While “wushu” literally means martial arts in Mandarin Chinese, the term is more often used to refer to a sport competition format where athletes perform a set routine, much like gymnastics. This project seeks to develop a learning experience where audiences can learn about how Chinese martial arts have adapted to social and technological trends.
Among various Chinese martial arts systems, taichi has garnered widespread interest as a practice for physical, personal, and spiritual development. This stands in contrast to its origins as a highly regarded combat and self defense system. A preliminary AR exhibit was developed focusing on taichi’s history to demonstrate changes that happened to various Chinese martial arts overall.
Skills: Unity, Vuforia, Processing, Arduino, p5.js, ml5.js, Rhino. 3DS Max
Demonstration of an mixed reality experience exhibiting the history of taichi and how the martial arts system has adapted to various social changes. The surrounding walls and light change as the viewer looks at various pieces.
The experience starts with an yin yang image target being recognized, which loads the virtual objects. Though it is often associated with taichi today, yin yang was only later incorporated into the taichi martial arts system by Chen Wanting nine generations after the system was established by the Chen family. The virtual image covers up the image target, conveying both the ever changing and ever illusory nature of taichi.
Exhibition content illustrates how the taichi martial arts system adapted to various social pressures, starting with an interest from upper social classes, to modernity, to the social media landscape today.
When the viewer looks at the most contemporary piece, a screenshot of two Youtube videos, the walls block the first two images of taichi's past. Only by looking back at the previous images can the walls expand back, revealing taichi's origins.
Both surrounding walls and light change depending on the content being viewed.
Views looking upwards
Views looking downwards
Virtual geometry in the experinece came from various experiments on how wushu movements can be used to generate form. Code documentation can be found here.
For the video’s first set of visuals, WeMos D1mini board with IMU/accelerometer sends data to a Processing script.
For the third set of visuals, geometry was created from a series of formal operations, in an attempt to invent a new formal language following the spirit of martial arts movements.
Shapes generated from the first two sets were then lofted, forming continuous geometry and place alongside the third.
A prototype chatbot webapp that makes book recommendations based on a conversation the user has with it. The current version of the chatbot asks a linear sequence of questions from a database, stores keywords from the conversation, and uses those keywords in Google Books API request to return relevant books.
The idea originated from a recognition that not every need in our daily lives is resolvable through a simple search bar query. Conversations are a typical way people cull through more nuanced interests and tastes, such as books, TV shows, food. These conversations usually feel more personal because they are. A chatbot experience sensitive to those moments could provide a better way to identify user’s specific interests and needs, leading to better recommended products and services.
The design veered away from typical chat design patterns, which position chatbots in auxiliary roles on websites. Instead, the chat interface is the main graphical element, reflecting the website’s core value to delivering personalized content to users based on their conversations.
Skills: Illustrator, React, Webpack
The homepage contains the chatbot’s book recommendations to the user. But for first time users, the page just shows placeholders. The chatbot then approaches the user with an invitation to discuss book preferences.
The conversation takes front and center stage in order for the experience to feel more personal. It would be as if you were talking to your friend about books you’ve read.
Each user response is parsed for keywords for searching through Google Books API. The chatbot’s response, which comes from a database of questions, is then displayed on the front-end. The current prototype simply follows a linear sequence of questions, independent of user responses. Future development will improve this algorithm with natural language processing and other machine learning algorithms for finding the best response depending on the user’s conversation.
The conversation ends with a link to the recommendations.
Book recommendations are displayed as book covers using Google Books API.
Clicking on each book cover reveals book title, author, description, as well as the Google Books search query that brought that specific book. This helps the user understand why they are getting the recommendations and can inform future conversations.
If the user accidentally leaves mid-conversation, a message displays instructions on how to get back.
Responsive layouts were also designed for viewing on mobile devices.
Inital brainstorming identified key questions to ask users and how the chatbot responses could be generated based on the user’s conversation. Questions were then stored in a database.
Mobile first storyboarding identified the main sequence of webpages to design. Color palettes and logos were intentionally avoided so that the general layout could be resolved first.
Crazy 8’s ideation was used to brainstorm logo ideas that exemplified the website’s identity: personalized content, emphasis on conversation, and empathetic guidance. The final logo was chosen for its familiarity with conventional chat interfaces. The skeumorophic design reflects how the chatbot should feel like conversing with a friend.
A warm color palette was chosen to provide a comforting environment for personal conversation.
A prototype graphical network tool which archives items with tags, so that finding things that cover a diverse set of topics can be found and compiled from different primary categories. This project grew out of a need for researching the Internet of Things in architecture. Research precedents often covered an interdisciplinary range of topics such that they often didn’t fit perfectly into one folder in conventional file and bookmark systems.
Users specify a primary category and tags for each item and can later trace back to them by inserting tags into a network map. Items and tags can then be dragged around for customized organization. By interacting with the items stored, users may gain a better understanding of their connections to various topics.
Items belong to a primary category. A line indicates another category label that the item is tagged with.
Users specify a primary category and tags for each item. Tags can be both other category names or other subtopics of interest.
Items can be viewed as a list under each category, like in conventional folder structures.
Users can insert tags into the network map and see items that have them.
Items can then be dragged closer to the tags of interest as a way of compiling research precedents falling under different topics.
Energy simulation results are typically displayed in a series of graphs to inform building developers, architects, and engineers of an architectural design’s energy performance and highlight areas where it can be improved. A new version of an energy simulation dashboard was developed to better communicate energy performance metrics.
Skills: Excel, Python
Original dashboard displaying energy model results and key project targets
End uses and project performance targets were condensed into one stacked bar chart
Green house gas emission reductions were re-framed in terms of future goals and policy.
Additional graphs were proposed as a way to evaluate whether the mechanical engineer may have oversized HVAC equipment, a common barrier to sustainable design.
A weekly summer class taught photography to middle school students using their smartphones. The class initially focused on general composition rather than technical craft. Later on, the class experimented with the unique creative opportunities offered by the smartphone: photomanipulation, collages, and dynamic interfaces.
The amount of sunlight that comes into a space is a key consideration in the sustainable building design. Daylight autonomy measures the number of hours in a year the brightness exceeds a certain level (usually 500 lux, the recommended lighting level for reading a book). For a design competition retrofitting 200 Park Ave, daylight simulations were conducted to demonstrate the benefits of carving out portions of the building’s floorplates. While the carvings create open atria for social interactions, they would also improve daylight autonomy in adjacent spaces, yielding electrical lighting savings.
The idea was to convey facade engineering concepts to clients, using the relatable analogy of clothing. The analogy is particularly effective in encouraging attention towards the holistic considerations that go into the design of building facades, both aesthetic and functional.
The project investigated the potential applications of wool used as a passive removal material, a material that can permanently filter out indoor air contaminants when placed in interior spaces. Wool has been experimentally found to adsorb formaldehyde, a chemical carcinogen commonly emitted by wood furniture.
UT Austin’s Thermal Lab was used for testing the potential of wool’s removal capabilities at the scale of a small room. Formaldehyde measurements were taken in the space, with and without wool curtains placed behind the lab’s south facing window.
A curtain prototype was constructed using raw wool, wildlife netting, and paper clips. Wool was pulled through the netting to further secure it, thereby increasing the surface roughness while influencing its aesthetics.
A CFD analysis was done prior to the experiment to determine the optimal placement for the wool material within the Thermal Lab space.
Plots of formaldehyde concentrations placed next to plots of various indoor environment conditions revealed a strong correlation between formaldehyde and indoor air humidity.
Inspired by Heinz Isler, the project explored concrete shell fabrication through inverting hardened forms after curing them in loosely hung flexible cloth.