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Week 4 “Whitney trip, Systems Map/model, Zone Walk”

– What did you think of the presentations? What did you find most interesting? 

The presentation given by the staff from Whitney Museum revealed the structure of the museum’s emergency protecting scheme against destructive flood from Hudson River, and gave brief introduction to several key emergency facilities which can be deployed to protect the building from flood. I’ve never learn about any protective facilities built for architecture against natural disasters . This presentation not only talked about how their deployed protection system can protect the building, but also talked about the the procedure of making the best suitable scheme for the protection plan. It is surprised to see, not only they need to build facilities or equipment with careful consideration, they need to negotiate with surrounding buildings for other resources like storage space. It’s also interesting to see how swiftly the decision was made to build these facilities because of the flood incident made by Hurricane Sandy, as it caused so much damage on building and equipment and the loss alerted people to come up with solutions with future natural dizasters.

– Did the presentations and visit make you feel differently about living in New York? If so, how?

Yes. Before this I always think the apartment by the river were so nice. If you live by the river, you are at the edge of the town, closed to everything by walking. You can also enjoy the wonderful landscape and the riverside walk. However, it might be the worst damaged place once the hurricane or flood hits NYC. If you choose to live by the river, you have to be aware the possibility of natural disaster and be prepared for the evacuation process once the unlucky event happens.

– What does it feel like to go to an art museum, not see art, but to learn about this specialized environmental design instead? Do you think more people should know about these kinds of projects and designs?

I would say it is cool. Learning something that is made by visionary thoughts and detailed planning is a great experience. I would say exploring and learning the efforts and thoughts put in the environmental design is as interesting as appreciating arts. And Whitney Museum should really let more people know about it’s great building with such careful design. As human we created more and more artifacts using natural resources, causing good/bad effects on natural world like climate change, we have to come up with the solution to the potential change. And one thing we need to do is learn about the possible change we have to make on the spaces we live in everyday.

– Do you feel that the Whitney’s flood mitigation system and building design is as artful/creative as the works of art it protects upstairs in the galleries? Which kind of art and design would you rather create?

I think it is. The design was made with detailed analysis on geographical feature and climate change, the design process went through the careful curation based on the consideration of the museum’s needs and possible user scenery that might be happening during the emergency situation (like the navy ship door that could be closed by only one person). This is all done with careful and detailed observation and visionary insights of human need.

I would say one thing I appreciate very much in this project is the care given to the user. Still, it is the usage of the navy ship door that really impressed me – one person could closed the door to protect the the flood go into the building. And I think this is something I would learn and something I would like to put in my own design project.

– Did the visit change your idea of what creative and useful design might be in the age of climate change and the Anthropocene? 

Yes. As in last week we did some shallow research on Anthropocene, I didn’t know what we could do for the coming future and it seems like no one else has a solution. But now, at least I know what we can do with the space which we live in. And it doesn’t look ugly, as the partial design of the building built for protection is quite invisible creating a mystery and future-sense aesthetic.




Zone Walk project


3) Answer the following questions on your LP post: 

– How does having an awareness of evacuation zones change the way you experience living in New York?

It will make huge difference if I’m thinking where to rent an apartment. I can imagine how troublesome it will be when the hurricane comes or the flood comes.

Also, it reminds me to get ready for the unwanted natural disaster. It might be good to make a evacuation plan and prepare some supply beforehand, in this way I’ll be better prepared when things happen.

– What areas appear to be vulnerable to storm surge, if any?

Sure the streets more closed to the coast. Though most of the building nearby the coast were made very solid, some cafe or shops are built with french window, which in my opinion will definitely break as the storm surge come.

– Do any buildings/infrastructures look more prepared for the next storm — how?

Yes. The of building Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China seems pretty solid. It has massive walls made of stone-like materials. However, I’m not really sure it will be strong enough or prepared for the flood or hurricane. It is hard to know how they prepare for the natural disaster without inquiring for their plan or visiting their facilities, like what we did with Whitney Museum.

– Are any effects of Hurricane Sandy visible?

No. I cannot really tell… But it is true that the streets along the coast are not that bustling like you will experience on Broadway. I believe this is somehow due to the hurricane, stores will not prefer a location that might be destroyed.

4) Choose one zone (1-6) as your focus. What is a design idea you have that would communicate/show people what zone they inhabit? What kind of tool, device or signage would you make? Include a list of 3-5 challenges you would face in implementing this project in NYC (think about resiliency of materials, language issues, access to information, visibility during different times of day or during storms, diversity of public etc.).

Maybe an augmented reality app would help user to identify their current zone just by use the camera to point to outside of the window in their apartment.

Challenges would be:

1, how to make a more universal design, since the target users include various races and age groups.

2, how to help blind people can also easily identify the zone?

3, what about if there is not electricity or network due to the flood damage?

4, how to make the exploring process engaging (not dull like reading text book)?


What kinds of systems are linked through plastics? Were you aware of how much plastic has entered various human and biological systems? What can designers do to help limit the amount of plastics contaminating environmental systems?

Plastic objects were used by human -> micro fiber is generated -> microfiber goes into air -? microfiber goes into water -> air or water somehow enter into human body -> potential risk that the micro fiber will enter into people’s lung or gut, with potential risk of it will enter into circulation -> nano particles might go through cell wall.

I’m  totally unaware of this. I just thought plastic might does bad thing to nature and the emission of bad substance might cause cancer, but I really don’t know the particle can physically directly goes into human organ.

Design a long-lasting safe water bottle which is good-looking and easy-to-use enough for user to keep using it everyday. And choose alternative environmental-friendly material for water bottles.


LED environmental influence diagram:

click to download

sustainable system – LED 2-11n21hf



Conduct research online about what worked and what didn’t during the two recent hurricanes in the United States (Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida). 











As world becoming "digitalized", I am exploring the complex correlation between the digital and the physical, the virtual and the real. Through research and project, I'm answering how virtual and digital experience is perceived, and how it can be better applied, along with things like physical computing, to people's life for better working and living experience. I’ve done various forms of project: wearable technology, digital interactive graphics, data visualization, short films and UX design for company collaboration system. I have never limit the possibility of learning and taking use of new forms or new materials. Like a vintage typewriter that uses intelligent coding to type out a poem to wake you up, a short research documentary to observe how people perceive the fake but virtual information embedded in a daily life environment, a raincoat that seal itself using magnets. Actually, most of my works challenged the application of new materials and new forms, while deliver interaction with human experience in a respectful and playful way.

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