Month: September 2018

Team Ripped-off by Zoltar Proposal

Design 1: Digital Fortune Teller

Inspired by fortune tellers’ storefronts, the digital fortune teller will reveal a user’s fortune by reading their palm. At the beginning of the experience, user’s will walk up to the window with the curtains drawn and will only be able to see where to place their palm. Once they do, the sensor will pull back the curtains to reveal a neon tracing of a hand which will begin to flash with different colors, similar to a loading wheel, indicating that their reading is in progress. Afterwards, their results are displayed on the hand as different lines light up to show their good fortune in the areas of love, life, career, ect.

palmReader_F1  palmReader_F3  palmReader_F2


Design 2: Manipulate Your Own Funhouse Mirror Reflection

Please excuse the goofy Shutterstock face, but here is one way we re-imagined funhouse mirrors to be a singular mirror that can distort different body parts on command, in real-time. The user will be able to, effectively, manipulate their own reflection. Instead of walking past a series of mirrors, the user experiences a variety of distortions simply by touching one of icons of a part of the body. A series of actuators will be able to push and pull, physically, distorting targeted areas of the mirror. The featured mirror will be surrounded on all sides by others, adding immersion and depth to the experience.



Design 3: tiny screens, BIG picture

The scene is that of a carnival, bright colors, cheerful. A 3’ ferris wheel sits on top of a platform so that the bottom of the ferris wheel is about chest level. The ferris wheel is rotating. On the baskets where people would generally sit are 5” screens(perhaps just cellphones). The ferris wheel is rotating and each screen is showing a different video story. A child licking an ice cream cone, a couple sitting next to each other, someone getting sick.. A large red stop sign is painted on the window. Touching the sign would stop the ferris wheel, and the video on the top would play out a longer story. The couple kisses, the child drops his ice-cream, the person getting sick gets sicker.. The rest of the videos would come to an abrupt, quick end or freeze. Only the top video would play out the story. So, the hook is to stop the ferris wheel on each video to see their outcome.

The screens could be simple graphic LCD displays, or indeed old cellphones. Using cellphones allows for further interactions like all the cellphones taking a picture simultaneously and showing them on their screen.


3 ideas Tong Nick Sam

Idea 1 prints a receipt with the users likeness along with fake news statements from a receipt printer, which feeds directly into a paper shredder, beneath which are several fans blowing the mess around. It looks also like you are looking down at a desk from above.

Idea 2 is like the Reddit Place project, translated to a live public setting. Users can access a portal via their phone every few minutes to add a single pixel to an open space. Over time the canvas will become covered with colors and hopefully images.

Idea 3 is like a slot machine, but turned 90 degrees. The swipe action would be at the bottom of the screen. And as one swipes to the right new slogans appear and then stop on a phrase.

Nick, Tong, and Sam.


Free Guns!

Free guns at Washington Square Park from Nathier Fernandez on Vimeo.


This was a simple project with a slight political tone. The sign read “Free (water) Guns! – No Background Checks!!”. We got 25 squirt guns and lay them on the table with this sign. Seeing adults turn into kids was well worth the effort!

The project had just two parts- the sign and the squirt guns. Perhaps unsurprisingly bothe had issues! The sign kept falling down in the wind and the quirt guns ran out of water. We had to make runs for duct tape and water bottles. So, it was a humbling experience in field trials and being prepared.

4 stars- Will try again.

“Apple” Phone

Double Take in New York

The assignment for the week is to create an interactive “double take” installation in a public space. “Double take” is the key word here.

New Yorkers are not easy to impress. In a city with the most copious collection of modern art, numerous theaters, as well as artists with exceptional flair, you have to really make “something” to attract their attention.


Interpretation of the Topic

How we interpret the keyword “double take” determines the style of our work. We had a debate early on regarding the nature of our installation. Should we make our work an addon to what already exists on the street (garbage bins, street lights, etc.) or we create something uncommon (not usually seen on the street) to create a contrast?

The first option creates a seamless experience for the pedestrians by leaving them to discover the aberration in seemly common things, but there are risks that our installation might be completely ignored. The latter, which gets the attention quickly, wipes away the potential feeling of surprise because it kind of forces people to turn their attention to the installation. After several discussions, we agreed that we should find a balance between the two.

The Mannequin Homeless

The mannequin on the floor attracts our attention quickly for it fits in with our philosophy of  “the uncommon in the common”. We drew several “quick and dirty” sketches and evolved our design around the dummy.

We came up with lots of weird ideas, including letting the dummy hold a lighter, make a high-five gesture, etc, but after a second thought, we found that they were too complicated. People are lazy and they are focusing on phones too much. So we want to make our project follows 2 principles:  

Five-second Rule

Make it easy to understand, make sure our audiences can understand what is the meaning, how it works, why is it here in 5 seconds.

No Pressures!

Punch the ball, light up the heart or pick up the phone, all these interactions are so easy and effortless. Not attract too much public attention or embarrass anyone. We think that’s why people are happy to interact with them.


Locations Matter

In the beginning, we just want to display an everyday thing (a book, an apple or a coffee mug) on the street, but the setting is like how museums display some valuable art pieces. But we put ourselves in the audience’s’ shoes, we feel installation like this makes no sense. Will I see it twice? Yes. But will I interact with it? I don’t think so. We want to make something out of and also under the audience’s’ expectation, make them feel “oh, I got it, that’s funny!”.


$1 Budget

Talked to Ben Light, asked his suggestions. He suggested us go simple. Don’t make our setting too complicated. I personally 100% agree. Simple and effective!

And he told us when they were doing the double take, his partner wanted to keep the budget under $20, so we decided to do the same thing.

Our final budget is $1, the price of the apple.