Week 10

45 × microscope

This is the portable microscope I used to take photos in the class. It’s powerful and very easy to use. When I zoomed in on my iPhone, the magnification can be greater than 45 ×.

The following are the pictures I took. These are all microgreen seeds, which are the experiment materials I am using for my final project. From the lens of the microscope, I can easily see the texture of the surface of the seeds.

Vates Collard

Cutting Celery

Red Kingdom

Final Project Experiment

  1. Sugar
  2. Salt
  3. Cotton Ovals
  4. Distilled Water
  5. Sterile Plastic Petri Dishes (with transfer pipette)
  6. Vates Collard Seeds
  7. Small Containers

Experiment Design

We aim to see how the salinity and osmosis pressure would affect the germination and the growth of the plant.In this experiment, the microgreen will be watered by saline solution and sugar solution with different concentrations from low to high. On the other hand, the control group will be watered by distilled water. Each dish has ten vates collard seeds and correspondent solution and pipette, and the same amount of solution input every day. The salinity tolerance varies hugely from different kind of plants. I end up using 1.5%(mass fraction) as the highest concentration standard and decreasing the concentration from 1.5% to 1.0% and then to 0.5%.

Week 9: Final Project Progress

The difficulties we met from the midterm

Throughout these weeks, we’ve been iterating, reframing, and consolidating our final project idea. Fortunately, we had a phone call with Rob, the CEO of Farm One. We had a lot of feedback regarding our idea and Rob helped us direct to the right way. Originally, we intended to use the flavor to map to user’s emotion, and also use user’s emotion as an input to influence the flavor of the plants. However, according to Rob, it’s very hard to create significant flavor difference in a short period of time. Besides, emotions are subjective and fleeting. Based on these uncertainties, we decide to tweak our idea. In conclusion, we are going to use microgreens as a foundation for our project.

According to the research, microgreens are healthy food sources which can diversify our food system and provide a wide variety of minerals to our body. Besides, we also want to take the advantage of the colorful appearance of different kinds of microgreens. By combing the two features of microgreens, we rephrase our project statement:

“Use healthy food to create pixelation art”

We would like to use this as a gasification process to arise people’s awareness of healthy food.

The Experiment

We won’t be able to develop the whole user flow before the end of this semester. In the final presentation, we will use microgreens as the material to create three different kinds of pixelation art. Afterward, we will harvest them and mix different microgreens in the correspondent art piece, and taste the flavor of different “art pieces”. Even though the preference is subjective, we still want to know which combination is the tastiest one.

The Speculation of the User Flow

In the future, this could be a service which provides users to create their own microgreens pixelation art, grow them, harvest them, and eat them. So we will also design a digital interface which allows users to use the colors from the microgreens we have to make their pixelation art on screen. Afterward, they will receive their art piece and they have to take care of them until harvesting all the microgreens.

Final Concept

(haven’t finished yet, to be continued)



UX Sketches

The first part, the audience sits in a surgery room and the audience can see the mirror which is reflecting the character’s appearance. The purpose of this step is to make users feel the sense of presence and also persuade them they are now the character.

Users would find that their hands are bound with the handle of the bed. They can only move around their head to look around the environment. By doing this constraint, it can create a sense of horror and realize something dramatic is gonna happen in a very near future.

The second part is a doctor enters the surgery room and brings a weird device and gradually approach the user.

The doctor will start to operate the surgery after awhile. The vision of the users will start to get dim and blur until losing their whole vision.

The third part is a transition scene between the disembodiment and the re-embodiment. Users will see different kinds of glow passing, which symbolize the transmitting of data.

I haven’t made up my mind what would the re-embodiment part be like. I have several options. First, transform the consciousness to a device just like the White Christmas in Black Mirror. Second, putting the consciousness into someone’s else mind and observing other’s mind. Third, be transport into a cyborg.

Week 8

I am fascinated with the idea of utilizing cheap and easily accessible materials to create something fairly powerful tools or products. The articles of this week remind me of a project, which also uses local materials and biomimicry to mitigate the problem of water resources and hygiene in Africa.

Warka Tower is a vertical structure designed to collect and harvest potable water from the air, providing an alternative water source for rural populations that face challenges accessing drinkable water. The canopy creates a shaded social space where the community can gather for education and public meetings.”

Beyond the functionality, the architect also researches the local social and cultural context and interpret into his architecture design. Warka tree is a tree with large and thick canopy, which allows people to gather and rest. Warka Tower not only provides people clean and easily accessible water resource but also emulate the social function of  Warka tree. This truly inspires me and reminds me of the importance of considering the social context and the emotional connections of the users.


I continued to use the space I made from the previous “Recreating a Space” assignment as a foundation for my midterm project. Initially, I intended to create a Super Mario version The Truman Show, one of the most famous movies by Jim Carrey. In the movie, Truman was born and raised in a giant, isolated stadium and every moment of his life was captured by countless hidden cameras, and display on the TV show. However, he doesn’t know the truth until he gradually found the clues. For my project, I aimed to create a shorter narrative of this idea even if the fundamental setting is different.

My narrative is simple and straightforward:

Users realized they are in the Super Mario World and they are the game character.
The game shut down, the game objects stop working. Besides, something isn’t supposed to be in the game appears

Users enter the control room of the game

In the first scene, all of the objects are the iconic things from the Super Mario game. users will look at the Bullet Bill and followed the movement. By doing so, this point of interest will draw the attention and guide users to look the whole scene.

The role of the second scene is the connection to the third scene. In the second scene, the game system shut down, and all the object start to obey the physic rules in the real world. Besides, there is a relatively realistic ladder, which is the way to the game control room. Besides, it also aims to trigger the curiosity and gives clues.

In the third scene,  users realize they are in the control room since they see the first game scene from a bird’s eye view on the screen.

When they turn around, they can see the same skybox, which is another clue to let users know they are still in the game but different hierarchy.

Session 4: Recreate a space (Part 2)

(This is the preview on my computer. The movement is not as smooth as the performance on the Oculus VR device)

Last’s week progress
This week, I added some simple behaviors to the objects. I added rotation for the coins and position movement on the bullet to make it closer to the real Super Mario game scene.

In the beginning,  users can see two flying bullets in the sky. They are the first points of interest. Instinctively, users would follow the path of the bullet.

I utilized this movement to attract users attention to the other side of the scene, which allowed users to explore the whole scene. Other than the visual objects, I also incorporate sound into the experience. I used the classic Super Mario theme song with some edition. I used Adobe Audition to add spooky delay sound effect to create a sense of boundless space.


Session 3: Recreating a Space

In this assignment, I used primitive shapes to create this iconic Super Mario game scene. Besides, I also tried to use different textures to and iconic “Super Mario” colors to emulate the atmosphere in the game.



Even though they are primitive shapes, proper combination and manipulation can also make space vivid.

I used to cylinders with different radius and height to create this tube shape.

This giant bullet consists of a cylinder and a capsule shape.

Things that I can keep working on for next week:

I haven’t deeply understood how to manipulate the direction of the texture assets in every dimension in 3D primitive shape. As you can see, the question mark on one side is opposite.


Session 3: Idea Mapping

Last week, we did an interesting and helpful idea mapping exercise which facilitated narrowing down my thoughts. In a nutshell, Alan and I want to gamify the process of planting, cooking, and dining in order to rebuild the connections between nature and ourselves.


Why do we want to gamify?

To quote BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model, it shows that that three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur: MotivationAbility, and Trigger. When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing. In the context of my project, people’s hectic life stop us from connecting to the food we eat and make us have less time to enjoy our meal. In other words, the busy life makes these things “hard to do”. However, I believe we, as human beings, still have the motivations to understand how the food came from. As a result, we have to simplify and gamify the process. For example, we can create something to become an anxiety reliever other than Netflix.

Besides, gamification is the easiest way to convey the message. In one of Jamie Oliver’s videos, he showed the producing procedure of chicken nuggets to allow the kids to understand how does one of their favorite food come from. Although this is not a gamification, I think this visualization also exemplify the importance of transforming invisible facts into digestible and sensible feelings.