Artist’s Statement: This series of 10 photos captures two individuals who are discontent with life and are trying to envision what could be through VR. As they try to visualize their self curated reality, they realize that they don’t actually know what they truly desire. They just want something else. || What compelled me to go with this theme is my love for anything tech related, thus when I found out NTU has VR sets I really wanted to incorporate it in somehow. Not to mention, prior to this class I didn’t know how to use Photoshop so I wanted to test my limits by adding in special effects into some photos.

Link to Before and Afters &  High Res photos:

There was an error every time I tried to upload so I had to put everything on google drive.


Artist’s Statement: People from all walks of life want to change the reality they are in. This desire stems from the realization that they are not fulfilling the life they envisoned for themselves. This series of photos captures people visualizing a self-curated reality. These individuals will essentially escape the “now” through virtual reality.

Every shot hand held, in manual focus, using the Nikon D7500 with a 35mm lens. To get the desired shots that I wanted I would say something to my subject to capture the right emotions. For instance, in the first photo I said “think back to when you were a kid, what did you want to become?” and for the last I said “quick! imagine there’s quick sand under you”.  In terms of editing, I have never worked with special effects and lights before so I wanted to try something new. I took away a lot of things in the background that seemed out of place in the second picture (ex. blue dust pan) and also clone stamped green leaves to hide the brown ones. I really like the lesson we had on how to enhance shine of jewelry so I took my own approach on it and tried to colour dodge and paint the ‘shine’ directly on her necklace.

Major fixes:
– Removed my face from the VR screen glass by clone stamping and applying a gaussian blur.
– Necklace Shine
– Lights on eyes
– Hair Colour (paint brush and a few advanced blending options)
– Smoothed skin
– Made lips more visible
– Removed scratches and words on walls
Style and Inspo:

F number: f/2.8

Shutter Speed: 1/320

– Masked area that she is sitting on to make it grey and blend in better, it was brown and patchy before.

F number: f/1.8

Shutter Speed: 1/640


F number: f/2.8

Shutter Speed: 1/320

Our class trip to the Art Science Museum was definitely a worthwhile experience. I’ve actually been planning on going for quite a while now, so I’m glad I got to cross it off my bucket list at only a fraction of the cost. We got to explore Future World, a series of interactive installations curated by Team Lab, and also learned about how UX can be applied to every discipline/study. In terms of aesthetics, I loved Crystal Universe, but the most thought-provoking exhibit was the wall of butterflies. Essentially every time we touched the butterflies they would fall, and this was a symbolic representation of the negative impact humans have on nature when we interfere with its natural rhythm. I thought it was cool how Team Lab integrated art and science while incorporating lessons about human impacts on the environment. 

Something I would suggest for the exhibit designers is to add more directional signs. Even though the exhibit was quite short, it was also very dark so I often saw people entering Crystal Universe through what was supposed to be the exit, simply because the path that led to the entrance wasn’t made evident. I also sat outside the exit for a while and saw that people would leave, look up at the posters outside and realize they missed something (especially Impermanent Life). 

During an interview with InVision, the renowned exhibit consultant, Beverly Serrell, once said: “Good exhibit writing actually flips the rules: Start with the specific and work to the general; start with the present and work to the past. Often that means literally and figuratively taking out the scissors, cutting out the last paragraph, and putting it at the top… What visitors learn at one “station” is going to resonate with something they learn at another one, so that as they move throughout the exhibit, it’s building that gestalt as opposed to presenting a totally independent idea one after another—because after 25 new ideas, you’re just ready to quit.” Thinking back at the descriptions for each artwork I think they really did consider the user’s experience because each one was informative but yet concise. 

I did some more research on Team Lab’s work and I found out about the architecture they do as well, here’s a link to my favourite structures built by them:


Google Drive Link:

You may click here to see the before and after vid.

Artists statement: I am a Canadian expat currently residing in NTU Hall  of Residence 9. For the most part, I would say I’m not a morning person but one day I decided to wake up early to be more productive. To my surprise I found out that H9 had a rooftop deck, so I went up on it and had my breakfast overlooking the view captured in the images above. The thing that compelled me to take this image is because of my love for accent colours (especially orange and lime green). I liked how the building wasn’t too modern but had a modern aesthetic appeal through its paint accent. In terms of the mood/theme, my aim was to depict what Toronto  looks like during this time of year, because I sometimes miss the cold weather back home.

Technical decisions:

—> Camera Process: I signed out the Nikon D7500 with the original lens kit. Firstly, I took a series of shots from the rooftop, all handheld shots, varying from medium  shots to extreme long shots. I also racked the focus a bit to make sure the building was the main focus. After looking through the photos I selected this one because of the exposure and it was the least slanted one.

—> Digital Process

step 1 – Colour balance using the paint bucket and inverting colour

step 2 – New non-destructive layer, then extracted a colour in the sky and lightly painted on top, I added some pink tones to the clouds to give it more of a give it a feel that there is a sun somewhere behind all those clouds.

step 3 – Added a red and green gradient at 27% set at Luminosity to make the building stand out more

step 4 – Extracted colour from the tree leaves, increased saturation and painted over then with the paint brush tool then set it to Soft Light, opacity 37%

step 5 – I thought the picture was still too bright and didn’t resemble a cold Toronto morning so I used the Curves to make it darker.

step 6 – Using the Hues/Saturation I selected the orange parts of the image and made them look more “burnt” (commonly known as burnt orange)

step 7 – Lastly using command+alt +sift e I made a monochromatic noise layer over the whole image to add a grain/vintage effect.

In this article, the authors discuss how defining “good design” is quite difficult and can be argued from many different perspectives. Nonetheless, the basis and foundation that good design is built on is the same in the sense that it has to be inclusive (an awareness of disabilities and marginalized identities), be fairly intuitive, and has to satisfy the user’s needs. One of the points they raise towards the end that I really like is that making a client happy is not sufficient and all-encompassing. I’ve never really thought about it in this perspective because as a UX designer I’m so focused on the user/customer that I failed to see the cultural, social, economic implications of my designs. We have to take a step back and look at how the user branches off and is connected to a greater network of people. Moreover, they state that design is just as much aesthetics as it is psychological. In my second year of university, I learned about Gestalt Principles and it helped me understand what they were saying in this article more thoroughly. There is a specific way that our brain processes design on a device, environment, and/or service and we have to understand how people think in order to create a design that is effective (provides affordances, tackles pain points) and appealing to the user. I only truly understood what IxD was this year and as a result of my fascination, I joined the Interaction Design Foundation (side note: I highly recommend their lessons because of how enjoyable/fun they make them The picture I posted above gives a visual representation of how IxD is a part of UX and is actually an interdisciplinary field. Here’s a post I shared with IDF back in July (my own words) : “The potential benefits of taking a user-centered approach to design is that it allows the designer to go in the shoes of the user (who will hopefully become a customer) and enhance the efficiency and enjoyability through their eyes. Moreover, most of the problems that are associated with user-satisfaction could be eliminated right at the core with this kind of mindset. When a user likes a device or service they are more likely to use it, purchase more items from the same company, and even recommend it to family and friends. When we design in a way that almost revolves around the user this, in turn, helps with the business’s profitability. With everything that we curate, we are not just doing it so it can sit there and be forgotten, the end goal is so that someone can use it. Taking this into consideration, it would only benefit us to take a user-centered approach in every step of the product life cycle to ensure that we make things intuitive. In my first year of university, I took a UX class and my prof. taught us to make “user personas” to think of the potential users, designing around my target markets needs made it easier for me to retain the attention of users and helped me make their lives easier. Lastly, making designs off of assumptions will increase the chances of you going back to the drawing boards, the user-centered design will give you insights into the desirability of a product/service/device.” 

Group Members: Natasya A., Jessie Z., Rebecca Y., Joslyn T.

  1. What is the experience that you are going to map?
  • Game/scavenger hunt split between North Spine and South Spine hunt (uphill and downhill)
  1. What challenges or problems have you identified that your map will address?
  • Size of map is too large →  section it off into zones (North spine and South Spine) 
  • Help students envision their future at NTU →  focus on student/faculty art work
  • Eliminate minor details 
  • Simpler phrases (less complex language)
  • Need to indicate public bus stop (not familiar with NTU and NTU Shuttle Bus)
  • Navigating the hills of NTU through the heat 
  • Include other activities to keep the attention of the students (e.g. dessert shop, selfie spots, etc)
  • Prioritize artworks that can be visited during day time
  1. Who is your primary audience?
  • Our primary audience consists of students from age 14 to 17 (Secondary School)
  • How we came up with this idea: Many secondary students come to NTU for class field trips and campus tours prior to uni applications. With that in mind, we thought it would be interesting to make the compulsory visits into something more interactive and incentive based. That way the students can have an entertaining/enjoyable experience rather than strictly educational.
  1. What are the survey questions that you’ll need to ask in order to identify and verify the problems/challenges?
  • What is the average size of the classes?
  • What is the min/maximum duration of the trip?
  • Are there any disabled students in the class?
  • What core lessons/curriculums does the district want to emphasize? (ex. Sustainable Architecture – we could ask fun questions on how the exhibit was made and how it gets energy)