Jewel Boxes

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I love accessories, but I always have a hard time when come across arranging and storing them. So for this assignment, I believe it is a good chance to make some containers to treat them nicely.


A simple design diagram.

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Luckily I found a solid condition piece of wood in the junk shop which looks like it was used to built furniture. The only shortage of this piece of wood is its hardness, it was really hard for me to cut.

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I cut the piece into 3 rows and each row contains 4 pieces, I chose one row (4 pieces) and horizontally cut though it so that 4 pieces became 8 shorter pieces, which eventually became my covers for the rest of 8 containers.

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I marked each boxes and sanded them individually. It took me three hours on this task since I really want the box to have a shinny look. Some one them became my test samples, as shown in the pictures.

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I borrowed a froster bit from my colleague for drilling holes.

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I taped each boxes and mark the place where I drilled the pivot point. For drill bit I measured the diameter and chose the one that matches my measurement.

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Unfortunately I couldn’t find the same size drill bit on the second day, I changed the plan and simply punch in some big nails I found in the shop for my pivot stick.

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After being positioned, I used hammer to hammer in the nails. It was really hard for me to control the direction of my force on such small nail, some boxes were failed because the nails were torn and broke the wood.

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Failed samples…



Week 2 / Switch


I found some conductive fabrics from the soft lab, and used it to make a bear switch. It is very simple, just press the nose of the bear, the LED will light up.

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I divided the fabrics into two parts and stuffed in between with cotton so that both side won’t touch, by pressing down the middle part two sides will touch and complete the circuit. After everything is set up, I stuffed them inside of the bear head I sewed, and complete the bear head with the left-over fabrics.

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Pcom W2 Assignment/ Switch from Yihan Chen on Vimeo.

Monster in The Wind ( 2 )

I want to make my week2 assignment base on the assignment I made on week 1. I tried to rewrite the code from my first assignment without doing a lot of hardcoding, in such way the code can have a better structure.

I try to use variables and find the relationship between different variables, so that I can easily make changes and command. I was really giving myself a hard time by adding the mouse press function – I want to trigger the wind to blow when the mouse is pressed, and monster starts shaking because of the chilly wind. Meanwhile, both eyeballs of the monster keep changing the color over the time, and the wind will eventually fades way because I am decreasing the alpha value. Every time when I run the sketch the color of the wind will change. I asked a second year student to help me with the shaking movement, and I try to understand the logic line he told me. I think my main problem is that I need to learn how to better understand logic, which seems not too intuitive in code.

What is interactive design?

Crawford’s interesting yet reasonable definition on interactivity really convinced me with the solid stand point of the “three-step chain”, it is really something lucid and clear about the topic and I believe I can never go wrong with interactive design as long as I stick with the “three-step chain” rule. Therefore rather than coming up with my own definition of interaction, I would just follow Crawford’s opinion, and when come cross whether a good physical interaction, it is really about how to maintain each steps in high quality so that the entire chain will be strong and smooth.

Bret Victor kindly warned us when we are ready to build something “interactive”, it is like a caution note on the floor before people are entering a watery and slippery area. It is always good have some voices like that before it is too late, since the technology develops rapidly and we really don’t want to see something not interactive but defined as interactive. Lastly, technology is just a tool.

For me I believe sometimes being interactive is not essentially necessary, I even feel people are exaggerate “interactive”.  Personally I sometimes view Technology and digital creations as a myth, their existences are already something we could celebrate, adding more human interactions may weaken its glamour. Who creates those? Who give the power to the creators to create those? I keep asking myself those questions and create a personal immersive environment that all the technology and digital inventors are something magnificent and mysterious.

Monster In the Wind

This is my first time to draw with code, and I just hope to draw a lovely character to test out how comfortable for me to program. This is a monster that is afraid of the cold wind. In my mind, everyone or anything would have something they might fear of, no matter how strong the self would be.

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I made some drafts of the monster at the beginning, but I forgot to calculate the accurate coordinate of each shapes and points. I guess it is because I used to draw in AI or with a digital panel, and I have no sense about coordinates before. So I spent most of the time on changing the value according my feeling to find the right place. After I finish it,  I made a stupid mistake, which is I forgot save. So I have to redo everything again. During the second time, I found if I know the range of positions that I want to place my contents, I could compose a lot more efficiently.

I will never forget to save each time.

Here is a overview of my code:


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I really want to make a flashlight that I could bring with me everyday, just like the one Ben sent to his grandma. I tried my best to make it look sophisticated. I found a circle-shape acrylic with 3 small holes and a clean wooden rod in the junk shop, and the size of acrylic is just the right size as the rod. With these two materials, I pictured a final look of the flashlight and then make a sketch.


I try to understand how the different part connect to each other.

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According to the width of my hand, I chose a comfortable length of the handler. In this way I can easily press the button on the bottom of the flashlight.

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This is my first time using the saw, the cutting surface was not too smooth so I sanded it a little bit.


This is a picture of the components I used.

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I drilled 3 holes according to the holes on the acrylic I found, and another hole using the spade bit on the bottom for putting in all batteries and wires.

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I spent a long time to dealing with wires because of the fragility. I taped round the batteries for better fitting in the flashlight, but maybe its because of that now my LED is kind of dark.

I really enjoy this process:)

Flashlight – itp/ fabrication from Yihan Chen on Vimeo.