Our group was given the task of constructing an environment by combining several domains of interest. We chose to explore the domains of public health, privacy, and governance. 

Concept Statement

We chose to construct a speculative environment set 40 years in the future where the human race has been devastated by contagious disease. In the aftermath of the global epidemic, the remaining population has undergone a massive social shift that values health as an essential part of security and maintaining public health has been engineered into everyday life through a sentient internet of things monitoring system that controls the everyday lives of citizens.

The Story

RING system log.jpg

The storyboard follows a character being monitored and quarantined in her home due to a contagious flu infection. We wanted to explore the ways in which such a system might impact interpersonal communication. We also designed an artifact of the environment- a system dashboard logging all of the characters activities to demonstrate the level of surveillance and explore a behind-the-scenes look into the service.


Storyboard 1.jpg
Storyboard 2.JPG
Notification Copy.JPG

We sketched the storyboards for each scene and brainstormed the copy for each notification.


Javascript 1

This is a very simple example of an API call. For this example I used Star Wars API. I was inspired by the new movie release. It also seemed fitting since I've been watching all of the old movies lately. 

The request calls the "/films" endpoint and reveals an answer to some Star Wars box office trivia.

I had an issue getting my css file to connect.

You can find the link to the Github here.



OpenFrameworks Wave

For my final Openframeworks project, I wanted to simulate a spiral wave. I went through a couple of different ideas like adding a GUI or different motion options. However, I realized what I enjoy most about creating a particle system is the fluidity of the movement. It is mesmerizing. So I decided to try and simulate the ultimate fluid motion- a wave.

Here's the finished product:



I tweaked my example of a flocking particle system in three key ways.

  1. I increased the number of particles to 150,000
  2. I increased the particle radii 
  3. I changed the color of the particles to a series of random colors in the blue spectrum
  4. I edited the velocity from -6.9, 6.9 for the x and y pos to -10.9, 10.9. This somewhat delayed the attraction of the particles to the mouse allowing me to simulate the wave crashing.
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Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 6.10.03 PM.png

You can check out the full code on my Github.


Openframeworks Final Project Preview

The following is my concept breakdown for my final Openframeworks project. I really enjoyed working with the particle systems so I think I will continue with it. My vision is to create a flocking particle system that moves in the same spiral motion like a whirlpool. I'd also like to introduce variations in the movement and appearance controlled by a GUI.

Here are two precedents:

To achieve this, I will need to figure out the correct equation to change the velocity and force so that the particles spiral. Then I will need to use the GUI addon to generate sliders and link them to control different things in the drawing. Some of my ideas for sliders include:

  1. Changing the color range
  2. Reversing the motion of the spiral
  3. Expanding the width of the spiral
  4. Adding more particles to the system


Openframeworks Particle Systems

For this week's project, I tweaked a class example of an Openframeworks particle system. The class example repelled and attracted particles triggered by a mousePressed function. The particles repelling and attracting reminded me of sci-fi laser beams so I decided to add a laser beam sound effect to the mousePress function.

I loaded an mp3 file into the data folder and called the function, mySound. I also changed the color of the particles. When they are attracting, they are a golden color and when the laser fires/ repels, the particles turn red. 

Here's the finished product:

I learned how to apply the ofSoundPlayer function here.

Link to the project on GitHub here.



Openframeworks Explosion

With this project, I used OpenFrameworks particle systems to try and simulate an explosion.

A few things that I tweaked from the example code:

1. I set the firework particles from generating random colors to a more explosive red

2. I increased the circle radii from 2 to 20 pixels. This made the initial cluster look more tightly packed like a more realistic explosion.

3. changed the alpha from alpha-- to alpha++ and edited the velocity so that the particles would disperse in slow-mo and "fall" back to Earth once they're propelled. Very dramatic. Very Jerry Bruckheimer.

Here's the finished product

Github link here


D3 + NYC Open API

This week, I tried to use D3 to connect to NYC's open API and visualized data from one of its databases. You can find the code here on Github. I couldn't get it to connect to the csv file once I downloaded the files from my tutor so, unfortunately, I can't show you the preview but it's based on this example in the D3 Gallery and it is visualizing the data from the Census Demographics at the Neighborhood Level API. Each bubble should be color coded by borough. The biggest challenge of this project was attempting to keep up with my tutor's debugging. D3 was new to my tutor as well. I want to spend more time on tutorials so that I can learn it better for myself

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Instruction Sets for Strangers


Instruction Sets for Strangers is a project that challenges students to design interventions in physical spaces that instruct the public to complete a task without using any verbal or written cues. My teammates and I chose Washington Square Park as the site of our design intervention.


We started by doing research on the site. We were struck by WSP's rich history of protest and civil disobedience. The park has long been a site of mass protests for some of America's most progressive movements. I was particularly intrigued by the area's pre-modern history. In the 17th Century, all of Lower Manhattan was known as "The Land of the Blacks." Dutch settlers granted the land to enslaved Africans to act as a buffer zone and human shield between their settlements in Upper Manhattan and hostile Native American communities. Although the Land of the Blacks' purpose was exploitation, the settlements prospered and became a gateway to freedom. 

Map of Land of the Blacks/ Columbia University MAAP

Map of Land of the Blacks/ Columbia University MAAP

Historical Protest.jpg


We discussed this as a group and decided the goal of our intervention would be "to encourage collective art in the spirit of Washington Square Park's history of protest and reclamation."


Photo by Danielle Beecham/ 14th Street Union-Square Station 2016

Photo by Danielle Beecham/ 14th Street Union-Square Station 2016

Photo by Danielle Beecham/ Women's March 2017

Photo by Danielle Beecham/ Women's March 2017


We took inspiration from the post-election collective art at the 14th Street-Union Square and a photo I took at the Women's March as good examples of non-verbal cues that communicate intent clearly.

Phase 1

In the first iteration, we took a cut out of a world map and set it up on a poster board with stickers representing various movements: the Black Power fist, the Gay Pride flag, the Communist hammer and sickle, an anti-swastika sign, the Feminism fist, and an anti-gun sign.

We hoped that passerby would feel compelled to make a statement with the stickers if they had the prompting of the world map. 



We had a few people stop and engage but not as many as we hoped. We had some conversations with a few of the people that interacted and it occurred to us that we were limiting in our choice of materials to a small range of statements. 

Final result 

Final result 

Phase 2

We decided to go back to our original source of inspiration and use stickie notes as our medium. We hoped this would allow freedom of expression. To communicate our instructions and guide the feedback to reflect the topic of protest, we added a silhouette of protestors and cut some of the stickie notes in the shape of picket signs. 



With the second iteration, we observed more people interacting with the board but the most interesting interactions were how people interacted rather than what they wrote. Our easel was pretty flimsy and between the wind and the pressure of the pens against the canvas, it was falling over every other interaction. One of the first large groups to interact were a bunch of kids and their parents. When the canvas started to tip over, the kids took turns holding the canvas so the others could write. Moments later a young man interacted but had the same trouble with the easel. One of the parent's of the kids held the canvas up for the young man. The young man then moved the easel behind the fence and stuck the legs firmly in the soil. No more tipping over and two great examples of unintentional collectivism

At the end of two hours we had a lot of stickie notes to read. I went up to a group who were spending quite a bit of time at the board and asked them what they thought it was. One man said "I think it's just a community note board, like collective art." Another person said "It's a place to share encouraging words, words of peace. I see the people at the bottom. It looks like they're peacefully protesting." The feedback and interactions were positive and I felt it captured our initial goal. In reflecting, I think the most meaningful part of our experiment was observing how readily people worked together and took charge on creating solutions.  


Arduino Final Project

For my final Arduino project, I wanted to expand on the LED musical cue project and create an experience around the song that I chose. I was inspired by the artwork for "Me and Your Mama" by Childish Gambino (below). I really loved the contrast of light and dark in the photograph and the woven headdress around the figure really appealed to me. So I decided to create an enclosure that was similar in style and woven.


I also wanted the lights to flash blue and white to simulate the lighting in the cover art. 


I started with the enclosure which I cut from chicken wire. I cut six pieces and made a roughly 3.5x5 inch box 

Next, I took cotton twine and wove the pieces through the squares of the chicken wire. Once all of the pieces were woven I connected them with zip ties.


Before I closed the box, I built the bread board with the lights and circuits connected to the arduino. I placed the arduino and bread board in the enclosure and surrounded it with stuffing and a cut crystal candle holder to better reflect the light. I ran the USB cable through the weave and closed the enclosure. 


This is the finished product with the musical cues. 

Ideas in Forms- Immersive Storytelling

Ideas in Forms- Immersive Storytelling

Ideas in Form is a design challenge to present a concept in five different forms:

  • 1D= project narrative
  • 2D= sketch
  • 3D= physical prototype
  • 4D= the passing of time
  • 5D= interaction

My initial concept for Ideas in Form was to explore storytelling through a social impact lens. My goal was to design an interactive experience that fostered empathy through stories and demonstrated the shared human experience. I decided to do this by creating an immersive experience. Every culture throughout human history has used storytelling to share their experiences, consolidate their culture, and interpret the world around them. I'm particularly interested in storytelling as it relates to anthropology and how it can be leveraged to demonstrate our shared humanity.  

Ideas in Form 1D Presentation_Page_4.jpg
Ideas in Form 1D Presentation_Page_5.jpg

1D- Narrative

Talia is the granddaughter of immigrants. Her grandparents met in the US and she has grown up identifying as an American. She's seen so much hate and fear directed towards immigrants in recent years and it disheartens her. It seems that people just don't understand how similar their experiences really are. She decides to share some of the stories she recalls from her time with her grandparents to show just how normal they are: the time she broke her leg climbing a tree and her grandfather carried her home and bought her ice cream for being brave, the times her grandmother made her wash the dishes by hand and use the dishwasher as a drying rack. 

Talia's stories join hundreds of other stories in an immersive experience. Mark has never met an immigrant but he comes to the experience and chooses the theme of "grandparents." Marks finds dozens of stories from people who look very different from him. He selects one of the stories and it is Talia's story about her grandmother and the dishwasher. Mark enjoys the story and the immersive. Talia's grandmother reminds him of his own mother because she never let him use the dishwasher either. Mark walks away feeling he has just made a new friend.


Initially, I considered facilitating the experience with a chatbot that compiles a trans media experience. I was inspired by Ben Hoguet's article "How to Tell Stories with Chatbots." I'd like to gather stories from a group of people on a common theme ("tell me a story about your parents") and ask for them to submit artifacts that relates to their story (photos, videos, tweets, text messages) and then allow the chatbot to pull from an API of all of the artifacts to send to the user when they request a story. The user texts the chatbot and is given the choice of the story they want to receive. The user can then choose to hear another short story or see artifacts from the story.

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Narrative Contd.jpg

2D and 3d

In the 2D and 3D iterations of my idea, I envisioned a gallery-like setting where I could build an art installation. The installation would have wall to wall screens that would come to life with artifacts (photos, maps, scenes, video clips, and music) to accompany the audio and video of the person telling the story. I pictured visitors following a story visually across the space of the room. To demonstrate, I made a paper prototype. 

File_000 (1).jpeg


For the 4D iteration we were tasked with adding time and movement to our concepts. I decided to rethink my initial chatbot idea and give the experience an app interface. I designed a mockup tablet app to demonstrate how the artifacts would supplement the storytelling. The video below is the mockup in action. I kept with the theme of grandparents and used a story courtesy of The Moth



In feedback, I received questions about how one might share their own story so I decided to prototype the interface for recording, uploading, and sharing your own story. I also wanted to better demonstrate how users could discover others' stories and browse stories based on shared themes that are central to the human experience and relatable across cultures. 


Interaction Diagram

The final iteration is a prototype of the user interface to upload and edit your own story. Link to Prototype

Resources and inspiration

"What is interactive storytelling?" - Benjamin Hoguet, Medium

The Art of Storytelling - Pixar in a Box, The Khan Academy

"The Technology of Storytelling" - Joe Sabia, TED Talk

"The Science of Storytelling" - Steve Denning, Forbes

"Babushka's Revenge" - by Ivan Kuraev for The Moth