Final Project Domains, Precedents, Design Values and Self Evaluation

Assignment 6: MS1 Final Project, Major Studio 1

Concept Statement:

I am creating a speculative design piece for those interacting with it to visualize a future that evokes feelings of disgust and thoughts about their actions in the context of coexistence with the marine ecosystem.

Research Question:

How can human interactions with technological inputs and outputs be used to biomimic a jellyfish?

Design Values:

Theme
In their paper “Climate-related increases in jellyfish frequency suggest a more gelatinous future for the North Sea”, Martin Attril et al suggest that with current climate-change trends, jellyfish frequency will increase over the next 100 years. Taking from their research, my project is a speculative design piece of a gelatinous future wherein humans are dependent on jellyfish for energy, food and information.

The piece will be an installation that people can interact with to experience this future in the present. It will also have an introductory video that describes the story of the dystopian world where this piece is of importance to its inhabitants. The jellyfish act as a network for the people, providing information on the date, time, weather, food availability, power availability and news updates posted by reporters of the age. It’s a home installation device of a future that people can experience today through biomimicry.

Reflection

The history of increasing jellyfish blooms is dated back to the 1980’s. Jellyfish frequency has been on the rise ever since, except for the year 2004. These increases are majorly attributed to human activities and commercialization of fisheries that lead to global warming, increased saltwater salinity, introduction of non-native species and so on. Today there are almost 1,400 species, some poisonous, some edible, some immortal even. The rises, however, have a negative impact on us, especially from the economic point of view. Jellyfish clog nuclear power plants and diamond mines, sting tourists and swimmers in the ocean, hampering fishing activities and so on. Thus, instead of focusing on the multiple uses of jellyfish, people are finding ways to remove jellyfish from the water bodies. Jellyfish uses have been limited to food, medicine and collage extracts.

I am using the newer researchers on jellyfish, including studies on “Voltage sensing in jellyfish shaker K+ channels by N. G. Grigoriev et al and “Simulation of piezoelectric jellyfish power generator” by Yeong-Jen Wu and Wei-Hsiang Lai. Thus, my final prototype is an installation of a tank that looks contemporary but holds three large jellyfish. These jellyfish can move with a command from the phone. The movement depicts production of electricity and the bioluminescence, depicted by LEDs, shows completion of the process. It is aimed at explaining how jellyfish controls information flow in the future, as this flow is dependent on electricity, which is produced by jellyfish. However, the main control still remains in our hands. This is to show that we still hold the key to controlling the situation.

The purpose of the installation and video is to give people a sneak peek into the future we are headed towards. At the end of the video, they should feel like it is a world they do not want to live in and would not want to experience. Although, it is true that they will not be present any longer during that age, it should leave them appreciating the environment they have currently.

The physical iteration of the product will be attractive enough to catch attention, but when they learn more about the device, they should not want to own such a device willingly as it would be a world with exhausted natural resources and a disrupted environment wherein they will not be able to experience the luxuries of today.

Point of view

At first, the installation looks like a regular jellyfish tank, but on seeing the video and reading about the installation, they realize it to be a speculative design piece speaking of dystopian future with exhausted resources and a gelatinous ocean. It’s a take on how we will have to adapt to survive. It’s critiquing our current activities affecting the environment, research being done in these fields and how technology will be integrated with nature into our immediate environments for survival; how biomimicry and biotechnology will be our solution to current problems.

Challenge
Speculative design is a tool of critical design I am using to provoke people to think about a future that may or may not be depending on our actions today. It is a mental challenge to get people to think about the today that affects the tomorrow. And I wish to do so by showing a video of the future and an installation of the device as if it were present today. They can interact with it and at the same time see how their future will be with jellyfish surrounding them.

Perception
The device represented is a jellyfish tank, which would look like a box that would be wall mounted. The outward color of the casing is black with the coral at the base being colorful, while the jellyfish are transparent and have color only when biomimicking bioluminescence. The device communicates through a screen interface.

The design of the interface is inspired from current takes of designers on futuristic interface screen designs. The color scheme used is inspired from the most commonly used blue and black or green and black color schemes used to depict futuristic screens and scientific technologies. However, since the same color trend has been used since the 1980’s, I want to show that our perception of the future has changed but still not completely from the trends that have continued for years. Thus, I am using dark gray and turquoise for representing the information display.

The video will begin with a view of the disastrous world in the future, with the following few screens describing the environment and will eventually zoom in from the universe to a small house on the globe with the device placed in there. It will then run through the functionality of the device while describing the environment it is placed in. The video is intended to show the audience why and how we reached the state wherein we need the device to survive.

Decision-making
More than making the decision, the user is thinking about this future presented before him/her. It is a provocative speculative design. The user is to question today’s actions leading to this devastative future. It’s an imperfect space. If this piece could get people to think of their actions and take a decision to change, it would be more than what I aim for.

Context
The audience interacting with this installation would be people visiting it. However, the main target would be people between the ages of 16 to 30. The main reason being, these people hold capacity to bring about a change. Either they will live to see such a future or will develop measures to do something about it.

They are also the people who frequent museums for inspiration, exploration or educational purposes and would then have a chance to encounter this installation at a museum where it is set up.

Emotions
I am hoping that at the end of the interaction, the audience is grossed out by the idea of a gelatinous ocean. They would not want jellyfish to surround them as much, even though the creatures are fascinating. They feel sad for the actions that have lead us to the point of imagining such a future. The idea is to provoke thought, which would then at some point lead to action.

Domains:

Biomimicry

Biomimicry is the imitation of models, systems and elements of nature for solving complex human problems. Biomimicry of jellyfish has received attention from Marine Scientists and Biomedical and Medical Researchers in the last two decades. There is extensive research on biomimicking propulsion techniques of jellyfish using memory shape alloy composites and ionic conducting polymer films. There is limited research in the biomimicry of jellyfish, besides its propulsion techniques. The study “Simulation of piezoelectric jellyfish power generator” by Yeong-Jen Wu and Wei-Hsiang Lai on biomimicking jellyfish tentacles to create electricity inspired my project of biomimicking jellyfish to create a futuristic device wherein jellyfish are capable of producing electricity for humans, in the absence of other natural resources.

Speculative Design

Speculative design is a tool of critical design to challenge assumptions and conceptions about the role of objects play in everyday life.[1] With the jellyfish blooms, the prediction is that the ocean could be gelatinous in a hundred years. Thus, I am using speculative design to imagine a dystopian gelatinous world wherein we are surrounded by jellyfish and have learned to use jellyfish to our benefit, contrary to the ongoing study by Anthony J. Richardson et al in ” The jellyfish joyride: Causes, consequences and management responses to a more gelatinous future”, which provides methods of eradicating jellyfish from the ocean.

Interactive Design

Interactive design is a user-oriented field focusing on meaningful communication of media through cyclical and collaborative processes between people and technology. Christopher Crawford, in his book “The Art of Interactive Design”, says it is a process of listening, thinking and speaking alternatively between the actors; wherein actors represent people and technology. In the same manner, my installation is listening to a technological input, to then speak to the user through an interface, leaving the user thinking of a dystopian future as a result of their current actions. The interface screen acts as a communicator between the user and jellyfish, where the jellyfish sends information to the human and the user can use it to trigger movement of the jellyfish.

Human Centered Design

Human centered design is based on the physical and psychological needs of the human user, enabling the user to function at the highest level possible. The design has to enhance human abilities, overcome human limitations and foster human acceptance. And in a future, with a lack of any natural resources, when we are dependent on jellyfish, I am looking at how humans can use them to overcome power and communication issues to adapt and survive.

Self-Evaluation

a. What are the specific questions you are attempting to answer in your prototypes?

In their paper “Climate-related increases in jellyfish frequency suggest a more gelatinous future for the North Sea”, Martin Attril et al suggest that with current climate-change trends, jellyfish frequency will increase over the next 100 years. And through further research, I realized that the focus on use of jellyfish is limited to medicine, food and collagen extracts. There is very little research on other ways of using jellyfish. In relation to the recent blooms, people are finding ways of eradicating jellyfish instead of finding ways of utilizing them.

Thus, my project is a speculative design piece to give the audience a disgusted feeling of the future and make them think about their current actions in relation to the marine ecosystems. The jellyfish, in the installation, act as a network for the people, providing information on the date, time, weather, food availability, power availability and news updates posted by reporters of the age. It’s a home installation device of a future that people can experience today through biomimicry.

b. What are the five strengths of your project?

  1. The installation “Aurelia” is a speculative design, which asks the audience to imagine a dystopian future and aims to disgust them. According to Silvan Tomkins, ‘disgust’ is the last of the nine affects that humans share with animals. The affect of ‘disgust’ is supposed to be more discrete than complex and muddled human emotions. So, the installation is focusing on a particular feeling that is achievable through good story telling.
  2. The infomercial video supporting the installation establishes a storyline that well portrays the idea of a dystopian future that is not a rosy picture. It communicates the need for measuring current activities and research for a better future. It also supports the explanation of the need and importance of the design piece in such a future.
  3. The physical installation is a scaled model of this futuristic device that people can interact with. With the technological components functioning, it would be possible for people to use their mobile phones and interact. This would be a way bleeding fiction into reality.
  4. It highlights the fact that a problem can become its own solution. In this future the installation paints, jellyfish blooms are the problem. However, being able to use jellyfish instead of the currently used natural resources is creating a solution.
  5. The basis of this dystopian future is based on the assumption that we have a gelatinous ocean. And jellyfish become the focal point of the solution. Jellyfish are fascinating creatures that attract everyone alike but raise different feelings in different people. So it creates curiosity in people to at least know what the installation is about.

c. What are the five most critical issues for your project?

  1. The infomercial is a crucial part of the presentation. If it is not convincing enough, people will not be able to grasp the intensity of the dystopian future.
  2. The aesthetics of the final product and the interface need to appear futuristic but at the same time not feel alien. If the aesthetics and designs are not right, they will not impart the intended feeling.
  3. Conceptualizing the idea to be provocative and not preachy is difficult. But at the same time, it could become funny rather than critical. Thus, it is important to word the project and script the infomercial such that it discreetly highlights the dark humor hidden in the concept.
  4. The first prototype had only one jellyfish and not everyone could accept that it was enough to produce electricity. However, in the final project it is important to show multiple jellyfish so people can understand that the tank would hold a brood of jellyfish.
  5. Backing the project with substantial research is important to answer any related questions. Assuming jellyfish can produce electricity would hold no value unless there were supporting studies to prove that it is even remotely possible. In such a case, there would be no answer to questions raised by critics.

d. What can you do to address these issues, and to solidify the strengths?

To start with, all the research supporting the ideas represented needs to be in place. With proper understanding of the research, it is easier to prepare a presentation, content and concept for the idea.

The research needs to include not only studies done on related topics but also on the how similar ideas are represented by other designers. Besides precedents for the project, adequate design references are also required.

The script of the infomercial has to be such that is grasping but humorous. The audience should be interested in watching it but does not get bored. Only if the audience watches the entire video would they understand the intensity of the situation. If the installation works in favor of the idea, it automatically becomes a strong point for the project.

The aesthetics are not difficult to produce, but getting feedback during the process of designing would be important to make sure that the audience understands the message I am trying to convey by looking at the piece also. To ensure the design is appropriate I need the right color scheme, schematics for the interface and design the prototype in such a manner that it can tie the present to the future.

With adequate research, appropriate script, convincing infomercial and good aesthetics, it will be easy to convey the required message and play upon the crucial factors and solidify the strengths.

e. Can you intuitively ask some new questions?

Besides the questions the project is currently answering, some other questions could include:

  1. Whether the concept of electricity using jellyfish could be applied at mass level rather than individual level?
  2. Would jellyfish form the network spoken about in the project, as it would be interesting to see data flow through jellyfish?
  3. Could the design of the casing be more organic or should it remain more geometric?

f. What questions need to be answered in order to create a proof of concept prototype?

The following questions should be answered:

  1. Is there adequate research to back the idea of jellyfish producing electricity?
  2. Is the script of the infomercial convincing enough?
  3. Does the infomercial produce the intended feeling in the audience?
  4. Are the aesthetics of the prototype appealing to the audience?

 g. Are you on the right path or do you need to change direction, and if so, how will you do that?

Based on feedback and user testing for the first prototype, I was able to ensure that the project creates the intended feeling of disgust in the audience. Following feedback on the first prototype, the second prototype requires to be a scaled model with more independent technological interactions, where it is not dependent on the human at all times. The concept is easily understandable by the users, but would require an explanatory video to convey the message better and in fewer words. There is not a need for change of direction in terms of the idea wanting to be presented. The only change required is the manner in which it is presented.

Precedents:

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 11.03.21 PM

Final Prototype:

 

AnnotatedBibiliography

[1] According to Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby in their book “Speculative Everything”, speculative design is a tool for designing ideas to imagine possible futures.

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Annotated Bibliography

Assignment 6: MS1 Final Project, Major Studio 1

The trouble with jellyfish. in Harvard Gazette [database online]. 2015 [cited October 28 2015]. Available from http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2015/10/the-trouble-with-jellyfish/.

The artwork in the article is an exhibition by an artist Mark Dion in collaboration with Harvard design students to create awareness about the increasing jellyfish blooms, its causes and its negative impacts on the environment. This precedent well describes the causes and effects of jellyfish bloom and how the problematic can be pointed out through design.

Attril, Martin J., Jade Wright, and Martin Edwards. 2006. Climate-related increases in jellyfish frequency suggest a more gelatinous future for the north seaLimnology and Oceanography 52, (1), DOI:10.4319/lo.2007.52.1.0480,http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.libproxy.newschool.edu/doi/10.4319/lo.2007.52.1.0480/abstract.

Martin Attril is the Director of the Marine Institute at Plymouth University, UK. Martin Edwards is an underwater photographer. The three authors study the possible changes in jellyfish population in the North Sea and identifying the related causes and effects. This article of importance in understanding why jellyfish blooms occur and its impact on the environment.

Crawford, Chris. 2002. The art of interactive design, ed. Karol JuradoWilliam Pollock.

Christopher Crawford is a computer game designer and writer. He is known for his passionate advocacy of game design as an art form and is the founder of The Journal of Computer Game Design and the Computer Game Developers’ Conference. His book proposes an understanding of what makes things interactive for successful creation of websites, computer games and softwares. The book was helpful in understanding interactive design in terms of technology used by humans.

Demont, M. Edwin, and John M. Gosline. 1988. Mechanics of jet propulsion in the hydromedusan jellyfish, polyorchis penicillatus: II. energetics of the jet cycleJournal of Experimental Biology(134): 333-45.

Edwin M. Demont is a Professor at University of British Columbia with focus on properties of biological materials, invertebrate cardiac physiology and mechanics, biological fluid dynamics. John M. Gosline also was a Professor at University of British Columbia and his research field is comparative biomechanics. Their research is about studying jet propulsion of jellyfish. It is important as it talks about the ability of jellyfish to store mechanical energy produced by their movement.

Dunne, Anthony, and Fiona Raby. 2013. Speculative everything – design, fiction, and social dreaming. The MIT Press.

Anthony Dunne is a Professor and Head of Design Interactions Program at the Royal College of Art. He is the author of Hertzian Tales: Electronic Products, Aesthetic Experience, and Critical Design (MIT Press). Fiona Raby is a Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, and Reader in Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art. This book proposes a tool for designing ideas to imagine possible futures. It is important as it gives an understanding of what speculative design means and what its purpose is.

Durkin, Jessica. Bioluminescence. 2011 [cited October 21 2015]. Available from http://jessica-durkin.com/biolum.

Jessica Durkin is a user experience designer with an art school background focused on human centered design and interactive technology. The installation showcases capabilities of bioluminescent organisms, using a glowing jellyfish to interact with passersby. I am using this installation as a precedent as the bioluminescence of the jellyfish has been biomimiced using technology to create awareness about bioluminescence.

Fukushi, Keiichi et al. 2004. Preliminary study on the potential usefulness of jellyfish as fertilizerBulletin of the Society of Sea Water Science, Japan 58 (2): 209-17.

Keiichi Fukushi is a Professor of Analytical Chemistry at Kobe University, Japan with research interests in analysis of various constituents of seawater. In his study, he uses chemical studies to convert jellyfish to fertilizer. This paper presented a different use of jellyfish, besides medicine and food.

Greenhouse, Esther Semsei. 2012. Human-centered designLivable New York Resource Manual.

Esther Semsei Greenhouse is an Environmental Gerontologist in Ithaca, New York. His article talks about the need and importance of human centered design in communities and environments. In his writing, he provides a basic understanding of the concept of human centered design.

Grigoriev, N G, et al. 1997. Voltage sensing in jellyfish shaker K+ channelsJournal of Experimental Biology(200): 2919-26.

N G Grigoriev is part of the Department of Biological Sciences at University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. This research paper talks about voltage sensing in jellyfish. It is crucial as it shows possibility of an electric charge in jellyfish.

Hsieh, Peggy Y-H, Fui-Ming Leong, and Jack Rudloe. 2001. Jellyfish as foodHydrobiologia 451, (1) (May), DOI: 10.1023/A:1011875720415, http://link.springer.com.libproxy.newschool.edu/article/10.1023/A:1011875720415.

Y-H Peggy Hsieh is a food scientist at Florida State University and is a Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science. Fui-Ming Leong is at Perseco Asia Pacific Singapore. Jack Rudloe is a writer, naturalist and environmental activist from Panacea, Florida and is the founder of Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory. Their article describes environmental and economic benefits of the Chinese culture using semi-dried jellyfish as food. It is useful in knowing the importance of jellyfish in the food industry.

Marshall, John et al. 1995. The jellyfish green fluorescent protein: A new tool for studying ion channel expression and functionNeuron 14, (February), 10.1016/0896-6273(95)90279-1, http://www.sciencedirect.com.libproxy.newschool.edu/science/article/pii/0896627395902791.

John Marshall is an Assistant Professor of Medical Science in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biotechnology at Yale School of Medicine. This paper describes two methods for using jellyfish green fluorescent protein (GFP) for studying the embryonic kidney cells. It is an example of the use of jellyfish in medicine.

Mills, Claudia E. 2000.
Jellyfish blooms: Are populations increasing globally in response to changing ocean conditions?   In Development in hydrobiology jellyfish blooms: Ecological and societal importance., eds. Jennifer E. Purcell, W. M. Graham and Henri J. Dumont. Vol. 155, 55-68Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Claudia E. Mills is an independent research scientist at Friday Harbor Laboratories and Department of Biology at University of Washignton. Her paper describes the causes and effects of non-indigenous species and possibility of extinction of certain species. It focuses on non-native species as a cause of blooms.

Nagai, Takeshi et al. 1999. Collagen of edible jellyfish exumbrellaJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture(79): 855-8.

Takeshi Nagai works at the Laboratory of Marine Biochemistry in Japan. This article describes the process of extracting collagen from jellyfish. It is useful as it shows an alternative use of jellyfish except food and medicine.

Nawroth, Janna C et al. A tissue-engineered jellyfish with biomimetic propulsionNature Biotechnology(30), 10.1038/nbt.2269, http://www.nature.com.libproxy.newschool.edu/nbt/journal/v30/n8/abs/nbt.2269.html (accessed July 22, 2012).

Janna C. Nawroth is a Technology Development Fellow for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Wyas Institute at Harvard and the Disease Biophysics Group at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). She studies the use of the medusa model of movement in the sea to replicate the model for muscular pumping to survive. It is a great example of biomimicking a jellyfish.

Parsons, T. R., and C. M. Lalli. 2002. Jellyfish population explosions: Revisiting a hypothesis of possible causesLa Mer, Societe Franco-Japonaise d’Oceanographie 40 : 111-21.

Dr. T.R. Parsons is a Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia and an Honorary Research Scientist at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sydney, B.C., Canada. The study is about a hypothesis that relates jellyfish bloom to specific food chains in the sea that are based on production of nanophytoplankton. I like the paper as it considers natural and man-made causes of the bloom.

Pixar. Wall-E (2008).

The image of the Earth used in the informercial is taken from this site.

 

Purcell, Jennifer E., Shin-ichi Uye, and Wen-Tseng Lo. 2007. Anthropogenic causes of jellyfish blooms and their direct consequences for humans: A reviewMarine Ecology Progress Series 350, (November 22), 10.3354/meps07093.

Jennifer Purcell is a Marine Scientist at Shannon Point Marine Center with focus on biological oceanography and zooplankton ecology. Shin-ichi Uye is a Professor of biological oceanography at Hiroshima University, known for focused research on jellyfish. Wen-Tseng Lo is a Professor of marine biotechnology and resources in Taiwan with focus on limnology, marine biology and ecology. The article lays down the causes, effects, advantages and disadvantages of jellyfish. It helps in receiving and understanding the importance of jellyfish in the ecosystem.

Richardson, Anthony J. et al. The jellyfish joyride: Causes, consequences and management responses to a more gelatinous futureTrends in Ecology & Evolution 24, (6) (June), 10.1016/j.tree.2009.01.010, http://www.sciencedirect.com.libproxy.newschool.edu/science/article/pii/S0169534709000883.

Anthony Richardson is a Mathematics Professor with research interests in marine ecology, climate impacts research and analysis of large datasets using modern analysis techniques. This paper talks about causes, effects, advantages and disadvantages of jellyfish as well. This paper is important because it provides possible solutions to control these blooms.

Rouse, William B. 1999. Human centered designWiley Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, 10.1002/047134608X.W7118, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.libproxy.newschool.edu/doi/10.1002/047134608X.W7118/full.

Dr. William Rouse is a researcher, educator, author and entrepreneur. He is a Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and Alexander Crombie Humphreys Chair in Economics of Engineering in the School of Systems and Enterprises at Stevens Institute of Technology. In his article, he provides a framework for human centered design. It is important as it explains the objectives and issues of human centered design.

 

Smith, Mark. Weather channel strangest weather on earth thunder show. in Youtube [database online]. 20142015]. Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYy8cxnHH0A.

Part of this video was used for the introduction of the infomercial.

Uye, Shin-ichi. 2008. Blooms of the giant jellyfish nemopilema nomurai: A threat to the fisheries sustainability of the east asian marginal seasPlanktos and Benthos Research(3), 10.1.1.458.2458,http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.458.2458&rep=rep1&type=pdf.

Shin-ichi Uye is a Professor of biological oceanography at Hiroshima University, known for focused research on jellyfish. In the paper, he focuses on a specie of the jellyfish and its impact on the fisheries business in East Asia. The article highlights the causes of bloom of one specie and its economic effect on the fisheries business.

Villanueva, Alex, Colin Smith, and Shashank Priya. 2011. A biomimetic robotic jellyfish (robojelly) actuated by shape memory alloy composite actuatorsBioinspiration and Biomimetics 6, (3), 10.1088/1748-3182/6/3/036004,http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-3182/6/3/036004.

Alex Villanueva, Colin Smith and Shashank Priya are part of the Center for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures (CIMSS) and Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems (CEHMS) at Virginia Tech. They did research on biomimicking the jet propulsion technique of jellyfish using shape memory alloy composite actuators. This paper provides and example of biomimicry of jellyfish.

Wittorski, Pierre. Medusa electronica. 2014 [cited October 21 2015]. Available from http://www.pierrewittorski.com/medusa-electronica/.

Pierre Wittorski is a student at EMYLON Business School in the field of information technology and services. The installation was created as a metaphor of Internet that we feed with our personal data everyday. It uses three jellyfish wherein two feed in data from human interactions to light up the third one. This installation is a precedent because he uses jellyfish as an example of human interaction with technology.

Wu, Yeong-Jen, and Wei-Hsiang Lai. 2010. Simulation of piezoelectric jellyfish power generatorModern Physics Letters B 24, (13) (30 May 2010), 10.1142/S0217984910023530,http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S0217984910023530.

Yeong-Jen Wu and Wei-Hsiang Lai are at the University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Taiwan. Their study focuses on using sea waves movement to generate electrical energy in jellyfish tentacles made from piezoelectric polymers. The study holds importance as it is biomimicking jellyfish tentacles for producing usable electrical energy.

Ye, Xiu Fen et al. 2008. Driving mechanism of a new jellyfish-like microbot. Mechatronics and Automation, 10.1109/ICMA.2008.4798818, http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4798818&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D4798818;.

Xiu Fen Ye is part of the Harbin Engineering University in China. The paper talks about biomimicking the jet propulsion technique of jellyfish using shape memory alloy and ionic conducting polymer film actuators. This is a good example of biomimicking a jellyfish.

Concept Statement

Assignment 6: MS1 Final Project

I am creating a speculative design piece, for people with phones who view this design piece, to have a disgusted and creepy feelings and thoughts about the possibilities of science and technology to adapt to changes in our ecosystem in terms of jellyfish blooms rather than eradicating them in the context of a dystopic gelatinous future.

Who is it for?

My target audience would be the generations between the ages of 16 years to 50 years as they are either part of such a future or can contribute towards improving such a future.

Where do they encounter it?

The design piece would be experienced in a video online.

When do they experience it?

They experience it when they visit the video via social media.

What are they doing while experiencing it?

They are watching the video while experiencing it.

What does the project ask of its audience? 

The project asks its audience to understand the impact of our actions on our surroundings and the possibilities of adapting and innovating.

What do you want the audience to take away from their experience?

I want the audience to take with them the thought of a dystopic future as a result of their actions.

What are some adjectives around how the project will make its audience feel?

I want the audience to have a disgusted feeling about such a future and make them reluctant to want to live in such a world.

 

Functional Prototype 1 for Finals (Arduino Finals)

Assignment 2: Arduino, Assignment 3: IoT Final, Assignment 6: MS1 Final Project, CC Lab & Lec, Internet of Things

 

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Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 11.04.26 PM

FishTank

 

As part of the second prototype, I am looking at making the casing look more futuristic and use interactions that are more independent and less dependent on humans. The clock would be represented in a manner different from the normal analogue or digital view we see. The ultrasonic sensor will be replaced with the representative clock to send updates to the screen. Even powering the jellyfish would be a remote activity from the screen rather than manually doing it.

I was suggested to use a more organic look for the casing. However, considering our futures would be more compact and there would be a fight for space. So I am looking at a more compact design rather than the organic look.

 

Sem 1 Finals Proposal Presentation

Assignment 3: CC Final, Assignment 3: IoT Final, Assignment 6: MS1 Final Project, CC Lab & Lec, Internet of Things, Major Studio 1

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Jellyfish are fascinating creatures that use bioluminescence to attract mates, distract prey and capture predators. They are expected to have a short life span of 1 year and usually bloom in spring or fall. Some species also bloom more than once a year. Jellyfish blooms have been seen to be on the rise since the 1980’s and much of it is contributed to human impact on the environment, which led to global warming and eutrophication. The blooms are also on the rise due to fishing activities and aquaculture. This rise in jellyfish population has negative effects like reduced tourism, clogging of thermal power plants and diamond mines, changes in sea beds and marine ecosystems. Some researchers predict, that at the current rate of bloom, the population will continue to grow for another 100 years.

In my project, I would like to focus on the problem of this problem, and imagine a future where only jellyfish cover the aquatic life and are the only available resource. So I would like to create an iteration of how jellyfish can be used for multiple purposes. Since jellyfish cannot be kept in regular fish tanks, and we’re out of most resources, the jellyfish is biomimicked to be kept in a regular fish tank.

Jellyfish would be the source of many things like:

  • Power supply
  • Food
  • Clock
  • News update transmission

and so on.

The ultrasonic sensor would be the inducer of all of the above. Blocking the ultrasonic at a certain distance would make run the servomotor, which would make the jellyfish move vertically up and down. The servomotor would resemble the production of power supply. The LED on the jellyfish would change color over a few seconds, depicting that the required amount of power has been generated and stored in the jellyfish.

There would also be a clock that moves around the tank. When the hour hand is before the ultrasonic (the distance being closer than required for power generation), there would be an update on the website (operated from the phone).

The update would show the following information:

  • Current time of the day (imagining time is difficult to tell since its perpetually dark due to pollution)
  • Latest disaster or issue identified around the world
  • Home temperature status
  • Outside weather status
  • Stage of jellyfish bloom (imagining every household has to manage jellyfish aquaculture to create their food)
  • Quantity of edible jellyfish available for current consumption

MS1 Final Project – Proposal

Assignment 6: MS1 Final Project, Major Studio 1

Domain: 

The main domain would be biomimicry. I want to recreate the jellyfish using its features of bioluminescence and propulsion techniques. The jellyfish are fascinating creatures as they do not have a brain but can still flow against water currents. Their gelatinous body allows their luminescence to distract predators, capture prey attract mates. I would like to use this bioluminescence and jellyfish movement to represent human interaction with data and the internet.

Project Idea:

The passersby would be the prey. As they walk closer to the installation, the jellyfish would light up attracting them. The luminosity would trigger the internet to publish information about a jellyfish onto a webpage. The published data would represent the jellyfish bloom that is often triggered by human interaction with the ecosystem.

Audience:

Social researchers, economic researchers, medical researchers and biomedical engineers, architects, computer science engineers.

Context: 

As this involves interaction with passersby of any category, it would be ideal to set it up in a gallery or space where people would pause to look at it.

Process:

As a final iteration, the jellyfish would be a silicon structure to give it the gelatinous feel. There would be an LED in the jellyfish to represent the bioluminescence. The LED would be attached to an ultrasonic sensor to light it up and make the jellyfish move vertically using a servo motor when people approach the installation. The sensor would also be connected to the internet, where a webpage would upload information about the jellyfish onto a webpage. There would also be a photo resistor that would illuminate the entire tank when its dark. Since all our communication with the internet is not always direct, I would also like to use a remote to control the light and movement of the jellyfish. The ultrasonic sensor would be connected to the LED, servo motor and the webpage using an rfduino. The webpage would be hosted over a raspberry pi. The proximity sensor would be connected to the other set of LEDs using an arduino. The remote would also be connected to the arduino using an IR sensor.

Research Question:

How can human interaction be used to biomimetic a jellyfish?

Precedents:

http://www.pierrewittorski.com/medusa-electronica/

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http://jessica-durkin.com/biolum

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http://www.lelaboratoirecambridge.com/#!exhibitions/c5jx

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One To Many – Final Iteration

Assignment 5: One to many, Major Studio 1

The art brief:

My work explores the many faces of superstition behind the everyday face of a person. It is influenced by the questions and research of C. G. Jung and the works of Edvard Munch and Marcel Pedragosa. My work explores the tension between the face worn to blend in the world and the expressions of the superstitions one may believe in.

Detailed description of the project:

I have made a photographic overlay of multiple expressions a person has in their head for every superstition they believe in. The viewer is able to see the emotions the people hide in their “personal subconscious”, as described by C. G. Jung. These are emotions or expressions they wish they to show  when made to do something against their belief but cannot express to remain a part of society and not considered an outcast. The project is made from multiple photographs of one person edited and layered in photoshop.

The reason for using the layer effect is to make it look like it is visualized in someone’s mind. When we close our eyes and see, we can see colored silhouettes and not complete images.

Final Iteration:

facesOfSuperstition

Precedents:

Works of Edvard Munch:

Edvard-Munch-Le-Cri-1910

Foto:05.07.2002

Works of Marcel Pedragosa:

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