Our workshop on HTML and CSS was conducted in week 7 during class time. For this workshop, Johan focused on the theory aspect while Hazzry went through the tutorial of making a student profile with the class.
Sequence of Workshop
Creation of Student Profile
For those who are interested in what we did, you can download the workshop slides and instructions from the links below!
Our workshop on sewing and embroidery was conducted during week 7 in class. For this workshop, we selected a few different kinds of stitches and embroidery methods that we thought would be useful for the class when they create their final prototype.
The rough agenda for the workshop was:
Back Stitch (more secure; useful to sew pieces of cloths together for your prototype relative to using ‘running stitches’ as it got a stronger hold)
Lazy Daisy (using the concept of chain stitch)
French Knot (can be use to create mini roses)
Satin stitch and padding (can be used to create different embroidery design. Tips: Do drawing guidelines of your design before you start embroidering)
The movie that I watched was Mr. Nobody (2009). It is about Nemo Nobody (yep, that’s his name) a 117-year-old- man who is the last mortal on Earth after the human race achieved quasi-immortality. Before he dies, he recounts his “past” when he had to make a critical decision and we get to examine the speculative narrative of alternative life paths he could have lived with three different women. Essentially, it is a story about choice and the ‘what ifs’ of life.
A small design decision that I noticed was the use of genetic pigs as the immortality technology in the year of 2092. Every person (except Nemo) has genetically compatible pet pigs. Instead of food, the pigs are harvested for stem cells which allow an endless renewal of cells and thus, everlasting life for humanity.
I’m currently watching Maniac on Netflix, it is a really interesting show about psychology and pharmaceutical drugs, starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. It seems like it is set around 1980-1990s, from observation of the surroundings and technology. One cool thing about the show is that the technology is “old” but the ideas and concepts behind it is very modern. For example, the characters played by Emma Stone and Jonah Hill are in a pharmaceutical trial that aims to cure the brain of all suffering
One small design decision is that a lot of things in the show are neon and brightly coloured.
There is also a lot of advertising, as seen from the huge neon oral-B sign from the first photo. Kinda weird that you would need a neon sign for a brand that sells oral hygiene products.
“Black Museum” of the series Black Mirror consists of a series of three stories told by a museum narrator that all involve cutting-edge technological connections and transfers with the human brain.
The setup of the hospital looks old-fashioned: bulky medical instruments, decolored wall charts of the brain, wooden doorframes with visible metal pins… making us feel that the stories happened a long time ago. It matches one of the core ideas of Black Mirror that all these disturbing things can already happen, or happen in the near future. However, the “cutting-edge technology” in the story doesn’t exist in our time yet. Therefore there are some small design decisions in the episode that reminds us of the difference between the story world and our world.
The strange yellow “incubator” in the background. We don’t know what it does. But we know it is something related to transferring consciousness.
The blue dots display that occurred many times. Again, we don’t know what it shows. But following this scene the hero mentioned “brain enhancement”, “neural interface” and other terms. The display gives context and makes these concepts more convincing.
A raw of which machines on the table. Are they 3D printers? What are they printing? We don’t know. But it surely it makes us feel that something high-tech is happening in the lab.
I decided to watch Arrival, which was an absolutely amazing movie. Arrival is a movie about a set of alien pods landing on earth out of the blue, and causing mass hysteria internationally. It becomes the goal of all nations to find out why they are here and linguists must race to learn their language in order to understand them.
My favourite design decision from arrival were the alien spaceship pods themselves, called heptapods after their alien owners. They are not necessarily a small design decision, but they are not the core focus of the movie (the language is), so I consider the actual design of the spaceships useful for creating a believable environment. Everything in the movie made things feel like they were happening not far from the present, and I think this was intentional. Even the pods themselves did not feature any super high tech insane designs, they were simply oval shaped and grey. This made the movie more realistic because it didn’t take a giant leap to believe that aliens that are very different from humans would have spaceships that humans themselves couldn’t understand. High tech for humans and the way that humans imagine aliens to be is not necessarily how they will be. So making the alien arrival experience confusing and very nondescript made things more realistic.
The movie I watched over the weekend was the horror-gripping Get Out. If you think this was just a movie about black-vs-white struggles encapsulated in a horror thriller package, think again.
Get Out actually embraces modern-day cultural thematics and loops in the sci-fi when the Whites plot to take-over the Blacks, this time by implanting their consciousness from their dying White bodies into healthy Black bodies with specific talents (sports, artistic etc.) that the Black may have.
I found that this idea was pretty interesting since it actually covers both the physical and the mental realms of B&W struggles through a very jarring and grosteque cinematography and plotline. Also, this movie touches on Afrofuturism whereby the stories have black people as protagonists, which is pretty rare for horror films (since they are usually killed off..)
The design detail that intrigued me the most was the flashlight on the phone which shed light on the protagonist’s fears that something was amiss.
When flashed, the light on the phone awakens the hidden Black consciousness that was suppressed by the White conscious, allowing the Black to momentarily take back control of his/her own body.
Even at the end, the protagonist, being attacked and almost killed by one of the Blacks-possessed-consciously-by-a-White, used his flashlight on his phone to shock the attacker such that he is unleashed from his shackles.
Since cellphone footage has been instrumental in revealing police brutality cases in America regarding racial biases, it was an apt portrayal through the movie that the flashlight phone camera was the one technological tool that ‘unlocked’ and unleashed the racial suppression within the physical bodies of the Blacks.
The movie I watched was “Her” (2013). The best part of the film was that technology was undeniably present, yet at the same time it was incorporated seamlessly into the lifestyle of the main character.
A small design decision was that everything that was technological in this film was almost entirely voice-activated. There is no keyboard or mouse for you to interact with the technologies used in the film. Through this subtle removal of technology as opposed to only introducing new ones, the film was able to bring out a very important dynamic that the main character, Theodore, has with his artifical OS girlfriend, Samantha — reliability.
It was also believable due to the way voice activation was portrayed which isn’t far fetched as one might think, as we imagine the way technology tends to be handled in our world and possibly in this type of future.
Show watched: Black Mirror (Season 4, Episode 2) – Arkangel
The premise of Arkangel is that parents can install a chip in their child’s head, granting them something akin to omnipresence. With the chip and an accompanying linked tablet, parents can see what their child sees, ‘blur’ out things that they deem harmful or stressful to their child and track their location at all times. The episode centers around the device that is presented like any other mobile application on a tablet: sleek, clean and beautifully designed.
However, I noticed the small design decision made on how the chip is implanted into the child’s head. Instead of having to bring a knife to the scalp or showing any blood, they designed the implant device as a small cylindrical tube with a sharp needle-like structure at one end.
The device is brought to the child’s temple and pressed firmly against their scalp, with no signs of discomfort or pain exhibited by the child. This design falls in line with how advanced the technology is. Additionally, the lack of blood or any incision required during the implant process suggests how the programme is geared towards children.
Show watched: Black Mirror’s White Bear (Season 2 Episode 2)
The episode is essentially about how Victoria was punished by the public as together with her fiancé, Iain Rannoch, they abducted a girl called Jemima, and Iain, tortured and killed the girl before burning her body. Victoria did not help, but recorded his actions on her mobile phone. To punish her, the public wiped Victoria’s memory with these neurotransmitter, which can completely wipe out one’s memory. Victoria was then sentenced to undergo the daily punishment in the “White Bear Justice Park”, named after Jemima’s teddy bear, where is she being pursued by killers and people act as passive voyeurs and film it down without helping her.
Upon researching on the web, I realise that researchers have taken a step toward the possibility of tuning the strength of memory by manipulating one of the brain’s natural mechanisms for signaling involved in memory, a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.
Does this mean that in the future, we can wipe out any memory that we want to forget forever? What is previously Black Mirror might actually become true in the future. This might bring benefits too – imagine if we could enhance good memories for patients suffering from dementia and remove bad memories for people with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Back to the episode, the neurotransmitter is designed to be intuitive and has a eerie beeping with blue light, to signal that it is doing its work. Its form resembles that of a mini stethoscope, with a flat surface to put snugly on the temples’ skin. It is also conveniently worn around the head. Upon wearing it, screams can be heard from the pain caused by the seemingly small but powerful device.
Another concept design detail in the movie is how every screen around the storyworld displays the same symbol – the iconic tattoo that Iain had on his neck. This perhaps increases the sinister nature of the killers, but more importantly, is a symbol of the danger where people may be less and less empathetic towards the plight of less privileged people or victims shown on social media. They may simply be yet another image above the share button, and the episode explores if our society will become filled with passive onlookers/voyeurs one day.