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.

Google Glass /Device #5


Google Glass, is an optical head-mounted display designed in the shape of eyeglasses, by Google X (now renamed X).

The Google Glass, when worn, displays information and allows the user to do various simple functions, eg. snap a photo, send messages or images, by activating a voice command or toggling the capacitive touchpad along the right side of the glasses. This information, in the form of images of text, will be overlaid onto a glass prism at the front of the glasses, without obscuring our current vision.




Watch how it works:

Other functions that the Google Glass does:

  • Remind the wearer of appointments and calendar events.
  • Alert the wearer to social networking activity or text messages.
  • Give turn-by-turn directions.
  • Alert the wearer to travel options like public transportation.
  • Give updates on local weather and traffic.
  • Take and share photos and video.
  • Send messages or activate apps via voice command.
  • Perform Google searches.
  • Participate in video chats on Google Plus.

These information are then projected slightly above one’s line of sight;



Its metaphor, “looking into the future” is very suited considering the design of the product. The Google Glass eliminates an external device, eg. a phone or computer, and integrates it into a more convenient, consolidated device. However, I felt that its functions were only rudimentary, and does not warrant the $1,500 price tag.

ar-150419546 screen-shot-2013-09-12-at-9-36-27-am

[Cons] The price tag in question deters the common user, and ironically the product was made for the common man, in lieu of a commonplace/day item such as the handphone. Here, there is a mismatch in product function, with marketing cost of the product. 3 years after its debut, the Google Glass was deemed a failure for the mainstream market.

One particular function to note is that the feedback for the Google Glasses, is only limited to the user – eg the Google Glass is recording a live video, but other users will not realise it. Only users can see it from their projected, inner screens. Non-users may feel intruded upon, but perhaps this was what Google X wanted to achieve – a product that does not feel too much like a foreign product, hence they eliminated this feedback. It does not however bode well for other non-users, who may feel disengaged from the user himself. Another comment on the Google Glass was on its design – it looked too futuristic, and not so commonplace an item for one to use it daily, which ironically it was intended for that function.

Another design ‘fault’ which I disliked was that the projected screen was only situated on a single lens – I felt that if I were to use it, I would squint to focus on the screen – not very ideal, nor intuitive.

[Pros] Despite this, the product seems very intuitive – in navigation, wearing, and its outcome. Simple swipes (up, down, front, back) could be used to toggle the interface, making it easy to learn and manipulate. It’s worn over one’s eyes intuitively like a spectacles, and does not deter actual vision – a plus point. In addition, the function it offers, displaying a map, replying messages hands-free, creates a more ‘human’ experience without the need/feeling for another extended, foreign device.

Nevertheless, the Google Glass does exhibit unlimited potential, and can be used in more specialised fields, for instance telemedicine, teaching, or in conference calls or reporting. The unlimited potential of this Augmented Reality device can be tapped onto, and further adapted to suit our current needs.

Project Proposal 2: Reveal

Chat Roulette

Inspiration was drawn from chat roulette, an online site where users can chat with others anonymously, and at random. The most rudimentary method of communication, was through speech – hence, I thought of going back to the basics for this narration project.


The medium of choice remains an online website, where two users, at any one time, is able to log into the site. Their identity will remain anonymous, until they decide to reveal it. In summary, the website will adopt a common online ‘messaging’ interface.


There will be 2 boxes, where each user (who do not know each other) write into the box.


Each user will occupy each ‘station’.


Above the text boxes, there will be a camera input (from live webcam from each user).


Edit: later, after writing this post, I decided to change my layout to that of the above, cutting down on ‘items’ which I have no need for.

The gist of this project is for each user to try and reveal the others. Initially, each webcam will be fully obscured. Over time, little ‘pixels’ to be revealed from each webcam at random. Such that majority of the webcam input remains hidden, increasing the tantalising factor. Users will be able to communicate with each other via the chat boxes, and they are free to take on another persona, or hide their true identity from the other.

Ultimately, what I want users to take away from the project is to play around with the cloak of anonymity, and make some mischief, or have had some fun playing around with it.


I am still exploring the idea, that perhaps, each user can force the other user to reveal more of what is shown in their webcam (via a toggle button), to increase the interactive factor.

Edit: Upon further discussion with my fellow classmates, perhaps moving the project in the direction of a game would give the game an enticing edge.

Further improvements to ponder on:

  • a timer to goad each users to quickly find out the identity of the other
  • a ‘puzzle’ like format, eg 3 x 3, where each block will be revealed periodically


Update: Ultimately, while I did not work on my own idea for my final project, it remains something I might want to work on in the future, and will shelf it for now.