The term “Uncomfortable Interactions” came about by Steve Benford and his team of creatives and innovators. Steve Benford is a professor of Collaborative Computing in the Mixed Reality Laboratory at Nottingham where he explores future cultural and entertainment technologies. Uncomfortable Interactions stems from experimenting and pushing the limits and possible outcomes of HCI which stands for human-computer interaction[1]. HCI researches the design and use of computer technology, focused on the “user-friendly” expect of an interface. HCI’s engagement with cultural experiences such as art installations, performances, guides and games has inspired some unconventional approaches that usually comes only in traditional interactional designs[2].


Professor Steve Benford giving a lecture on Uncomfortable Interactions at the University of Salford, Manchester.

Uncomfortable interactions are said to benefit cultural experiences in three methods which are entertainment, enlightenment and sociality. Entertainment can be one of the ways of uncomfortable interactions through firstly, physical discomfort. This can take the form of riding roller-coasters or doing extreme sports such as bungee jumping as it evokes a feeling of thrill by a combination of fearful anticipation, followed by an extreme physical sensation, and then the euphoria of relief at having survived[3].

Enlightenment through interpretation can also be one of the ways of uncomfortable interactions as it tends to provoke interpretation rather than directly giving information to the audiences. This is achieved by including a certain ‘ambiguity of relationship’[4] in which the participant’s relationship to the experience becomes subject to interpretation.

Lastly, sociality is also one of the ways of uncomfortable interactions as it allows for confronting and sharing discomfort as a form of social bonding. This same principle can be applied to team building activities whereby groups would have to endure and go through challenging tasks together[5]. Social bonding around discomfort extends to audiences as they witness the public discomfort of others.

These ideas are exemplified through the game, Uncle Roy All Around You where the uncomfortable interactions could come in the forms of Discomfort through Control and Discomfort through Intimacy. For the online players, they are giving up their control to a bot called “Uncle Roy” in which it would be giving the online players directions in order to guide the street players to Uncle Roy’s office. This continues as a chain where street players surrender their control over to the online players in which giving the online players full control of telling them where to head to in order to find Uncle Roy’s office.

Discomfort through Intimacy can also be seen in the game as it allows the online players a chance to see their street players through surveillance camera as soon as they reach Uncle Roy’s office. This is also the moment whereby they will be deciding if they would want to commit to the commitment of staying with each other for the next 12 months.

Uncle Roy All Around You’s possible benefits would be Entertainment and Enlightenment. I believe that this game benefits entertainment wise for the Street Players in particular is because throughout the 60 minutes they are given, they are constantly being put on edge and the suspense of waiting for the next directions, getting into Uncle Roy’s office and also meeting Uncle Roy himself.

The game benefits enlightenment wise as there is a great sense of ambiguity that occurs between the participants’ relationship to the experience.This is because the players are being placed in a position whereby the online players are able to control the directions given to the street players meaning they can easily led them to the wrong way. However, subconsciously or not, the players still do realize how it is indeed after all a game or a piece of artwork that is being carefully orchestrated by the game’s orchestration team comprising of 10 people.


[1] Rouse, Margaret. “HCI (human-computer interaction).” SearchSoftwareQuality. (retrieved 25 February 2019)

[2] Benford, Steve. “Uncomfortable Interactions.” Session: Culture, Playfulness, & Creativity. (2012) Pg. 2005

[3] Benford, Steve. “Uncomfortable Interactions.” Session: Culture, Playfulness, & Creativity. (2012) Pg. 2006

[4] Benford, Steve. “Uncomfortable Interactions.” Session: Culture, Playfulness, & Creativity. (2012) Pg. 2006

[5] Benford, Steve. “Uncomfortable Interactions.” Session: Culture, Playfulness, & Creativity. (2012) Pg. 2006

Link to Presentation Slide Here


Part 1 (Individual)

2 Photographed Views of the Study Object

I chose a folded umbrella as my object and studied the ergonomics of it. Following are scanned visuals of the sketched & scaled orthographic drawings  and perspective. 

I have scaled my drawing to 1:5.


Part 2 (With Yuanxin)

20cm x 20cm 2-D flat Pattern done using Cross Pattern.



  • Very strong and durable once weaved and is able to support heavy items.
  • Has a repetitive pattern of “up-and-down”.
  • Pattern can get confusing and move about when adjusting the spaces in between.
  • Becomes stiff and difficult to pull together due to the thickness of the strips.


20cm x 20cm x 20cm 3-D Pattern done using Wicker Pattern.


  • Very suitable for creating cylindrical 3-D objects.
  • “Bee-hive” like structure when weaved into a cylinder.
  • Parts of the rattan might come off if not tightly pulled.
  • Gets a little difficult to weave when it comes to the bottom part of the basket.


This work was created using the Instagram private group chat feature in which we incorporated the use of the human body, hands and fingers as subjects of the work. The objective of our work would be to experiment with proximity, scale and connectedness of each frame as the subjects go through the frames one by one.

In Scene 1, we have the subject walking in full human body form, walking towards the right in the first quadrant and when he enters the second quadrant, he turns into fingers. When he drops to the third quadrant, he then transforms back to the full human body form and as he walks towards the last quadrant on the left, he then transform back into fingers.

In Scene 2, we have the subject being flicked by a giant finger in quadrant 1 and is flung across quadrant 2 where he then falls into quadrant 3 and gets pulled by another hand in quadrant 4.

In Scene 3, the team wanted to end the work with a light-hearted game of rock, paper, scissors in which after every round, those eliminated would exit the call and the last one would be the master screen thus ending the group chat.


The outcome of each scene didn’t stray too far off of what we had initially planned for although there we several lags in each quadrant, the objectives were still met and we were still able to showcase scale and connectedness with each scene.

We took a very long time setting up the screens before we could even try out our scenes due to connection problems and just where our locations were at as well. When one person has unstable connection, it tremendously affected the rest as weren’t able to communicate.

As it was our first time using the group chat feature on Instagram, it was rather difficult navigating the screens thus, it made us take a longer time to understand where each screen is at, on the master screen – which is the person who started the call. This is also the difficult part as on our own personal screens, our quadrants are all placed differently so navigating our directions were rather difficult as well.

In addition, as we use the same subject for one of the scenes, it is immensely challenging to time the perfect sequence from each quadrant and our subject would have to run to the next location almost immediately in order to make it to the following quadrant where they would have to reappear.

Although it was challenging, it allows us to be adaptive digital users as we were only given 60 minutes to plan and shoot everything. As social media platforms and other digital platforms continue to advance, coming out with more intricate features, as users, it is definitely a must-have trait for us to be ever-ready in learning and exploring the new features in order to make the best out of that platform.

Out of all the 3 Micro-Projects,

Which project did you feel you had the most creative control? Why?

I felt that the project with the most creative control would be Micro-Project 1: Creating The Third Space. This is because firstly, the project allows the creator to have full control of the artistic outcome in which the artist is able to conceptualize and create the work to his or her liking and there is no input from anyone else before he or she posts it onto Instagram with the hashtag.

The only thing that was binding everyone in this project would only be the hashtag, in this case to identify the posts of the people who had created the works. Apart from that, what I chose to shoot, edit and post were all in my control thus, making me feel that Project 1 gave me the most control.

Which project had the most unpredictable outcome? Why?

Project 2: Crowd-Sourced Art had the most unpredictable outcome as it allowed the audience of the work to have a huge amount of control in the decisions that we, the artist had to follow. The process of the work allowed for people to choose either one of the two options presented to them. As the creators, we were never too sure which option would end up the majority so each time we allowed the audience to choose, the results were unpredictable.

Which project best illustrates the concepts of DIWO & OpenSource? Why?

In my opinion, Project 1: Creating The Third Space, best illustrates the concepts of DIWO and Open-Source. This is because the idea of the hashtag itself allows for creators to collaborate on the same platform and interact with each other as they view each others’ work. The hashtag on Instagram also allows for the public to openly contribute to the community and comment on the posts. This means that people who don’t follow each other would be able to view and comment on each other’s work thus creating new connections and enabling more collaborations to happen.

As compared to Project 2: Crowd-Sourced Art, it only allows for people who follow the artists on their platform to be able to interact and participate in the making of the work. Thus, it doesn’t really make it open-source as there are more control as to who is allowed to see and contribute to the artists’ work as compared to Project 1 in which, it is completely open to whoever that have an Instagram account.