Final Project – GrubZone Food Desert GPS Navigator

Click here to watch grubZone on Vimeo!

GrubZone is a Food Desert GPS Navigator that allows the user to navigate through different sections of East Harlem according to income and decade to view what are the worst effected areas that are severely lacking in Supermarkets or fresh foods. When I brainstormed the idea for this project, I thought of making an app where a user could easily see what were the areas they could purchase food from. I didn’t really want this to be a project about educating people on what to eat, however, especially if those factors were based on something that was completely out of their control. I wanted my project to be educational, but to also be used by Politicians to set up viable options for the people who were effected the most by not having affordable food options.

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Reading for week3 : Scrapyard Challenge

Hertzian Tales
The most important point for this essay, is to narrow the gap from electronic object to its users in design. They were good example on how designers carefully thought of the new solutions to reduce estrangement and alienation of electronic objects, some treated them as art, and some went beyond than that to design as critical design, which meant to criticize design itself than function.
My favourite part is the example of camcorders, which is quite similar to what Lanier said in ‘ You Are Not A Gadget’.

‘ For instance, camcorders have many build-in features that encourage generic usage; a warning light flashes whenever there is a risk of ‘spoiling’ a picture, as if to remind the user that he or she is about to become creative and should immediately return to the norm’


The Design of Everyday Things
‘Affordances’ and how we understand the function of its use by its appearance are very important principles in design. I like the example of David Wargo’s light switches, which makes sense and creative for the way he mapped a story to mundane bland interface to make it more recognizable.  On the other hand, understanding for symbolic in each culture is very difference.  It’s hard to understand the hidden meaning or function on its appearance unless you live in that culture for a while.


Why We Need Things
It’s a good question, when people in this century collect things and throw them away quickly on the same time. From this essay, I feel that they tend to comment base on the western world e.g. a nomad wouldn’t need to collect that much. Many people collect things for different reasons, some for power, some for feeling secure, some for self-satisfaction, some for self-esteem, and some memories.

In this digital era, we have the Internet, Facebook, email and many things in digital forms, I’m wondering if we still need to collect for the same reason as the writer said or not. Do kids who have grown up having Facebook as their documentation, still need to collect physical things as memories?

Another point, since I got here, NY, I found out that people here always throw away their own things all the time, even some new things. Maybe they need those things just for the certain time. Or is it simply caused by Capitalism to get people to be unsecure and buy more in order to save the system?

For me, when I have an Ipod, I stopped buying CDS or collecting them and don’t have that belonging feeling to bands as much as I used to.


Tools for Thought
Personally, I think this essay seemed to look at technology one side with a Science fiction dream as in the 1960’s and it’s a very dangerous and narrowed thought. From what I could see now in this rapid change from new technology, I feel that the world is losing its magical mysterious dimension, the more we know, the more we can do. Moreover, the more we create complicated technology, the more we create unrecyclable trash, and make more miserable poor industrial workers in the third world country. Those weird people, they claimed as genius, were used as tools to create devices to ruin the world somehow. I guess, scientists mostly figure problems in a linear way. They don’t really solve the problem with holistic point of view, so that’s how they create new problems after they solve one. Once we can think like a machine or know all knowledge in the world from a tiny tool easily, where is the eager to ask and look at the world as a child and where is an imagination?


What do Prototypes Prototype?
In design process or any other creative process, we might somehow never really analyze what how we did it. In this essay, it gives quite a good analysis on the process of prototyping, to whom and in how in the little amount of time by pointing out three elements, ‘role – relating to users in the wider range (big picture)’, ‘look and feel – more details in interaction’ and ‘implementation – technical part’. Whatever we do in any process, I think it relies on good discretion of designers and that could be developed by experience.

This part is a key word to me ‘ Prototypes themselves do not necessarily communicate their purpose. It is especially important to clarify what is and what is not addressed by a prototype when presenting it to any audience beyond the immediate design team.’

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!!



Since I didn’t go to Makerfaire, I would show some of the exhibitions I went instead.

Mostly every Thursday, they have so many exhibition openings around Chelsea. I found that going there was so useful to me and to my understanding in art more.

Here are some exhibition that I got impressed


Two Different Tomorrows, by Leandro Erlich at Sean Kelly Gallery

In this installation Erlich asked the question about our perception within a little space like elevator. In the big space he created an installation that looked like mirror images inside an elevator, but in this one he built many elevators instead. Walk a little further through the elevator shaft, rotated 90 degrees and I saw another elevator, which had a video inside. This exhibition was playful and gave me an idea of looking things backward.

Pionier I, by Carsten Nicolai, The Pace Gallery

The Pace Gallery is one of my favourite place. They always have good Post-minimal works and interesting installations. For this exhibition, Carsten Nicolai’s  work captured the  power of wind and the adventurous of exploration. I was so excited to get that kind of feeling like the first time human could fly.


Tight Spot, by David Byrne, The Pace Gallery

There are many buildings in Chelsea, which are parts of The Pace Gallery. Personally I like Talking Heads, and when I saw David Byrne’s work I got more impressed. It’s a site specific piece, criticizing about what’s going on in our world with sense of humor.

Dumbo Arts Festival

It was the first art festival in my life. They have many different sections and wide range of Art from projection to quirky arts.

The Dumpster Project was entertaining and made me think of Scrapyard Challenge. They collected so many weird trashes inside a van and drive around as a mobile gallery

-Artist studio opening section

-Weird art

Foodglee- Marisa’s final semester project

I just completed my final studio project on teenagers and obesity. I started to accompany a series of posters that I created to educate teens about healthy choices and obesity in America. With the help of a QR code driving an audience to the site,  I want to encourage kids to make small changes in their daily life and highlight healthy versus unhealthy choices.

I am working with teenagers and partnering with local New York public schools to hang my posters and survey the kids about healthy foods and nutrition.  Specifically I chose to work with teens because they are at a critical juncture in their lives and I wanted to have a direct impact on them before they go off and make their own decisions without guidance from their parents.

I surveyed and talked to the 9th grade students while they were eating lunch at the Legacy School on 14th st between 5th and 6th Ave. I sat in on a 9th grade math class and shared my project with the class and several teachers. I then accompanied the students to their cafeteria and approached all the tables to get feedback about my topic. I interviewed an 11th grade student from the Eximius College Prep Academy and heard her thoughts about obesity, diabetes, and fitness in the USA. The school is in the Bronx, NY. It was fascinating to compare the 11th grader to 6th graders who told me that their school doesn’t talk about health and nutrition that much.

The information presented on was as a result of extensive research I completed. Over several weeks I talked to statisticians, dietitians, nutritionists, and read many articles about overweight kids written by key industry experts.

In the future i would like to hand out activity postcards showing kids ways to stay active. I would also like to illustrate good choices and alternatives in a visual postcard the kids can take home and show their families. In the meantime, I am waiting to hear back from Michelle Obama as I wrote her a letter a couple weeks ago seeking her support for In the letter I asked if she could mention my project on her Facebook page or page. I am patiently awaiting a response and I am hopeful.

Here is my final presentation in two parts because the file is so large. Presentation-Foodglee-Part1-OPT and Presentation-Foodglee-Part2-OPT and the FoodGlee-Final Paper

Happy Holidays!

Final Project : Surface Tension#1

Surface Tension#1
A.K.A. I think, that mother fucker is in the back 

In the final project I did a kinetic sculpture investigating in human perception on how we sense each material in different way. This project also investigated the ambiguous sensual relating to sexuality.

I experimented with many prototypes before and here is the vdo of prototype before final ‘prototype01

Here is the final work ‘ Final VDO ‘;

For more details please read here, ‘Final Project Paper Fall 2011

Thank you very very much


Assignment04 : Scrapyard Challenge

Assignment04 : Scrapyard Challenge

‘Don’t worry about getting it “right” or making it “good,” focus more on your process and response to the practice as well as the material affordances of what is made available to you.’ This was such a key concept for me.

In the beginning Ivy, one of a member in our group, came up of an idea of using a telephone cable and bounced it with something. Suddenly we happened to see a big robe on the other table then we thought we should do something with it as an installation. After experiment with it for a while, we got a little lost whether we should carry on with this idea or not, since we weren’t so familiar with technology. Some of us tried to hack a keyboard instead and some tried to come up with new ideas.

Later on, Ivy had an idea of making sound from a paper box. And then, we made trail and error for a while to make the box functional. Finally we made four controllers from four sides of a cardboard box. When those wires were pulled out foil inside the box would connect as a circuit and trigger different sound for each side of the box.

While we were almost finished the box before the deadlines, I still wanted to make the idea of using a rope come true as an instrument, since the big rope had potential for users to get engaged and play with it and in the aesthetics sense, it’s a very strong and a very tempting object in the quirky way. Hence, I tired a rope more on the air duct to make more circles of rope dangle.  As a suggestion from someone in the studio at that time, I wrapped foil around the rope to make it conductive. After wrapping four part of the rope, they worked as four different inputs and made four different sounds.

After this assignment I learnt a very important lesson about interface and how it connected to electronic equipments, in which the switch or input can be anything beyond just a button once you can connect or disconnect a circuit.

Final Project: Moduled the Multipurpose Lamp

Moduled is a multipurpose lamp for people who are in need of different functions, forms, and colors of lighting. Moduled is a portmanteau word that is made from the words “module” and “LED (Light Emitting Diodes).” The characteristics of Moduled being a product design that uses LEDs instead of incandescent light bulbs and the fact that Moduled is made up of different modules are the core and key concepts of Moduled’s design.

Moduled, although working as initially expected, still has room for improvement. In order to mass-produce, smaller versions of the Arduino or even small microcontrollers may be substituted instead of the Arduino Uno in order to reduce pricing and weight. Also, different types of LEDs and different methods of installation may make the LEDs brighter for better lighting. Overall, this was a project that I wanted to do ever since I came to Design and Technology. Having an undergrad major in industrial design, I was not able to actually make my designs work. All that would result from massive research and concept generations were aesthetical mockups or software scenarios that showed how concepts worked. I set a goal of making a product that actually worked. I also have a design ideology in complexity in simplicity. I strongly believe that things that are considered as “basic” such as lighting and “basic shapes” such as circles, squares, and trapezoids can be totally reinvented with the addition of details. I tend to try to find beauty within seemingly simplistic objects. Moduled gave me an opportunity to work with materials I have never worked with before such as wood, wood stains, rare earth magnets, etc. The process of trial and error with different LEDs and different materials made me grasp a better understanding of which materials should be used for different circumstances. I hope Moduled can provide the basis of new generations of lighting where people will have the freedom to make any type of lighting with any type of form according to their needs and desires.

You can download my final presentation here

You can download my final paper here

Congratulations to all of us!

Have a great winter break and see you all next semester!!!

Final Project – Call of Duty: MW 3, The Board Game

 For my final project I decided to build a board game based on the popular video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

To download the keynote presentation click here.

To download the paper click here.
(paper is emailed as well incase the parsons server acts weird)

I have linked all the videos I used below for easier access.

The Video comparing the game to chess:

Michael’s reaction to the game:

The Teaser Advertisement:

Juan before playing the game:

The playtest video:

Yong’s reaction after playing the game:

Juan’s reaction after playing the game:

The Rules:

Public Intervention “If I Ran the Park”

For this project, the class had to work on a public intervention in a group. My group was made up of Vivian and Jason. Through many prototypes and many failures, our group decided to focus on making a crowd-sourced movie made by the people, for the people.

The Smiley Prototype

The Camera Crew Prototype

We had made other prototypes prior to the final crowd-sourced movie such as the Smiley Prototype where we tried to grab the public’s attention by displaying numerous smiley faces using blob detection and the Camera Crew Prototype where we tried to act as a camera crew and deliberately shoved cameras into people’s faces to document people’s reaction. But soon we realized these interventions were either too passive or too aggressive.

Union Square Park

By making a crowd-sourced movie, we wanted to grasp people’s notions of Union Square Park. Why we chose Union Square Park is because we thought it was a place that showed a lot of diversity and history of New York City. We also wanted to make full use of its liberal space. By holding interviews with people who frequently came to Union Square Park, we could better grasp the inner needs of change for the park. We wanted to use the public as communal knowledge.  We had no given author, director, or scripter. What we learned from intense interviews directly translated to our scripts. How people acted out each line was of their own choosing. We believed that if we worked together, we could create something fascinating.

Nickelback – Rockstar MV

Red hat and bowtie

We were greatly inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “If I Ran the Park.” The book is full of imaginations and provides great inspiration and motivation. Other precedents we looked at were the “Johnny Cash Project ( and the Crowdsourced Fan Film of Star Wars Uncut. In the end, we wanted to go the direction of Nickelback’s Rockstar music video where numerous clips of people of all age and sex starred in the video each singing a phrase of the song. We grabbed a spot in the middle of Union Square and made people from all around the world say a line of our crowd-sourced movie. A red hat and a red bowtie were used to resemble the magician that summoned all the wishes of Union Square Park.

The whole public intervention project was very fun and intriguing. It was fun working with people I’ve never met with before. And most of the people of Union Square were very nice and some were even eager to be starred in the video. Regulars started greeting us as we were in the park very often throughout the project. The public started to find people who could participate in our video. We saw a lot of patterns people had in Union Square Park. Because the project was very intriguing, perhaps I would like to further work on this project in the future. Problems we could fix are the ambient noise created by street performers and random people. We could also incorporate more involvement of the public as a group rather than as individuals. Overall, though, it was a very fun experiment in working with the pubic and trying to intervene into people’s lives.

final video and our project blog can be found here

final presentation (pdf) of the project can be found here

(post is same as Jason’s as we thought we would post it as one group)