STRÄNG Final Installation by Brendan, Bryan and Yue Ling


End-of-Sem Project Proposal:



(Time-Space Warp Simulation)


STRÄNG is a wordplay on Doctor Strange’s name (who bends space and time) which means ‘string’ in Swedish and is also coincidentally related to the string theory about how our reality is shaped.


A superpower simulation that mimics the bending of space and time. There will be a clock mimicked by a running LED strip with RGB bulbs. There will be a one way mirror layer in front of the LED to create an infinity mirror illusion. The mirror will have a circular hole cut in the middle so that people can move their hands inside, and be able to touch a sheet of felt material. The RGB lights will change from blue to red across the rainbow spectrum when they do so (will add sound if time permits), and the running lights will start running at a slower speed.

Aside from that, there will be a servo motor behind a larger sheet of the same felt material away from the mirror that responds to the action by moving the sheet, thus creating the illusion that the participant’s hands are moving the sheet without actually touching the sheet. Whenever the motor moves, the LED lights around the frame of the material sheet will light up as well. In this sense, participants can feel like they are bending both time and space.

Things needed:

  1. LED strip
  2. Wood material for the box (probably will be spray-painted)
  3. (Elastic) Felt material
  4. Frame to hold felt material
  5. Servo-motor (have to fix something on it)
  6. Diffuser frame (borrow from film store)
  7. Ultra-sonic sensors/touch sensors.
  8. Speakers (If time permits)


Stuff to code for:

  1. Code for LED running strip (colours and speed)
  2. Servo motor.
  3. Response between touch sensor in the box and the servo motor on the other side



In the end, we had 2 main codes and used 2 Arduino circuit boards. One was for linking the LEDs and ultrasonic sensor while the other was for linking the flex sensor and servo motors. We shared a lot of the coding workload so it’s hard to be definitive but if we really had to, it would be something like:

Bryan – LEDs

Brendan – Ultrasonic sensors

Me – Servo motors

Challenges faced in the form of advice for future programming students:


#1     Do not go shopping at Sim Lim Tower on a Sunday.

#2     Go to Continental Electronics Pte Ltd #B1-23/24/25 to get WS2811 LED strips which are programmable by Arduino. Those lights are pricey though, 1m for $18 but do it for the project!

#3     If you do not take IM 1 and are deprived of your free Arduino kit, do get wires. Lots of them. Get the male to female connectors too.

#4     Nope, you can’t laser cut glass. Only acrylic mirrors from Artfriend (one costs $26)!

#5     Example codes and libraries are your best friends! We tried coding the running light pattern by ourselves one evening for around 3 hours but still couldn’t figure it out but then I found an example code and it solved like 80% of our problems. Just trust open-source culture.

#6     Yes we have flex sensors that can be borrowed from the film store. If you get the one soldered down you need male to female connectors.

#7     Loose wires were a huge problem for us, we had yet to try hot glue but it’s worth the try! Getting longer wires would probably have helped!

#8     The fabric of the black flag borrowed from the film store is way too tough. We just used Bryan’s old shirt. (We really wanted to use a stretchy material like Spandex initially but that’s too expensive)


Future Developments:

This installation may be small (because we’re on a low budget) but imagine being in a room with a massive infinity mirror where you can change its lighting using gestures! When you raise your hand in, motors move the other side of the room! T r i p p y

On the day of presentation we didn’t include music, but when we set it up the day after in its proper orientation and played music, it really gave the installation the atmosphere it needed!! Really important element for immersion.

Also do give a proper preface to your viewers about your installation! A well-conveyed context isn’t only fluff!!! It gives the installation more meaning and affects the way the participant views the artwork!

It is probably worth the try to place the ultrasonic sensor behind the thin piece of fabric and propped up by some piece of foam instead of placing it directly at the end of the tube since it was easily accessible by the participants and they could have just pulled it out.

P.S.: I just named a picture of the LEDs “strang” + “led” but I realised it literally spells “strangled” oh god




By default, the LED lights are a combination of warm hues. The light gradient is also rotating at a quick and steady pace.
As the participant’s hand reaches deeper into the tube, the distance sensed by the ultrasonic sensor decreases and this changes the hues of the light to cooler hues and slows down the pace of the light rotation.
When the participant’s hand reaches all the way to the end of the tube, the lights change completely to a bluish hue with purple light rotating.


Here is a video of a demonstration done by our participant Jacob in the video below!

As the participant’s hand reaches the end of the tube to touch the cloth material at the end of it, they can push even further to bend the flex sensor. This changes the resistance read by the sensor and thus triggers the 3 servo motors coded for in the same program.

American and European Design in the 40s-50s



-International Style
-The Machine Age
-Organic Design and Biomorphism

In the 40s and 50s, multiple design movements overlapped with and existed simultaneously in America, some of which originated from Europe, namely the International Style, Machine Age, Streamlining and Organic Design. Such movements were prefaced by historical circumstances that gave people reason to use design as a common language to assert their opinions in order to drive society towards a new direction towards a more orderly and organic design language after the chaos of World War I.


Following World War 1, the Machine Age (1920s) saw to the celebration of technology, machinery and the mass production of transportation during the Industrial Revolution. household items and other electronic devices. During this time period, Henry Ford perfected his assembly one automobiles, creating affordable, mass-produced cars for the average person. Literature during this period such as Brave New World highlights efficiency, production and consumerism as the most important values in society. Exponential scientific discovery motivated more exploratory and innovative designs. Designers such as Peter Behrens and Marcel Breuer designed buildings, home appliances that were functional but unobstructed designs which featured exposed screws and undecorated surfaces. (Donald J. Bush, 2017) Many designs resembled parts of the machines that produced them and were devoid of an individual’s touch.


The International Style (1920s to 1930s), one of the first styles to emerge post-war, which was a largely architectural modernist movement coined by European architects Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This style saw to the construction of rectilinear buildings using mainly steel, concrete and glass, light and the removal of excess ornamentation from buildings, giving it a sense of architectural integrity. (Clericuzio, P. 2018) Some of the most prolific designers who contributed to the International Style are Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius and Oud. Frank Lloyd Wright. Le Corbusier’s design of Villa de Savoye was a quintessential example of the movement. (“Modern architecture: International exhibition”, MoMA catalogue, 1932). There was also the use of cantilever construction that lessen the need for bulky, heavy structural columns and made open interior spaces more feasible. Consequentially, there was also rapid erection of skyscrapers during this period of time, an example being the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society building (1932), the first International Style building to be built in 1932 during the Great Depression, which featured practicality in the prioritisation of volume over mass and balance over symmetry. (Dupré, J, 1996)


While the machine age successfully introduced the mass production of transport and goods, it also caused many people to accept the “haphazard, disorderly look” (Carma. R, 2000) of such inventions and Streamline Moderne (1930s), which was popularised by Norman Bel Geddes in his book “Horizons” (1932),  served as a movement to re-introduce appreciation for the aesthetics of mass-produced goods. Streamline Moderne products often resembled forms of fast-moving transport machines such as trains and cars that took into account factors of laminar and turbulent flow of the wind and combatted wind resistance since the movement was driven by the desire for speed and efficiency such as with Buckminster’s Dymaxion car (1933) and Burlington’s Zephyr Train (1934). There many curves included in designs to exude dynamic functionalism in static structures as inspired by the Futurism movement that preceded this movement. The motifs of reductionist and continuity were adopted as speed and efficiency were desirable goals during the chaos of World War 1 and the Great Depression.(Donald J., 2017)  The acknowledgement of the women proportion of consumers was also evident with the increase in streamlined household products (Kowalik, W., 2017), such as with Henry Dreyfuss’s Streamline Iron resembling a typical streamlined train. The modernising of domestic surroundings allowed for the celebration of progress in technological advancement while enjoying forms that are more curvilinear and colourful compared to designs of International Style and symbolised economic growth in society.


Following streamlining the rise of organic design and bi-morphism. “Organic design” (1930s – 1960s) was coined by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright who was interested in the relationship between buildings and their surrounding environments and designed buildings that used incorporated natural elements such as light, plants and water with open spaces that provided a place for natural foliage to grow, and is most evident in his design of Fallingwater in southwestern Pennsylvania. (“Organic Architecture”, Guggenheim, 2016) Organic design borrowed its philosophy from the art movements of Surrealist and Art Nouveau movements that preceded it, including many curvilinear forms and nature motifs (Alloway L., 2005) while staying true to the motto of “form follows function” as coined by Louis Sullivan. Designs that incorporated Biomorphism, coined by Geoffrey Grigson in 1935, highlights the importance of anthropometry, which puts the human user at the centre of design. Designers like Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen who created the Womb Chair (1946) and Alvar Aalto who created the Paimio armchair (1932) created chairs that were made of natural materials and fit the shape of the human body. Ideal body measurement charts such as Modulor by Le Corbusier and “Joe” and “Josephine” by Henry Dreyfuss were also developed for product designers to design their products in a more ergonomic manner. Organic design was able to incorporate the human psyche into their designs and which made it more appealing to consumers and helped to drive the economy during the Great Depression.

In conclusion, under historical circumstances, design played differing roles that served to help society. As such, design trends responded to the state of society at any point of time. From mass-produced products with no personal flavour to the development of a design-thinking methodology which is user-orientated. Even today, it is hard for designers to divorce the concept of their design from human psyche in order to appeal to the masses, as can be seen from the priority of user-experience in 21st century design.




























“The International Style Movement Overview and Analysis”. [Internet]. 2018.  Content compiled and written by Peter Clericuzio. Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors. Available from: [Accessed 06 Nov 2018]

ALLOWAY, L. (2005). The Biomorphic ʹ40s. In Landau E. (Ed.), Reading Abstract Expressionism: Context and Critique (pp. 250-256). Yale University Press. Retrieved from

Carma R. Gorman. (2000). “An Educated Demand:” The Implications of “Art in Every Day Life” for American Industrial Design, 1925-1950. Design Issues, (3), 45. Retrieved from


Donald J. Bush. (2017). Streamlining and American Industrial Design, (4), 309. Retrieved from

Dupré, Judith (1996). Skyscrapers. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc. p. 41. ISBN 1-884822-45-2.

KOWALIK, W.. Streamline Moderne Design in Consumer Culture and Transportation Infrastructure: Design for the Twentieth Century. New Errands: The Undergraduate Journal of American Studies, North America, 5, sep. 2017. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 07 Nov. 2018

Modern Architecture: International Exhibition | MoMA. (1932). Retrieved from

Organic Architecture. (2016, November 17). Retrieved from

Tisc, Jonathan M.; Karl Weber (1996). The Power of We: Succeeding Through Partnerships. Wiley. p. 175. ISBN 0-471-65282-2.



Artist Manifesto: START WARS; GROW ART!!

History of Design – Artist Manifesto: START WARS; GROW ART!!


My current main Manifesto is “START WARS!!! Grow art!” (Disclaimer: No we should not start actual wars). It takes the form of a propaganda-looking poster that was using during regimes to grab the attention of and communicate ideas to the masses.
The idea behind it is that design is by humans, for humans. Throughout history, artists and designers have used their works as a form of universal language to challenge an ongoing mindset. This is evident in movements such as Dada, where even Dada went against himself, Streamlining after the Machine Age, and even today we are trying to marry the idea of using technology into human-centric designs. Usually after periods of dispute, strong assertions were made using art to communicate to the masses and propose to them potential directions they could drive society towards as fellow members of society. They may not have been the most aesthetically pleasing (even that is subjective), but what mattered was the philosophy behind the works and the process of creating them. The most successful movements often differentiated themselves with stark contrasts with movements before, or coexisting with them.
So my vision statement and call to action would be for designers to aim to have a larger outreach and get more people to participate in expressing their personal opinions and owning their rights to having an opinion and making them feel that it that matters in society. As such, they have to be well-informed about the world around them and investigate disputes and their underlying reasons and encourage discussion about the current state of society and not just accept society as it is.