Thoughtful Interaction Design (Response) / Week 3

Part 1: Link

Part 2: With reference to CH 1 from Jonas Löwgren and Erik Stolterman, Thoughtful Interaction Design.

Both Löwgren and Stolterman adopted a realistic approach towards the theory of critical design, and recognise the limitation that all designs will always be imperfect, due to the complexity of the design situation. However, through the prediction of social systems and technical components, the product is able to achieve success, or a systemic whole. Hence, they propose that good design is still possible, dependent on the designer.

Later, the authors mentioned that writing acts as the medium to create, but instead the ultimate created product depends on the designer. As his role as the final steward in the production process, the thoughtful designer depends on the theoretics of knowing and predicting in attempting to determine the usefulness of the product for consumers, as part of what they term ‘design as knowledge construction’. The writing tends to edge towards the more practical aspects of a product; if applied to art, it fails to account for the consumer desire for art which cannot be quantified using a theoretical formula.

On a similar scale, they also term digital products ‘Digitial Artefacts’ – namely, designed things built around a core of information technology. The products thus ‘impact on everyday lives’, be it individually or socially, and subsequently the environment and therefore the nature in which we live in. As an extension to this theory, the products are not restricted to simply being a catalyst in helping us function our everyday lives, but also, to perhaps, shape and alter it in hopefully beneficial ways. The way we now live in this constructed world can be purposefully and deliberately changed by us.

In particular, smart home technology, fosters this alteration in an ambitious attempt to further streamline our way of living. In my personal opinion, one of the reasons why such technology has not achieved widespread success is that of it being hard to alter our habits of living (cultural aspect), and also that it might be too intrusive into our everyday lives. Nevertheless, it remains a breakthrough in which interactive design strives to break out beyond being simply contained to a singular body, to affecting the wider environment.


Example projects of thoughtfully designed interactive experience:


Impulse, installation (2015) Montreal, Canada, for Place Des Festivals Image Credit from
Impulse, installation (2015) Montreal, Canada, for Place Des Festivals Image Credit from


Impulse is a digital installation fruited from a collaborative effort by Canadian designers and artists, consisting of 30 illuminated see-saws. Each see-saw was fitted with LEDs and speakers, and when played with, changes its light intensity and sound. Together, the 30 see-saws produce a melody.

The installation successfully incorporates play, an inherent humanistic feature, into a musical artwork, to engage the users in both auditory and kinaesthetic functions. Granted, the see saws will attract users on its own, but the added dimension of music and attractive lighting enhances the playing experience.


Apple Elastic Scrolling once user reaches bottom of the page
Apple Elastic Scrolling once user reaches bottom of the page

Gif Credit:

Part of the Apple iOS, the elastic scrolling is activated at the bottom of a webpage on a web browser. It gives user a cohesive and organic realisation of himself reaching the end of the page, rather than an abrupt ending.


Spectacles by Snapchat, 2015
Spectacles by Snapchat, 2015

Image Credit: Spectacles by Snap

Spectacles by Snapchat is a recording device that syncs with the Snapchat application on your phone. It’s sole function is to record videos, by pressing the button at the side of the Spectacles. Relatively simple, it functions solely for its only purpose.

Cut Piece, Yoko Ono / Research Critique (Week 2)


Yoko Ono: CUT PIECE Performed by Yoko Ono on July 20, 1964 at Yamaichi Concert Hall, Kyoto, Japan. Photographer unknown; courtesy Lenono Photo Archive.
Yoko Ono: CUT PIECE Performed by Yoko Ono on July 20, 1964 at Yamaichi Concert Hall, Kyoto, Japan. Photographer unknown; courtesy Lenono Photo Archive.

Cut Piece by Yoko Ono is a performance piece first performed in Japan in 1964. In the piece, Ono sits on the stage wearing a black dress with a pair of scissors, and invited audiences to come up and cut her clothing one at a time. She remains passive, subject to the different reactions of the audience participants. Slowly, as her clothing gets chopped to pieces – almost revealing her chest – Ono holds up the leftover pieces of her bra to protect her modesty.

Yoko Ono, Cut Piece, 1964. Performed on March 21, 1965 at Carnegie Recital Hall, New York. Photo: Minoru Niizuma, © Yoko Ono; Courtesy of Lenono Photo Archive
Yoko Ono, Cut Piece, 1964. Performed on March 21, 1965 at Carnegie Recital Hall, New York. Photo: Minoru Niizuma, © Yoko Ono; Courtesy of Lenono Photo Archive

Indeed a thought-provoking work, that is only realised from the interaction between the artist and the audience participants, Stiles argues that Cut Piece:

‹Cut Piece› entailed a disrobing, a denouement of the reciprocity between exhibitionism and scopic desires, between victim and assailant, between sadist and masochist: and, as a heterosexual herselft, Ono unveiled the gendered relationship of male and female subjects as objects for each other.

– Kristen Stiles, author of Uncorrupted Joy: International Art Actions (1998)

The silent artwork becomes an intimate encounter, between the artist and the audience participants. Parker states it clearly, Cut Piece becomes a

radical critique of the role and treatment of women in society in which collective audience interaction produces a powerful narrative of control, invasion, and exposure.

– Randall Packer in Collective Narrative in Open Source Studio (2015)

On a similar wavelength, Randall states that,

Works such as Cut Piece precede later examples of networked media art that involve not only audience participation, but many-to-many interaction between viewers.

Randall Packer in Collective Narrative in Open Source Studio (2015)

Not only is the outcome of Cut Piece ‘published instantaneously’ to the local audience, and art no longer subjected within the sole execution of the artist, art becomes an item which is highly collaborative. In the changed environment where the lines between artist and audiences are gradually becoming blurred, art becomes more accessible, heralding a new culture where social etiquette and art forms are altered.

With regards to the later Experimential Café, both works operated on a platform differing from real-time collaboration, but on similar premises. In this case however, despite a digitised medium to allow one to rid physical harm such as the case of the online Café, Ono knowingly took on the risk in her art, further challenging the platforms of art, and the societal act of interacting, and understanding art, while presenting her body as the object for the purpose of art.



[i] Galloway, K. & Rabinowitz, S. “Welcome to Electronic Café International,” (1992) in Packer, R., & Jordan, K. (Eds.). Multimedia : from Wagner to Virtual Reality ([Expanded ed.). New York: Norton, 2002

[ii] Randall Packer (2015). “Collective Narrative“ from the Open Source Studio essay. Just scroll until you find the section called “Collective Narrative.

[iii] PEACE, IMAGINE. “Yoko Ono’S CUT PIECE: From Text To Performance And Back Again By Kevin Concannon”. IMAGINE PEACE. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.

Kabuto Farming / Blog Narrative (Week 2)


So you’re still playing pokemon go? I stopped playing that a long time ago!

Yes, I know, I sighed. Nostalgia, obstinacy, and obsession has fuelled my 5 months of playing the mobile game. I was down to my last few pokemons/game characters to collect, and I was absolutely obsessed with it. Even if it meant travelling across half of Singapore from a lecture theatre in NTU all the way to Labrador Park in the South.

[Pokemon Go is an online mobile game which requires players to physically travel to collect Pokemons, or game characters, at certain locations]

Travel Route from Labrador Park mrt to Labrador Park Image Credit: Google Maps
Travel Route from Labrador Park mrt to Labrador Park
Image Credit: Google Maps
Labrador Park is a 'nest' for the particular species of pokemon that I wanted to collect
Screenshot of sgpokemap: Labrador Park is a ‘nest’ for Kabuto (the particular species of pokemon that I wanted to collect)

It just so happened that Labrador park was a nest which Kabuto (the cockroach-lookalike pokemon) spawned often. Not that it helped that the park was a dear 500 metres away from the MRT. Fine, I could do it, 500 metres is nothing for my beloved cockroaches. Thus, I set out walking from Labrador Park MRT with resolution, despite being only in shorts and a flouncy blouse – not particularly comfort wear for a walk through the forest.

Originally, I was walking along the road, and did think about walking through the forest (which was a hill), as it was a seemingly shorter cut. Along I walked, and spotted a middle aged man jogging along the path, flashing a suspicious look at me. “What in the world is this girl doing here? She’s not even jogging and carrying this huge backpack.” It was obvious what he was thinking, but along he went to jog, as the polite Singaporean man minding his own business.

The signs were lacking, and I continued cutting across the vegetation, walking into a forested area with nary a small staircase. Wildlife was teeming around me, buzzing, and mosquitoes flocked over for a walking meal. I did slap an itch earlier, and was rewarded with a tiny splatter of blood on my palm. Mmmm. Murder was on my mind at that moment.

After walking down a little track, I thought that instead, I should have walked down the concrete pathway. As I walked, I continued catching the many cockroaches. Never knew I could enjoy catching these pests, huh.

Before I knew it, I had reached the end of the path and reached the park area. Yes! Thus, I promptly caught these two:

…and gathered sufficient cockroaches to evolve this Kabutops:

Kabutops: my glory and pride
Kabutops: my glory and pride

With happiness, I turned and resigned myself to resuming the long journey back to the train station. Suddenly, I heard a rustle in the bushes. Thinking that those were probably only monkeys, I walked towards the noise. Looking up, I saw a majestic, mammoth sized ‘pigeon’ roosting on the branches. It was a peacock!

A pair of peacocks roosting on the branches
A pair of peacocks roosting on the branches

The huge bird made nary a movement. It turned, slowly, circling the branch and gave me a free show of its large bottom. Then, it circled back, and continued guarding its regal kingdom.

Slowly edging away from the peacock, and finally leaving them at peace after invading their privacy with the many photos I took, I plodded my way back home, with my own virtual Kabutop and many mosquito bites from this journey out.

Do I regret it? No. Because I got my Kabutops tongue-out

Designing for the Digital Age (Response) / Week 2

Part 2:
Read CH 1 from Kim Goodwin, Designing for the Digital Age

Write a response to the reading and post 2 questions to the reading.


Two questions:

  1. Can there ever be a designed good that would suit the needs of all the projected personas of users?
  2. Would serving the human need guarantee long-term success for the product? Assuming that other factors such as project management and marketing are considered successful.

Designing for the Digital Age by Kim Goodwin, offers readers a detailed breakdown of the design process. While I do agree with her points, the first chapter could be better studied under certain cases which I would address in this response. With respect to today’s current digital age, there is an increasingly crucial need to adapt as user types and means of affordance are constantly changing. Not only does the visual styles of society change, the availability of multiple design companies on the market saturates the market with generally similar goods. Traditional methodology of creating goods to suit the tested and tried human need will no longer be a design breakthrough in today’s world, rather, I believe that recognising the unrealised human need and thus cater to it would help to distinct one’s design from the others.

It would be interesting to explore the definition of ‘human need’ itself (Goodwin defines design as, ‘the craft of visualising concrete solutions that serve human needs and goals within certain constrains’ (Goodwin, 3)). With respect to different personas, their needs would vary – a socialite would need a luxury bag to be compatible with her social status, while a worker with a labour intensive job would need just a durable work bag to store his equipment. As such, the goals of these two cases would differ, despite both items holding the same purpose for storage, and accordingly, the principles, process and practices.

Let us explore the concept of bespoke gifts. The situation has now been transformed, of designing an individualised product for a particular group of customers. In my opinion, the goal of the design no longer simply seeks to simply satisfy the human need, but rather to fulfil the want. Should the deadline be tightened if it is a last minute job, the project length will have to be shortened, potentially sacrificing some design aspects with speed. As mentioned in the text, design has to be within certain constrains: be it time-wise or resource availability. As such, I have come to realise that there will always be an inherent limitation in design, that designers will constantly try to overcome.

What is not visible is not invisible (Response) / Week 2

Part 1: Choose any current exhibition in Singapore (except for “Future World” at ArtScience), visit it and write a response.  Select particular work(s) in the exhibit which inspire or interest you and do some research to find out how the work was developed and additional information about the artist.

What is not visible is not invisible; National Musuem of Singapore

Entrance of Exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore

What is not visible is not invisible – the title of the exhibition postulates that beyond the 2 distinct opposites of black, a more deep-seeded area of grey exists.

What is not visible is not invisible, 2008 | Julien Discrit Collection 49 Nord 6 Est – FRAC Lorraine Image Credit : National Museum of Singapore, National Heritage Board
What is not visible is not invisible, 2008 | Julien Discrit Collection 49 Nord 6 Est – FRAC Lorraine Image Credit : National Museum of Singapore, National Heritage Board

The title and design of this exhibition was inspired by the artwork of a similar title by French artist Julien Discrit – a lighted-text installation that lights up only when triggered by motion – paradoxically, the need to make seen the not visible can only be realised after being seen (visible). The exhibition, which features video, installations and sculptures, tries to bring to the surface deeper philosophical themes, through the uncustomary forms of art-making.

The exhibition reveals the not visible: the abstract, through the revisiting of both organic and structured forms of art. The exhibition layout adopted took the form of a fixed path, bringing the audience through a proportionate mixture of video and structural art, ultimately starting and ending with the artwork What is not visible is not invisible.

Exhibition Layout, What is Not Visible is Not Invisible Featuring selected artworks from the French Regional Collections of Contemporary Art (FRAC)
Exhibition Layout, What is Not Visible is Not Invisible
Featuring selected artworks from the French Regional Collections of Contemporary Art (FRAC)

The deliberate placement of that artwork challenges our thoughts, of realising the absence of the not visible firstly through text, but later, through a series of thought-provoking artwork. By touring through the whole exhibition in a circular manner, one walks around the entire physical space, and metaphorically, concurrently expands the philosophical space of understanding.

This post will focus on two artworks in the exhibit, Grass Grows, and Blue Sail by Hans Haccke.


Artist Biography

Hans Haccke (b. 1936) is a German-born conceptual artist whose process and materials are constantly changing. He favours creating minimalist sculptures from industrial materials and found objects. In the late 1950s to early 1960s, he joined part of an international art movement called Zero, where most of the works were monochromatic, geometric, kinetic and gestural. Zero also utilised nontraditional materials such as fire, water, light, and kinetic effects, which are reflected in Haccke’s pieces.

Haccke’s earlier works, Blue Sail, allude to movement, minimal expressions, while Grass Grows uses earthly elements – literally, Earth, and grass.

Despite his status as a conceptual artist, he prefers to label his art as thought provoking, rather than as conceptual pieces.

Blue Sail, 1965

Sculpture Fan, Chiffon blue silk Sail: 272 x 272 cm Edition 1 of 5 Collection of FRAC NORD-PAS DE CALAIS
Blue Sail
1965, Sculpture
Fan, Chiffon blue silk
Sail: 272 x 272 cm
Edition 1 of 5

Blue Sail features a fragile fragment of chiffon blue silk floating softly above a fan blowing above situated on the floor, Haccke labels it as a sculpture, questioning the status of art-making and production. The structure of Blue Sail remains nostalgically organic, with undulations unfurling gently, akin to waves of water, but created with non-traditional materials such as chiffon silk, and a fan. It reflects Haccke’s philosophy of debating against compartmentalisation.

According to Haccke,

“A ‘sculpture’ that physically reacts to its environment is no longer to be regarded as an object. The range of outside factors affecting it, as well as its own radius of action, reach beyond the space it materially occupies. It thus merges with the environment in a relationship that is better understood as a ‘system’ of interdependent processes. These processes evolve without the viewer’s empathy. He becomes a witness. A system is not imagined, it is real.”.

– Excerpt taken from Kinetic Systems: Jack Burnham And Hans Haacke (2014)

Thus with reference to Haccke, everything we are exposed to contributes to our view of the world – and with his artwork, he attempts to destroy the conceived status of the forced narrative of a sculpture, expanding and not constraining the borders of art.

Grass Grows, 1969

Hans Haccke Grass Grows, 1969 Installation Earth and Grass Diameter: 200 cm Edition 1 of 5 Collection of FRAC NORD-PAS DE CALAIS
Hans Haccke
Grass Grows, 1969
Earth and Grass
Diameter: 200 cm
Edition 1 of 5

Grass Grows is a unique art piece featuring a mound of grass growing, oblivious to the conditions of the environment. The grass continues to grow, and exist as a system largely segregated from the cold floor of the museum, as an autonomous entity. Haccke uses this organic artwork to question the constitutional constrains of art, of its economic and political conditions.

Installation setup of Blue Sail

Imagined Installation Set-up of Blue Sail. 1965
Imagined Installation Set-up of Blue Sail. 1965

There are few components in the installation Blue Sail, and set-up is considerably simple – strategic placement of the few materials would help to create the work.

Material count:
Blue Chiffon Silk (x 1)
Strings (x 4)
Fan (x 1)

As for the artwork Grass Grows, the installation setup simply comprises of digging up a perfect round mound of soil, taken from the ‘institutional roof’ where it originally grew at, and placing it in the set position, on the floor. However, the artwork requires the frequent watering, lest the grass dies.


[i] Chau, Christina. “Kinetic Systems: Jack Burnham And Hans Haacke”. Contemporaneity: Historical Presence In Visual Culture, vol 3, no. 1, 2014, pp. 62-76. University Library System, University Of Pittsburgh, doi:10.5195/contemp.2014.57.

Week 1 Reading Response

How might the open source system of sharing and collective narrative be a creative inspiration and useful approach for your work as an artist or designer? 

The open source system was created in part to subvert the limitations presented by intellectual property legal rights, and the construction of a collective platform for the sharing and compilation of knowledge. As an artist in the making, this open source system of sharing allows me to reference other artworks of both more established artists and my common peers, and be able to understand and pace myself as an individual against the common ground. Art is interpreted on different measures of understanding; the strength of the open source system as a platform to gather artists and thus different opinions and thinking styles, if utilised effectively, can be a resounding force to help artists, or specifically, me, to gather public opinion, and sought critiques which I believe is an essential process in honing oneself as an artist.

Screenshot: Comments from a previous project idea posted on oss; both commenters highlighted issues which I did not think of
Screenshot: Comments from a previous project idea posted on oss; both commenters highlighted issues which I did not think of

On a similar note, while the benefits of Open Source system is definitely admirable, one cannot help but to wonder if there are certain downsides to it. Open source projects which have currently been realised include Blender, Processing, and FastPokeMaps however, met an unfortunate downfall when main developer Waryas allowed access to the code for a privileged few, but the code got leaked, and the project was ultimately stopped as a result. As a budding creator, while the open source system is helpful, I feel the need to be wary about the artwork/information I put up on the collaborative platform. Ultimately, this may defeat the purpose of the open; perhaps what we need is a synthesis of both safeguards, and responsible usage. For the starting artist though, the open source system will definitely be a good starting point for her.

My Inspiration: ‘Home Within Home’ by Do Ho Suh

do ho suh ‘home within home’ (installation view) museum of modern and contemporary art, seoul, korea november 12, 2013 – may 11, 2014 courtesy mmca, korea
do ho suh
‘home within home’ (installation view)
museum of modern and contemporary art, seoul, korea
november 12, 2013 – may 11, 2014
courtesy mmca, korea

Do Ho Suh is a Korean sculpture and installation artist who was born in Korea and subsequently relocated to the United States. His artwork ‘home within home within home within home within home’ is an immersive installation built using silk. It is a full-scale recreation of his past residences – the traditional korean style housing he stayed it during his childhood, which is enveloped by another replica of his first housing in the United States where he later relocated to.

The artwork almost resembles a blueprint, and constitutes of overlaying significance – of Do Ho Suh’s experience leaving his homeland to the US, of his Korean home within his US home, and finally within the walls of the musuem. This multi-layered narrative inspires me as we delve deeper into his experience, not just as an artist but also as a human.

Image Credits

Spatial Exercise 1 / Reflections

This exercise seeks to explore and observe the reactions of two participants, who were placed in a particular situation (mediated by an object) for a few minutes.

For this exercise, the following items were tested out:

Some of the materials used in experimentation

A rope arranged in a circle, a red rope to encircle participant’s waist, a flexible tube, bubble foam with holes at each corner (not pictured).


Considerations for chosen items:

  • Rope in circle arrangement: Participants were to stand in the circle, and create their own perceived figment of space from the visual of the rope-border
  • Red Rope: Tugs and pulls, participants are able to pull on their own extension of rope to affect the other
  • Flexible Tube: Participants are free to play around with tube
  • Bubble foam: Emulating the original artwork, participants can however play with bubble foam, and also tug it affecting the other. Mostly served to simply enforce closer proximity

By deliberately pacing the gap between the participants, this object makes participants self-conscious about the space around them, as they start to pay attention to the nearby elements. Also, personal space is intruded upon – by another person without their approval, and they feel uncomfortable with the adjusted space. A new situation is created: and the response recorded varied between users.

In general, there were 3 main responses:
1. Keeping quiet and standing awkwardly
2. Keeping occupied, fiddling with object
3. Chat with each other

After the experiment, participants voiced that the experiment forced them into a situation different from when the object had not been there, hence their different behavioural outcomes. With its presence, the object became a catalyst for setting up a social situation, where the personal space became the shared space. The participants thus share a common situation (of standing stationary at a given spot, facing another person), and a similar understanding of their current position.

When external factors such as friends came into play, a sense of ease was given to the participants – possibly mitigating the outcome of the experiment. Having familiar elements in an odd, new situation helps to allay some anxiety. The space has now expanded to involve the friends. Personally, I feel that at such, too many elements are present which erodes the position to create a personalised space for the two participants.

On the other hand, when friends join the experiment, anxiety tension is still created. Some friends continue chatting, ignoring the discomfort from the objects, whereas some become overly conscious about it.

However, participants who overcame their anxiety discomfort started to create another space with each other, through initiating polite talk. Below are a picture series of strangers (to the other) participating in the experiment:

Later, we instead gave a pair of participants free will to play around with the object. The lack of restriction allowed the participants to build a space around the object, rather than create an object as an outcome of the experiment. Their actions was now for the object, rather than mediated by the object. Now, the need to interact with the other has failed, failing the idea of creating a common space with the other.

It was interesting to note that some participants mimicked the other subconsciously through their actions.

Screen-based Art

Here’s my final project for Interactive II which I took last year. It was my first experience with 3-D screen graphics, and playing with simple, basic shapes. Extruding these simple shapes and combining them in different forms may bring about more interesting shapes. I am interested in sharpening my skills, and explore other softwares that deal with such 3-D graphics.

Screenshot of Video