Final Project – Talk To Me from Peter

Talk To Me is an installation with a projection of human head avatar and it reacts to people when they speak to a retro phone as one part of the interface. The project’s concept is to reveal the real situations of people from different countries  communicating with each other. Through my observation, people cling to pretend they understand what others say to them if they don’t actually. The interface then uses that character of human behavior into the interaction of people and the installation. When people are saying something that the computer can’t recognize, the projection avatar will respond in a specific preset that indicates the same real life situation.

Demonstration video

My paper download

My presentation download

It has been a fantastic semester, and I truly learned a lot from everyone in the class. Thank  Katherine for all your effort this semester and other people’s participation in the class. Wish all you a good holiday!!


Reading Response: Public Space Project

The Social LIfe of Urban Spaces (chp.1-5)  by William White

This article really concludes a lot of information we observed from our public space project. It is really amazing that he can analyze so many different behaviors people have in public spaces. With the changes of the space, people react differently. As so called “intervention” of the public spaces, we truly did something that influence how people act. Moreover, we might have done something that left influences to the space itself. There are also a lot of factors that draw people to do things, and they don’t realize that they are actually affecting themselves by on to another as well. Which is called “public effect” in Psychology. As long as one person stands up and react to one event, the next persons follows. It was a really fascinating experience to witness all of these and see materials we read come to life.

Cultural Probes by Bill Gaver, Tony Dunne, and Elena Pacenti

The method mentioned in the paper definitely demonstrates how we should treat with our project at the starting point. I think their using a very systematic way of thinking and doing to collect data from the crowd and truly face all different feedbacks. In my opinion, this is an extremely important step for us to do before project begins. In our project, we did observe union square, which was our main target space, several times. But we didn’t really pay too much attention to the behaviors happening there. According to the author, that is a research shouldn’t be ignored. Also, after our presentation Melanie suggested we all should have users’ feedbacks in our documentary, which is also implying that what might have been missing in our methodology of working.

Experience Protoyping by Marion Buchenau and Jane Fulton Suri

To be honest, what mentioned in this article is not that easy for me do execute. However, this is all this paper about. It talks about how designers face their audiences and se through the experiences of them and pick what might be the most related concept for his  work piece. Being a graphic designer, I used to do things on computer myself and then hand out my work without going through the same process. But I definitely don’t think that is the best way to execute our ideas. Especially after I started to do my projects in Parsons, I found out that it is too subjective that we always think people will react to our thins as we pre-expected, which is not true. There are also cultural differences happening here. So many reasons make us different and that’s why we see things in various ways and so many good ideas are born. If we do research as what is told in this paper, then we will truly get something out of our expectations, which might be a new inspiration to perfection.

Cardboard Computers by Pelle Ehn and Morton Kyng

We spent a lot of time talking about prototypes and then practice making them. What I have learned so far that is the most influential is the usage of a prototype. Taking our bumbot as an example. A screen based 3d model can be a prototype, and a cardboard made boxy style can be another. Which is more efficient and meaningful? The answer is the one that functions. Due to the reason that we want to observe people’s reaction to our object, a cardboard box is much better than a screen based model. Because it comes to life physically. Cardboard is so easy as a material to build products even for kids. Everyone should have the experience of building things out of cardboard in their childhood. It’s the same idea, just enhancing it’s interfacial fidelity. If we can fulfill our original need of this product by prototyping, then we are so close to succeed.

IBM Think exhibition response by Peter

I went to the IBM Think exhibition last Thursday and met some of our classmates there. It was really amazing that I am glad I got up early for it.

Before I got to the Lincoln Center, I surfed on it’s website and found out that the electronic wall was pretty appealing to me by it’s data collection and representation. However, when I was there in the show, the wall was not as impressive as I thought. Although it was huge and graphically cool, still we could see the rough details of the whole composition of LCDs. If it was designed to allow audiences to watch the scene from a longer distance, it will definitely enhance the entire visual experience( just like sitting in the middle of a movie theater).

The interior installation delivered comparatively better performances than the wall. I didn’t get a chance to capture much because I was too focused to take out my camera. The surrounding huge stone like screens gave audiences a 360-degree view of the promoting video.  Also, after the promoting trailer, the screens transferred into interactive devices, which was a big surprise to us. It was a really pleasant experience of using all those interfaces. There is also one thing I think shouldn’t be neglected among the whole tour. Beside technology, I think this exhibition tried to tell a story that is extremely important to all of the human beings on earth.

By gathering datas and putting them into an order that could be easily understood by public, people getting into the exhibition can be more aware of the status of our planet right now. Moreover, they tended to show the comparison of old style of data visualization and new ones involving technology. We can easily saw the difference and how designers now are trying to achieve years ago. Although IBM didn’t forget to promote them at last with the long path of their past 100 achievements, we can still learn a lot from the exhibition beyond design aspect.

Reading response – scrapyard challenge

Interaction Relabelling and Extreme Characters: Methods for Exploring Aesthetic Interactions

Gaver, Djajadiningrat, Frens

In this article, the author truly gives designers a better method to examine and execute the ideas of creating interactive works. The first means mentioned is interaction relabeling, which enables us to think single item differently according to the object’s characters. The main point here is to rethink how an object can be related to the design product. If the two are far more different from each other, it gives us a better chance to think creatively. I found this very helpful because we usually get stuck while brainstorming due to constrains of aiming missions. However, the most creative concepts always come out of nowhere. In other words, this can expand our range of thinking unexpectedly but meaningfully. The other means called extreme characters also intrigue me because we seldom implement this in our design practices. By putting extreme roles into our target audiences, every step taken after might go wild. But according to the author, we can get rid of the stereotypical outcome that we try to avoid through this process. But my question here is how are we going to choose the extreme groups from people? Are the one chosen comes randomly? Or we should build up rules to select them? I definitely think this is what we need to think about if we truly want to follow this method to execute our future projects.

Hertzian Tales

Anthony Dunne

Technology now is one element that human can not live without. And considering of the cycles that how humans are utilizing electronic object is a ordinary but essential question we should ask ourselves, just like the author does. As Clive, our design for this century lecturer, claims in his argument, people now are taking a step back to technology. It does not mean that we stop using electronic objects and start to live like aboriginal people. The reason he said so is that although human beings now are closely attached to technology, we actually do not think or deeply engage to the objects we are using. We are addicted to smart phones and internet, and somehow we can not imagine life without them. However, those devices generate an environment that everyone should get involved or then will be eliminated. The truth is, no one really think deeply about those objects before start using them. In my opinion, that is why people get so tired of one thing and need to buy another newer one. Clive offers a solution about “playing” with the object. He believes that through playing with products, we can have ourselves more engage and bond to them more. I would say the relationship between technology and human is important. If we connect ourselves with technology in a social cultural way, then technology will no longer be just an object but an emotional representation of a strong relationship, which is more meaningful than it originally is.

The Design of Everyday Things

 Donald Norman

It is always easier to criticize than to compliment. I agree with the idea that has shown in the essay indicating that people should think about designs before they physically use it. However, sometimes people go the extreme. When we buy a super simple design object, we think it is to simple and want more services from it. When buy a complicated design like a smartphone, we criticize it being to distracting that we can hardly find what we really want. If we are being to aggressive, this will be the result. However, we know that every product has its own target audience. Some people’s favorite feature of one product can be other’s pain in the ass. My point here is that before we make everything into “simple” design, we might need to think about who is going to use it. If the target audience is an aged group of people, then the design should be easy and straightforward, and vice versa. I do like the idea quoted in the article saying that every product should be thoughtfully designed, and I believe it is our responsibility as designers. If people stop complaining, then probably we have done something right.

Why We Need Things

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Before focusing on the content of this essay, I think the title is a usual but broad question that we can ask ourselves. Why do we need things? There are definitely no exact answers. What I believe in is quoted in the article is that things we possess define who we are. Of course there are things not necessary toward our life, but here is a psychological side of human beings. To nurture our mentality, objects are needed. A letter in a bottle can recall one’s 10 years memory. A teddy bear can be a representation of an intact family. What we are discussing now here in DT is more focusing on the manipulating technology with human behavior. However, there is another side of design that can be simple but touching. Maybe it is not that “cool”, but meaningful. I definitely think that some things around us are neglected by its purpose, but there are also things essential to our existence.

The Computer Revolution Hasn’t Happened Yet

Alan Kay

The revolution of computer is clear and obvious. However, there are still some reasons that can deny it, just taking a different aspect to assess the whole process. In my opinion, I think the change now is too massive that sometimes we don’t feel we are changing by keeping up spontaneously. For most of the generation born after 2000, it is definitely hard for them to imagine life without computers. It is also difficult for their children in the future to live without technology. However, it is the change we need to adapt to. And we still can not take away the credits from those pioneers. But the point here is that can anyone predict what will happen next? If the answer is no, then what are the steps we should take to get involved and define ourselves in the future?

What do Prototypes Prototype

Houde and Hill

Reading this essay, I found it extremely helpful. It is helpful in a way that you need to practice the principles into your own experience then you will feel it. We all know that prototype shouldn’t be just a pretty model that duplicate the final look of one product, however, sometimes we still get caught up in such situation. The main thing here is that before you start building a prototype, you should always ask yourself why you are building this and what might be essential throughout the process. In the three dimensions of prototype, role, look and feel, and implementation, functionality is my first concern, which is always neglected in design process. While creating a new piece of work, I sometimes focus too much on the look of it in terms of my graduate school background. Nevertheless, it is not always the most important part of the work. Frankly speaking, it is always not after I got into DT. So the biggest challenge here for me is that how will I get through the limitations of graphic design but still has the original sense of aesthetics. As long as knowing more about interactive design, I believe more practices make perfection, and I definitely think this also apply to projects that involve human interactions.

mashup: outer space reale state &real pet App – Peter

1.Outer space real estate

My first screen-based mashup is to gather all information online of selling lands on different planets. This was quite a fad that people tended to buy a piece of moon for their lovers, seeming quite romantic in a way telling the story ” I bought you the moon!”. Since the lack of knowledge of universe, the website also mash up the wikipedia and other scientific sites to be references. Defending the consumers’ rights, this website can give them a clean and legal deal through the entire purchasing process. download the presentation

2.real pet App

Mashing up both physical and virtual application, the pet society game can become reality. My main pursuit of this design is to let children or office workers who are not permitted to have pets but at the same time want to experience it with different limitations. For children, this App can be a stepping stone of learning how to raise real animals, and can retrieve pets back if they are mature and responsible enough. For office workers who don’t have time to feed pets at home, they can take care of their pets remotely and have them on their little screens of smart phones at all time. This project might be impractical, but it still gives us an option to think about how we are going to play with pets and learn knowledge and responsibility of nurturing them.


Maker faire 2011

I was very impressed by the work demonstrated in maker faire. It was out of my expectation! Just as Katherine said in class, this is really a place giving people a chance to explore concepts that might ahead of other sophisticated works out there. Although some of the works here could be rough and impractical comparatively, I was still excited to see all of the ideas come to live and we could play with them.

This was one of the funniest design I saw that day. There were few kids stood there to play with those racing cars so I could take a sneak peek of how this worked. Instead of using cool styles of cars or challenging tracks, this design sticks to simple interfaces. But it attracted so many kids there, which reminded me the fact that not pretty or stylish designs drive people to be part of the work but the user mental experience. The water swing was also one of my favorite that if I were 10 years old I would definitely climb on it right away! Being on the air and at the same time surrounded by water drops, imagine how fascinating it could be!

These two designs of using wheels to control music was the biggest inspiration to me that day. The whole thing was to create DJ style music by using rounded objects. The designer who made this showed us how this was originally built as well. I thought the interactive character of this design gave users the most control and also in a very modest way. This piece of work was so fun to play that I might implement the idea into another class of mine this semester.

The last piece I introduced here was so hilarious that I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw it in Maker faire. The fish attached on the car were constantly moving their tails according to the music beats played by itself. The whole scene was so creepy but full of black humor. I was really amazed by such works allowing people to think in a blue sky way. Overall, Maker faire was a really great event and gave me a better sense of what interactive design really is and should be look like.


7-7 assignment _ Peter

My 7-7 assignment is focus on the psychological process of international students and people who just get into a new environment. In order to fit in and try to get better in all relationships, we are scattering ourselves into pieces and then collecting back. This scattering and collecting phase, which is the title of my project, is actually a metaphor that everyone exposed in an unfamiliar situation must go through at different levels. I am here trying to raise a question that if this is inevitable, how are you going to deal with it? The answer you come up with won’t be right either wrong, but it gives you a chance to know yourself better through the thinking process. my website

Myemo – social network redesign


Emotions can be a great deal to a lot of people. And taking this element into social network websites and highlight it can be exciting because everyone has emotions. My social network redesign which is called “Myemo” – the combination of My and Emotions, are telling a story that people can actually project their emotions online through an easy click of changing the color of their current status. The website also gives people a chance to eliminate their posts by time and they won’t be labeled by posts they haven’t clear of the consequences.


Reading response – week 2

Mashups: The new breed of Web app

An introduction to mashups

As long as there are pretty much of technical terms, I was a little lost in comprehending this article. However, I definitely agree with the author that with this new technology of mash up which enables us to collect a huge amount of data through different web providers and browsers, we can have better access to knowledge and information. Imagine that if we can have a website allows us to brows Ebay and Amazon integrating information without limitations, how useful it will be! And it’s also important to mention that there are surely some inevitable challenges emerging like all the other technical things. As my perspective, data pollution can be one of the most serious problems. If corporations are going to manipulate the mash ups, bringing the correct information will be the top priority. And also for academic use, we should also pay more attention on finding the right reference coming from websites like wiki.

Grey Album Producer Danger Mouse Explains How He Did It

Corey Moss

The mash up here in this article is realized in a musical way, which is broadly understood as the term itself. To combining two different genres of music, Brian Burton took The Black Album from Jay Z and The White Album from Beatles. What makes this so interesting is that through the magic of mashing up these songs together in a subtle way makes time and type limitations disappear. By adding Jay Z’s song perfectly right on the Beatles’, the outcome of music can be unpredictable.  This also received a huge attention from the public that how interesting the work is, just to make a song so different even like giving it a second life. Meanwhile, on the other hand, it shows a concern that can people understand the effort spent on this single project? Or can it be more meaningful if a work is done? I personally think that this work’s execution is great. Although it might be discussed frequently, the work clearly speaks for itself.

Calm Technologies 2.0: Visualizing Social Data as an Experience in Physical Space

Michael Hohl

Calm Technology mentioned by the author is a very intriguing idea to me. In defining what is calm technology, he says” calm technologies utilizing information visualization where data is not rendered as graphs, charts, or diagrams on the screen , but as a sensual experience in a physical space.”. I am so convinced in this and really looking forward to see a better future he introduces in the article. I am sure that most of people here have already complained enough about how technologies have invaded their life and taken away their original happiness without it. What I want to emphasize is that if we don’t start abandon part of our applications in hand and change our habits to adjust it, the real calm technological world will never come. The examples in this article all indicate a fact that we can be closer to each other as humans. But are we getting closer and closer? Or we are just stepping far away by time? It is truly a big question mark for us to think of.

A Manifesto for Networked Objects: Why Things Matter

Julian Bleeker

In this article blogject is widely discussed. How blogjects are tracking and tracing where they are and where they’ve been? How blogjects have self-contained (embedded) histories of their encounters and experiences? And how blogjects always have some form of agency? If it is possible and executed in life, I definitely think this could be a great option for us to retrieve information easily. The pigeon example mentioned reminds me of the Discovery Channel which always capture endangered species and record them in long term. At last, researchers will get enough data indicating how they live and how we can protect them for death. Things matter for a reason, and here is truly do. So how are we going to implement this into our daily life? We probably need to take the first step – to define which thing is really essential to us and which are not.