我是游知澔,出生於台灣台北。語言、代碼及系統是我創作的媒體,同時也是我批判思考的對象。協作及政治是我研究的主題,我以程式及互動設計創造協作的系列實驗,冀望能藉此認識人性,啟發新的社會結構。利用藝術,我盡所能在作品中揭露社會經濟結構及人的價值,為社會正義發聲,為達成全體人類之美好生活而努力。

我於二〇一四年自羅德島設計學院取得藝術碩士學位,二〇〇九年自台灣大學取得企業管理學士學位。經過研究及反覆思辨,我希望最終能合眾人之力,重造或取代這些現有的權力機構及社會階層。

I am chihao yo. I was born in Taipei, Taiwan. I work with language, code, and systems as mediums and subjects of critique. I strive to tackle social structures and ethical values in my work, and make them the advocates for justice and good life for all. I create alternative models for discourse and collaboration out of which I naively believe new societies would manifest.

I hold a BBA in Information Management from National Taiwan U and an MFA in Digital + Media from Rhode Island School of Design. These are examples of the very institutions in the global power structure which I am trying to research, reimagine, reinvent, and replace.

這是我的個人網站;程式設計作品集履歷

This website is a collection of all my experiences and projects. This is my coding portfolio. This is my CV.

請寄信到 chihaoyo AT gmail DOT com 與我聯絡。

You can reach me at chihaoyo AT gmail DOT com.

co-

眾志成城

writing

寫作

This text, unless noted otherwise is licensed under a Creative Common BY-NC-SA 4.0 International license for the solidarity and emancipation of the human race. Find the full text at the link down below.

除另有註明外,本文內容皆採用《創用CC 姓名標示—非商業性—相同方式分享 4.0 國際》條款,以促進人類全體之團結同心及自由解放為目的授權釋出。點擊下方鏈接以閱讀全文。

I spent one year writing this thesis for myself, as a beginning of a very-long-time research and exploration. I wanted a text as a basis for the things I do. I wanted a text as a aggregation of examinations of the ideas I question about, identify with, and believe in.

For the first six months, much of the writing process was done in solitude with headphones and one song playing on repeat. Later on, Anthony Graves became my principle advisor. I had the chance to have several conversations and exchanges of note with him many times. That opened up many possibilities.

Black: me; red: Anthony; green: me.

Printed black: me; printed grey: Anthony; handwriting: Anthony.

“You should say you want to reclaim the term humanitarian.”

Abstract

This thesis, titled co-, is proposing that collaboration* will be the foundation for the creation and re-creation of a new generation of societies.

本文主張協作*是新社會創建與再造的基礎。

This thesis encompasses ideas of collaboration*, bridging thinkers and practitioners alike of various disciplines—philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, political theorists, linguists, computer scientists, artists, user-interface designers, anarchists, &c, in the hope of finding alignment and creating synergy among the disciplines. This thesis re-examines and re-imagines, with honesty, of how people did, do, and could work together when being confronted with the socio-political-economic challenges of today.

本文探索與協作*相關的各式概念,銜接哲學、社會學、人類學、政治學、語言學、計算科學、藝術、使用者介面設計、無政府主義等既有領域之知識,嘗試校準以創造綜效,並建築協作*之理論及實務架構。本文旨在誠實地重新檢視過去與現在人與人之合作模式,並重新想像人與人應以何種方式共同努力,以面對現今世界中各項社會—政治—經濟之挑戰。

This thesis occupies a space between the descriptive—how things are—and the prescriptive—how things should be. It is simultaneously a scientific report, a compilation of resources, a piece of literature, and a manifesto. While this thesis intends to reflect the complex and multifaceted nature of societies with inclusiveness, it also makes clear choices and endeavors to formulate a particular vision of the way the society can be, suggesting possible avenues of social transformation that can lead to the ultimate goal of “good life for all”.

本文遊於「有所為」及「為所應為」之間,是科學調查報告,是資料搜集,是文學創作,也是政治宣言。本文雖旨在包容並反應人類社會複雜且多面向之本質,本文亦選擇對社會發展方向提供定見,主張以「人類全體之良好生命」為終極目標,透過協作*檢視社會轉型之各種可能。

It is also the intention of this thesis—and its unavoidable task as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Fine Art degree—to interrogate with honesty and audacity the role of art and artists, including the author of this thesis, in the processes of social transformation and revolution. In particular, this thesis criticizes the institutionalized mass production of artists as producers of commodity, a process through which individualization is reinforced, a process through which one (artist) is further detached from society (art). This thesis also urges reconsideration of the unsustainable, mindless, fake-critical, and profit-centric model of art-making that is currently dominant and widely preferred in professional practices and indoctrinated in pedagogy.

本文為藝術碩士之學位論文,嚴格檢視藝術及藝術工作者在社會轉型及革命中所扮演之角色,本文責無旁貸。具體而言,本文批判大量制度化生產藝術工作者,以藝術之名為商品製造之實。此一過程加強個人之個體化,並進一步將個人(藝術工作者)自社會(藝術)分離。本文敦促藝術界同仁重新檢視現今於專業及教育體制中普遍反永續、缺乏思想、偽批判性、商業利益至上之創作模式,並共同思考替代方案。

It is not enough to think critically. This thesis is a call for action, for true criticality lies in the active attempts to create alternatives, and actions are the only way to reclaim agency and to catalyze true transformation. This thesis is also a record of a personal transformation from a state of solitary to one of solidarity and in this way is an attempt to personally reconcile collaboration* with the now highly-individualized everyday life.

本文亦欲為一召集令,為號召具體行動而存在。批判性思考並不足夠,真實之批判性始於具體之行動。吾人應以具體行動取回自主權,以行動帶動思考,創造替代方案,方能催化實質之改變。本文亦作為記錄,反映作者嘗試由一獨身者走向群眾,並於現今高度個體化之日常生活中實踐協作*之原則,期盼能促成眾人之團結同心。

Finally, this thesis serves as the study and research leading to the construction of a proposed platform of very-large-scale collaborations*. This proposal is both the culmination and origin of this thesis. The platform, an assistive device, facilitates the participation of every member of a very large community in democratic deliberations and horizontal decision-making processes, for an active populace is one of the great forces capable of transforming societies.

最後,本文旨在建築學理研究及實證之基礎,為建築一超大規模協作*平台為準備工作。本文始於創建此一平台之提案,亦將結論於斯。該平台做為公民參與之輔助工具,意於促進超大規模之民主審議及水平決策過程。唯積極參與之公民集合為能改造社會之巨大力量。

Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it. —Karl Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, 1845

至此,哲學家僅以不同方法詮釋這個世界;重要的是改變這個世界。——卡爾·馬克思《關於費爾巴赫之論點》

Title

co- is the prefix of some of my favorite words in the English language. I found it difficult to literally translate this title into Chinese. 眾志成城 is the phrase I chose for the Chinese title. In literal traslation, it depicts that the will/aspiration/ideal of the many/people/mass/collective makes a fortress/castle/city. I believe it captures the essence of this text very well.

Testing and finalizing the design of the cover.

First edition printed.

Translation

I wanted this thesis to be accessible to the people in Taiwan as well. I decided to translate the entire text. In the design of the book, the original English text should be shown with the translation in Traditional Chinese side-by-side in every part of the book.

Defining collaboration in the opening section titled Key terms that need to be defined first.

Some parts of the text is not translated yet. This text will, after printed, live digitally on the Internet, and evolve with my practice.

Retracing my culture and acknowledge its influence in me in the section titled I am Taiwanese. This section is not yet translated.

It is a tradition for the ancient scholars to use his seal 用印 after a text is written. The ancient scholars would design the seal that represents their identity beyond their names. This symbol I designed is inspired by the Chinese character Xié , which means jointly, collectively as an adverb in the Chinese language, used as a prefix in phrases like Xié Yí 協議, to co-deliberate; Xié Shāng 協商, to co-discuss; Xié Tiáo 協調, to co-maneuver; Xié Bàn 協辦, to co-execute; Xié Zuò 協作, to co-do. The symbol also resembles the appearance of a tangram, a metaphor for coordination and interdependence.

The symbol Xié printed on the back cover.

TRANSLATION #3.1

event

Experiment on translation, take three-point-one.

I selected excerpts from my thesis co- and asked a group of people to translate them collaboratively, from English to Chinese. This time, the group includes Jane, Mo, Meng Yu, Ye, Cho Tao, and Chloe. I printed the excerpts on Tabloid-size paper and brought them to the group, with pens and markers of different weight and color.

These are the records of the processes of translation, left behind to me by the group. Each of them shows the dynamics of the process.

Most Important Things in the World Convention

event

Join us in a significant series of events to deliberate, contemplate, and decide what are the most important things in the world. Drinks and snacks will be served.

I wanted to ask people about the most important things in the world. I created a Very Capable Less Mobile Toolkit for Assembly Building to roam around the city and host assemblies. I hosted the first Convention in and outside of the Rhode Island Convention Center, May 15 to May 29, 2014.

Sketch of the Toolkit.

First prototype of the Toolkit.

Second prototype of the Toolkit.

The lower structure of the Toolkit was reinforced with a wooden frame, hand-drilled and bolted into the metal side panels and attached to the rubber casters to endure outdoor usage.

Finalized version of the Toolkit—front.

Items equipped on the Toolkit include a 1,800 Watt rechargeable battery, a cardboard box podium, a battery-power stereo amplifier, a battery-powered electonic piano, a piano stand, a microphone stand, a microphone, headphone cables, 1/4” cables, two pairs of headphones, a megaphone, a measuring tape, extension cables, a power strip, a lamp, a box of propaganda document, stickers, a box of sheets of music, pens, markers, a keyboard, a trackpad, a minituraized computer, a low-wattage computer display with straps and reinforced wooden and metal frame, two clamps, velcro tapes for securing objects, a patch of fake grass, clear tape, duck tape, masking tape, double-sided tape, one measuring tape for centimeters, one measuring tape for inches, a photo of Taiwanese street vendor, a photo of a man burning himself during a protest for Taiwanese independence, two photos of work of gutai, the radical, post-war art group in Japan.

—back.

—side.

Schedule of the Convention.

In Opening Keynote, I addressed the crowd on a podium made of a postal cardboard box from Taiwan. In Live Music Performance, I taught the crowd how to sing a song written in a uprising. In Collaborative Reading, I handed out passages printed on paper for the crowd to read and listen to them together. The passages are cut out from a written thesis researching on the philosophy and forms of collaboration.

Opening Keynote. Photo: Alaxander Stewart

Live Music Performance. Photo: Brian House

Opening Keynote Again. Photo: Jane Long

Collaborative Reading. Photo: Cho Tao Huang

TRANSLATION #3

event

Experiment on translation, take three.

I selected quotes from ancient scholars and modern revolutionaries, and asked a group of people to discuss and make decisions on how to translate these quotes from the Chinese language to English.

「故人不獨親其親,不獨子其子,使老有所終,壯有所用,幼有所長,鰥寡孤獨廢疾者皆有所養。」——《禮記・禮運》

「余致力國民革命,凡四十年,其目的在求中國之自由平等。積四十年之經驗,深知欲達到此目的,必須喚起民眾並聯合世界上平等待我之民族,共同奮鬥。」——《國父遺囑》

The participants did not have prior knowledge of what they are translating. Each quote was projected behind them and also displayed in the monitor in front of them, between the stage and the audience.

「翻譯之三。」

「大道之行也,天下為公。選賢與能,講信修睦。」——《禮記・禮運》

「朝聞道,夕死可矣。」——《論語・里仁第四》

Other quotes including:

仁人之事者,必務求興天下之利,除天下之害。——《墨子・兼愛》Universal Love, Mozi

夫人能盡其才,則百事興;地能盡其利,則民食足;物能盡其用,則財力豐;貨能暢其流,則財源裕。——孫文《上李鴻章書》Sun Yet Sen, Advisories to Li Hong Zhang

要擁護那德先生,便不得不反對孔教、禮法、貞節、舊倫理、舊政治。要擁護那賽先生,便不得不反對舊藝術、舊宗教。——陳獨秀《新青年罪案之答辯書》 於《新青年》六卷一號 Chen Du Xiu, Defending La Jeunesse, published in La Jeunesse, Volume 6, No. 1

人民內部的矛盾是在人民利益根本一致的基礎上的矛盾。對於這種矛盾,只能用討論的方法、批評的方法、說服教育的方法去解決,而不能用強制的、壓服的方法去解決。——毛澤東《關於正確處理人民內部矛盾的問題》Mao Ze Dong, Proper Solution to People’s Internal Contradictions

人人生而自由,在尊嚴和權利上一律平等。他們賦有理性和良心,並應以兄弟關係的精神互相對待。——聯合國《世界人權宣言》Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations

TRANSLATION #2

event

Experiment on translation, take two.

Again I’ve kept the project away from everyone so far. No one knew about any of it before the event actually took place. It was forming in my head and it doesn’t want to come out of it.

My instinct is to take advantage of the critique as a gathering of intelligence and make use of that time, which people are required or willing to spend, and put it to good use. And that’s what I shall do. I didn’t think there was anything to consult, to discuss, or to compromise.

Four trails of thought

Components

Rules for #2

Making of pedestals.

Arranging of pedestals.

No one came up with the correct answer. No one thought of using the Internet for reference either, except one person, who found the answer when the experiment ended using Google Search with keywords he caught during the experiment.

The process of forming the seven groups was reflective of the personalities of the individuals present in the room. Some chose to stay with people they knew better; some simply joined a group nearest to their original location. Some acted immediately and actively to find their teammates; some were passive and hesitant; some were wandering around the room.

One out of the seven groups did not obey the rule that no sound from the radio should be broadcasted in the room.

The discussions and potential collaborations within the groups, one of the objectives for observation in this experiment were lost due to lack of appropriate planning. It became clear that there was more to be done in the future experiments regarding documentation.

For thirty minutes, this experiment directed the attention of those thirty people to an important issue that will affect the world and most of our lives.

Discussion afterwards.

cloudmovie

the Internet

cloudmovie is a web platform to edit the web. Collaboration with Elisa Giardina Papa and Andrea Masu.

cloudmovie is a tool to edit the web, as you would with a compilation film.

The main interface is divided into two sections, “POOL” and “COMP”. User collects snipets of the web into the POOL, and curate it in the COMP.

Insert the links of anything that is currently published on the Internet.

Each snipets are represented as a square in a grid. To give them a natural order, neighboring items are closer together while leading is created between lines.

Give them an order...

Settings are available to each item in the COMP, a duration for every item, and extra control for video items.

... and a duration...

Users can “play” the content curated in the COMP continuously like a movie, or a slide show.

... and playback.

TRANSLATION #1, #1.5

event

Two experiments on translation.

Two trails of thought

I created a sketch in Processing and used myself as the live translator for the live feed of Taiwanese television broadcasted over the Internet.

After a back-and-forth exchange of emails, the event had finally happened. Fortunately, six people could come. They were Jane from the States, Mo, Ye from China, Cho Tao, Chloe, and Hao from Taiwan.

Script for #1

Rules for #1

Radio network for #1.5

Rules for #1.5

Foucault

video

A four-part short video on the contemporary: Foucault, Weather, Revolution, and Terraforming. Collaboration with Chloe Lee and Minkyoung Kim.

Foucault

Weather

Revolution

Terraforming

city #1

vector graphics

A series of vector graphics designed for representing various systems in cities. Take one.

I created a collection of vector graphics to represent the communication infrastructure and the public transit system in a city, including its many components, entities, stakeholders, and processes.

for your own protection

glass

A hard hat is the essential and most important physical protection a worker should have. It is also a symbol of the legal security and moral support that a worker is entitled to.

Legal copy of a hard hat purchased in Home Depot for $9.

Making of a plaster mold of the hard hat.

Shown in Digital + Media’s internal reviews.

Shown in the Digital + Media Biennial ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT LEDs, 2014

the islands

digital print

A wonderous, labour-intensive wander through the city of Providence, in search for the perfect island.

I am from an island. Taiwan is an island located in the near sea of the south east of mainland China. We are a country consist of islands. Among those islands, Taiwan 臺灣, Peng Hu 澎湖, Jin Men 金門, and Ma Zu 馬祖 are the four major groups, we call them Tai Peng Jin Ma. It was, back in the old days, the synonym to the free China.

Taiwan.

As a current resident of the state of Rhode Island, I am definitely sensitive to the word island. When it comes to introduce my current location, people back home always have the same question for me: is Rhode Island an island?

The largest island in the Narragansett bay, where Newport is right now, is called Aquidneck Island. Before this name, it was called Rhode Island, hence the name of the state. As for why it is called Rhode, there are many speculations, but no one is a hundred percent sure. The naming of a place can grand and meaningful, or it can be arbitrary and anonymous. It all depends on who gets what recorded in the so called History.

Aquidneck Island in the Narragansett Bay, used to be known as Rhode Island.

There are islands, sinking as we speak. Due to the rising sea level, the Maldives, a nation consisted of chains of islands in the Indian Ocean, barely visible on Google Maps, With an average ground level of 1.5 meters, has to relocate its citizens to India, Sri Lanka, and Australia.

There are those islands that are infamous. The well-known Cayman Islands, appears so often in the title of giant corporations, are among many of the offshore financial centers (OFCs) in the world.

An OFC is a country or jurisdiction that provides financial services to nonresidents on a scale that is incommensurate with the size and the financing of its domestic economy. —Ahmed Zoromé, IMF Working Paper, 1987

These islands raise serious debates on tax justice, tax avoidance, and evasion. Just earlier this month, around the annual tax day, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett introduced the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act to initiate transparency measures and close several offshore tax loopholes that cost the United States Treasury an estimated $150 billion every year.

Cayman Islands.

... significantly improves the amenity for pedestrians trying to cross busy streets, as they are much more likely to find two small gaps in traffic rather than one situation in which gaps for both directions coincide. —Wikipedia

A traffic island on Google Maps.

There is a popular Japanese manga titled One Piece ワンピース. The protagonist as captain of a pirate ship Thousand Sun sails with his partners in the imaginary world, island after island. Each island has its own unique and bizarre ecosystem, some of them underwater, some of them floating above the cloud, and each presents a different challenge to the protagonists.

In Life of Pi by Lee An, the protagonist Pi was saved by a mysterious, surreal island floating in the ocean. It provides fresh water and food in the day. In the night, it turns carnivorous. In other words, it gives life during the day, and takes them away in the night.

An island appeared in The Life of Pi.

How to buy an island? Go to privateislandsonline.com, or howtobuyaprivateisland.com, they have the answer for you. From the other end of the deal, to sell an island, first you have to own it. It then had me wonder, who owns these islands? What gave them the right to claim such ownership?

Manmade islands are the new skyscrapers. The wonder of the 21st century. These are the manmade islands in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. From bottom left and top right are Palm Jebel Ali, The Palm Jumeira, and The World Islands. Countless major airports in the world now are built upon manmade islands.

The World.

I turned my attention back to the traffic islands. It is transient, silent, underutilized comparing to the rest of the city. Space is a social product, produced through processes of contradictory, conflictual, and political characters.

The social production of urban space is fundamental to the reproduction of society, hence of capitalism itself. The social production of space is commanded by a hegemonic class as a tool to reproduce its dominance. —Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space

Every society, and therefore every mode of production, produces a certain space, its own space. Space is capital. City as apparatus of capitalism, spaces within are highly planned, monitored, and policed. The traffic islands could be the weak points that resistance could intervene or interrupt such control.

In what form my intervention should take place? How should I interact with the space? I proposed to myself a few ideas. Develop a floor plan for the traffic island, to repurpose it into an government office with a be right back sign, an artist studio, a bedroom, adding furniture into the space, doing yoga.

I looked for good traffic islands in Providence on Google Maps. I took a chair with me, walked around the city and took photos of the chair and the traffic island.

can someone talk to me?

digital print, handwriting

Can Someone Talk To Me? explores parallels and intersections between modes of online and offline communication, seeking a relationship between the digital and the analogue. The project cultivates opportunities for individuals to respond to expressions of loneliness on the social media platform Twitter via physical postcards in the real world, thus recontextualizing anonymous digital communication. Collaboration with Janet Shih.

This was a group project. It’s good to have a back up crew when you go out there and do art. Just to make it less intimidating. Holding a stack of postcards, walking into the train station is weird. We, me and Janet had to sit down first to blend in, then search for our possible target. The moment the boundary of personal space is broken, we enter an unknown territory of each other, and that was fascinating.

The gesture from the participant that is allowing the interruption from us, to stop, think, and write. That’s what I wanted. Having a back up crew gave me the courage to do so. I found out that there are people who looks intimidating yet approachable. In the same time, there are still other people we haven’t met, or didn’t choose, consciously or unconsciously, to meet.

The act of giving. Giving time to consider, make effort for a stranger, and another stranger. That is heart-warming. What is the emotion that a piece of art gives to its audience? Is art, or has art ever have the desire to be affectionate? Affective?

This project was not meant to serve as a cure for loneliness at all. It is also not our intention to ridicule anyone or anything. It is only to reveal our observation and to intervene.

an interruption to everyday conversation

pencil and ink on paper

I want to get into your mind. I wanted to know what you care about. The most straightforward approach would be to simply confront you and ask.

I tried to open a conversation on Facebook with friends about something that I, or we, between the two of us, don’t usually talk about.

Hey. I have a question for you.

Every time I throw out this obvious conversation starter to people, it felt like entering a parallel space-time-dimension with them. I would prepare myself for the awkward moment to throw out the question like a bucket of water.

Please name several social, economic, or political issues that you care about, of which you would want the status quo to change.

Waiting for a response from this question that is most definitely unfit within the context of everyday conversation is extremely unsettling. This seemingly generic and impersonal question challenges the dynamic of casual conversation that we’re very accustomed to have on social media networks.

After pondering the idea in my head for a few days, I finally decided to handwrite all the entries on paper. I used material that was immediately available to me, newsprint and a cheap black ballpoint pen. I like the idea that to make all the entries small as parts of a bigger picture. The labor of writing was quite an intense experience, and an important part of the piece.

I was comfortable with handwriting and the writing is done without any sketches or pencil guidelines. While writing, I found that I have to concentrate to write in an arc and in the same time read into the text and think about it. Creating a piece that is purely text based would be logical for the level of abstraction provided by language is needed when presenting a complex idea to an audience. In the same time, the fact that the text is organized in terms of form and disorganized in terms of content is reflecting my frustration on trying to reconcile social and economic topics with art.

The advocates of a market economy praises the freedom of such system. They claim that everybody will have the freedom to choose whatever they want to be.

Think about the power of words. The word prosperity represents the endless and absurd pursue of growth in the modern capitalist mentality. While resource is finite, nothing can be infinite. It is also the ultimate means of justification. It is utilitarian. Often, for the so-called prosperity, sacrafice of the few must be made. We have to ask the inconvenient question: who is prosperous? The word is done in red marker, drawing reference from political propaganda and signs painted on the wall.

interval

video

A video inquiring the intervals in daily conversations. Collaboration with Brian House.

collectivehistory

computer-generated graphics, projection, Kinect sensor, keyboard

An interactive installation gathering and composing the collective history of us.

What do we remember? With information bombarding us from every direction, what kind of information stays in our mind? With a media environment controlled by the corporations and governments, is our memory still our own to build? This project attempts to reclaim the control of our own memory and construt a timeline of a personal preception of history.

A web-based platform would be an intuitive solution since it allows any number of users to input data any time, any where. However, the face that the piece would be contained in an arbitrary virtual space bothers me. The lack of physical interaction among users themselves, and between user and the piece is also not satisfying.

A web-based platform prototype

The first iteration of the installation works with multiple users simultaneously. Audience would reach out and pin point an entry onto the timeline, then use their phone to write. By matching the code displayed temporarily on the projection and the user input on the phone, the system would then gather the written text and display it according to the position the audience has located.

Setup of the first iteration.

Squares indicating point of interaction. Oranges are for real-time movement detection, blues waiting for input with a 4-digit code for user to enter, and greens for input saved.

Using Post-it would be a low-tech alternative.

In order to create an emersive experience and allow multiple users to better interact with the project, an expansion in scale is a necessary step. A feasibility test was underway with multiple computers linked through wireless networking, each of those paired with multiple Kinect sensors.

A test with up to four Kinect sensors.

The second iteration steps back and re-focuses the project. By allowing no more than one user at a time, the interactivity of the system can be more fluid and straightforward. I imagined the location of the system be in the living room of ordinary families.

Setup of the second iteration.

Instructions.

A promt of the input location on the timeline.

A text box for input.

A close shot of the timeline.

portrait of an employee

mixed

A sound installation portraying an employee in a modern-day corporation and investigating his state of mind as an employee through interviews.

This project is about graduate students graduated from a top program of a top university in Taiwan. After graduation, each of them went into the technology industry, to work as engineers, programmers, or project managers for big corporations. I conducted interviews with three of them. I asked about their well-being, their feelings in their jobs, and their sense of purpose to the society.

A picture of a trip to the northeast coast of Taiwan we took.

nobodycares

web, digital print

Nobody cares about what you care about 沒有人在乎你在乎的事 is the title of a single from the independent band I Got You 那我懂你意思了. This phrase points out the disconnection between people and also leaves a lot of unanswered questions behind it. What is it that you care about? Why is there nobody who cares? Why do you care?

The single is released in electronic form at 50.18.115.212/nobodycares. Printed pamphlet accompanying this single can be picked up at local venues and livehouses in the greater Taipei area.

Cover of the pamphlet.

One section of the content of the pamphlet.

nexaa

vector graphics

Identity system design for the Alumni Association of National Experimental High School, Taiwan.

One major component of this project is a redesign of the typeface. Out of the the major Chinese typefaces we are using for print today, Kai and Ming are directly derived from traditional Chinese calligraphy. While Kai retains the strokes of calligraphy, Ming typefaces are designed following certain de facto rules. The result is a clean, industrial design, mechanical and almost algorithmic.

My design of typeface for this project, I believe, is an unique un-design of Ming. It re-references back to writing—the humanistic aspect of typeface design. It attempts to find balance between the cleaness of the horizontal-vertical strokes of traditional Ming typefaces and the natural structure of characters that is most common in handwritten Chinese. A 5% increase in type height gives the characters a slim appearance.

A comparison between Kozuka Mincho 小塚明朝 and the custom type crafted for this project.

The original inspiration of the logo of the association comes from the abstraction of the word association itself. A full circle is a perfect symbolic representaion of an association. The pink color is inspired by the color of the uniform of the school.

Accompanying the circle are other three symbols that are geometrically minimal. The four symbols each representing Taiwan (and the location of the school,) experimental, alumni, and association. Collectively, they form a complete concept of the association.

Taiwan, experimental, alumni, association.

Other designs from the same concept.

While the original idea is aiming for a graphical interpretation, I also want to explore the possibilities in a more abstract approach. It leads me to the question of what is alumni? After graduation, each one of us would then leave the school, geographically and mentally, go into the world to live our life in full, becoming a member of the alumni. Based on this idea, a new design is born.

Different sizes of the monochrome logotype.

Abbreviations of the title and logotype.

cascade

web

A user interface designed to visualize a particular branch of data access in a hierarchical data structure and to make apparent such structure in users’ operations.

A prototype testing the cascading structure of the interface.

Options are placed on the left of each cascading panel, acting like breadcrumbs.

Custom-built multiple selections and buttons for a unified, more refined, and functional UI.

buss

web

The second iteration of the information system for the public bus location in metropolitan Taipei.

Bus routes in Taipei are mostly in round ways, where at least at one end is a bus terminal, and the bus returns along the same route when it reaches the other end of the service. There are some buses that take different routes for in- and out-, north- and south-, east- and west-bound trips, which would make visually a loop on the map. Naturally, bus route diagrams should reflect these characteristics.

To represent the route of the bus graphically makes the diagram much less cramed with duplicated text, therefore easier to understand. By applying algorithms in parsing the route information, stops with identical names are combined, and a diagram can be generated for each bus line automatically.

Originally, parenthesis are used in names of nearby stops to differentiate them. In this design, parenthesis are removed and the text within are displayed in blocks with grey background color. To furthur reduce visual cluster, pictographs are designed to replace the commonly-used phrases such as metro station or intersection.

serif

vector graphics

A typeface inspired by the work of Susan Kare.

Pixelated displays are compromises had to be made due to technological constraints and it has established aesthetics of its own. Retina displays in iPhones, iPads, and now Macs marks the beginning of the popularization of hi-dpi displays in consumer devices. Text and imagery are becoming more and more photorealistic. However, pixel fonts still has its place to displaying text in extremely limited number of pixels such as lo-dpi displays and large scale projection installations.

card

letterpress print

Design and make letterpress business cards.

Letterpress printing was highly correlated to the language people use and hence a highly localized industry. The machines could be imported, but the discipline of the work space must come from the ones who work within.

Taiwanese letterpress printers describe fonts differently from the westerners. In describing the size of fonts, instead of points, the fonts are numbered according to their sizes and the unit was Hao . For example, Chu Hao 初號, literally translated to the initial number, was the biggest metal type produced, equivalent to 42 pt. Then Yi Hao 一號, or Number 1, in 27.5 pt. Er Hao 二號, or Number 2, in 21 pt. The smallest size that is still produced today is Liu Hao 六號, or Number 6, in 7.875 pt.

There were mainly four different typefaces for chinese characters, Kai , Ming , Hei , and Fang Song 仿宋. The name of a font is formed by its size first, then its typeface, one character each. Chu Zheng 初正, for instance, where Chu was the abbreviation of Chu Hao and Zheng, stands for orthodoxy, was the name the typeface Kai used to be called, for it was the standard style of chinese writing. The Latin fonts, however, were usually made anonymously. The fonts were codenamed by their size and a suffix is added to distinguish different typefaces to make workers easy to identify. For example, Liu Hao Yi 六號一, refers to the first, and often the most used latin font in Number 6.

A part of the specimen of Ri Xing

When facing a wall of characters, it was almost unconscious to look for the name of oneself. In this project, the font I chose for the name were Er Zheng 二正, which was Number 2 of Kai and the standard font for names on traditional letterpress business cards. The letters used for the email address was Liu Hao Liu 六號六, which was the Sixth of Number 6. I chose it over the standard First of Number 6 for its style closer to a classic serif font and its appropriate weight.

Different boxes used in different purposes throughout the process of letterpress printing, and a type of the character Chun , or Spring in Yi Song 一宋, or Initial Number of Song.

Wood stripes of different width and an old piece of furniture.

I am the designer, typographer, and printer of this project. I selected the type from the type shelves 字架, composited them into a forme, fixed the forme into the chase with furnitures and mounted it onto the press.

I decided that the embossing text should be the only visual element of this design, therefore I printed the cards without inking the press. Prints without the ink are visually compelling to me.

steve

vector graphics

An illustration based on the iconic profile of the original Macintosh (1984) to honor Steve Jobs.

This illustration was not to imitate the look and feel of the actual Macintosh.

Photo: Apple Inc. (I guess)

The most part of the process was invested on the making of the letters goodbye.

fang song

vector graphics

A reinterpretation of the classic chinese type style Fang Song 仿宋.

This design was originally intended for the Fang Zheng Award 方正獎—the chinese type design contest held by Founder Electronics Co., Beijing, China, therefore the first 42 characters which was designated by the contest.

It may be more precise if to name this design Chang Fang Song 長仿宋 or Chang Song 長宋 as it would be called back in the traditional chinese letterpress printing. It was a variation of Fang Song, with a height of every character 1.5 times longer than its width, in contrast of the typical square outline of the traditional chinese type.

The most praised Fang Song named Ju Zhen Fang Song 聚珍仿宋

The matrices of Chang Fang Song Number 2 of Ri Xing Type Foundry

In typical Chinese type design, characters are all designed to fit into square boxes. It creates a unified, regulated look to traditioanlly designed Chinese typefaces, in the same time this approach distorts characters in order to fit and balance them inside a squares. In contemporary handwritten Chinese, the characters are often longer than it is wider. Also, the height of the glyph often varies with the number of horizontal strokes. I wanted this typeface to show the variable widths and heights of chinese characters, to write out the characters in a more natural, undistorted way.

Pencil sketch of the letterforms.

After the pencil sketch was scanned, vector outlines were traced by hand-eye coordination.

Digitization of the characters Tái Wān 臺灣, meaning Taiwan.

letterpress lib

web

An information system that organizes and presents the data of the matrices preserved by Ri Xing 日星 Type Foundry.

There are approximately 150,000 matrices currently storing in the wooden cabinets in Ri Xing Type Foundry. They are the last of traditional chinese letterpress. I wanted to establish a system to document the matrices consistently. Also, the system should be able to provide insights on this large collection of matrices. Users would also be able to send query to the system, and retrieve the information about the matrices that interest them.

The number one challenge documenting the matrices was to record the different ways of writing, or variants. Of a single chinese character, it was common to see multiple variants. This information must be documented. The CJKV Unified Ideographs 中日韓越統一表意文字 defined in Unicode would not suffice since most of the differences observed in the collection were not defined as separate characters. Further more, the variant would rarely be used by the public. To match a matrix with a variant character would cause difficulties in querying.

Started as a single-minded thought, I drafted a cheat sheet, which lists the common variants found in the matrices, referencing Standard Kai 標準楷書體, the standard typeface announced by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China. It would serve as an encoding system for documenting the matrices. A matrix of variant could be matched with the standard character, then noted with the code which represents the difference.

Part of the cheat sheet.

On the first line of the cheat sheet, starting from the left, the left part of the character Ji has three variants, numbered 1 through 3, along with the standard numbered 0. Any characters containing that part, such as in the central part of the characters Qing an Gai could use this code to denote the presence of a variant.

A familiar interface would be important to allow volunteers to join the documenting work. In the same time, the ability to collaborate and the flexibility of the date were also crucial to the proficiency of the system. A spreadsheet is natural when documentation of the matrices includes the location the matrices were on the trays of the cabinet. I decided to employee Google Spreadsheet as the interface for data input. It was similar to Microsoft Excel, which a lot of us already has the affordance built into our mind, yet available online in a consistent version for everyone, allowing collaboration between users and operating systems.

Screenshot of windows opened while surveying matrices. Left: spreadsheet; middle: Chinese handwriting input; right: Character window.

Part of the speadsheet that logs all surveyed matrices and the details of the variant forms each of them might take.

I had worked on the system for the documentation of more than 20,000 characters in the months of July and August, 2011 with all the variants noted. This project is a work in progress.

First version of the web site, containing 22744 characters available for querying across seven fonts.

bus

web

A mobile web interface and information system for the public bus location in the metropolitan Taipei.

To quickly query a bus line on the go, an optimized key pad is a much more suitable interface than an irritatingly long drop-down list or a search box for generic text input which the city government currently offers. With this idea in mind, I built an app for that.

The buttons are designed to have the size of 50 by 50 points on an iPhone Retina Display as the Human Interface Guideline of iOS by Apple Inc. suggested. The five colored buttons on the top of the key pad represents the shuttle bus lines for five major lines of Taipei Metro. The bottom two rows are for different categories of bus lines. The single solid circle represents the bus lines which runs on smaller size buses for access of more narrow roads and the mountain areas. The horizontal arrow represents the main lines 幹線 that runs through the city along one major avenue or boulevard. The line ended with two solid circles represents the shuttle bus lines.

The original plan was to create a native app for the iPhone. Only the UI kit of the iOS SDK did not want to cooperate with me and hence the web version.

This app was in closed beta for two months. Participants had responded positively. Nevertheless, the public transportation bureau of the city government decided to close its system on unauthorized information retrieval and refused applications from individual citizens. This app has ceased to function. The city government of Taipei employed a similar idea in the official app and made the interface terrible to use and look at.

letterpress alpha

web

A new web site of the Taiwanese Letterpress Association. It serves as the introductions of letterpress history, the showcase of the projects of the association, as well as a communication platform for both the member of the association and the public.

Custom-built UI elements through out the system builds a cohesive and minimal look. This is a date-picker.

This system is built with support for internationalization at the foundation. A global dictionary of terms in languages categorized into families translates the entire UI from Traditional Chinese into Japanese and English, potentially German and French.

Part of the global dictionary definition.

Part of the Japanese UI.

everyday object

raster graphics

A series of photos of everyday objects.

I like recording my life. I have a dozen of shoe boxes dedicated to the storage of my everyday objects. Small objects that were iconic at the moment. I think the objects around us really speak. They resonate with us, with our memories or experiences. They are words and stories, but tangible ones. They occupy space, they have weight.

I built a tiny studio for the shoot in my room.

I chose cardboard instead of fabric as the background of this studio. I like the texture of paper. The first thing to take the bullet was my (at the time) brand new iPhone 4. The design and the engineering of the phone was just too tempting to resist.

The next object I took was my watch back in the army. I bought it two days before I was enlisted and never took it off until I was discharged. It was water-resisting, thin, and durable.

I broke the light bulbs one day by accident. I was preparing to clean up but instead I lit up the remaining light, took up the camera and started to shoot. The result was amazing.

Are you guys okay down there?

When I tried to clean it up.

The shattered pieces of glass glow under the light. The arrangement was natural could never be possible to achieve deliberately by men.

This studio is currently closed due to maintenance.

everything

web

A redesign of the personal blog that keeps record of everything.

We browse the web like never before. We bookmark web pages, favorite footages, take notes of good quotes. I wanted to build a place where I could easily keep record of everything that interests me. And the name of this project would be everything.

The first target was the favorites on major content websites. After I got through all the barriers of the APIs, the text version was born. It was originally the debug mode, but turned out beautiful.

I wanted all the items to be given the same space and arranged in a square grid. I believe this mesh up, or montage, had reflected part, if not all, of who I was.

I designed a set of icons that defines the scope of everything in this project. The icons were monochromatic and in the simplest form I found possible. I decided later to do an alternative design on the icon for books with color.

The date-and-time-picker.

power button

raster graphics

The power button of my cell phone stopped working and I decided to fix it myself.

And I find myself in an unfamiliar territory, discovering a strange world under the surface.

metro

vector graphics

A redesign of the route map of Taipei Metro, the mass transit system in metropolitan Taipei.

I believe that good design is essential to even the smallest part in life. It is important for designers to care, to create a better designed environment for the public. A system such as the Taipei Metro changes how the city operates, and the lives of millions of people living in there. As the system transports people, it could also transport good design deployed within the infrastructure and the trains of the system.

This design of route map emphasizes the relative positions between stations. It follows the strict 0, 45, and 90-degree constraints while maintaining the geographical proportion of the the most vibrant metropolitan area in Taiwan. I decided to include the Tamsui River 淡水河 for it is an important geographic signature of the area. Lines under construction or planning are included to give the viewer a complete picture of the future Taipei Metro.

In the official English version of the route map, the translation was rather lengthy and awkward. In this design, Pinyin was used for transcription through out. Names with corresponding phrases in English are properly and concisely translated. Abbreviations are used in commonly used phrases such as university and bridge. The translation of lines are adjusted with reference of the naming convention of London Tube. Thinner lines with the same color as the main lines are used to mark the extended lines.

This design does not indicate the transferring or terminal stations as I believe they are naturally inducible when the lines intersect or terminate. The stations are simple white circles sits within the line with no extra visual interference. As lines intersects, the later one would go over the early one with respect to the dates on which the line was operational.

Types of transportation to which passengers could transfer are shown alongside the station name. A new icon for the High Speed Rails was also designed to match with the standard set of transportation icons.

The typeface in this design was Avenir. It was geometric yet organic, brought a human touch to the design, softened the rigorous lines. The smaller x-height also made Avenir elegant and more serif-like comparing to other sans-serifs like Helvetica.

The 5th Annual Concert of the Combined Logistics Command Military Band

digital print

The annual concert of the Combined Logistics Command is a joint op carried out by multiple companies in the Battalion of General Affairs under the direct supervision of the Commanding General. I was responsible for the design and production of the graphics of the concert, which took place in June, 2010 at the National Concert Hall in Taipei.

For the band, the annual concert was the highlight of the year. It was exciting to have the chance to participate in the organizing of a formal concert. I was responsible for the graphic design of the concert.

I started from something I love: pixel art. This pixel soldier was wearing the dress uniform of the band, dark green with a shiny white peaked cap, holding a trumpet toward the front in his right hand. He was the bugler, the most important post in the band.

And then the camel, symbolizing endurance, persistence, and the humble strength of the logistic forces.

I also redesigned the emblem of the command, the new, vector-based emblem, with the same concept, now has a more saturated color palette and much more well-defined, clarified outlines.

Photo studio setup.

Brass.

Percussion.

Woodwind.

The silhouette of the mountains resembles the mountains surrounding Taipei basin in the north.

Exit 1 of Taipei metro Kun Yang station is named after the HQ of the command.

I saw the design of the invitation was of the most importance. I decided to incorporate the rich traditions of our nation. The colors were red, navy blue, white, which were the three colors of our national flag The Blue Sky, White Sun, and Red Earth 青天白日滿地紅, and yellow, which was the imperial color. Based on the central horizontal line was the front facade of the National Concert Hall, a classical form of chinese architecture. This creates a visual horizon that divides the design in half.

The lower half houses the text of the invitation. The typeface I chose for the text in the invitation was Hua Wen Kai Ti 華文楷體 , the digital version of the most praised Kai in modern chinese printing and the standard style of chinese characters. Baskerville, a transitional serif typeface that represents the pursuing of perfection. I adjusted the wording so that each phrase would be of the same length. The golden spotlight from both sides lit up the text.

The Combined Logistics Command Military Band

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The Combined Logistics Command Military Band was one of the eight major military bands in Taiwan.

After boot camp, I became one of the trumpets in the band on November 19th, 2009.

Serving at the band was an unique experience for me. I was with the band performing in the ceremonial march—the rising and lowering of the national flag—both in the Combined Logistics Command headquarters everyday, and at the Presidential Office in the months of January and July, 2010.

Flag-lowering ceremony in front of the Presendential Office.

I was discharged on September 14th, 2010. A few months later, the band was dissolved in January 1st, 2011, preluding the dissolution of the command.

count down 21

raster graphics

A series of photos taken during the twenty-one-day period before I report to the army.

The plan was to select one photo every day and make a series of twenty one photos, a short version of one of those 365-day series. In the process, I was forced to look for interestingness out of the ordinary and the routine. Moreover, I was forced to make the effort to enclose, with a camera, the honest presence of those which interested me.

A journey began

My trumpet

On departure day

august eighth

-

On August eighth, 2009, Typhoon Morakot brought catastrophic damages to the southern Taiwan. There were over six hundred killed, eighteen missing. The village of Shao Lin 小林 was completely buried by the mud flood. Much of the landscape in Taiwan has changed ever since.

I joined an initiative in late August to help the cleaning of homes in Qi Shan 旗山 Town for two days and the next day in Lin Bian 林邊 Town with the volunteers called from all over the island by Tzu Chi 慈濟.

It was terrible, mud was everywhere. The high-rise Lin Bian bridge was made the headquarters of Tzu Chi, and everywhere else was flooded. The sky was grey, the air was dusty and rotten. Divided into groups of ten, we were quickly assigned and led into houses. The mud was thick and hard to remove.

Talking with one of the marines, who was about the same age as I was, I was told that a large number of soldiers and marines had been stationed there for weeks. He told me that even the basics of living are difficult there, there is no clean water, food had to be transported from towns near by.

The smell of fermentation on its own was very hard to put up to. Let alone the devastated infrastructure, making the town literally a war zone. Looking at the seriously damaged community, the finish line of the way to recovery was nowhere near.

cable sculpture

Apple iPod cable

A sculpture made of cable.

The Apple-made FireWire + USB cable for iPod was comprised of two 1.8-meter long cables. Having to charge my iPod and ended up putting a cable as such on my not-so-big desk was not a very good experience to have. It ate up the surrounding space and refused to be tamed. So I made it a sculpture. A rightful devourer of space.

This is also my first attempt on studio still photography.

Ri Xing Type Foundry

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Ri Xing Type Foundry 日星鑄字行 is the only hot metal type foundry still operational in Taiwan. Letterpress quickly disappeared in Taiwan since the 1980’s. Printers switched to faster automatic machines, metal types are replaced by phototypesetting and later DTP, type foundries all over the island closed one after another. The owner of Ri Xing, Mr Zhang Jie Guan 張介冠 however, was not a quitter. He sticked to the family business, dedicated to preserve the remaining knowledge and hardware of the letterpress, and the last complete set of hand-written and -carved matrices of the traditional Chinese.

The casting machine operational.

A tool for inspecting faulty types.

I am both proud and fascinated to write using countless traditional Chinese characters. They are elegant and every character is a in itself a good story.

I had a solid training of hand-writing and Chinese literature started young, thanks to my mother. In pre-schools and primary schools, kids would write repeatedly to practice the structure of the character and to master the use of pencil. My mom would always watch over me as I practice my handwriting. She would kept erasing those characters that she saw imperfect. The paper would became nearly wore-out as I practice over and over again, tried to remember every guideline she gave me to match her standards. I also remember that I was eager to learn more characters from books and street signs, when other kids in class were still using Zhu Yin 注音—the phonetic system for transcribing Chinese—in their writing.

Part of the type specimen in Ri Xing. Left: Number 5 of Kai; middle: Number 5 of Hei; right: Number 5 of Song.

A section of the type shelf where the Yuē and Rì radicals of Number 4 of Song are located.

I became a volunteer in the Ri Xing Letterpress Typeface Rehabilitation Project 日星活版印刷字體復刻計畫 in April, 2009. Mr Zhang initiated this project to make new matrices with the existing letterpress fonts, due to the damage occurred to the old matrices. This effort was to focus on one font particular, Ri Xing Chu Zheng 日星初正, a font originated from Shanghai, China, 1920, which was widely used in official and civilian printing through out the 20th century. The matrices in Ri Xing is the last complete set remaining in the world.

To make matrices, every lead type must be carefully selected from the shelve, assembled, printed, scanned, matched to computer characters, stored to a database, then inspected and renovated by volunteers.

Matrices of Ri Xing Chu Zheng.

Ri Xing Chu Zheng on type shelves.

A part of the printed and scanned specimen of Ri Xing Chu Zheng

The printed and scanned character Bao , meaning to protect or to conserve on the left, and the restored outline on the right.

A comparison between different Kai-style typefaces. Left: Standard Kai released by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan; middle: Adobe Kai Std R; right: Ri Xing Chu Zheng.

Dialogue between Heaven, Earth, and All Beings

computer-gerenated graphics, panorama projection, rear projection, glass, wood, paper, angle steel, mirrors

An interactive installation which represents the traditional chinese Weltanschauung of The heaven, earth, and people 天地人. It shows the interaction between these three parties which we saw as a dialog, formed essentially by the phrases that were created thousands of years ago and are still being used in our everyday life. There was also an essential quality of time in the concept so that the project was codenamed chrono. Collaboration with Lin Pei Ying and Jaen Saul.

video

This project was an invitation from Taiwanese calligrapher Dong Yang Zi 董陽孜. The coordinator of this project was Jiang Xian Bin 蔣顯斌, the co-founder of sina.com and the CEO of CNEX. The project was showcased in the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts from February 21st to April 26th, 2009 under the official title Dialog between Heaven, Earth, and All Beings.

Lin Pei Yin 林沛瑩 and I were both the principle designer and programmer in this project, joined later by Jaen Saul from Estonia as the mighty hardware and software hacker, the team was young and strong. It was an rare opportunity for any young artist or designer to be able to work in canvases of such scale. Being able to work inside a national museum in a 15 meters wide and 3 meters high panoramic display, I enjoyed every step of it.

The project began with a simple thought that to demonstrate the beauty of chinese calligraphy and emphasize on the relevance it has to the modern world. We decided that animated graphics would be the appropriate medium to approach to the mass majority and especially the younger generation. The calligraphy of Ms Dong interacts frequently with space. The subject to explore in this project is the possibilities of calligraphy interacting with time.

A part of Ms Dong’s calligraphy that reads Shan Yu 山雨, rain in the mountains, right to left.

Look beyond the aesthetic value of calligraphy, it is the text within calligraphy that truly represents the essence of the chinese heritage. Our ancestors distilled their observation of the nature and created these classical sentences thousands of years ago. Despite the context has changed, these sentences are still widely used today. It really is a dialog that has lasted for centuries and hence the title of this project.

We chinese people view the world as the combination of three essential parties: the heaven, earth, and people. We believe that it is the perfect metaphor for this project. The three parties was metaphorically transformed into the form of an interactive table as the earth, surrounded by a panoramic wall as the heaven. With the presence of the visitors, the Weltanschauung would reappear itself within the exhibition site. People entering the exhibition could initiate the interaction by placing onto the table an object with a piece of calligraphy work by Ms Dong. The spirit of the calligraphy would then transform from the object onto the panoramic wall and present itself in the form of animated graphics. Groups of text would float onto the surface of the table, showing the origin of the phrase, the frequency of the phrase being used over time, and also the relating key words with containing paragraphs showing the contemporary meaning of the phrase.

Making of

The making of this project began in a secret lab set up in the study of my family’s apartment. Prototypes of program were written, libraries for interaction were tested, and blueprint of the interactive table were made.

Interactive table

There were two alternatives we had: a round table with a donut-shaped display, or a rectangular table. We went for the rectangular design following the traditional chinese belief of round sky and square earth 天圓地方.

The design of a round table.

Given the size of the exhibition site, the size of the table must be large enough to balance the space we have. In order to design the table in details before actually building it, I wrote a interactive program to optimize the reflecting angles of projection inside the table.

The construction of the inner structure of the interactive table followed. Large mirrors and the front glass surface were mounted. To see images and text showing up on the two-meter wide glossy glass was really stunning.

Construction of the table with Lin Pei Ying and Huang Guo Qiao.

As the opening day drew near, the table was moved to the exhibition site, and the team settled in the staff dormitory of the museum. During the day we would run tests on the sensors of the table, communicate with the carpenters who were making the exterior of the table and the panoramic wall, consult with the panoramic projection specialist, or have one of those numerous discussions about the interaction people would have with the exhibition. At night we would distill our thoughts, and fine-tune the program in each of our rooms.

The Size of the table in context.

Tangible interface

We wanted the interface for this object be tangible. To achieve that, we had to address two issues simultaneously, which were the form of the tangible interface and the invisible detection mechanism behind the design. I decided to use reacTIVision, the open source library for object detection that powered Reactable. The detection mechanism is facilitated by the fiducial markers which a camera under the table could recognize and distinguish.

A part of the collection of fiducial marks used in reacTIVision.

The performance of this mechanism was key to this project. For months we had been searching and experimenting on cameras, lens, IR filter and lighting. For the material of the marks, we were determined to make it as transparent to the user as we could. Pei Ying and I went to stores of car supplies for window films.

Test on appropriate size of fiducial markers.

The form of the interface went through several iterations before the decision was made to use traditional chinese scrolls. The original thought was to take the form of a traditional chinese thread-bound book. All the pieces would be in one book. When the user turns a page, the system detects that, resulting in a different presentation. Cards were also one of the options. Scrolls were the optimal solution for the concern of implementation.

Traditional chinese thread-bound books.

The fiducial mark on a scroll.

Interacting with the table.

The goal of this project was to explore the possibilities of the form of chinese calligraphy. Through digital media, this project intended to convey the beauty of chinese calligraphy to the people of the younger generations.

A dry run of the animation of the piece Tian Zi Zhi Nu 天子之怒, anger of the emperor.

A dry run of the information search cloud.

On opening day.

During the exhibition. Playing the animation of the piece Gun Gun Chang Jiang Dong Shi Shui 滾滾長江東逝水, roaring Yang Zi River running towards the east.

photo interaction

raster graphics

An experiment that to recompose a photo with the addition of the facial expression people would have on it.

drawing together

computer-generated graphics, projection, mobile phones

An interactive experiment that allows people to draw using their physical presence.

It was a team project made in the Nightmarket workshop 夜市工作坊 2008 at NCKU 國立成功大學. Held on August 14th to 18th, 2008, the workshop organized by Jackie Lee 李佳勳 and sponsored by the MIT Media Laboratory and various academic and industrial bodies in Taiwan.

Night markets are special to Taiwanese culture. Vendors would gather in a large, open space such as a parking lot or a street. Families, students would gather for the delicious and inexpensive drink, food, and games.

Having visited the famous Hua Yuan night market 花園夜市 in the city of Tainan 臺南, the team decided to add some interactions into the games in night markets.

By leveraging the GPS in smart phones, a simple game was designed. Visitors of a night market could leave traces signaled from their phone while they walk, run, intersect or chase with other participants. It was an empty canvas for anyone to participate. The result would be a collaborative drawing.

In this project, I was the main programmer. The phones we had required the code to be written in Python, which I had no prior experience with.

screen shots

raster graphics

A self-initiated experiment to record my digital footprints by screenshots.

Personal computers are centric to the life of many of us nowadays. As all of our actions appears on the screen, it is, in a sense, curated by each of us. It displays all kinds of things that are near or dear to us. It is a mosaic of one's (digital) life formed by one's habit and even the unconscious mind.

I started this experiment as an alternative way to write diary. The screen honestly reflects our action, screen shots are quick, direct, and truthful to the moment, much like photographs of the virtual world.

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Sit down please ;-)

computer-generated graphics, screen, keyboard, mouse, knob

An interactive installation for children to sit on the grass and play with the fundamental elements in design.

This installation is a team project. It serves as part of Magic Garden—an exhibition of digital interactive installations for the third Taiwan International Children’s TV & Film Festival. I created Letter Cut, one of the five programs which comprise the installation. The exhibition was in the Dun Nan branch of Eslite Bookstore, from March 28 to April 8, 2008.

The team formed originally at the Nightmarket workshop 夜市工作坊 in 2007, led by Taiwanese media artist Teng Chao Ming 鄧兆旻. I joined the team in place of a friend of mine who was unavailable around the time of the exhibition.

It was my first step into the world of design and interaction and my first time working with a group of people who share with me a common language. Design was no longer an vague idea that I kept to myself, but an real scenario which I could bring up and raise discussions. It was liberating to me.

The idea of Letter Cut was to make paintings with letters. To decompose the letters, overlooking their functions as letters and to use their simple forms. Users could manipulate the letters with various input devices. Pressing the keys on the keyboard, dragging the mouse, and turning the knob would have different effects on the final painting.

This would later led to my research on the mathematical form of Bezier curves, and a new version of Letter Cut which allows arbitrary cuts.

volleyball

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The volleyball team of the Department of Information Management, National Taiwan University 國立臺灣大學.

For five years, the team is the most important part of my everyday life. It is more than a sport or a competition, but a devotion and a precious memory.

Before college, I would describe myself as an introvert—few friends, not good at sports as I concentrated my time on thinking and writing. When college came, I moved to the city of Taipei. Away from home, I was eager to explore my potential. After orientation, I attended my first team practice in the Affiliated High School of National Taiwan Normal University 師大附中 in the summer of 2004, before the first semester even started. From that day on, I spent every single Saturday morning on the team practice for five years, despite the rain or (sometimes) even typhoon.

I was captain of the team in my junior year. The team is like a family to me. Despite all the conflicts, the ups and downs, many people I met there became my dearest friends.