Transistor Clock

I banded together with a few other designers to create a digital clock mainly made out of transistors. We wanted to expand our skill set and be able to troubleshoot any problems that may come up in installation design. This digital clock is made entirely of transistors, resistors, diodes, and capacitors – no integrated circuits. Through this process, I learned how to solder surface mount boards, read and write a schematic, discrete transistor-diode logic, basic circuit theory, and a mental framework for debugging electrical problems. 

The design is based on this transistor clock project.

Transition: A Residency Project

Transition is a residency project that invites people pressing reset. That could mean moving countries, changing jobs, or making a small, conscious decision to change a habit – it’s a space to collect, re-think, and investigate what it means to start something new.

Our world is changing too fast for the systems built around us, a. With everything in flux, I wanted to create a space and process for people to slow down, process, and re-evaluate. The goal is to build a network of people who can reach out to each other for emotional support through transitional phases in life.

Current Resident

Derek Wong (link to come)

Playable Self

My project, TamagotMe, further distorts the Tamagotchi effect of Artificial ‘Intelligence’ by using natural language processing (NLP), an AI field used to help computers understand human speech, analyze Facebook text and create user personas that then fuel a Tamagotchi personality with remnants of our digital past. In the beginning, I will use my own Facebook posts to develop a prototype, then I will invite users to a workshop that will allow them to upload their social media data to create their unique virtual ‘TamagotMe’. Any public use of participant data will be anonymized or deleted directly after the workshop.

This experiment tests whether virtual pets feel more ‘intelligent’ if they act as we would, and how that affects how tightly we hold onto them. Like Tamagotchi, social media networks like Facebook are designed to engineer a net intimacy amongst users, yet the more we play into virtual intimacy, the more we distance ourselves from tangible reality. Now that we live in the influencer age, I believe these playable forms of critical thought are necessary to incite discussion around the social media driven image of ourselves, and why we give our lives to keep them alive.

Reality Augmented: Investigations into Surveillance Capitalism

Co-developed with Michelle Lai

Pokemon Go has instigated a rare, large scale shift in human mobility patterns that re-emphasizes certain biases in geography, drawing players towards business districts, urban places with relatively few minorities, as well as advantaging players who come from these areas. This reinforces a narrative of control, where spaces reinforce powers held by certain stakeholders. This geography profile also tends to be heavily surveilled through CCTV, and in Singapore, facial recognition and private security officer patrols – a move that targets minorities and migrant workers above anyone else.

These new forms of control have not supplanted the old forms of surveillance, but have made them more refined, more flexible, cheaper, and as a result, more comprehensive. Niantic’s ability to use PokeStops to incentivize transitory migrations within cities shows an increasing economic privatization of once public spaces, with corporations like McDonalds paying up to $900,000 per day for sponsored PokeStops. Just as Google mines our data to sell ads for products we’re socially engineered to want, Pokemon Go mines player movements to silently herd them into businesses where they’re expected to buy something in exchange for the right to be there. This is the physical manifestation of surveillance capitalism.

On the other hand, protestors in Hong Kong are turning to Pokemon Go to spread messages. I’m currently thinking about how location based augmented reality gaming changes urban environments and migrations of different groups of people. I have not decided on how this line of inquiry will manifest.