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.


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.



Nicolas is talking about personae with us today. Basically that is about the needs of users, which is trying to figure out the final goal what users want. As an interaction designer, understanding users’ desire, need, motivation and context is the responsibility for a designer. “Personas provide us with a precise way of thinking and communicating about how users behave, how they think, what they wish to accomplish, and why.”(Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, 2007). Therefore, specially focusing on a special group of people can achieve an accurate data to analyze the needs of users so that designers can design a product which can reflect the real function for users .

As a result, Nicolas sets a small task for us which is to design a water fountain. Nana, Yifei Lv and me are assuming the water fountain is for workers when they are waiting for the tubes. Basically sometimes, it will be very hot when you waiting for the tube. And sometimes, workers may feel stressful after work. And sometimes, workers may feel blur when they are ready for work. Thus, we got an idea that the water fountain could provide different types of drinks for workers such as water, coffee, tea, wine. Water is free for them, the rest of drinks may charge fees by using oyster cards. Meantime, the capacity of drink is set up in 20ml, 40ml. Because consumers can easily drink. About the design of water fountain, the tap is flexible. For an example, you can extend the tap meters away for another one.

The idea of water fountain for tube station

Affordance Definition and Examples

Affordance and definition and examples:

Formal definition of affordance:

1. High affordance: “An object with high affordance possesses properties or features which makes it very easy and quick for any user to determine how they can use or interact with it.”

My definition: An object which can be used easily without thinking and hesitation.

2. Low affordance: Low affordance is exactly the opposite of what high affordance is. In other words, objects have low affordance when their properties do not support what intended purpose.

My definition: An object is placed at an unusual position (maybe is not visible), which is cannot be accepted by users at first.

3. Placebo affordance: An object with placebo affordance has no real function and the user is fooled by possibilities for its use which are not existent in the first place.

My definition: An object has a different appearance, which would confuses users the real function of this object.

4. Hidden affordance: A hidden affordance indicates that the object has possibilities for use, but these are not perceived by the actor.

My definition: An object has an another function and the appearance of this function is different with the main function’s exterior, which can be used as an another tool. At the same time, users need to take few minutes so that they can find out the another function.

5. Anti affordances: Anti affordances prevent or reduce interactions with a specific object.

My definition: An object reminds users not to use something which is noticed on the warning notice board. And this object trying to prevent and reduce potential dangers by noticing users.


High Affordance


Anti Affordance

Low Affordance

Low Affordance


High Affordance


High Affordance

Placebo affordance

Hidden affordance

Placebo Affordance

Placebo Affordance I

Placebo Affordance II

Placebo Affordance II