Category Archives: Interactive Spaces

Suspend your Disbelief 2.0 | Final Project | Documentation


Suspend your Disbelief II is a development of my analogue midterm project. It incorporates sound and light to create an immersive and trance-like audiovisual environment. By introducing strobe light effect and a jarring soundscape, the work is an intervention of a typically peaceful and relaxing play environment. It also aims to distort movement and our perception of time and progress.

Suspend your Disbelief II poster presentation
Some alterations needed!

Some alterations were needed to customise the swings for the new space (Truss room). I chopped the longest swing into two pieces and made additional reinforcements to the centre. I also shortened the length of the sticks for a sleeker look and to allow for more movement.

The soundscape consisted of a low-frequency drone in the background and 10 randomised accents. These accents were either
created or edited using Ableton Live. I adjusted each accent to make it sound as jarring and ‘noisy’ as possible while remaining unified as a soundscape. Each accent or delay also had a unique light pattern which emphasised its sound.

Some accents had a gradual circular panning effect or sudden jumps between corners but that was not included in the end due to technical difficulties in the space. Multichannel panning would have enhanced the effect of movement and confusion in the space, however, overall I think the result was alright without it. Oh well! 🙂

Video Documentation

Interestingly, when pairs of friends experienced the space together, they often wanted to hold hands and swing in unison. Their response was unexpected, but nonetheless very endearing.

Sound & Light Arena

The set up

The environment was enhanced by manipulating the audio panning and volume. This created direction and made the space more palpable. Also, having no light was at times more powerful than switching between colours due to the sudden contrast it created.

The circular arena seemed infinite, and even seemed to ‘disappear’ after a while due to its span covering our filed of vision.


Suspend your Disbelief | Documentation | Analog Midterm

Some Thoughts on Process

What started as a working title became surprisingly apt when I had doubts about whether this project could be materialised. It reminded me of an article in the local newspaper a few weeks back about Christo and his 2 decade long project in Colorado. Interestingly, he mentioned in the interview how getting permits and approval was an integral element of the spirit of the project.

Variations between Planning and Execution

Initially, I intended the swing and larger hammock to be closer together. However, the larger hammock had to be placed further to the right, down the stairs so as to not obstruct the fire sprinklers.

Example of fire sprinkler underneath the staircase
Making a Prototype

Before getting loads of rope and fabric, I made a prototype using scrap materials such as wires, shoelaces and some spare cloth.

I tied this makeshift hammock onto my bed post and experimented with the placement of ropes (3 points vs. a single pivot) and the motion it created using each method.

Trying out these prototypes was very useful as it allowed me to gauge the strength of cloth needed and shorten the width of the hammocks based on the wood flexibility and strain. Instead of winding the fabric around the pole, I opted for sewing as it would be more secure and able to bare more weight.

Creating the Components
Choices at Chinatown! Too many!

As the forms in the installation become increasingly open from right to left, I choose 3 different earth tones to emphasise this gradation and complement the space underneath the stairs. The darkest fabric corresponds to the shallow hammock which is wedged by the stairs and forms an enclosed private space.

First, I cut the fabric to width. I initially intended the hammocks to be at least 1 metre in width. But due to the flexibility of the wood, this had to be reduced quite a bit.

Hemming the raw edge
Repeat with the other pieces of fabric

Drawing guide lines for sewing
Sewing strips of reinforcements
Trusty zig-zag stitch

For extra security, to bare heavy weight, and to prevent unravelling in case of wear and tear, I sewed several lines over a large area and ‘locked’ the sides.

Problems and Revisions
Trial installation on Sunday

During the initial setup on Sunday, 1 of the sticks broke in the middle after some use. Oh the horror! Each hammock/swing had 2 points of support on each side (4 points in total to share the load). To prevent excessive flexing and bending, I revised the design by adding an additional point of support at the centre of the wooden pole.

Revised design

I cut out a gap enough for the rope to go through and coil around the pole and reinforced the stitching with… more stitching!

Video Documentation

Balloons for St.Valentine | Video Walk

This video walk leads the viewer around the familiar and routine school space. Along the way, they will encounter an unexpected spectacle of moving balloons which seem to appear from nowhere.

After a few hours of bicep curls, I pumped about 60 bright pink balloons and positioned them in 3 locations around basement 1, the lift lobby and outdoor shallow pool. This is a development of an initial idea which involved the addition of objects to alter the space. Instead of using static objects which the participant would walk around, I opted for balloons as they have an organic movement i.e. they float down slowly when released from a height. With force, balloons can also make dynamic and quick movements and

Documentation of video walk experience

(The documentation shows 2/3 locations featured in the video walk)

Original video participants’ view while  going through the space


1, 10, 100, 1000 | Exercise in Space


Sketch for 1 lightbulb
Sketch for 1 lightbulb
Space within a space
Space within a space

The lightbulb becomes the central focus of the dark space. The light it radiates can be thought of as forming a space in itself, apart from the darkness that surrounds it. The clear difference in size between the inner space and enveloping space has to be maintained to preserve the effect of being a ‘space in a space’.

In Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present, although not separated by any physical barriers like walls, the outer space is defined due to its size difference from the centre space and the crowd of people standing and watching from the edges. The lighting and centrality directs focus to Abramovic and the participant.


The Artist is Present (2010) by Marina Abramovic


Sketch for 10 lightbulbs
Sketch for 10 lightbulbs
Oblique to generate perspective and direction
Repetition of elements
Repetition of elements

The repetition of lightbulbs on a gradual diagonal incline creates depth and perspective within the space, giving the illusion of the edge being deeper and further away. This space plays with both the linear direction and verical plane, and creates visual interest due to the suspension of elements. This is also at work in Cai Guo-Qiang’s Head On.

Cai Guo-Qiang Head On (2006)
Cai Guo-Qiang Head On (2006)
Cai Guo-Qiang Head On (2013), Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art
Cai Guo-Qiang Head On (2013), Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art


Sketch for 100 lightbulbs
Sketch for 100 lightbulbs
Clustered organization
Clustered organization

The lighbulbs will no longer be viewed as individual objects; instead they will form a blanket effect. The even repetition and distribution of a single element creates a dense uniform atmosphere.

Scattered Crowd by William Forsythe
Scattered Crowd by William Forsythe
Scattered Crowd by William Forsythe
Scattered Crowd by William Forsythe


Sketch for 1000 lightbulbs
Sketch for 1000 lightbulbs
Chapter 5:Circulation (Entrances)
Chapter 5:Circulation (Entrances)


The rounded entrance emphasises the round and cavernous interior. Visitors have to step over the low hedge made out of lightbulbs to enter the space, cleanly separating it from the outside. The tight small opening also restricts our vision of the space interior from the outside, creating a sense of mystery.

Furthermore, the all-over effect and the heat from the 1000 lightbulbs will create an immersive womb-like environment, suggesting an image of safety and gestation.

Low hedge in the opening for visitors to climb over
The Obliteration Room by Yayoi Kusama, when filled with stickers
The Obliteration Room by Yayoi Kusama, when filled with stickers

Exercise 1 | Connecting people; Creating spaces

We set up this week’s exercise as a group at both indoor and outdoor locations and observed the user behaviour. We experimented with three different objects to emulate a new space; a flexible tube, a robe with adjustable loops at each end, and a rope shaped into a ring on the floor. Each time, two participants would interact with the object.

exercise 1 materials

Reactions, interactions and takeaways

Most participants were unsure of the situation and showed varying levels of comfort. Especially when pairing strangers together, participants either started conversations (they said talking helped to make it more natural) or called out the awkwardness of the situation. Some continued what they were doing beforehand. Ideally, the interaction should be seamless and natural so participants don’t feel uncomfortable or confused (unless intended).

At first we weren’t sure how much to tell participants when we asked them to take part in the exercise. The amount of details we gave likely influenced their behaviour (“please stand in the circle” vs. “here you go”). We need to find a balance between instruction and organic response when framing these works. It should be subtle and not too explicit, yet it shouldn’t be too open (this potentially doesn’t capture interest, maybe due to a lack of specifics/context, and confuses the participants). Environmental factors (i.e. indoors with aircon or hot sun) could also influence user behaviour.

We also tried telling some participants to interact with the objects in whatever way they felt was most natural, for however long they wanted. Some participants took the initiative to test the limits of the space and objects such as untying the laid out ropes etc. These active participants enhance the space by introducing unexpected interactions.