Project Description

‘Hush Little Baby’ is a morbid take on the coping method for mothers who experienced a miscarriage. This interactive installation is an immersive experience that is comforting yet harrowing, allowing the audience to freely touch, feel and hear everything that has been carefully curated on set.

The installation is motivated by the concept of the lack of a tangible memorial for a baby that is lost through miscarriage as there isn’t a body present. In a way, this installation is a ‘grave’, ‘shrine’ or ‘memorial space’ for a baby lost through miscarriage.

The installation calls for a single person experience at any point of time so as to allow the audience to fully immerse themselves. Audiences would need to go under the canopy and lie down as they have a touch and look at all the items that have been placed including the climax of the interaction – the baby bolster.

Observational documentation for user tests

Tester 1: Charm

  • Approaches space , “so confused”
  • Starts sleeping and lying down in space.
  • Shocked when audio of baby crying starts to play when bolster is squeezed and hugged.
  • Squeezes and further interacts with bolster.
  • Starts continuously pressing bolster until music and audio ends.


  • “Clear it was a dark object”
  • “Visceral set up”
  • “Associate with being a mother and holding a child.”

Tester 2: Sherneese

  • Slowly enters under the canopy, tries to lie down.
  • Holds the bolster, waits for baby crying to play.
  • Places bolster at different positions and trying to get audio to play
  • Tries to understand the differences in audio when different pressures are applied.
  • Leaves set up before music ends.


  • “Agree with charm, context was very clear”
  • “Blood made it v clear it was a miscarriage”
Design process documentation

We first started off by testing out the pressure sensor with a piezzo buzzer just to get the feel of how we want varied volume at varied pressure. We tried out the circuit and got ourselves familiarised before making a move to processing.

Feeling very sure that we wanted the increasing volume for increasing pressure, we then tried to bring it over to processing where we embedded the baby sound into the circuit and tried to test how the volume intensity would turn out now that we have the baby’s voice instead.

However, we realized that the audio was very choppy and felt very unsatisfied with the lack of progression the audio had. There were sudden cuts from the cooing made by the baby so we felt that we needed a much more consistent and progressive recording of the baby sound.

As for the object that would trigger this sound, we were considering between a baby bolster and a baby head pillow, taking into consideration which pillow would be a much more reactive and suitable fit for the pressure sensor.

We decided to go with the bolster as it was much more firmer and more reactive with the pressure sensor when being used as compared to the head pillow as it was much softer and had a lesser reaction to the pressure sensor.

Here is also a test to see the natural ergonomics of holding or hugging a baby bolster.

The Video

Instructables style process

Step 1: Get Materials

1x Baby Bolster

1x Arduino

1x Breadboard

5x Wires

1x 10k ohm Resistor

1x Acrylic Board

2x Wireless Speaker

1x Mattress

1x Mini Blanket Throw

5x White Towels

1x Adult Head Pillow

4x Sonograms

4x Soft Toys

4x Baby Clothes

1x Positive Pregnancy Kit

1x Fake Blood

1x Mood Light

Step 2: Solder Pressure Sensor

A long wire extension is needed for the pressure sensor as it will be embedded into the bolster that would be lifted by the audience so to make it safe, soldering a long wire extension would prevent from any pulling of the sensor that would disrupt your circuit.

Step 3: Assemble Circuit and Embed Sensor into Bolster

When assembling the circuit, it will be extremely helpful to tape the components of the circuit onto a board, in this case we have used an acrylic board that would be able to be hidden in out installation.

One the circuit have been assembled, place the pressure sensor on a hard surface such as an art card or a mounting board that has been trimmed to fit the pressure sensor better.

Step 4: Connect Wireless Speaker into Processing

Processing’s audio will be played from the computer so to further amplify the sound and embed it into the set-up better, connect a wireless speaker to the computer and processing’s audio from the pressure will play from the speaker.

Step 5: Set Up Baby Shrine

Start off by placing the mattress in a squared manner so you definitely need a really soft mattress that is foldable. Once done, place over a throw blanket that is subtlely stained with blood. Place the circuit board at the head of the set-up and start to place the soft toys against it.

Place the adult head pillow in front of the soft toys and place the baby bolster above it. To amplify the set-up further, place the baby clothes on the right side of the adult pillow and place the positive pregnancy kit on the right side of the adult pillow. Place the wireless speaker behind any one of the soft toys and place the night light on the left of the soft toys.

Once done, place the white towels in the middle of the mattress and arrange them well.

Step 6: Carefully Add in Fake Blood

Once arranged chaotically, use your finger and start to create a concentrated blood spot in the middle of the towels and great a gradient from dark to a brighter red to make it less fake. Add in other smaller specks of blood to further elevate the main big blotch. To finish it off, add more blotches of blood on the blanket throw itself.

CodeS + Circuit design

Code for piezzo buzzer’s increasing sound:

Code for processing using old audio clip with increasing sound:

Code for processing using final audio clip with increasing sound:

Circuit set-up for processing (omitting piezzo buzzer):

Photos of Installation in Detail
Reflection + Thoughts

Personally, the issue that I felt we face would be the coding of the processing as we really wanted a smooth and obvious change in the audio of the baby cooing as the pressure gets more intense but it was not as apparent as we wanted it to be. However, we managed to find another option which was to really curate and edit the baby’s sound in the audio itself and have a longer sound made when the pressure is intensified.

Nonetheless, apart from the interactive object itself, I personally do feel that the whole experience and vibe of the set-up matters as it would either do the item justice or otherwise. I specifically paid a close attention to detail for our set-up as I really wanted to portray how a simple object such as the bolster could make such an impact when placed in such a set-up with all the items present for context.

After being exposed to the different kinds of interactions and its methods for the past 13 / 14 weeks through either the micro-projects, research critiques and final submission, I can really vouch that having an interactive piece of design is way more intriguing and satisfying as compared to having a non-interactive design.

Through the final project specifically, I observed how interaction plays a pivotal role especially in conveying a piece of work that is commenting on a societal issue or a personal issue. Through interaction, it really allows the user to be fully immersed and have a better experience at comprehending the message the design has to convey.


How does your audience experience your project?

Naz: The experience first begins in a bed set-up with a bolster and small pillow place above it. The user then presumably understand that it is a bed thus he gets on the bed with his head positioned on the small pillow. Just like how one would hold on to a bolster while falling asleep, he hugs it close to his chest. Just as he squeezes it and the bolster receives pressure, the sound of a heartbeat plays. The volume of the heartbeat varies with the level of pressure applied – the louder it becomes if more pressure is conducted. The aim of this project is to reinforce the idea of coping the loss of a loved one, and in this case, when you hug your loved one, you are able to sense your partner’s heartbeat over a hug.

Naddy: In our set up, when the audience first see our installation, they should see a set up of a tear-stained mattress and head pillow. We intend to have a very dim set-up to the installation, some sort of a scene where you can fall asleep in. In the middle of the mattress, there is a bolster placed. The audience would have to get on the mattress and lie down. The audience would then have to put their arms and legs around the bolster and proceed to hug it. The bolster would then react by producing a heartbeat sound as soon as pressure is being applied. The harder the audience squeezes the bolster, the louder the heartbeat sound would go off. This ties to the motive of our project as we are trying to depict how someone copes with the loss of a loved one which is to replicate the sound of the loved one’s heartbeat, somewhat reassuring the user that the person that is gone, is still there.

Is it for a single person to engage with your project or for multiple participants concurrently?

Naz: Considering this device touches on the emotions and experience between two loved ones – one who has passed, and the other listening to the heartbeat, only one user is involved. Also, there is also one set of pillow and bolster thus suggesting it can only be felt by one user.

Naddy: The device is meant for a one person participation at one go. This is because we want the audience to feel a sense of isolation and loneliness as they interact with our device and sort of have a one-on-one personal connection with the device.

What is the interaction or situation you are creating for your audience?

Naz: By putting the user in a lying position that may feel suffocated or restrained in movement or position, it forces him to be attentive to his senses around him. When he places his arms and legs around the bolster, it drives him to be aware of what is going to happen next as the actions are limited in nature.

Naddy: We want the audience to feel a sense of loneliness and having the need to hug the bolster. Having our audience lie down on a small and flat head pillow restricts the air flow that goes through the windpipe thus making them feel slightly restricted. This would then prompt them further to hug the bolster and put on more pressure onto it.

What is the intention of this interaction?

Naz: After hearing the heartbeat sounds, he not only expands his hearing senses, but it forces him to think about what goes to his mind when listening to someone else’s heartbeat – as he reminisces on his loved one who has passed. It pushes him to be sensitive not only to his emotions but to his experiences with that loved one.

Naddy: The intention of this interaction is to showcase how someone copes with the loss of a loved one. This interaction was inspired by an episode of Netflix’s Black Mirror, “Be Right Back” where the wife loses her husband to an accident and she then signs up for an app that replicates actions her husband would do. This is to show how there is an alternative way of coping with a loss which is to not move on and pretend they are still there.



What did you learn from the process?

Naz: When introducing a new setup and experience to someone who has zero idea on the context and steps involved, it is crucial that everything is set out clearly. From the placement and arrangement of the setting – such as the distance between the object (bolster) and the user, as well as the position that might affect how he should place his head, it not only speeds things up for the process but it allows you to refrain from experiencing hiccups or misunderstandings. Since no step by step guide instructions are allowed for the final execution, there has to be a clear idea of what steps goes first and continuously. This can be solved by having as many tests and dry runs with new users every time. With feedback received, you can understand and study what are the things users might misinterpret in the set-up which can be adjusted before the final execution.

Naddy: From the body storming process, I learnt that the choice of materials used is very crucial in relation to the sensors that are used as well as the input and output that is wanted. I am much more aware after gaining insights from Lei and Serena when they mentioned how the heartbeat vibration would be difficult to execute especially if the bolster is a big one and is soft which would absorb the vibration and make the interaction a failed one.

With Bai testing the installation even after having the steps being laid out, I realize that the way we placed our items plays a huge role in how the audience would interact with it. He did mention how having the bolster sitting right in the middle of the mattress immediately deters him from wanting to mess with it thus it is important to be extra particular with placement of elements.

What surprised you while going through the process?

Naz: Sometimes, what we visualise in our head might not appear as smooth as what actually happens. When we (the creators) make a decision on the message we want to bring across, sometimes it might not be understood clearly or as quickly from the POV of the user. For instance, when we place the heartbeat playing over a phone over the ear of the user, because of the awkward position that isn’t intended for the final critique, users and observers might misinterpret the message. Some thought it was for abortion considering the phone screen showed an image of a baby and a mother. These are things that has to be carefully considered so that our message still stands. The creators have deliberately took a long time to plan the context thus for us it is quickly understood but for the rest, it is their first time, thus everything has to be clear for them.  

Naddy: We were quite shocked at the fact that the observers commented on how they thought that the installation was a commentary on consent as they felt that when the bolster was hugged and emitted a sound, they thought that that was a commentary on how when something is being touched without consent, it will trigger a heartbeat which beats fast when being hugged tighter. Another observer also mentioned how she thought that it was about abortion as they saw an image of a baby and a mother on the phone screen when we were playing the heartbeat sound for the tester.

We were also shocked at how the tested told us that he was weary of shifting the bolster thus that was why he avoided it the best he can as he didn’t want to trigger anything. This defeats our purpose as we wanted the tester to interact with the bolster but because we placed it in the middle of the mattress, it caused a confusion to the tester which reinforces how placement of object is extremely important.

How can you apply what you have discovered to the designing of your installation?

Naz: For the setup and experience to be successful, users can get the hand of the context within short amount of time as possible without us giving it away. And this can be done by taking close and careful consideration to the setup. For instance, the setup shouldn’t just contain the devices (bolster and bed) but it should suggests the idea of a room of someone who used to live with their loved one who has passed. Thus, hints of the presence of their loved one can be included – such as used clothing, images one bedside table, or even the size of the bed. A queen size bed would suggest that the person used to share the bed with their loved one versus a single bed. Subtle symbols or hidden meanings can be used to enhance the experience of the user while capturing the message as quickly as possible.

Naddy: We would like to include a clearer context for our installation which is to have a better and much more elaborate set-up. After feedbacks on the misconception of our message and material issue with regards to the input, output and the sensors that we intend to use, we are revising our message to be that of a mother who experienced the loss of her unborn child. This fits both our context and material choice better as we plan to scale down the bolster into a baby’s bolster instead as then this would be simply hugged by the tester and need not require them to lie down and hug it.

As for the context, we plan to still have the set up on a mattress but clad it with ultrasound images on the wall and have some baby toys on the side of the mattress. We also intend to put some tear and blood stains on the mattress to show the remnants of how the mother coped with the loss of the baby.


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


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.


The content of the work would be a short Instagram video series of 15-second video clips of ADM tour fun time guides exploring interesting spots in ADM. The creators would be Bai, Naz and Naddy along with powerful decision makers – Naddy’s Instagram followers.

This work takes place on Naddy’s Instagram story in which was made public for anyone to place their votes. The team decided to go with a strict two option poll instead of an open-ended question or multiple options as we were only given very little time, we needed answers FAST.

With the time that we have, we managed to do three polls:

  1. Should we get into the iconic ADM pond barefooted or head to the rooftop and scream “I draw naked people”?
  • We had to wait about 10 minutes in order to have a sufficient number of voters before we start to film at the hotspots.

Pond received 79% of the votes while rooftop received 21%.

  1. Should Naddy do a plank on the ADM sign or Should Bai climb up the black grid structure to the top?
  • At this point of time, my audience were already read to vote within the 5 minutes after I posted out this poll. This shows that they are really interested in wanting to be part of this work.

ADM Sign received 48% of the votes while the structure received 52%.

  1. Should we do a High School Musical scene in the lecture hall or basement lockers?
  • This was the final poll and we realized how we managed to get more people to vote and view within a short period of time as compared to the previous posts. Through this poll, we also managed to get a private message from one of my followers requesting for a particular song to be played in which we heeded to.

Lecture Hall received 47% of the votes while lockers received 53%.

This work actively seeks the audience’s interaction with the poll as they will be determining what the guides would have to do or go to next. The “Reply to Story” feature has also been turned on so that the audience are able to give more suggestions to the team should the polling not have something that they’d like to see.

This crowd-sourced project is different from ones created by a single artist or creator as it allows for active audience participation even though they are just silent viewers behind the screens of their mobile phones. This allows for the audience to have a sense of collaborative ownership as they are contributing their votes to determine what the next move would be which is something that a single creator work would not have.


I chose this space to photograph as I thought that it is a very ironic space. Ironic how elevators would typically move automatically once a floor is being chosen yet this particular elevator needed constant manual pushing of the buttons in order to even move a single inch. Ironic how elevators usually look cold and metallic, yet this particular elevator is made of plastic and looks very warm.

The words collaborative, ever-changing, varying would describe this alternative virtual space that we have created. This is because the hashtag is something that just about anyone with a public Instagram account can contribute to. It is ever changing as with each batch of people that embark on this activity, new photos would emerge from the hashtag page and go on top of those who came before them. Lastly, it is varying as it is contributed by different people with different perspective, not one photo can be the same.

It is rather easy for this alternative virtual space to change should the collaborators decide to delete or change the name of the hashtag. In addition, photos could disappear if collaborators decide to delete or archive their photos. Switching one’s account to private can also cause the photos to disappear from the hashtag page.

This project relates to the DIWO and DIY concepts as it allows for an artistic collaboration among us as we are able to have conversations with one another by posting and replying to comments. This ongoing conversation then creates an enriching system in this particular virtual space where like-minded individuals are able to put up their work and interact with others that are binded by the same space – the hashtag.