Idea: To use technology to further enhance the experience of emulating that of hong kong coffin housing.

Initially, we planned to use proximity sensor that triggers audio and visual based on how far a person is from the box or in the box. We managed to get processing and arduino communicating with each other where arduino send the sensor value inputs to processing to trigger an audio.

However, the values from the proximity sensor was not very accurate and hard to determine the range. It made setting the limits for the triggers a problem and after consultation with the prof, we agreed that our project shouldn’t be hindered by sensing problems but instead to focus really on the experience.

With that in mind, we had to rethink our ideas and decided against using the proximity sensor and in replacement everything was simplified to be triggered using pressure sensor or switch.

Basing our ideas largely on really how the interior of these hong kong coffin house look like and focusing on emulating the experience of being in one of these house.


Main Objectives:

  • Cramped space on purpose that viewers have no space for anything else
  • Appear almost like a coffin even though it is a living space
  • Experience the suffocating and squashed environment

Interior & Exterior

We improved the interior with using brown wrapping paper as a base to cover up the unpleasant and messy sight of duct tape, scotch tape,etc. We kept the red tinted paper and used it to diffuse the lights from LED strips.

We also had a major problem of the roof of our box always prone to collapsing so we forcified it using more banded bamboo poles and wooden sticks.


Plan: When distance is far, red lights that pulse. When distance is near, white light but does not pulse.

We chose the choice of red lights that pulse to represent the presence of life in the box as well as the colour red symbolises a strong will to survive while white to mimic the lighting conditions of that in the hong kong coffin houses.

We managed to get the code working for both the pulsing red light and white light however, one recurring problem was that whenever the LED is outputting the white light for awhile it would seem to turn yellowish and “crash”. Hence, we decided to take out the component for white light and just have pulsing red light throughout.

Ambience Audio

Plan: When distance is far, recorded cardboard sounds that depict as if someone is struggling to get out of the box. When distance is near, “home sounds” would be played.

We managed to get the code working after a few changes here and there regarding the limits. The problem we faced was that the audio doesn’t seem to stop even though it was coded to only play within this value range and stop within another value range. Hence we could get the audios to play but not stop or it would both be triggered simultaneously and the system jams.


Plan: When presence is detected the box, a video comprising of a photo collage accompanied by our self-made voice recording to narrative the story as well as videos of interview with people who are actually living in that environment. Using the camera, real-time footage of audience in the box are overlay with the photo-video compilation (putting them in their shoes). A timer would also be triggered to start once someone enters.


Voiceover in video installation

To achieve a more Hong Kong vibe in the installation video, I recorded myself speaking in Cantonese, a language used by the majority in the country. The voiceover:


This is the place I live in

Although I’m still alive

I’m already feel like im living in a coffin

These were the actual interview answers of a resident living in the coffin homes. As I am not fluent in cantonese at all, the recording actually took me 45 minutes for a good take.


Plan: Emulate the environment with similar objects as much as possible

We sourced for objects from the IM room, our own houses, and friends. Real food and beverages were brought to make the experience more realistic instead of fake ones. We also sourced for images online as posters to be placed on the walls.

Group Members: Siew Hua & Valerie.




We started out with a quirky and fun idea of building a giant bowl of meepok but due to constraints we re-thought up our ideas. We arrived at the idea of building a box-shaped object with and interior of reflection and lights where the objective was to transport viewers into another space through the illusion of the infinite.

We also re-thought how it would appear on the exterior as well and was quite inspired by the life-sized toy box.

Leading to our original idea of making a resume box that discuss on the notion of us always packaging ourselves nicely, using any self-fabricated and glammed image that we put up to the world to sell ourselves. The project also touched on humans as commodities.


Presentation Slides:

We proceeded to start building our life-sized box.

Box needed further extension

While fixing together the box, we flipped the box to lay vertically instead of horizontally. The space reminded us of the housing situation in hong kong and inspired us to work out project into emulating the space, environment and atmosphere.

The reflective film also allowed for the idea that one can never really know what is happening on the inside unless they are inside experiencing it for themselves. They have to take a really close look to be able to see a tiny bit of what is happening.

While the world inside is hard to peer in, it is almost clear as the sky when you are inside peering out. This brings in the contrast that you are living in such a small and cramped space yet the world looks so big and plenty of space.

Problems Faced:

  • Sourcing for large cardboard boxes
  • Preventing the box from falling apart

Cardboard was the chosen material for this project as sturdiness was not part of it. However, we had to tackle the balance of having it look shabby yet strong enough to hold the installation at the same time. Our shed was eventually held strong from the supporting bamboo poles we built beneath it and the use of sticky plasty to secure them together.

Final Documentation

Group Members: Siew Hua & Valerie.

In Singapore, a society that is shaped on the belief of meritocracy, the Ps – proving, pleasing, perfecting, performing are so overpowering that many of us land into the dark pit of self-doubt, a sense of not being good enough. Ever since infancy we’ve been trained to hide our natural expressions and also repress the negative but instead to put on a mask of strength and happiness. So much of our lives are spent attempting to muffle our vulnerability and put on a facade. How often do we actually allow others to see our true feelings, our raw authenticity, fear and lack of solidity?

Many a times, too much of this negativity can also take a toll on our mental health. This vulnerability that we try bury will always resurface and haunt us, owning us, often times the toxicity of it rapidly accumulating just as much as we try to avoid or run from it. Ashamed or fearful of opening up because of the thought that we are alone in this and the thought of being thought of weak pushes us away from revealing it. However, it is not weakness but courage. Courage to being share out loud about our own imperfections that we have battled with. Only when we decide to own our vulnerabilities instead of being owned by them, can be truly find the strength to truly take a step forward and open up to new possibilities, belonging and positivity.

Courage because this “weakness” is the source of our strength and way of connecting with other people and develop a sense of bonding and empathy.Through telling our stories we can understand ourselves better and find our commonality with others.  In this rapidly fast paced world that we are living in, it is time we take a moment to slow down and really, just listen and reflect.

My project focuses on how our insecurities and self-doubts are not our weakness but our strengths. Instead of being owned by these vulnerabilities where it eat us up from within, spending our whole lives running from it, we should instead own our stories, which will then allow us to have the courage to take a step forward. It also opens up opportunities to connect and develop bonds with other people, you are not alone in your vulnerabilities. It is also our own stories that make each and every one of us so unique. It’s never easy laying them all out on the table but my project aims to be a starting point to encourage people to embrace our imperfections in a world that demands for perfection. Because stories of our past, it shapes the story of our future. Because it also instantly create human connection and who knows, where this connections can lead to.


  • Installation to be an experience
  • To realise that it is better to face it then avoid, turn weakness into strength
  • To realise we are not alone in our vulnerabilities
  • People to reflect on themselves
  • Cultivate empathy for each other and develop a sense of bond (to both listen and share)

My project was deeply inspired by these Ted talks that shed many interesting insights, especially the one by Brené Brown, I really recommend others to watch her talk as well.

Key points from the talk:

Angel’s cocktail

  1. Increase Dopamin levels
  • Effects: more focused, more motivation, memory
  • By: building suspense, cliff-hanger
    • Audiences created situations around this, imaging how the rooms look like
  1. Increase Oxytocin levels
  • Effects: more generosity, trust more, bond more (feel more human, feel more relax)
  • By: creating empathy for the character
  1. Increase in Endorphin
  • Effects: more creative, more relax and more focused
  • By: making people laugh

Devil’s cocktail

  1. High Levels of Cortisol
  2. High Levels of Adrenalin
  • Effects: Intolerant, Irritable, Uncreative, Critical, Memory Impaired, Bad Decisions

Key points from the talk:

“When I wrote it out loud, I was no longer being in a vacuum, no longer hiding within myself that I was afraid to bring out. I took the initiative and I laid it out on the table. There, it’s mine, it’s not something that rules me anymore. People who reads will say “me too” or say I think I have that same problem. 

“With every “me too” it was no longer a thing to shame me or feed my self-doubt and could take steps and move forward with life.”

Realisation point -> change 

Key points from the talk:

“when you ask people about love, they tell you about heartbreak. when you ask people about belonging, they’ll tell you their most excruciating experiences of being excluded. and when you ask people about connection, the stories they told me were about disconnection.”

“vulnerability is the core of shame and fear, and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”

“Vulnerability is not weakness, nor is it optional. We can’t opt out of the uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks that are woven through our daily experiences. Like it or not, vulnerability is coming, and we have to decide if we’re going to open up to it or push it away.”

“Brown believes there are three shields we use to protect ourselves from vulnerability: perfectionism (doing everything perfectly); numbing (using alcohol, drugs, food or work to deaden true feeling); and ‘foreboding joy’, the dread that kills happiness.”

“Courage, she discovered, comes from the latin “cor”, meaning heart. The original definition of courage was “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

―Brené Brown

Key points from the talk:

“sharing your story is an act of vulnerability, it requires allowing yourself to be seen. but with vulnerability comes power.“

“when we give our story voice, we allow them to resonate in the heart and mind of the people we interact with. As soon as the story has been told, the power multiples to exist in both teller and listener. “

“traces of our past shape the narrative of our future and continue to influence the stories that we tell”

Matt Adams is an artist in Blast Theory and is renowned for the usage of multidisciplinary approach as well as in using new technologies in theater, games, and visual art.

During his talk on Saturday night, the first thing and probably the most striking key point throughout the whole talk was the equation: “interactive = unfinished”. He stated right at the beginning of the talk that when a work was to be interactive, it also means that it is unfinished. From my understanding of what he meant, it was that when there is an interactive piece, the element of interactivity leaves this sense of openness as to how the audience want to approach and engage it. As the artist they cannot force an experience on audience and it is up to the audience themselves to figure out what kind of experience they want to acquire out of the work and also how do they want to become of the artwork. The participants and their experience play an important part in “completing” the projects. While the outcome may be unpredictable, the artist still has to ensure that the work is structured in its narrative and presentation as the project goals and objectives.

The two works that struck me most was “Karen” and “2097”. 

“Karen” is a mock life-coach that would eventually develop boundary issues and leaves its users feeling distinctly uncomfortable. It is point-of-view, part story and part game, designed to be played over a period of days, and offers a deliberately unsettling experience that’s intended to make us question the way we bare ourselves to a digital device.

What was interesting was that the entire experience is about the user. As mentioned by Matt Adams: “as you reveal yourself to Karen, she reveals herself to you, in ways that veer farther and farther from a legitimate life-coach experience.” According to the user’s choices and what the information the user chooses to share, the app would begin to make inferences and morph to fit the user. Through these, it is easy to see the link in reality where many people are so easily baring themselves to a digital device , even if the receiving end is another human, (or not?) It is hard to distinguish in the digital world where you can never be too sure if information are really genuine or just feeding off what information you share with them. This particular work also reminded me greatly of my own project in year 2 where I similarly, made a point-of-view interactive film which narrative also changes based on your choices.

“2097: We Made Ourselves Over” takes you on a journey to the cusp of the next century. Audiences are invited into a world where consciousness is transferred from the dead to the living and where teenagers girls are the rulers. It was a project that had short films being played along the streets in Hull and Aarhus, 300 phone calls ringing city wide at the same time where triggered for some real-life actors from the films appearing in certain areas, and the installation pieces itself. It was indeed a very grand, large-scale and enticing yet unfinished work. It also engaged almost all aspects such as individual, social, environment and political.

During the Q&A, audiences asked about how they always got away or dealt with all the sensitive topics that most of their projects venture into. Matt Adams replied by stating that these are very serious and prevalent issues they face a lot while doing their various projects hence, they were always debating on how the concept should be presented and were alawys very very extra careful when dealing with this issues.

Overall, Matt Adams and his group are really inspiring because their works are unconventional and always exploring the boundaries of everything. I really enjoyed the talk.

Possible general aim:

  • To allow for an immersive experience possibly by engaging the various senses.
  • For it to be relatable or provoking personal.
  • To be memorable and perhaps pulls on one’s heart strings.
  • Maybe aim to change one’s mindset or perceptions of things.

Possible areas to explore:

  • Projection mapping
  • Interactive Screens
  • Installations
  • Lights
  • Space / Set design


Theme #1 : Identity

  • often we forget about our past is what makes us who we are
  • hidden stories,setiment,memories,emotions of people
  • objects/places makes up our identity
  • there is a child in all of us. it is there but not there?
  • idea of unexpectedness? change people’s perception of things


Theme #2: Environment

  • Combination of fantasy world and real world (scenic/nature/animals)
  • Calm, pretty but there is a darker truth beneath it / facades?
  • One moment it can be good , then it can turn bad quickly as well


Theme #3 Lost 

  • overthinking obsession, lost in sea of thoughts,
  • thoughts like “always not being good enough”.
  • mix of a calm and chaos
  • in a sea of people, surrounded yet time feels still / standing on ground but heads in the cloud
  • place for people to calm their minds, reflect and feel safe to share their inner souls/ true selfs?
  • depending on people’s mindset of things



“Design is the craft of visualising concrete solutions that serve human needs and goals within certain constraints

Often we work with a blank canvas and accordingly to the design brief, it changes constantly before reaching the “end product”. Often, we have to work with knowledge from both science and art as well, it is almost impossible to do it without one. Also, whenever we create something or craft something out, we have to take in mind its purpose, what it is being used for, who it is being created for? With these in mind, we can then effective reach our target audiences. Within certain constraints suggests that is no such thing as unconstrained design which is true in the reality we live in. There is no way one can create something without any constraints such as time, money, materials. 

“Goal-directed design” was also mentioned in this reading – principles, patterns, process & practices. Principles being guidelines for creating good solutions under specific circumstances but what is appropriate to one context may not apply to another. Patterns are types of solutions that tend to be useful for certain classes of problems. Process are the steps and techniques involved in planning and conducting design research, using it to develop personas, scenarios, and requirements, then using those to develop and iterate a design solution.


This framework is very effective and one that I had found myself employing unconsciously all the time where first i think planning it well is very important before diving straight into the making the work. Also, we have to research on existing or similar ideas out there to learn as well as avoid certain things. We then make prototypes to test out our ideas. While testing, we often also find ourselves re-defining and defining before we finally reach to the end result that we want.

Under modelling, it was interesting that she mentioned the importance of “personas” – user archetypes that help you make design decisions and communicate your rationale. Often times we lose sight of who we are the target audiences due to more ambitious idea where we want to include all and everyone (which is actually impossible as everyone is different and you just can’t please all). Hence I think it is really important to stick to those “personas” and focus on them only to truly be designing for those user archetypes.

However no matter designing for anything, I think the having a goal-directed design way of approach can be a useful guide and backbone. Planning and thinking about the “personas” are the two main factors that I feel is of the most importance. This is not to say the other factors are not, but just simply by having a good and concise plan, we can design more effectively and efficiently while always thinking about the “personas” helps ground us to our objectives.


Question 1: Goal-directed design or human-centered design? Can it be a combination?

Question 2:  Are there situations where goal-directed design can be actually be a not so good way to go for product and service design? What can applied then if so?

Cinerama exhibition at SAM 8Q: Scanning by Amy Lee Stanford


Analysis & Review

When entering Cinerama exhibition in Singapore Art Museum (SAM) at 8Q, the artworks displayed gave the feeling that they were depictions of individual artists’ memories in their own context. One artwork that could have easily went unnoticed was ‘Scanning’ created by Amy Lee Stanford. Upon entering a dark corridor at the corner of a room on the fourth level, visitors would be greeted by a silent video art of scribbled papers being scanned from the top view perspective of the artist. Such angle of the camera invites Museum visitors to analyze and feel the emotions that were scribbled hurriedly on the papers.

At the first impression, ‘Scanning’ gave off a mundane feeling. Questions started to pop in my head: Why did the artist chose to scan these letters repeatedly? What was the significance of this process?

With only four headsets provided by the Museum and a small bench in the middle of the space, the artwork was presented both as a one-to-many (due to the video projection on the wall) and one-to-one (due to the headset) experience. The artwork was accompanied by a photocopy machine soundscape that formed an immersive environment as visitors put the headsets on. This method reminded me of the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) experience where the sound created a pleasant tingling sensation as the papers were flipped and scanned.

At the second round of viewing the artwork with explanations from the docent, ‘Scanning’ gave me another perspective, which was remembrance and reconstruction. Handwritten letters were an exchange between her Cambodian biological father and American adopted mother during the troubled times in Cambodia. They were written on onion-skin thin paper which was so fragile. Just like memories they will fade over after a period of time but to remember these memories we flip through things or go to places that trigger them. The remembrance part was the scanning of these letters where the artist goes through the constant cycle so that she will not lose the data and the memories of her parents. Reconstruction was similar to the process of forensic science where she pieces these letters to recall and archive these memories that were so precious to her.

Although the repetitive motion of the paper scanning was fast that visitors were not able to go through the content, the scribbled handwriting was sufficient to evoke a sense of sentiment being exchanged.


Artist’s Process

Known for addressing the repercussions of war, especially in Cambodia, Sanford had used common everyday objects to narrate the story of her artworks. As quoted by her, “Art can explore and express aspects of life that are extremely difficult to discuss”. In her piece “Scanning”, the simplicity of displaying, sharing and at the same time archiving the letters to the mass brought focus to something so marginal, yet so significant.

The concept drew influence from her father. She was separated from him at the age of two. Her parents were exchanging 250 letters from 1968 to 1975 before her father died in the Khmer Rouge. Sanford attempted to investigate, reconnect and piece together fragmented memories by using the letters. She wanted to present the process of searching of the past without any possible clues and no starting point. The repeated motion signified there was no beginning and ending in this process. She had performed the concept of “flashing moments” of scattered snippets for her audience to grasp as she scanned every page of the letters. The letters were projected on a monumental scale as she magnified every cease, fold and texture of the papers.

Like excavating one’s past and memories, Sanford shared her process of archiving the letters as she encouraged her audience to give thought about how war had influenced our present lives and how everyday objects taken from the past gave insights to people in the present. The artist believed that through her artwork it would evoke conversations among those who felt that the experience was a taboo matter. Through her artwork, the artist hopes to explore and express things that would be hard to talk about. As people reflect about the idea behind her artwork, she hoped that it would help them lessen their psychological trauma and provoke further conversation between people.


Cinerama exhibition at SAM 8Q: There's a word I'm trying to remember, for a feeling I'm about to have (a distracted path toward extinction)," 2016 by Korakrit Arunanondchai/Alex Gvojic.


Film Content Analysis

In Korakrit Arunanondchai’s and Alex Gvojic’s “There’s a word I’m trying to remember, for a feeling I’m about to have (a distracted path toward extinction)”, the film focuses largely on the dualities of life and death. The artists weave intertwining threads that draw comparisons between present circumstances of living and the eventual collapse of humanity’s constructed systems. A lot content is covered in the film where at times you’d see more light-hearted themes like his brother’s weddings, dinosaurs, recent technology and also darker themes but also the eventually end or extinction of everything.

“In this new digital age, even memories can be construed as yet another form of data that can be readily transmitted through a vast cyberspace.” This is an interesting that I’ve never thought about but through the subtle portrayal through the man who seems to be surrounded often with wires and technology related objects where at the end he plugs out a wire and laid still. It was as if he was “died” then and his “memories” (all the scenes we saw him in) are just transmitted to us now as we watched it.

Following the point of the eventually extinction of everything, it is not only limited to just living things but non-living things as well. It was interesting how they choose to portray this with of the popular and in technology like VR headsets and augmented reality but ever so briefly. In my opinion it felt like a play to show this “popular” and “important” things in current times would just be as if its so “non-existent” in the future.

Moving on to the two metaphors that are big pieces of the film. Why the choice of rats and serpents? I couldn’t understand that from the film so I googled on their symbolism.

Rat Symbolism

  • Survivor

This creature is an incredible survivor despite being one of the two most hunted animals of prey. Humans have condemned them for over 8 centuries. From a symbolic standpoint, this is huge. See, what really matters here is how Rats have continued to survive despite public opinion – despite the war against them.”

The phrase “despite the war against them” suggest to me in the context of the film is that they could have survived against the humans, as the stronger species according to evolution thus why the appearance of “giant rats” after humans. However in the film, the meet their end as well hence I realized the further emphasize on the point of how everything comes to extinction in the end no matter how great at surviving you are.

  • Resourceful

Rats are also known to be able to move into the corners and cracks of reality scavenging whatever they need from what the rest of the world leaves behind as useless. In this respect they are the ultimate recycler and symbolize clever re-purposing. The phrase “cracks of reality scavenging whatever they need from what the rest of the world leaves behind as useless” somehow was exactly depicted this way in the scene where you see the giant rat alone in the desolate and rundown buildings. It can also be seen searching for something and curious about what was left behind by humans. Perhaps this was also a trait that the artists wanted to embody.

In my opinion there felt like a subtle intention for contrast between humans and the giant rats in the sense of a superior vs inferior being. It is known that “rats are among the most feared, hated, and misunderstood animals on the planet.” It is also known that many tout humans as superior beings. In the film, especially during all the scenes where viewers see these particular two species together and interacting as well, it felt like the film was destroying this boundaries separating these two species and categorising them together as one and their fate is the same. It was as if there was not much difference between these two at all.

Serpent Symbolism

It is also a powerful spiritual symbol/metaphor. It can be associated with both negative(death) and positive(life), or duality.

“Serpents also carry the elixir of life and immortality…vital energy.

Vital energy is our true essence. It’s our pure and perfect spirits…the joining of our masculine and feminine energy dancing a perfect dance of harmony and balance. Once we close this gap, we will no longer have limitations or need for physical sustenance, because God’s Light will then reach us and sustain us.”


In my opinion, I think these are the total embodiment for the meaning for the “serpent dance” in the film. After finding out about these symbolism, the scenes where you see the grown man feeding wildly felt like as if he knew he would meet an end someday so he tries frantically to consume this “vital energy” or “elixir of life and immortality” so to sustain his existence. And in the scene of the above picture, he says “the joy of being a human being”, does it also reflects on the topic of how some people’s mad chase for immortality makes them lose themselves and their humanity instead?

There was also another scene where the baby is found alone and crying in the middle of where the serpent dance was which felt like a metaphor for rebirth and renewal.


Level Of Immersiveness Analysis 

This piece stood out to me amazingly well among all the ten works because of how everything was packaged together – from the film itself,the layers of meaning within it, to my interest in the Thai language and culture and understanding of the language, and to its level of immersiveness this exhibit had.

Mixed medium installation: Kudos on how the artwork was curated

Upon entering the room, one will think they’ve chanced upon a film that was a simply just playing on its own. However, as I was getting immersed in this piece, I started to draw some similarities between the motifs playing on screen and the surroundings of the room I was in. Rubbing my shoes against the floor as I felt an uneven surface, I noticed root-like structures! It was rather dark in the room but as my gaze traced the room, it dawned upon me that the entire room was curated into a mixed medium installation. This was an extra wow factor of the installation as there was commendable effort in having the objects there like the bleached denim pillow, found objects from the artists and having ‘earth’ around us. Although this was already quite a good effort, I found that this same installation was curated even more aesthetically when it was exhibited at the Berlin Biennale!

The same installation exhibited inside a boat at the Berlin Biennale

The film itself: Clever interweaving of scenes with non-linear footage but a linear narrative

It was easy to be confused by the film where there were many types of footage  – the scenes hovered between post-apocalyptic landscapes, a recent wedding of Korakit’s brother, music videos, footage of his own life events as well as a vision of the Korakit’s imagined future. Despite the difference between these clips, the artists did an extremely good job of piecing them together.  At the start, things hardly made sense as I was drawing too much focus on the visuals and not paying attention to the narration. But as I managed to capture the theme behind what the artist is trying to bring across, which was life on earth, everything started to fall into place nicely. The narration was the spine of the storyline.

Another mention: Superb art direction and emotions gottens from it

As the title of this installation goes ‘There’s a word I’m trying to remember, for a feeling I’m about to have, the main feeling I got while going through this work was ‘something I could not put a finger to’. Indeed I was feeling that throughout. This feeling was further accentuated from the cinematic scenes where a man covers himself in black liquid (interpreted as serpent’s blood) and drinks from it. A man and woman, believed to be the mother and father of Korakit also appears in an environment similar to the room we were in, were also dripping and covered in liquid. Only their eyes were seen as they glared deeply at us, audience. With the decorated room playing a huge impact at those scenes, the level of immersiveness was highly intense. It reached a point where I felt like I was the character myself in the film.

One thing that added on to why I like this piece so much was that I understood some of the parts in Thai which gave me a better understanding of what Korakit’s work. There was a scene where he said I love you in Thai when there were two people drenched in black serpent liquid standing in front of him, believed to be his parents.

The subtitle stated ‘I love you’, where it isn’t gender specific in English. However, the narration was saying Pom Ruk Ter( Male to female), which he was actually meant that he was directing to his mom. In that context, I felt like he was referring to his own mom, or mother nature as well. As a collective whole, the work provoked me a lot about life, existence, the idea of a ‘metaverse’ and how would our future really look like.


Team: Dina, Hannah, Valerie, Siewhua


I’ve read “Chapter 1 of Thoughtful Interaction Design by Jonas Löwgren and Erik Stolterman” before during my user experience in design class but reading it again still gave me fresh and new perspectives to think about. The reading mainly talks about what makes a good design, design theory and some core concepts: interaction design, design process, design situation, and digital artifact.

21 Balançoires is an interactive installation that consists simply of swings. When in motion, each swing triggers different notes, and when used all together, the swings create a musical composition in which certain melodies emerge only through cooperation. This collaborative exercise stimulates intuitive play and experimentation amongst people of all ages and backgrounds, whether they know each other or not, and leads participants and spectators to become aware of each other, and their environment.

“An extremely fast and efficient digital artifact is hardly good design if it is not understood by its users. Outstanding user interface intelligibility is pointless if the basic functions of the artifact fail to satisfy the users’ needs.”

Just as in this work, the usage of swings is immediately understood by people of all ages since its like an everyday life kind of thing and most people would immediately be inclined to sit and swing on it. Since the work is simple for people to understand, nothing needs to be even told to them what to do because their first instincts would probably be to sit and swing. While enjoying the swing, they would also at the same time catch on to the aspect of the sounds that would be emitted due to their swinging. Hence, overall the building of it might not  be simple but to users, the user interface is easy and simple which i think is more important.

“Design theory is also knowledge focused on creating new conditions for design, different patterns of thinking and acting, new design examples, and a general understanding of the conditions for creative and innovative work.”

In the work, the concept of cooperation is explored: ”Cooperation emerges when the behaviour of each individual depends on the decisions of the rest of the group: it’s a game where, from the start, you need to adjust to the actions of others.” With these in mind, the swing is not just your everyday playground kind of swing but instead it is part of something bigger than just an individual, it is about collaboration. By only allowing each swing to trigger a different note, and when used all together, it will then create certain melodies emerge only through cooperation, it causes people to approach and use the swings different and also how their interaction with others would be, no matter stranger or known.

“Design is about shaping the world we live in by creating the conditions, opportunities, and restrictions that will make up that world. Design means that you influence people’s work, leisure, and everyday.”

Ultimately, the work allows for stimulating a sense of community and ownership of space but also a vibrant place for playing and hanging out in the middle of the city center. This would have been probably less possible without the design of this work that calls for collaboration and for people to take some time out from their busy schedules, slow down and just enjoy. Those are the opportunities created so what about the restrictions? It is simple, users are simple restricted to creating certain melodies if played by themselves, since they can only produce one sound, they would be forced to talk and interact with others to achieve whatever melodies they want. The best part is also that the melodies would change depending on how people use the swings hence, it would be almost impossible to get bored of it.

Overall, I choose this work to accompany my reading reflection because I think it is very effective in what it is designed for because of its simplicity, allowing for creativity and also a created space in a high-traffic area for interaction amongst people.



“The Oceanic Exhibition” focuses on large-scale human interventions in oceanic ecospheres featuring contributions by 12 artists, filmmakers, composers, and researchers who engage with both the long cultural histories of Pacific Ocean archipelagos and their current conditions. They went on three expeditions: Papua New Guinea(2015), French Polynesia(2016) and Fiji(2017).


Kula Canoe Boat Parts + The Kula Ring Description

Newell Harry – (Untitled) Nimoa and Me: Kiriwina Notes (2015-2016)

Laura Anderson Barbata’s – Ocean Calling (2017)

I was really drawn to the works from artists that went on the expedition to Milne Bay Province in Papua New Guinea where they engaged with the history of the Kula Ring, a ceremonial exchange system practised in the Trobriand Islands. In this area of the exhibition, works from Laura Anderson Barbata and Newell Harry were co-exhibited and it was really interesting to see how both works support and empower each other’s different messages to be brought across instead conflicting it.

Costume 1

Costume 2

Laura Anderson’s Barbata’s Ocean Calling (2017), is a work commissioned by TBA21-Academy for World Ocean Day 2017 where she made striking costumes with incorporated items by artisans from Milne Bay Province for a performative piece that was showcased in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The work charts the physical and emotional relationship to life in our ocean and the urgent need for collective transformation. It also highlights the importance of the Declaration signed by Pacific Island Countries and Territories to significantly improve Ocean governance, which was drafted during the Pacific Regional Platform for Partnerships and Action on Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14) meeting, which took place in 2017 in Suva, Fiji.

In “The Oceanic Exhibition”, this work is displayed as a static piece where only certain costumes that she was produced are being shown to the public. It can seen that a lot of work and thought has been put into making all the intricate designs, patterns and incorporated items. Even when unmoving, the costumes itself are already very eye-catching and very telling of certain motifs and elements from the sea, which makes it a compelling piece for me. It was almost as if they had a life of its own even when its “dead”.

Through more research on the work, I found out that Ocean Calling consists of a storied performance that combines spoken word, dance, improvisation, stilt dancing, ritual, procession, costuming and music. It is inspired by all the forms of aqua-organisms, as well as communities that have lived in close relationship with the ocean. The work also unfolds in an urban environment highly dependent on the health of the oceans, even though it may not be overtly obvious to our urban communities which is a point I found interesting as well.

“The understanding of the world of the ocean, the co-existence of all beings, and the culture of exchange mark the foundation of Oceania’s communities in the Trobriand Islands.The materialisation of this culture is emblematic of the Kula Ring, a ceremonial and ritualistic exchange system with items (shells) instead of money – gifts, traditions, and myths as a currency.”

As mentioned also during the lecture the idea of relationships, especially the relationship between existence and exchange is very important and key. In the performance, performances don the costumes and bring their “character” to live together with the flow of the music and also other performers. They affect and influence one another just like that in the ocean where every thing affects and influence each other too. The elements of shells and other things that came from the sea also helps to set the mood and atmosphere. In this work, the movements, visuals really resemble and reenact the ocean, and in place that seems far from the ocean seems to be transformed into an “ocean”. Hence, I think she was quite successfully in reenacting all the crucial keys that was needed to be captured from the Papua New Guinea. All these while, she would read the the agreement that was signed.

It is also interesting that she choose to perform the piece that is open only to the delegates and not to public even though she really wanted to because her piece encompasses an important message that was crucial that is being got across to the delegates since they are the ones signing and going into the meetings.

Tue Greenfort’s multimedia installation, Tamoya Ohboya(2017) includes an aquarium with live jellyfish, an organism that has lived for 500 million years up till date. The title is the Latin name for a box jellyfish species, where through this work, he references ways in which jellyfish have migrated into new geographical waters due to the warming of ocean temperatures. The work is also accompanied by a projector that shows a close-up of the sea creature which also emphasises and explores the amount of technological effort it takes to replicate their environment and sustain these life forms.

The jellyfish move through the tank with a circular water movement. By displaying them to the public, viewers can study and observe these lifeforms yet at the same time so little is still known about these jellyfish even when they are some of the oldest lifeforms on earth.

What attracted me first to the work was the aesthetics of the work and then presence of the jellyfish itself and to be up close with an organism that was brought from the island was simply so compelling. What only came after was the realisation of all the technology and equipment that was needed to support this lifeforms which also raises some question about how we deal with nature and ocean environments but also the responsibility of the artist.

While watching the jellyfishes, I also noticed how some seem to be unmoving which prompt to wonder if they were sleeping or…if they were even still alive. This raised a question where if after extraction, would they still be able to live “normally” or die? Will the “raising of awareness” excuse the organisms extraction? Would the intended message be less effective or accurate if another way was approached to depict it?

It was also interesting how the display kind of resemble that of a household fish tank so could it also be implying something about how this extraction sort of makes the jellyfish a “pet” now? It also made me wonder if the organism has become like an “entertainment” or does it still retain its “true purpose”?

From both works what struck me was how an exhibit that was unmoving can seem so alive yet another exhibit that has moving seem at times somewhat “dead”.

During the lecture given on Saturday, it was also mentioned that they hold an important role in choosing what to reveal and they also had to be be careful of what they say because they are speaking and representing for so many voiceless people so they have to accurate portray that for them. Indeed the sentence deems to be very true and important because there are so many things that could go wrong/or right just depending on where the sources is coming from. It is also not an easy task because how do we decide for so many others that this is the “accurate truth”?