Project 4 – The Gathering: strength in numbers

This 4 week project is to branch out and look at what happens when actionable matter meets aggregations of people. Students work in groups of three and two to design a novel interactive experience that depends, in some pivotal way, upon the social and technological collective. The goal of this project is for you all to demonstrate your faculty for unearthing new possibilities for how we humans and our technologies might interact in the future.  Full Project Brief


Student Presentations:

Circus of Curiosity

Designers: Li songCylia(Yichun) Wang, Divyasree Chembrolu

Archetype: Growth

Context: Bionic beings who are part-human, part-machine may sound like a concept that still belongs in science fiction stories. But experts say that cyborgs are already walking among us, and have been around for quite some time.

Product: Circus of Curiosity, a market showing cybernetic organism technology for human beings. Such as Robotic Knee Cap that can read neuro signals and  move limbs for the paralyzed. 3D bacteria printer for 3D skin printing to fix skin injury. Future Ear is a set of biotic ears that can improve human’s hearing ability.



The Dumpling School

Designers: Beizi (Ricky) Zhang, Jessica (Jieyu) Yang, Joyce Lu

Archetype: Constraint

Context: About 3% of the world population, live outside their country of origin today, and the number is continuing to rise. As more people move to either settle permanently or work temporarily away from home, they bring with them some parts of their culture, leading to an increasingly unified world culture that consists of adapted cultural trends. Meanwhile, traditional skills and crafts, including cooking, are dying as people spend more time and place more emphasis on work.

We live in paradoxical times, of a cross-cultural dilemma, we may speak the same language, but do we really understand each other? We interpret subjectively, we jump to conclusions, we look at the world through eyes and lenses that’s designed to correct our vision, and not the other person’s, we stereotype.

Product: The Dumpling School is a social enterprise that partners with high schools to run week-long workshops to educate and develop cultural intelligence in high school students. Equipped with gloves that would track and help guide hand gestures when making dumplings, students learn to make dumplings in a fun and engaging way, while appreciating the differences and similarities across cultures.

At the Dumpling School, students learn to make Dumplings of world. It brings back face to face, hands on learning experience to counter balance online existences. It inspires more active and shared learning possibilities for connections and exchange.


Bubble Protest

Designers: Gabbie Zhong, Ji Won Yeom, Lei Xiang

Archetype: Constraint

Context: 5 years from now, During Donald Trump’s second presidency, a lot of people realize that the United States government doesn’t care about people’s voice anymore. Most of states are processing forbidden violent demonstration law. Our company’s objective is providing a safe place for brave citizens, who will attempt to take a stand speak out their opinions with anonymity. Our online services will get more people into those topics. They can vote with the Pro and Con opinions. Our visual data analysis charts show the results with completely transparency during the event. All participants’ information are protecting by our company.  

Product: Bubble suit protest event.

Bubble suit: Bubble ball is the inflatable body suit that the participants wear in order to play an interactive protests. People can bounce, roll, and flip without limitations. Users can strap on the suit  just like wearing back pack except that it’s surround you and ‘bump’ into each other, much like a football game. This suit can protect users get hurt during the protest, also it can cover everyone’s identity.

How to protest: First the user will register online. The website will contain the issue for which the participants will be protesting. During the registration, they will be able to choose between two types of groups: a regular voter and participant. Voter registration is free, however participants will have to pay a fee to enter the event. They will enter their credit card information, but will not get charged right away. They will first have to the background check. Furthermore, voters are subject to a background check as well.

Once the participant passes the background check, he / she will receive an email telling them that. They will then be able to login to their account, and choose which political side they support, and whether they want to be in the debate or just a supporter. An invitation with the protest location will then be sent to the user’s home address and the credit card will be charged.

Once at the event, the participant will have to get through the security check. While there, they will have to collect their belongings and put them in the locker. The debaters will have a number by which they will get called to come up to the stage. Each person on the stage will have 1 minute to debate a certain topic. In other words, each debate will be 2 minutes since two people will be arguing it out.

The protest area will be divided into three sections: the first section is just a common area, where people can simply hang around, chat and maybe tackle each other; the second section is the winners’ section; the winner of each debate will come here and celebrate with all the other winners. The final section is the stage area where the participants will watch the two debaters from each side debating.
The way the winner gets to be decided is by a vote. All the registered voters will be able to watch the debate through the live feed on the website. Once a debate is over, they will be able to vote for their choice. They will be given 1 minute after the debate to cast their vote. Once done, the winner will head to the winner’s section, which is section 2, the loser will head to the waiting section,  which is section one and another debate will begin.


Tak Tak


Designer:  Raquel Kalil and Zhengnan Zhao

Archetype:  Growth

Context:  With the rise of augmented reality technology, there is an opportunity to explore new surfaces for layering content. What would happen if we layered our data today oral conversations with additive expressions? In 2030, Tak Tak takes the role of exploring the social and technological implications of subverting our internal meanings onto visible surfaces over our bodies.

Product: Tak Tak is a conversational interface that listens to your conversation and augments expressions to emphasize, exaggerate, express meaning. By augmenting additional expressions to the peripheral of the conversation, people can emphasize points of the conversation and express themselves.

Each Tak Tak integrates AI technology and machine learning in order to listen, interpret and react to parts of the conversation. Tak Tak gathers its user’s conversational data to learn and adapt its modes of expression. Using woven-emotional sensor technology, Tak Tak projects animations for the listener to see and interpret the speaker’s intended meaning.  Tak Tak begins as a visualization of users tone of voice. With machine learning and branding, Tak Tak can evolve its expressions and meaning-making over time.



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