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#lightandinteractivity #itp . Gramercy Thursday, January 21, 14:41 . This is a photo of a wall inside an apartment in Gramercy. This barcode-like shadow pattern caught me by surprise because it was, well, ’barcode-like’. The shadows appeared in different shades and width. The photo was taken next to a big window with slightly curvy blinds turned about 45 degrees from the window itself. Because of the curve and the turn, the light reflected on the blinds casted shadows on top of each other. The darker areas were where the two blinds overlap. The lighter areas were where the light was able to seep through. Because it was a cloudy winter afternoon, the light was relatively dim which made the shadows faint. However, as they stack on each other, they create a subtle dynamic quality. . This pattern was especially beautiful when the clouds passed the sun and the shades changed. I wonder recreate this same feeling in an art piece.

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Assignment: Collect your digital footprint.

I’ve always wanted to look at the bigger picture of my life – but I never imagined the effects it would have on me.

Because I was never active on my email or social media, I decided to download my Google Location History Data to explore and experiment with. This dataset dates back to this time last year (Feb 18 – Feb 19) – I spent exactly half of that time in New York and half of that time in Bangkok. (

Before writing my own code, I went on Location History Visualizer to get a sense of the data ( In less than two minutes, I found myself tearing up about my past in Bangkok. It brought back memories I wanted to let go. — This experience of visually zooming in and out of my location history created a very dramatic change of emotion, from being very excited to somewhat traumatised.

After a while I calmed down and focused on my life in New York instead. I changed my mindset to think “Where are the places I’ve been and where else can I explore?”. This allowed me to think of my good memories when my family visited, look for places I enjoyed previously and look forward to other adventures.

My code:

Screen Shot 2562-02-10 at 18.43.17.png

ABOUT DATA: I’m surprised by how accurate and detailed the tracking is. The data shows my friend’s apartment that I went to only once and stayed for just 10 minutes. If looking into detail, I can also see my bike trails vs. my walks. Google knows exactly where I am! This shouldn’t be a surprise, but it still is.

ABOUT ME: I’m surprised by the emotional influence this dataset has on me, and how it really depends on what lens I put on when looking at it.


For future development for this project, I will add a timeline and a clock. Timeline: to scroll and see if my life in New York changes by season / by the amount of time I’ve spent here (becoming more local). Clock: to see how my map changes by the time of day . The assumption is that after 12-1 AM I’m mostly at Bobst or ITP. Hopefully this will trigger some positive change.

The questions I have after having done this assignment are “How do we consciously explore data?” and “How can we let the insights reveal themselves in a suitable manner?” (not take us by surprise in a negative way). Another thought I have is that these data let us live the past over and over again whereas our minds have a different way in managing these memories – how do we balance the two – accepting the truth and being present.

A quote I’m pondering: “The fact that we change all the time is what makes us human”

Huge thank you to Morgan Mueller for coding help.

Transcription Assignment

Assignment: Transcribe and/or digitize a text that has never existed in digital form before. The resulting transcript should be in plain text format (i.e., a .txt file). The goal of this project is fidelity: try to make your transcription as true to the source material as possible.

I decided to record Dano’s Rest of You lecture for this exercise because I thought he had an interesting way of speaking. Dano doesn’t like to finish his sentences. Instead, he jumps around from topic to topic. I wondered how I could capture this

The transcription:

The voice file:

I tried to be as precise and accurate as possible with the transcription. I included the pauses, stuttering, repeated words etc. However, I still found myself filling in words I couldn’t hear to make it a complete sentence.

The biggest learning was transcription is full of BIAS!

Interruptible LED

Assignment: Create a fading LED attached to a microcontroller. Your LED should be interruptible by either a pushbutton, analog input, or serial input. Your fade speed and fade curve are yours to determine.

Tom went through this exercise with us in class. I was surprised by how much the sine wave makes a difference to the fade. It felt a lot more smooth and natural. I left the class wanting to experiment on what different feelings I can create with the light.

Example code:

I listed out some emotions and based on practicality and my state of mind recently (self-portrait), I went with: (1) heavy breathing (2) panic (3) emergency. The interaction is then to put off the fire and let the LED die.

I chose to make the enclosure as minimal as I can to highlight the light effects. I covered the LED in a tissue to diffuse the light and put it in a pingpong ball as it provides a perfectly round shape – evenly distributing the light. In addition, I made it into a character using white wires as the body of the pingpong man.



(1) Heavy breathing

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(2) Panic

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(3) Emergency

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The biggest thing I learned along the way was that light and its movements look different in every condition e.g. an LED vs. an LED in a pingpong ball vs. an LED covered in tissue in a pingpong ball – the effects in these are also very different. Therefore, next time I should make as close to the real setting as I can and take time to test to fine-tune the code.

A bonus – an interesting graph I made while trying to create a breathing effect.

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Lighting Moment #1

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#lightandinteractivity #itp . Washington Square Park Thursday, January 31, 15:03 . This photo was taken at the north east side of Washington Square Park, facing east, at around 3 PM. The lighting of this moment caught my attention because the shadow lines of the fence of the park were almost perpendicular to the fence itself. The only source of light in this photo is the sun. It is lighting from the right side of the photo towards the back (as the shadow is slightly tilted upward here). In terms of direction, it was from the West side. As it was a very sunny day, the shadows appear crisp – the closer to the fence, the crisper. The shadows were at least 3-4 times the length of the real fence. I would assume that as the sun set, it would get longer and longer because of its angle, perhaps it would even cast shadows on the buildings on the left side. Another reason these shadows were so impressive was because it was taken on the day after a light snow. The pavement and the road were still covered in salt, which was a matte white color/texture. This created the perfect canvas for the shadows to land on. . Other than the impressive shadows, the whole scene is also covered in light from the sun. And because it is the only source, and a very powerful source, you can see the small branches of the tree on the left and the steel construction poles perfectly. These thin cylinder-like shapes together with the shadows and the fence create a geometric feel with the light bouncing off of them.

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Exposing ROY

I began being interested in the idea of ‘Rest of You’ through my personal sensorial experiences – specifically when I felt a sense of ‘Flow’ in my body and mind i.e. when I started feeling that things I see were changing states even although they weren’t, or when I felt physically touched although the object was merely close to my skin. These moments happened when I was slow enough to notice them. At the same time, however, these moments happen constantly all the time, only imperceptible because my conscious mind makes sense of them differently or filters them out.

Being aware of my own sensorial perception has helped me understand the concept of ‘Individualistic Reality’, what I think is not what I see, and what I see is not what others see, and as a result has helped me overcome a lot of misunderstanding events in my life.

From the discussion in class and readings, I found these concepts to be intriguing:

‘We are optimised to survive, not to be happy’

‘Senses plus mind equals reality’ – Subliminal

‘To find your flow is to find the balance between our consciousness and our unconsciousness’ // we are not made of one or the other but both.

‘Our minds are more like lawyers than analysts’ – Stranger to ourselves // we tend to believe what we want to believe.

While rational illusions and other concepts interest me, I want to focus on sensorial illusions because, to me, it is the most provocative (mainly because it is so close to us and almost impossible to ignore, also least rational – does not require one who is not interested to ‘think’, thus most accessible). Plus, I believe experiencing a sensorial flow can stimulate one to be very curious about how the mind works and begin to explore and discover other aspects of it.

Project ideas – to be researched and developed

VISUAL (space) & SOUND (time) – the synchronisation or the lack of synchronisation

TOUCH – how it is influenced by visuals

SMELLS – how smells can influence our emotions (we can’t help it, it reaches the emotional part of the brain even before the cognitive part)

Find Your Flow – Final Project

‘Find Your Flow’ is a touch sensitive interactive installation that asks you to feel every pixel of its sequin surface and follow its vibration patterns until you ‘Find Your Flow’.
Our physical movement and sense of touch are a large part of our everyday perception, yet we only passively pay attention to them. By tuning into our senses, we become more perceptive of ourselves and our surroundings, and are more able to enjoy the nuances around us.

This project has come a very long way! I started off experimenting with various interactions to ‘slow people down’. From breathing, movement, touching/feeling, human connection. Below is the documentation of the journey!

Phase I – link to ideation

Phase II – link to playtest

Phase III – link to winter show (concept)

Find Your Flow live on Coding Train –

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Find Your Flow Project Image


Elaboration on last stage:

Once I decided on the design for find your flow, I started experimenting with the physical computing aspect of it.

Summary of process

  • design interaction and fabrication
    • touch to activate?
    • how much time to delay so that people would know to slow down?
    • how sensitive does the touch have to be?
    • does it only vibrate when they touch?
    • how will they know when to stop?
  • determine parts
  • what sensor to use
    • in order to create a touch sensitive surface, I experimented with the following sensors
      • Piezo (vibration sensor) – I was recommended by a few people to use this as it was very sensitive. However, because the actuator was a vibration motor, this did not work out no matter how I placed it.
      • Capacitive (valostat and coppertape) – Although this provided some feedback, it was not sensitive enough. It required me to apply a lot of pressure which did not suit the interaction I was after.


      • FSR circular – This worked very well on its own. However, the surface was very small. Also, when covered with sequin, this was not sensitive enough.


      • FSR squares – THE PERFECT SENSORS! the square FSR’s were perfect! Size: perfect size to make a grid / Touch: perfect under the sequin + motors.
  • how to layer the various components – I ended up putting the vibration motors on top of the fsr sensors as it was giving the most accurate values as well as most effective sense of vibration





  • Solder all sensors and motors! The vibration motors came with very thin wires. Not only these were difficult to strip, they broke very easily. After soldering them (use flux!) I used heat shrink and electric tape to make them more firm.
    NOTE: if working with soft fabric, we should use flexible thin wires! I made a mistake in using hard wires thinking they’re more firm but they end up being troublesome because they’re very difficult to bend – also, they create a rough surface.
  • Board layoutScreen Shot 2561-12-18 at 23.05.14.png
  • Code
    • be careful of which pin is which
    • serial print to test but delete the serial for responsiveness for the real code
    • here is the code (repeat for other pins)
      Screen Shot 2561-12-18 at 23.12.17.png

In-class presentation: this did not work! This was sad! My project failed to come to life during the class’s final presentation. However, this forced me to come up with a plan, if all things fail (if the sensors don’t work), which is to create random vibrations.

Key learning

  • ALWAYS SODER AND USE PC BOARDS!!! This became a huge problem as my wires got extremely complicated. I believe there were some signal errors due to the amount of wires in such a condensed space. Sensors would randomly turn on and off even though everything was plugged in the same way – I would have to restart the system by plugging and unplugging the arduino. Due to the limited time, I couldn’t rewire and solder everything. However, I tried to be as neat as possible and taped all the jumper cables together to create a firm grip.
  • Takeout from Winter Show:
    • about 70% of people understand and had the designed interaction with the piece (touch and run their hands through it very slowly). others try to listen to it, draw on it or squeeze it.


    • I find that kids are a lot more sensitive to touch than adults. they would very slowly touch and be amazed by the vibrations and sequins.


    • some comments
      • pregnant whale
      • qr code generator
      • purring cat
  • I am very pleased with how the project turned out. It was surprisingly effective in terms of getting people to slow down and pay more attention to their sense of touch, feel very sequin on the fabric and stay tuned to its vibration.
    • why does it work? I believe it is because it is on that thin line of having enough feedback to keep you engaged but not too much to determine your reaction
      • the tactile feel / vibration
        • this gives a a feeling that you are reacting to something in a very physical way. much like dipping your hand in a sack of rice, running your hand through grass or feeling a pattern on a surface.
      • the vibration
        • this gives a feeling that something is reacting to you through touch which is different from most technology. according to the users, this feels more ‘real’ and more ‘alive’ in relatively other technologies.
      • the visual feedback
        • because people are often distracted by visuals, this keeps them engaged with the piece. having something for the eyes to focus on.

To be added: video from winter show.



(testing the multiplexers)


(sensor fibonacci)

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(experimenting with additional output – sounds from sonic pi)