Category Archives: Week 8: Midterm

[Midterm] Children’s Lightbox


A Society of Light:

400 years into the future, man has survived many hardships.  The greatest of which being climate change.  After the great disaster of 2100, when the seas turned toxic, and the temperature turned extreme, humanity was reeling.  Crops would barely grow, and countless died as society all but collapsed.  The last holdouts knew that man had to change his approach as the caretaker of the planet, and had to learn from their mistakes.  Casting off the yoke of personal greed and progress at all cost, humanity began to rebuild.  Central to this was solar power.  Never again were we to rely on toxic chemicals and compounds to power our societies, as the road that lead to was one we did not wish to revisit. But the leaders at this time knew how fickle and short-sighted we as humans could be so they devised a plan to keep solar power central to humanities core values.  Thus began the pseudo cult of light.

Light was soon held almost akin to god.  Light was the bringer of life, as without light, plants could not grow.  Without plants we could not feed ourselves nor our animals.  Light is the banisher of darkness, and with solar power man banished the toxic hell that had become the world at that time.  As the decades turned to centuries, this love of light became more and more the central focus of human’s belief systems.  Due to this, sunrise became a spiritual moment for most people.  As the morning light banished the darkness, people could start their days and lead their lives.  Humankind was for the first time, peaceful and happy.  The cult of light had done much for the well being of humanity.

My project is a simple child’s possession that is common at the time.  This little box is a small reminder that when there is light, all the evil and troubles recede while the good can flourish.  When there is no light, the “evil” wolf is prowling about eyes a glow.  However once the sun rises and bathes the box in light, the evil recedes and the peaceful deer can peek his head out without fear.  It is important to ingrain the children with this love of light as any idea of returning to dirty sources of power then becomes almost akin to blasphemy.  This way as the memory of the tumultuous times of environmental strife fades further and further into distant history, man won’t be tempted to risk the health of the world for a quick an easy profit


This project was made with construction paper, notecards, servos, led’s, a photocell and arduino!

I started out by designing the shapes I wished to use on notecards to provide some stability for the construction paper.  I then glued the notecard shapes to the construction paper and cut away the excess paper


I then wrapped the box I was using to serve as the base with green construction paper and cut out the slots where wires and hardware would poke through.


Next I poked holes in my animal shapes to serve as the eyes.  I then pushed led’s through these holes and then connected wires to the back of these led’s to run down to my power source.

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Now it was onto my wiring.  I pushed a photocell down in the front of the box to capture the light amount and feed the data to my arduino.  I then hooked my wolf character up to a servo using paperclips.  Lastly I wired all of this to my arduino and through many annoying attempts, was able to shimmy all of this into the box without any of the connections breaking.

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With everything in place I then turned it on!  I used a 9 volt batter to power the project that way I was not reliant on an ugly cord sticking out the back (although in the future the people would use a solar powered rechargeable battery!).  The box moves the wolf out of his hiding place and turns his eyes on when there is minimal light hitting the photosensor.  However when there is ample light hitting the photosensor the wolf retreats down behind the bush and the deer’s eyes begin to light up.

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Memory Design Speculative Project

Speculative memory design

Memory itself has become the determining factor of our existential satisfaction, yet at the same time the conditions of late modernity have dislodged ourselves from our physical and social environments.

In many ways this was a bargain struck for the purposes of material comfort and accumulation resulting from industrialization, and a reordering of society based upon production and consumption. This bargain was not without cost to individuals as this process of reordering required a set of separations – a disembedding. A separation of individuals from localized cultures but also within individuals of their physicality from time and space.

Technology is a disembedding condition, that acts to separate our bodies from time and space. The fact that one might project their image across the world, but also record it for another time. In its simplest sense the action being divorced from the body. We might also find that societies themselves suffer from a disembedding as social interactions become mediatized, virtualized and remote.

As we glue these pieces together the configurations seem uneasy as if there must be another way. A recreation of the traditional would be a mere simulation of what was, ill-fitting to our current material circumstances. Conversely a dive headlong into the myth of progre offered by modernity comes up short against the hollow offerings of consumerism and capitalism. And so we are left holding the pieces of ourselves, and the glue of our material capacities yet unable to create satisfying configurations.


While an inescapable condition in which we must construct a reality for ourselves, this cannot happen independently of the material world. To live in a reality of our own choosing in this way would produce a cognitive dissonance unbearable for most, or requiring of ever greater mental gymnastics to achieve internal consistency. By the other extreme, self identity cannot be a purely empirical proposition, as empiricism demonstrates what is predictively rather than that which could be. Self identity is imagination made quasi-real.

Mystical constructions of reality appeal to that with which modernity has failed to supply us. Mysticism is not a failure of knowledge, or an attempt to somehow know the unknowable but a deep desire to approach the material world as a sentient entity, that which could understand us. The horror of nature is its indifference towards us, and we project our sentience upon to remake it such that it should care for us.

While an understanding of an indifferent nature might not always seem horrific, it has always been unacceptable to regard it as such, for to do so would be to regard our own existence if it were to be meaningful as necessarily divorced from it.

An imagined future for an approach to memory would link the technological capacities for storage and of information with the human needs to structure this information within a self narrative and apply a symbolic meaning towards it. In traditional contexts this process has taken many forms, though broadly termed divination. A process by which a natural phenomena is “read” to approach the knowledge of past or future events.

The technological aspect of such a process could be used to guide an arrangements of objects by assigning them the capacity to store information and use it to augment self narrative.


Group Members: Charles, Sarah, and Jane

We first imagined a future in which extremely high temperatures outside would require people to live underground, resulting in people needing some form of light. After discussing a number of solutions for this, including the earth’s surface being completely covered in solar panels and providing power for numerous underground communities, we settled on a more low-tech idea of funneling light down into a cave-like structure, using mirrored surfaces.

After some experimentation, we ended up building a large, 7-foot structure that can be altered and changed to accommodate many situations. The structure is built out of wood and is about 6 feet by 6 feet at the bottom and it decreases in size to about 1 foot by 1 foot as it approaches the top, similar to a pyramid. We looked at a number of different shiny materials for the inside of the pyramid and settled on shiny emergency blankets. The way they catch the light is pretty amazing and they also allow light to come through when light is behind them. We covered the entire inside of the pyramid with shiny material.

We then covered the outside in black plastic tarps that were cut to the exact size of each side of the pyramid. We attached the tarps to the top of the structure so that users can roll them up if they want to allow light to come in or leave them down to keep light out.

We also created a small triangular table that housed a projector that projects bright colors and moving shapes. The projector points up and the colors and shapes are reflected around the entire room. A button on the small table allows the user to both start and stop the projections.

The structure has multiple states that allow for different needs. When the sides are rolled down, light is blocked out and the projector can be turned on. We imagined that these future peoples would value and worship light, and pictured them using this structure to hold religious ceremonies.

When the sides are rolled up, the people inside can see outside, but people outside aren’t able to see them. In this state, these people can effectively hide from the outside world, while still feeling a part of it.

Constructing the base

Constructing the base

Building the structure

Building the structure

Adding the shiny emergency blankets

Adding the shiny emergency blankets

Adding the reflective inside

Adding the reflective inside

The view from inside

The view from inside

The outside with the black tarps

The outside with the black tarps

View of the inside without the floor finished.

View of the inside without the floor finished.

Table that houses the projector and button

Table that houses the projector and button

Table installed inside the structure

Table installed inside the structure

Video of the effect inside…

Formless Beings of Light [Midterms]

By: Michael, Isabella, Cihang, Cathy


The ability for humans to intervene within nature and redesign it for their needs, combined with the ability of this process to inform future designs represents an exponential relationship. As example: the capacity for technology to facilitate the development of further technology. If this process were to continue it would approach a limit of complexity termed the Singularity.

According to futurist Ray Kurzweil,

“The Singularity will allow us to transcend these limitations of our biological bodies and brains … There will be no distinction, post-Singularity, between human and machine”

We propose the question – In what manner would light be used in a world in which biology is transcended beyond physical form?

We speculate a distant future in which humans have transcended beyond the physical form of the body, though are yet to transcend the materiality of time and space. As such they exist as arrangements of information, in the form of energy suspended in an electromagnetic substrate. Despite the radical reconfigurations of form, the use of light energy is still the most effective means of communication and information transmission.

Within the Buddhist concept of Nirvana, when the passions of desire and ignorance are released the cycle of existence ceases. If such beings were capable of removing the barriers to omniscience via an exponential structuring of information, an analogous condition may be obtained in which desire no longer exists. Using this metaphor we can consider these beings to exist in a state of pre-enlightenment whose only remaining desire is that they wish to achieve a state of release from existence through full knowledge.


CONCEPT of 2415

Group Member: Binna, Taylor, Max

It’s post apocalyptic world. Human are reconstructing the planet. Chaos is everywhere, and the only thing keeping society in order are the strict laws and the “enforcers” who regulate them. Still recovering from the global collapse of 2200, the “enforcers” are equip with low-tech tools to do their job.

Tolerance District and Flag  

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Law-Enforcer’s Equipments: 

  • Human-Circuit LED Glasses – These LED frames act as a police beacon light for the enforcers as they only patrol on foot

18.picmaterials- solder, red LED lights, a pair of classes, copper tape, electronic tape, conductive thread, a coin cell bettary and a battery holder




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  • FSR Whip – This whip is used for punishing civilians for various crimes, and the sensor allows the enforcer to adjust the severity of his strike to match that of the crime committed.

IMG_7331FullSizeRenderMaterials-  Copper tape, a black leather sheet, a paper board, Red LED lights, a solder, wires, a pinset, a battery and a battery holder.



  • Switch-Coffs – There are two light types. One indicates violent criminal, the other non-violent.

IMG_1137Materials- a handcuff, thead LED lights, conductive threads, a copper tape, a electronic tape, a coin cell battery, and a black acrylic paint.  IMG_1109

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  • Completed Design with Costume





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It’s a group project by Daruswat Wattanarojjananikorn, Jaeyoung Ha, Kehui (Carrie) Liu and kAi Cheng.

Our Project is a Critical Lamp for Future Human (cyborgs)

In the future lamp is not only for lighting the environment, but also for creating personalized experience. This lamp we designed has human’s mind. He is a buster who loves to explore the world and hear stories. Future humans (cyborgs) have been implanted with technology. They are able to experience the virtual world by five senses (sound, sight, touch, smell, and taste). Based on that, No. Kiddo can narrate the stories he has heard to future humans through the virtual environments he created.

The Scenario We are Prototyping

No. Kiddo was born in the night on October 30th, 2015. He just heard Carrie’s (one of our groupmates) story about freeing animals from circuits and zoos. He was moved and decided to spread that story to us. He grew his freakenstein costume. I guessed he was influenced by the creepy atmosphere of Halloween. When the environment getting dark, he lit up the bulb. When someone getting closer to him, he began to tell the story. As we were not cyborgs, he had to show the story through a projection which we could see with bare eyes.

The story he is telling is: If we keep zoos and circus, there will be no wild animals in our environment. Dark spirits will come out as our nature needs wild spirits. They replace animals. They are not as peaceful as animals. Oppositely they are evil and their hearts are full of revenge. The whole world is covered by darkness and horror…

No. Kiddo in Our Eyes

Can we named our lamp “No. Kiddo”. I like its creepiness. It reminds me the man-made-human No. 8!”  (by kAi Cheng, quoted from our group email) Man-made-human No. 8 is a character in Dragon Ball, a Japanese Manga. That’s why we named him No. Kiddo.


“The guy looks like a unique and unusual creature, but it is not weird but quite familiar. I think it is because his appearance looks like a combination of a human being with an alien. He might disguise himself as a human being wearing human clothes. People may be able to discover his identity when they take off his cloth by analyzing the programmed small hardware inside the bottle. The shape of his head might represent the planet where he lives. His eyes are not on his face, but on his body, and the eyes seem upside-down. He might be able to look at the space in different views, unlike human or another creepy creature might live inside his body. “ — Jaeyoung Ha


For crafting:

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For testing:

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Light Concept

Michael Glen

Isabella Cruz Chong

Cihang Yang

Peiying Feng

We speculate a distant future in which humans have transcended beyond the physical form of the body, though are yet to transcend the materiality of time and space. As such they exist as arrangements of information, in the form of energy suspended in an electromagnetic substrate. These post-human energy beings communicate via pulses of light between each other.







Group Member: Binna, Taylor, Max


It’s post apocalyptic world. Human are reconstructing the planet. Chaos is everywhere, and the only thing keeping society in order are the strict laws and the “enforcers” who regulate them. Still recovering from the global collapse of 2200, the “enforcers” are equip with low-tech tools to do their job.

Law-Enforcer’s Equipments: 

  • Human-Circuit LED Glasses.
  • FSR Whip
  • Switch-Coffs



  • Human-Circuit LED Glasses
  • These LED frames act as a police beacon light for the enforcers as they only patrol on foot


  • FSR Whip
  • This whip is used for punishing civilians for various crimes, and the sensor allows the enforcer to adjust the severity of his strike to match that of the crime committed.



FullSizeRender   IMG_3469

  • Switch-Coffs
  • There are two light types. One indicates violent criminal, the other non-violent.



Look and Feel:

Leather, Metal, Grunge, Distress, Severe, Red Accents







Midterm Assignment (Due Nov.3)

You have been commissioned to create a piece for an exhibition entitled [Light/Dark].

From myths of making fire to harnessing the flame with wax to electrical incandescence, the presence of light impacts our daily lives in a functional, metaphorical, and aesthetic way.

One possible methodology
Step 1: Imagine a possible or plausible future 400 years from now. Who will we be? What values will we hold? What everyday objects will we use? How will we communicate? How will we dress? How will we work? What is our currency? How does it make you FEEL?
Step 2: Brainstorm your light object within the context of your future.
Step 3: Write a narrative that contextualizes your light object that addresses the questions in step 2.
Step 4: Construct a prototype of your light object. Be ready to explain where it is in it’s evolution.

> Physical prototype
> Description of your future (no less than two paragraphs, no more than two pages)
> Proof of concept video or images (show us how it works in context – not just documentation)
> Description of your piece for the exhibition (shortened version of the above description)
> Documentation on Instructables

Tuesday October 27 – Concept + Prototypes
Friday October 30 – Exhibition description due
Tuesday November 3 – Final prototypes + Narrative + Exhibition
Tuesday November 10 – All documentation up (Must be in Instructables format)

1) Be critical.
2) Be playful.
3) Be human.
4) Tell stories.
5) Have fun.

More inspiration coming soon…