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# Interactive Projects

All Colors are
in the Lights

Extracting and Overlaying Urban Images for Interactive Spatiality
Tien Ling/ Ling Lee/ I-Jon Hsieh
Professional Project / Group
Fall 2019
Taichung City, Taiwan
National Taichung Theater: IMAGE Theater

Urban images have been prevailing and even ubiquitous these days. We see representations of cities in digital maps, movies or games, and we often participate in creating urban imageries by posting traveling logs in social media, uploading panorama shots or creating computer game MUDs based on real life locations. However, in terms of actual interaction instead of visual or virtual participation, it is much more difficult to create public engagement in any built urban environment. The more designers and architects put effort into applying complicated algorithms and mechanisms to interactive items, the more it shows that the majority of our surroundings, by its default status, do not interact with people at all.

All Colors Are In The Lights (ACAITL) is an installation that animates the environment via arrangements of images and projections. Without complicated sensing techniques or movable mechanisms, an intuitive light and shadow show with everyday street view images creates an instantly relatable urban experience to the audience. A playful and responsive engagement between an enclosed interior and an open urban spatial environment is presented in a way that invites maximum public participation, whether to interact with the imagery, the projections, or the interior space, individually as well as collectively.

(Color) Coding the Environment

In the seminal book “Image of the City”, Lynch argues that the understanding of cities are formed by our perceptions. From a cognitive psychological point of view, the “imaging” of cities is a form of cognitive mapping: Because of the limitation of cognitive capacity, our brains naturally filter secondary information or background noises to cope with overwhelming information. The imagery in ACAITL represents the selective mechanism in terms of perceiving and conceiving urban spatial information through a three- step procedure— “Documentation”, “Coding”, and “Projection”.

Documenting

In this phase, we photograph the city with a 360-degree video camera to get comprehensive panoramic shots while moving along the boulevard. The images sampled from the video serves as the foundation to reconstruct the urban experience

Coding

Photographic representations of the city are reproduced into a series of color-coded images. Environmental objects are categorized, grouped and layered before colorized in a four- color printing manner, except for that we are painting here with color lights, taking advantage of a RGB color model for its additive nature. A rather complicated coding pattern is established to carefully assign contrasting colors to different groups of visual elements, in order to create overlapping addition of lights. A car would be projected in red and yellow from one projector, as well as cyan and blue from another. If one is to move in front of the two projectors, the car would be seen as white first (no shadow), and then either red or blue (alternative shadows), depending on the relative locations of the viewer blocking the lights.

Projecting

In the final presentation, multiple projectors are arranged to overlay the color-coded images together to reconstruct the original view of the city. We use the additive model to sum up the primary and secondary colors into white, creating light grey silhouettes that vaguely hints at an urban landscape underneath. This layered visuals await for involvement from participants. When one step in front of one of the projections, the shadow of the person, instead of appearing black for lack of light, unexpectedly reveals the highly contrasted shapes of saturated colors coming from the directions of other projectors. In a sense, this is a “decoding” process, highlighting some of the layers of urban information by blocking the light that “conceals” the colors. Every time someone interacts with the projections by intuitively playing with the shadows, the representation of the city also transforms. Each action, and the visual reaction, is unique.

The Sound

ACAITL applies ambisonic technology to create an audio environment that also contributes to the immersive spatial experience. While the visual images work as stop-frame slideshow animation (each frame lasting 4 seconds), the audio is played back in real time, creating an instantly recognizable urban backbeat. It brings a dynamic sensation of spatiality and excitement, as if witnessing a head-on vehicle passing through from the front to the rear. Urban ambient sounds are recorded using an all-directional microphone, and then mixed with electronic beats and noises. Recognizable patterns and site-specific sounds are carefully mixed to juxtapose with the visuals of city landmarks. The final audio work is played through six channels to create a surrounding audio environment to enhance the movement of the visual as well as the flowingnsensation in the space.

Tree Shadow Lamp

Meditation Roly-poly Lamp
Academic Project / Individual
Spring 2022
New York, United States

Tree Shadow Lamp is a roly-poly table lamp for meditation. It is inspired by the soothing nature of tree shadows. The lamp connects with a p5 sketch projected in the space. When people gently sway the lamp, the internal accelerometer will generate data for the p5 sketch to trigger the animation and sound.

There are three LED bulbs in the lamp. Each bulb connects to the Arduino 33 IoT build-in gyroscope’s X, Y, and Z values, respectively. The three shadow videos and the sound of leaves rustling in the P5 sketch are also linked to the gyroscope data; when the gyroscope detects axial motion, the opacity of the videos and the volume of sound increase. Likewise, while the movement stops, the opacity and volume decline.

Finger Spray

Digital Painting Tool for Art Therapy
Academic Project / Individual
Winter 2021
New York, United States

Finger Spray is a painting tool based on an art therapy framework - Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC). The ETC is a hierarchical, continuous model that classifies the interaction between humans and the creative medium by information processing. This project focuses on the Kinesthetics/Sensory and the Perceptual/ Affective levels of the ETC framework.

Participants will wear a special glove on their dominant hand to paint on the virtual canvas by clicking the thumb with the index finger. Inside the middle finger of the glove is a forcing sensor that controls the radius of the spray. The tighter the fist grasped, the smaller the spray range. A color palette and a color picker are in front of the canvas. People move the color picker to take the color for the spray.

Except for the canvas, an auto-generated report behind the scene will analyze the creative process by assessing the composition of the color, the proportion of the blank space on the canvas, the color choice by time, how long you have held tightly, and how tight, etc. Then, while participants finish their drawing and press the "done" button, The report will show on the screen.

Zooba Battle

Playful Communication for Serious Research
Qiongting Zhang/ I-Jon Hsieh/ Jinny Kang/ Stephanie Chen
Academic Project / Group
Spring 2022
New York, United States

Zooba is a competitive and educational 2 player rhythm game that is based on studies and hypotheses of the link between vocal learning and vocal entrainment (dance) in various species.

You are given a selection of animals to choose from based on 6 categories: speed, vocal, power, auditory, beauty, and vision—with the prompt: “be the next dance champion”. Each animal will activate its own unique game pattern and all animals are ranked based on quantitative datasets from 0 to 5, with 5 being best, and 0 being worst.

The game includes 2 distinct stages within a song: Stage 1, both players are given the same rhythm game (beats) that are created to match the rhythm of the song perfectly. Stage 2, based on which animal a player chose, beats are presented based on how animals would dance to a rhythm. By playing the rhythm game as if being the animal, players can sense and experience how the selected animal perceives and reacts to rhythm and beats.

Lab

Interactive Tools Practice
P5.js
Summer 2020 - Now
TouchDesigner
Winter 2020 - Now

# Architecture

OnOnNature

Famwood Flagship Store and Restaurant
Studiobase Architects
Professional Project / Individual
Project Manager
2014-2018
Taichung City, Taiwan
Mixed-use Store

This project can be divided to two parts - main building and outdoor exhibit area. The main building combines three functions; a restaurant, guesthouse and office. Likewise, the outdoor area is organized to display "Mobile Tiny House", the main product of Famwood.

The site is located alongside a well-known tourist bicycle path in Taichung city. In order to attract rapidly passing tourists, the facade of the main building is extended by wooden structure. Meanwhile, the wooden columns constitute a fence of the site. The restaurant is the only part opened to the public. It has been lifted up to the second floor. Then customers in the restaurant can have great view of the bicycle path.

The Nest

Shelter School - Re School 2018 Architecture Competition
Ling Lee/ I-Jon Hsieh
Professional Project / Group
Competition (Second Place)
Summer 2014

Earthquakes, typhoons and volcanoes constantly ravage coastal regions around the globe. Countless schools take the brunt of this destructive force, but simultaneously act as emergency operation centers and shelters after the disaster. Unfortunately, the collapse of this infrastructure hinders relief operations. In response to this potentially dire situation, we’ve developed a new system which can be quickly constructed with on-hand materials and readily transported to damaged environments.

Often the stricken area is inaccessible by vehicles, so aid organizations airdrop relief supplies by helicopter. Our design incorporates the containers and other transportation materials (sack bags, canvas, and mesh) as components of the construction.

The building is divided into three parts: first-floor load bearing walls, a second floor made of mesh, and a roof. The first floor utilizes two forms of wall: one constituted by bags filled with readily available mud, rubble or debris, the other composed of used bottles. These walls not only form space on the ground floor but are also erected to act as the structure supporting the mesh layer. Due to the unpredictability of aftershocks, the building design foregoes a heavy roof. Instead, the roof is made from the original canvas used to package emergency supplies.

RehaBamboo

Bamboo Habitat Rehab Institution
Thesis Advisor: Tien Ling
Academic Project / Individual
2012-2013
Taipei City, Taiwan
Drug Rehab Center

RehaBAMBOO is an institution which provides a healing process for people who are struggling with drug abuse. It incorporates three different timelines into one project.

It starts with the medical and legal support of rehab patients, consisting of one week of intense medical watch, followed by six months of withdrawal care, and finally another six month program of security and recovering. The second timeline describes the life cycle of bamboo. In Taiwan, bamboo could take three years to grow into viable building material, and various preservation treatments take varying amounts of time. Lastly, a construction timeline is designed to integrate the former two phases, aligning the rehab treatment procedure with the cycle of nature.

Since studies have shown that the usual one-year rehab period is insufficient for a lasting withdrawal from material abuse, RehaBAMBOO proposes a three-year optional program for the rehab clients to self-build their temporal living units using bamboo.

The training and building process happens during their first six months of residence, in a controlled workshop environment. The self-built houses become the clients’ living quarters for the remaining time of their stay under minimal security care, while they gradually adapt themselves back to society. The three-year stay coincides with the natural decay of bamboo material (without intensive chemical preservation treatment). At the end of the rehab program, the bamboo houses would collapse and be destroyed to mark the clients completion of this difficult and life-changing phase.

RehaBAMBOO utilizes an existing 6-acre vacant site - a former military prison. About 20% of the site area is devoted to a medical and educational complex that provides ministration, care and training. Self-built houses compose about 40% of the site as a rehab village, while the rest of the area is devoted to the planting of the bamboo. The life and production of bamboo is studied and quantified as a parameter to organize the campus landscape: the planning area provides enough material for 300 living units to be build within a period of threes years. Water pools are also strategically designed and placed for preservation treatment and leisure.

With new bamboos planted continuously, and mature plants taken down as building material, RehaBAMBOO forms a self-sustainable building, landscape and construction cycle.

References
  • Goffman, E. (1961). Asylums: Essays on the social situation of mental patient and other inmates. New York: Anchor Books.
  • Hawkins, J. (n.d.). Social networks: Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model (sympathy group & full active network). Retrieved from: http://goodmedicine.org.uk/node/1210

# Papers

DISSERTATION

Expressive Therapy in the Digital Era: A Pilot Study Analysing teamLab Collections
No one can deny that new technology has penetrated society and influenced human behaviour. The digital medium promises to be an important tool in the psychotherapy domain. This study aims to evaluate the feasibility of the digital medium as a basis for expressive therapeutic tools and provide possible advice for mental health professionals. This paper discusses the topic by analysing and comparing expressive therapy and a few digital art works by a world-renowned digital art company, teamLab. It first introduces pertinent background knowledge, followed by five relevant case studies. The last section will explore potential directions for future researchers and practitioners....

TERM ESSAYS

Applying Popular Culture in Creative Activities for Young People
Both art educators and art therapists have reported the challenge of capturing adolescents’ interest in art sessions. When children get older, they seem to lose their passion for creating (Toku, 2001). However, is this true? Do young people really stop creating or they simply dislike the formal art sessions provided by organisations?...
Fostering a Healing and Creativity Environment
Supporting a group of teens who had been excluded from mainstream schools revealed how influential the environmentcould be and forced me to wonder what sort of space could have a positive effect on young people. What and how do environmental elements influence students’ creativity and wellbeing?...
Prevalence of Type II Bipolar among Young People
A simple search for “the most common misdiagnosed mental disorders” on the internet places bipolar related disordershigh on the list. This prevalence is not only because the highly overlapping conditions between bipolar and other psychiatric disorders (Strakowski et al., 2011) but also because the symptoms per se could be sometimes viewed as simply being a human (Frances, 2013)....