The Internet of Consciousness explores the changing design landscape around altered consciousness and imagines a suite of products that cater to a user’s journey into the self. The wearable system augments the experiences of daily life, integrating mind, body, and spirit, to produce a new kind of altered experiential consciousness. The project takes a self-reflective, therapeutic approach to society’s pervasive drug culture and uses technology of the body to physicalize and visualize new states of awareness.
The Tasting Menu is a first-person video that speculates on how 3D printing, automation, and mechanization will impact the fine dining experience. This video introduces the viewer to a dining experience with 3D food printers, tiny foraging robots, and drone-printed cakes. The project questions how new technologies might find their a place and expression in culinary events and fine dining performance.
Anton in Wonderland takes place in a parallel world where people live happily. Thanks to augmented reality (AR) headgear that mediates the lifestyle and emotion of the wearer in relation to others, people in Wonderland live in the “right place” with the “right people.” The project’s speculative technology proposes an augmented environment built on data that supports everlasting user happiness.
Make Up Circuits is a systematic form of communication that starts from the skin. Using on-body technology and conductive make-up, the project enables users to construct circuity connections across their body surfaces, including the face and limbs. Cross-user touching can form new circuits to create networks between bodies. Make Up Circuits critiques contemporary wearable technology which prioritizes focused interaction with individual devices, detracting users’ attention from self and other.
As consuming and interpreting information has ballooned beyond human capacity, people are increasingly reliant on computation and algorithms to interpret the world around them. I’m Feeling… is a set of projects that give users greater agency over the curatorial algorithms that define their knowledge output. The project promotes the design of systems in which people are empowered with algorithms rather than by algorithms.
Bored in Space: Rituals in Closed Loop Environments explores the design of varied experiences and new ritual practices in the context of Mars colonization. The project examines how the engineering-dominant organizations that are leading colonization efforts tend to neglect the full spectrum of psychological human need. Therefore Bored in Space calls attention to the importance of rituals to human experience, in any context.
Storage Proxies and Object Spirits: Managing Our Stuff in the Post-Ownership Era uses speculative narratives, scenarios, prototypes, and diagrams to illustrate a proposed leasing and renting economy. In this scenario, self-storage spaces become hybrid spaces—digital holograms at home, remote physical store rooms—for storing, leasing, and renting unused objects. The project imagines life with these new holographic “spirits” populating our lives.
In Quantum Wandering Search, uncertainty is used as a basis for the design of search and machine learning systems. Using performance research, simulation studies, and expert interviews, this body of work collides notions of improvisation, wandering, and quantum data to investigate human and computational cognition in the slippages between body and data.
The League of Research is a gamified collaborative writing platform for generating scientific research papers. The reality of working in science is messy, political, and often emotional, while the final outcome can appear objective and uninvolved. The project playfully reconciles the reality with the myth of scientific research, and aims to inspire thoughtful production and consumption of science.
Quantified Self 2.0: Data Fabrication Lab imagines objects that fabricate themselves by doing experiments with human data. By defying the standardized forms and design conventions of contemporary wearable devices, the project asks: What is our role as humans in a data-embodied object system? What are the implications of giving objects more power and allowing them to give form to themselves?
Landscaped Vision: Augmented Reality and the Chinese Garden examines the potential of augmented reality (AR) as a tool for re-ordering real-time spatial experience. When combined with Chinese garden design methods such as Blocking Scenery (障景), Leaking Through Scenery (漏景), and Access to Secrets by Detours (曲径通幽), AR can turn an ancient practice into a near-future form of spatial experience. In the project’s working AR studies, different design principles are brought to life in response to users’ behaviors, creating a novel form of spatial design.
By flipping the pioneering narrative on its head, K_XYZ tells the story of the space native through a series of fictional journal entries authored by a theoretical entity: The First Human Born In Space.
Point of Interest examines the conflicts and new narratives that arise from these emergent depictions of place.
By making information dimensional, WiFi_cLAN serves as an alternate cartography for navigating the borderlands between physical and digital space.
Plant-like Robot explores an alternative way to design and use robots through the combination of plant characteristics and robotic sensor interaction.
Playing House blurs the distinction between representation and reality by revealing the staging of the everyday and imagining new behaviors.
Learning from our conventional human-social experiences, Dynamism of Non-Psychological Sociality examines how technological innovations in ubiquitous computing adapt various social manners and how this co-existence can alter our life patterns.
The Stage of Everything explores the relationship between audience behaviors and stage settings.
Humans in Space looks at space exploration where human is situated at the center.
and contagious: Standard Cheers for Punta Way! MPK! explores how participatory methods applied to critical and speculative design expand conversations around designed alternatives.
Through speculative design, Unperceptive Interactions explores the intersection between transgenic plants and mechanical systems in living spaces, from the urban to the planetary scale.
Meaning Less examines what role secondary forms of language can play in computing, and how they may operate as new modes of digital expression.
Welcome to Test Park examines test sites as places that prototype alternate realities not yet accessible or desirable to the public.
Unforgetful Interfaces looks at the new social and interpersonal behaviors that emerged in such hyper-remembrance environment.
New Feelings is a collection and study of the emotions that come from strange new social interactions unique to life on the Internet.
Space vs. Land is a satirical critique of Monsanto’s ability to redefine agricultural property through the use of genetically modified seeds and legal and economic forces.
Data Agents is a speculative system in which autonomous agents optimize human lives, forcing us to ask: with sentient data, who is in control?
Are You Still There? is a speculative digital service that allows all or part of an individual to attend social events—through a combination of in-person and remote participation with friends and loved ones.
Estimated Time of Arrival is a short film that examines the human desire to be located within the social matrix in an age of ubiquitous sensing and the routine exchange of masses of information.
My Own Private Google Earth showcases a collection of models, videos, and digital artifacts that examine the role of the hobbyist modeler and the culture of Google Earth.
The 12th Man: New Narratives of Athletic Enhancement explores the social response to disruptive technologies for augmenting professional athletes.
Nothing Hides creates an exhibit of the spoils of a hunt: amalgams of technology and the mapped bodies of compromised avatars that show the subjugation of form by the painterly, hackerly, photographer-artist-hunter.
Lost Between Swipes is a set of tools that allow users to adjust the facts that define their social media selves by manipulating the data of their geolocation.
The Imaginarium of Communal Theta Waves is a system that collects high beta waves from a group of users to create a collective mental-spatial experience.
REcoder is a speech-modification device that uses algorithmic filters that allow users to avoid detection depending on who the listener is—a human or a machine.
Prairie Hum, based on the latest advances in microrobotics and biological ecosystems, envisions a family farm that includes a hive of robotic bees whose lifecycle—from launch to mechanical fatigue—is built upon sustainable practices that lead to new architectures and landforms.
Declarations of Interdependence provides alternative models of interaction that are group-centered rather than user-centered. The project critiques the centrality of the individual in Western society and looks at how social media and human-computer interfaces reinforce this worldview.
Anecdotal Evidence: Encounters with the New Other is a series of filmic vignettes about the emerging behaviors, interactions, and situations in a world of commonplace autonomous machines.
Visceralities is a set of hybrid devices whose gleaming machines and organ-like interfaces engage the user in interactions that delight and disgust in equal measure.
Hello Prompters is a playful investigation into scripted communication and mediated interaction that reconfigures the relationships among subject, author, and audience.
Objective Devices combine physics, chance, and superstition. The interactive devices include Quantum Trader whose geiger counter detects radioactive signals that determine trades on the open stock market. It’s currently up thirty points.
Idiosyncratic Ambiance is a set of tools designed for today’s urban nomad to identify and replicate the experiential qualities of their favorite living space.
The CHARAKTORS Project is a modular system that allows for playful characterization of mobile devices through malleable materials.
A Series of Camera Dialogues uses the “poetic interpretations” of people in geographical environments taken by interactive cameras, allowing us to see cities defined by human behavior instead of by buildings and streets.
In Modern Shapeshifting, sensors and receivers allow one to experience the world through bodily sensations that are otherwise impossible due to distance or scale, from traffic that encircles your torso to trade winds that blow down your back.
Second Nature shows a future in which everything, from clothing to bunk beds, is a farm, and everyone, including children, are farmers.
Playing Outside: An Algorithm Recital is a series of projects that play with the performance of algorithms in our daily lives. The work attempts to expose these immaterial structures by perverting their intended purpose and revealing the fragility of ubiquitous systems.
In the eye of the satellite, you are not even a pixel. Be My Satellite allows us to experience the invisible phenomenon of satellite photography through open-source satellite tracking data, a low-tech balloon camera, and collaborative satellite image-hacking. The project brings design and science together to build awareness of the presence, effects, and possibilities of ubiquitous geospatial imaging in our daily lives.
Feedback Occurrences uses standard materials, common techniques and everyday electronics to create an inventory of interactions. These staged events are empirical meditations, both poetic and material.
Soft Publics is a mobile partition system designed for the “political space” of the Los Angeles streetscape: parking stalls, the right of way and setbacks of buildings (as defined by the municipal code). The modular system ‘screens’ and ‘whites out’ buildings, signage and other aspects of a site to provoke new uses for these spaces, including exercises of speech and demonstrating through occupying.
The Emperor’s New Post-Its™ is a collection of business-design methodologies that use hyperbole to provoke critical discourse around the notion of “design thinking.” The project is meant to be a catalyst for the development of new approaches to the entrepreneurial endeavor.
We live in a world of if/then’s, from our engineered landscapes, networks, and systems to the tools with which we design them. This, That, and the Othersuses narrative simulations, built in Google SketchUp, to imagine techno-urban landscapes that look beyond the if/thens to the how so’s.
Temple of Self brings together the biological self and the artificial self by probing a future where self sensing and tracking become an obsessive norm. The project, a set of stories about devices worn by participants for weeks on end, forces us to confront what happens when the body itself becomes the conduit for information.
Project Goodcry explores the act of crying and its relationship to media in digital space, domestic space and public space. A series of prototypes for social media, interactive television, and a public booth, question the need for stimulation, communication and expression in a mediated social environment.
Affection Stations detect the internal mysteries of our electronic devices. A collection of interactive experiences allow people to interpret, listen, and transcode their own device’s unique incidental sound, revealing it to be more than a tool, toy, or gizmo but a source of greater meaning.
What if an object, like a doorknob, could tell us about another person’s state of mind? Through a network of texture- and pattern-based interfaces in a home, Aisthetika explores how haptic feedback of biophysical and environmental data augments how we perceive our interactions with objects and each other.
Kinetic Cuisine is a gestural interface for cooking that amplifies the memories and sensuality that make cooking one of our most intimate and deeply cultural experiences. The project envisions a system that learns and responds to the user’s body while preparing food in the kitchen.
Together, Slow Letter, Dandelion, and White Lies create a communication system whose distortions challenge the instantaneity of digital communication. By exchanging convenience and practicality for hidden subjective and emotional values, the applications expose a need for complex human expression that could never be satisfied by a single “SEND” button.
Situated in a near-future autonomous automobile, Dash Garden is a system of interactive objects that are physically responsive to both the user and the environment. At the point where active information display and active user input meet, the system transforms raw data into a personal ecology of shape-shifting devices.
Populists Get a Job investigates the idea that democratic protests against the existing economic or political reality can evolve into factions of locally-run communal business enterprises. This project is a critical provocation that asks how the ideals of democracy and the laws of economic markets can merge together for the disenfranchised, so that they may innovate and earn for themselves the future they deserve.
Portals (and friends) introduces a way to play together that is unique to today’s network culture. A collage of portals, poppets, emoties, and grabatars are deployed in Google Street View while rovosand peeps play in a corresponding physical location. The result is a real-time hybrid experience unfazed by notions of space, time, and authorship.
A Machine Frame of Mind invites speculation about the wonderfully strange role of artificial intelligence in our lives. Using computer vision as design material, the project presents the machine’s perspective as a source of pleasure, the result of radically different analytical capabilities, the increasing ambiguity of human identity, and the creation of the abstract, computerized self.
Ordinary Epistemes mines the tension between objective knowledge and subjective perception by contextualizing abstract phenomena we experience ordinarily. The project defines our epistemic challenges to ‘know’ as the process of creating engaging media, the ‘thought instruments.’
Strange Companions asks us to experience a new type of robotic companion with unexpected and idiosyncratic behaviors. Through a series of visual studies the audience can imagine how such creatures might behave in their living spaces.
Written and performed live, Myriad Accounts positions multiple writers beside one another as they record their surroundings textually in real time. This arrangement and its dynamic publishing mechanism allow readers to experience multifarious linguistic and personal reactions to the real.
Hijackers is a radical response to patterns of interface design that predict user behavior. These mash-ups of hacked web technology and quirky human expressions illuminate our complicity in the digital status quo.
In absentia explores how emergent technologies can assist in the processes of personal grieving. Through scientifically- and technologically-informed design, this speculative project creates new rituals and artifacts to help us remember our deceased and deal with death.
Augmentable, Believable, Improvable and Invisible investigates how social media users craft virtual identities, manage reputations and augment real-world relationships by sharing misleading personal information. The project envisions services that incorporate deception as a fundamental affordance of the social networking experience.
Collaborative Perception researches the affordances of low-cost technologies as tools for participatory storytelling, reconsidering the use of two-dimensional media content. The approach creates a multi-layered authoring space that can be explored with the audience’s imagination and curiosity.
Minding the Gap is an investigation into the ambiguity of data sets, reexamining scientific and technological data. Through exposure, study, and the illustration of gaps, data is transformed from a barometer of reality into a space filled with subjective and imaginative interpretation.
Body 2.0 embraces the day-to-day complexities that are a byproduct of “Ubiquitous Body Computing” and a fully networked world. The project focuses on the unique features, uncommon banalities and possible absurdities of our near future.
A Screen is a Stage is a Set is a Story explores the creation of immersive narratives, distributing a single story across multiple viewing spaces. Drawing on the principles of scenography, this project addresses both physical and digital design in its engagement with the audience.
We define ourselves through the objects we own. Using fire as a catalyst, Object Compression (OBCO) is a service that synthesizes the most valuable aspects of one’s objects, compressing them into a single essential item. The project challenges consumer culture, planned obsolescence and what is worth inheriting.
Listening Instruments is a set of inventions that transform the relationship between people and the noise in their environment. The functional prototypes on display are simultaneously devices that respond to their surroundings and tools for manipulating how a user listens.
The Story Gets Better: Precipitated Experience uses the context of sports to investigate the effects of emerging technologies on relationships among people and spaces. This media-based study inspires speculation about augmented reality, media coverage, and computational environments. Old distinctions begin to collapse.
In a society obsessed with happiness, what kind of genetic, neural, pharmacological and computer technologies may arise to meet people’s increasing desire for happiness? The Happiness Initiative invites people to imagine what it will be like when those technologies enter our daily lives. Will we become happier? What is happiness, after all?
Restless Freetime considers the downtime of electronic objects as an area of investigation for Interaction Design. The project seeks to expose, exaggerate, and shift the master-servant relationship we have with our appliances and household objects.
Participatory Universe is a visual exploration of ideas from the theory of quantum physics and cosmology that examines how the micro reflects the macro in both process and form. Through in-depth visual analysis, the project reveals how human interactions reflect the immense system of the universe.
Through a series of studies and prototypes, Texture, Touch, and Meaning looks at alternatives to a screen-saturated future by proposing the ways in which texture, dynamic materials, and the sense of touch could be used in new forms of communication.
Object 2.0 happens in the near future when the Internet is integrated into everyday objects and spaces. A series of scenarios and physical prototypes suggests new interfaces and demonstrates the world that results: object-generated content, object-oriented social networks, and a coincident ad-hoc network.
Anatomy of Order takes a curatorial approach to conversations, Google searches, newspapers, and common objects. By systematically collecting, re-collecting, ordering, and re-ordering, the project explores the gap between perception and truth in the everyday.
Responsive Causality is an installation of physical objects and digital simulations in which a chain of events moves across these two domains. The project explores how our understanding of movement in architectural space may be reconfigured in a future of digitally-enabled environments.
Web Time approaches the internet as a time-based media performance, provoking us to consider how we locate, capture and consume our experience of the web. The project offers a cosmological understanding of the web in which Tim Berners-Lee plays God and all time is marked from the moment of the web’s inception.
Media For Advocacy asks what does design research have to offer a grassroots non-profit organization? Working with a local dog rescue group, Chan used multiple media that allowed volunteers to see the organization as a whole and to cultivate creative solutions to the issues that were revealed.
Marginalia: The Hybrid Textbook connects tangible print media to a digital counterpart. Becker’s hybrid physical + digital prototype exploits the potential of the margin as a communication platform that connects readers in real-time and across history.