Assignment 4 - Data Critique

I did this assignment as a conceptual project.


Data collection becomes a tool for us to know ourselves today. We post blogs, twitters, instagrams. We took hundreds of selfies. We become more forgetful about true memories but remember forever with self-tracking data.  Would we understand ourselves better by going over all of our past post again? Are they representing the real us? Are we modifying our lives and characters by polished words and pictures? Are we who we are on social media?

For these questions, I was thinking about hosting an event or party, asking people wearing a mask generated by their selfies on social media, and let them hangout with friends and strangers.




There are two options to generate the mask after people registered the event and sent their social media account.

1) Choose the selfie which got the most likes, and use a 3D Face Reconstruction tool to make it.

2) Morph all the selfies together as one face, which has more problem about merging different face angles, then use 3D Face Reconstruction tool

Then make the mask with colored 3D printing and give it to the person before the event.



Assignment 3 -Spatial data

For this assignment, I treat it as a chance to learn new tools in class, such as mapbox.


Public surveillance and privacy is a hot topic today, so I was wondering the surveillance camera setting in this big city. Is it covered everywhere? Is it too dense to cause concern?


1. Download data from here into google sheets

2. Translate address to coordinates in google sheets with tutorial from here 

camera sheets.jpeg

3. Visualization and editing in Mapbox


Final outcome



The translation from address to coordinates is definitely inaccurate, which needs to improve by a new solution.

The  visualization choices in Mapbox is very limited.

Data is not verified. (Should we consider the verification of data source when we use it? )

Assignment 2 - Text data

As a group with Manning and Pan, I was in charge with data finding and basic processing.

Idea building

When we talk about text data, we talk about meaning, communication, emotion, and expression. Since all of us are fans of the TV show <Friends>, we thought about using the scripts of this show as our data source. We were thinking about different kinds of data visualization of this script, such as places they went to in NY, relationship or intimacy between these six characters according to time, and personal characteristic analyzing from each one's words choosing. But finally we decided to try something different from visualization, vocalization.

Then we had this conversation about creature communication with each other without words, like bird. So what is going to be like when we have no text and talk like a bird in a super abstract way, can we express ourselves very well? Can we sense the emotion from each other?

Finally we settled down our idea about "script vocalization in a abstract way".

For this assignment I really want to treat it as a chance to learn node.js with this sentiment library . I failed before our presentation, so I did data processing in Excel, again, for my team. After that I spent more time on it and figure it out as below.


1. Data collection

I kept this 10 seasons <Friends> script for a long time. It's a large quantity of data, so we choose on episode, episode 10 in season 7, as our data source.

2. Basic data analyzing

1) clean up raw data


2) analyse sentences' sentiment in Node.js and export result to team member so that they can play music based on character name and sentiment scores in p5.js.

var sentiment = require(‘sentiment’);
var fs = require(‘fs’);
var path = require(‘path’);

var filePathRead = path.join(__dirname, ‘friends.txt’);
var filePathWrite = path.join(__dirname, ‘friends-out.txt’);

var readStream = fs.createReadStream(filePathRead, ‘utf8’);
var writeStream = fs.createWriteStream(filePathWrite,’utf8’);

//read file and split it to myData[][]
readStream.on(‘data’, function (chunk) {
var myData = new Array();
var data = chunk.toString().split(‘\r’);
for (var i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {
//console.log(“data[“+i+”]:” + data[i]+”\r\n”);
myData[i] = new Array();
myData[i] = data[i].split(“:”);
//console.log(myData[i][0]); //all the [][0] is the name of scentence speaker
// for(var j = 0;j// console.log(“myData[“+i+”][“+j+”]:”+myData[i][j]+”\r\n”);
// }

readStream.on(‘end’, function(){
//console.log(“length of myData:”+myData.length);

function getSentiment(data){
for(var i = 0; i for(var j = 1;j data[i][j]=sentiment(data[i][j]).score;


In this project, I went through the whole Node.js basic tutorial which is super helpful for my future skill set.

Idea No.1 and Prototype

After 2 times of group meeting, we have this idea about a beating heart.


In order to make sure the fabrication part is totally workable, I made a heart sculpture and wired it to simulate the real workflow.


After that I made a box to represent the true ratio of our window, and putted the heart inside with light to see the effect and assembling process.


These are references and design mood board below.

Assignment 1 - Data Self-Portrait

Final piece:


I feel interesting that someone says "you might present yourself as someone else on anonymous social networks". That makes me curious about how I look like on internet. So I made this self-portrait according to 7 years' data from my most used social network website, Weibo, which is a Chinese version of twitter. Each row is one month and each dot is one day. The different shapes of dots represent different number of my posts on that day. This is the evidence of my existence on this digital public. It show's how I appeared on and gradually disappeared from this web public.




Home page of my Weibo

1. Data collection

The website only allow me to download some useless data, so I found a crawling tool called gooseeker, which can automatically grab specific informations on webpages. Then I got all my 1894 posts in 7 years as a .xml file.

2. Data screening and rough analysing

The raw data has so many information, but I only need is the time I posted. I separated the"year-month-date time" column with function "text to column", counted posts based on dates by function "subtotal", then inserted zero-post dates to the timeline using formula "=IF(ISERR(VLOOKUP(F2,B:C,2,)),"0",VLOOKUP(F2,B:C,2,))", finally I got the "date to post number" set, and a rough graphic analyzation to get better understand of this data set.

Raw Data

Raw Data

Final data set with rough graphic analyse

Final data set with rough graphic analyse

3. Translate number to image

I manually separated every month as a column and replaced the number to different symbols, so that I can get a image by screen capture.


4. Image processing in Photoshop/Text editing in Illustrator


Final project proposal - pandora elevator

The space inside elevator is interesting because it's a closed little box living in a totally dark tunnel. The door is the only connector between this box and real word. The light inside the box is the only light source of this box world. What if we add some different light effects

1) to different destinations, like drama light for drama floor, and cyber light for ITP floor;

2) in different day or time, such as cool color in hot day, or warm color at night;

3) and music, like go disco when there's no one talk but lots of riders :P

would it be more like a magic pandora box that transport people to magic places? Would it be interesting?

This idea came from these two amazingly fun videos!

Final - System design

For future indoor farming, we should not make a pot or a container, we make a connector which can combine our resources and our food.

I've already got all the materials and working on BlueTooth/Wifi/Web connection.

Week 07 - Materiality / Material Culture

I really like the idea that when you change the organization of one material, it will change the strength or character of it.


So I made some material by re-organizing bath tower, which is flushable, and try to have something both firm and easy to toss away


Week 06 - Social Design

I remember in the energy class we were talking about the air pollution in Beijing, and Despina asked about the design of the mask. Then I keep thinking about it, and feel like want to do something about it.


When the mask become their daily life, people lose their facial expressions. We can not feel the emotion of each other and can not express ourselves very well. Even we have some mask products they print image on it and feel like fun, but they are fixed patten and never change in a whole day. Then I have this idea that what if we put a screen on the mask and connect it to smart phone we addicted every moment (however I don't know how to achieve that). We change the image on the mask whenever we want to express ourselves, which will make the air pollution world less like a zombie world.

24h Light - Parallel City

This idea came from that we always can see the window light of someone in the far away building and feel their life from just that little window light, but we never see ourselves'. And also I have the wish that I can feel closer to my parent even I'm getting up in the morning in US and they are going to sleep in the evening in China. So If I can have a image that I can see their world and the light from their window, it may feel closer to them.

I tried to record a real 24 hours documentation bellow, but the video quality is so bad that we can't see any color of it.

So I made a fast forward one with a good camera (which can not do 24 hours video). It is way much better even it still lose some color effects.

Because of my bad time arrangement of this project, I made it 24 hours using delay, and the small window is lighting up and turn off by a fixed setting, which is not a smart way. 

However, what I really want to do is get the sunrise and sunset time of one country from web and calculate the time lapse of that. And the small window light is changing according to a real room, your own or some one you love in a specific country. 

I tried to use a light sensor to sense my room, but it's not accurate and sensitive as expected. the small window light will turn off anyway even I just turn off my floor lamp but have my desk lamp light. I also tried to use a camera to catch the light strength of my room and send it to Arduino, but the camera will adjust the focusing and light balance automatically, which will made the light level inaccurate, too.

There is another problem that I haven't work out is, I try to use a camera on raspberry Pi and transit the data to a web server, then make the Arduino on the lamp to get the data from the server wirelessly. Maybe I should do this one as a final project and solve all the problems.

Project schedule

03.22    define the problems of existing products (why people don't want them)

03.25    lighting/watering control test

03.28    farming data collection/ product design/ material research

04.01    prototype building

04.05  plants test and data collection

04.20  finalize design

05.01    final presentation preparation/documentation

05.03    final presentation








Midterm scene and final project storyboard

After I made the 3D model, I applied the animation on it and putted it into my scene.

Honestly I didn't spend too much time on this one, and I was focusing on figuring out a better story for our final project.

Then I drew this storyboard about "inappropriate love", that a little girl gets a plant, which is the user of VR headset, from her Mom, takes good care of it, hopes it will flower next spring. However, she loves it too much, waters it too much, keeps it too warm. The plant gradually died, and the little girl gets a new nice flower anyway. I hope people think about their ways of "love" after it.

It includes one character and several scenes of seasons and bedroom, can be experienced with water, heat, vibration, wind and smell . But I'm not sure it is too complicate or not.

Week 05 - Energy and Sustainability

What is “energy”? Create a piece that communicates your relationship to energy

The relationship between human and energy mainly composed by food. I'm thinking about translate those energy generated by our daily life to food we need everyday. Then there is an idea of home farms.

Keep a log of all your “waste” and propose alternatives to your consumption/waste patterns

I care about waste problem for a long time, so I have already been used to collect and give some wastes alternative usage situation, especially after I came to ITP, where I need a lots of different materials for prototypes. I saved all the good paper or plastic package boxes and bags to reuse them, yogurt and ice cream jars, and cosmetic bottles to use as future containers. My roommates and I also collect all the market plastic bags as a reusable trash can bags, so that we don't need to buy more and waste more.

However, there is still a huge amount of other waste, most of them are food packages, food wastes and paper towers. We three girls throw away more than 5 bags of garbages per week. I have no idea how to give these waste an alternative use, or reduce the amount ... 

Week07 - lamp for night-owl phone addict

The original idea of my lamp is playing with shadow. How ever, I failed to create a satisfied clear shadow when I was using a AC 15w led corn bulb. Maybe it's too bright... Then I had this alternative idea of a lamp for people who can't help playing his phone for a long time before sleep. At that moment, normal lamp is too bright to have a sleepy mood, and no light is too dark to protect eyes from screen. So I made this lamp.

I made this by cutting an led strip and re-soldering them as a matrix, and using 5mm fiber optic to hide the light source but create enough soft brightness in 3D dimension.

Because it has a quite bright top creating by fiber optic end, I also want to make this as a clock by changing the light up part and color. I planed to make it 12x12 which is more reasonable as a clock, but I don't have enough led and the fiber, so...

But since it changes brightness and color based on time of a day, maybe I should do the clock part for the next assignment.