Technology: enhancing self-awareness

Ettore Sottsass who was an Italian architect and designer. From his work of The Planet as Festival…, he said, “come to know by means of their bodies, their psyche, and their sex, that they are living.” because of the background of hyper consumerism in 1970s. Meanwhile, Ettore may wanted to criticize the attitude on the definition of products at that moment because of those non-functional purposes of the goods. In addition, in the later part of 20th century, human society was going into technology age. According to his idea, once consciousness of human society has been reawakened, technology could be used to enhance self-awareness, and life would be in harmony with nature rather than living in the circumstance of materialism. 

So how about if the consciousness of human being’s instinct has been reawakened?

Ettore Sottsass, The Planet as Festival: Gigantic Work, Panoramic Road with View on the Irrawaddy River and the Jungle, project. Aerial perspective, 1973. Digital image © 2013 The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence.

Ettore Sottsass, The Planet as Festival: Gigantic Work, Panoramic Road with View on the Irrawaddy River and the Jungle, project. Aerial perspective, 1973. Digital image © 2013 The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence.


Reflection – Research Procedures / Methodology

Social research and social science perspective:

Specially during the period of MA degree, the process of research is the basic and most important step for preparing project. Or the project would be unconvincing and no meaningful.

Social science methodology is the process of systematic collecting, analyzing and summarizing, which is research and based on social science perspective.

From my perspective, before starting a project, to find the problem or phenomenon and demonstrate the value of that, then a clear goal being generated through your mind.

For the next step, digging out the deficiency and the current situation of those objects via reading literatures and documentations.

After that, a clear and specific of research question, variable and hypothesis coming up. Based on above procedures, then referencing various aspects of readings and phenomena from different fields such as anthropology and psychology so that a comprehensive design will be come true gradually.

The key is the iterative process of research to the research questions, methods, and materials, which would leads to new ideas, revisions and improvements.

What I wanna talk about is the independent cognition of everyone in social science:

A common understanding from social science aspect is a main body of knowledge that has been collected extensively, classified, analyzed and interpreted. At the same time, the importance of objectivity is an important role in social science as well.

As an individual, everybody may acquire various perspectives on a certain object based on their own experience, education background and so on.

From different areas such as anthropology, archaeology, sociology and psychology, the scholars have their own unique opinion based on their understanding of a specific field. One thing is certain that there is a correlation of knowledge and social values via large number statistical surveys. But by the 20th Century the various social sciences developed their own theoretical perspectives replacing the mathematical analysis. (Shilujas.M, Methodology & Perspectives of Social Sciences, History of Social Sciences, p14) As a result, a certain realm of theory has been developed into a intensive branch which emphasized the development of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches.

As researchers referencing a plenty of theories via various documents and literatures, rigorous interrogation of empirical evidence should be justified. Empirical evaluation is an important part of doing research based on social science perspective. (Daniel L, 1995, Anthropology Newsletter, Objectivity, Truth, and Method, A Philosopher’s Perspective on the Social Sciences)


Group Proposal – Research Procedures / Methodology

Social science perspective is one of characteristics of existing methodologies. The page of research procedures / methodology is showed in Research Procedures / Methodology for Artists & Designers which is written by Carole Gray and Julian Malins that saying social science methodology actually comes from Newtonian Science Methodology and Quantum Science Methodology. Meanwhile, social science perspective is also the synthesis of above two methodologies. There are different aspects of knowledge such as cultural, educational, behavioural and empirical that would be used in social science perspective and even that providing a multifarious guidance for researchers.

The term of bio-hacking is mentioned in the assigned brief, so what is bio-hacking?

Our group started with the term of Bio-hacing and we are trying to link different aspects to this term. So we can say that we were discussing how to use correlations of various fields in social science perspective.

At the beginning of human beings, they attributed the world they living in and lots of phenomena to spirits and supernatural things. However today, our natural world is studied by the scientists, philosophers, biologists and so on. (Methodology & Perspectives of Social Sciences,Smt. Shilujas.M, p4)

In methodology, doing research just like doing a biological experiment. Biologist would do a plenty of experiments from various ways even they put those research experimental outcomes as objects so that they can precisely acquire an answer what they want to figure out. So the same as methodology, combining versatile knowledge from other areas such as cultural, educational and behavioural to get a comprehensive result.

Overall, for students, researchers or even teachers, to get a well-founded outcome via an multidisciplinary approach through social science perspective is a way to synthesize multiple disciplinary perspectives and try to redefine problems and then get a new perspective or understanding of complex situations.


Kandarya – Mahadeva By Jana Želibská

There is an exhibition called The World Goes Pop is on Tate Modern recently. One of Jana Želibská’s artworks that I personally think is also related to the form of interaction and unconscious which might be a reference for VA project and HCD report.

This link is the video about some parts of her artworks in Tate (Because no photos in exhibition room).

In a certain way, for this column, audiences need to keep changing the their position so that are able to see different angle of genitals mirrors. At the same time, people’s original instincts that are restricted under the social morality, law, religion and so on might be reflected in front of yourself instantly and showing a part of unconscious of yourself to the public as well.


Jana Želibská.

Having trained as a graphic designer and illustrator in Bratislava, in the late 1960s she began to create immersive environments featuring fragmented female bodies, using non-art materials such as mirrors, fabric, neon and plastics. Often these invited some form of interaction, staging intimate encounters with bodily imagery and allowing viewers to engage with the tactile qualities of the work.

Kandarya – Mahadeva refers to the eponymous temple in India and draws on elements of tantric Hinduism and erotic rituals. Outlined bodies of female dancers surround the viewer, their genitals replaced with mirrors, sabotaging any attempted voyeurism. Želibská originally intended this work to be shown on the street, but it was deemed too explicit.

HCD Essay – Research – Unconscious and Subconscious

Based on Sigmund Freud

What is unconsciousness?

— It is dynamic and always trying to get rid of the restrictions and into the layer of conscious that are not allowed to do under the controls of social morality, religion, law and so on which are also including various instincts of animals.



What is the difference between ‘unconscious’ and ‘subconscious’?
— Freud was extremely sensitive to ambiguity, both as a clinician and a theorist. He rejected the word ‘subconscious’ because he thought it could lead to misunderstandings:
  • First of all, ‘subconscious’ could be understood literally as ‘beneath consciousness’: a layer that just sits fairly dormant at the bottom of the mind, doing its own thing, with consciousness happening up above. As such, it overlooks one of the essential characteristics of the unconscious: that it isactive, constantly interfering with consciousness and being kept back by defensive efforts.
  • A second literal reading of the word ‘subconscious’ gives us a second consciousness underneath the main one, like a little person inside our heads. This reading preserves the idea of conflict, but it leaves us with a kind of ‘split personality’: two consciousnesses jostling for control of the same person, a notion that Freud firmly rejected.

Freud preferred the term ‘unconscious’ because it ruled out both of these potential misunderstandings.


Design Culture Salon – Is Designing for Behaviour Change ‘Creepy’ ?

The name of today’s salon in V&A Museum is: Is designing for behaviour change ‘creepy’?

Honestly, I am not quite understand what the lecturers talked and how to explain creepy from a their talking today. But there are several points which might be related to my HCD essay. The first one is the relationship between motives and techniques of designing and human behaviour changes. The second one is how technology changing human behaviour. The third one is people’s behaviour in company. Those are what I got from this talk, but I am not sure…

I wanna thinking is it necessary that trying to change people’s behaviour potentially? I mean in a subconscious or unconscious way rather than telling people how to change. Personally, I think it would be more meaningful.


Ref: Rain Room by Random International

Rain Room is a huge interactive art installation which is made by Random International and I went to for this Rain Room in Shanghai this summer. It is an absolutely poetic space that participants will completely immerse in it. People can thinking, enjoying and experiencing when they are walking in the rain but they will not get wet in the rain. Also, people can interact with the rain (there is a sensor can detect the position of people so that they will not get wet in the rain). Personally, this is a way to sense the beauty of this rhythm of life. 

At the same time, this installment is a kind of physical interaction.  There is a conversation between participants and rain. Just like that everything will be awaked by rain.

In the other hand, the form and the existence of this rain room and because of it makes space full of imagination.

Physical Interaction, (Michelle Chandra)

<A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design>, (Bret Victor) He defines physical interaction in opposition to this video (produced by Microsoft) that envisions a future in which perfect happy people living in sterile environments (a la Ikea) passively swipe screens to interact with each other. Throughout the video, every need and desire is met in a homogenized manner – apparently, things don’t go wrong, and chaos does not exist. (, Michelle Chandra)

<The Art of Interactive Design>, (Chris Crawford) He defines interaction as a conversation with two actors who “listen, think and speak.” Physical interaction involves a give and take, and is not simply a reaction (for example, a viewer watching a movie) or participation (a couple dancing). (, Michelle Chandra)