are quiet in the library since it is understood that there are rules to follow, except there might be occasional noise coming from the printing station as well as the computer area in front of the counter, where group discussions can be seen. There are also several people taking their naps at the bean bags area.

Level of interaction between people with people

There isn’t much interaction between people in the library. Fair enough, because library is treated as some kind of “serious” place where certain rules are meant to be followed. However, I did see people started talking to each other when there is a printer breakdown.

People’s perception of ADM library and what they think can improve as follow:

  • It is a quiet place.
  • Able to focus well.
  • Nice place to study compared to other libraries in NTU.
  • Comprehensive in materials.
  • Too cold.
  • Confusing labels on shelves.
  • Hogging issues.
  • Need water point, light music.
  • Conduct enrichment classes in the library.
  • A rest area with soundproof wall with snacks for group discussions/ conversations over coffee.
  • Opening 24 hours.
  • A network system that connects to other libraries in school (more convenient to locate a specific item).
  • Automatic device that brings the item to students instead of searching yourself.
  • Display more artwork.