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September 28, 2020

Learning to Sense with Arduino

Our current senses —sight, touch, smell, hearing, taste— give us a rich portrait of the world. But in the classic paradox, what if we could use the technology around us to sense more? Would we be able to access a richer, portrait of the world around, making the invisible bonds that bring us together or drive us apart a part of our felt sensory experience...

This is a big question, and the best way to attack any big question, is to start small. So I am starting with the humble Arduino Uno.


Blink is the "Hello World" of learning to build with Arduino. I initially struggled some with this task. Im admittedly a little unfamiliar with wiring. Since my breadboard was a little different than the tutorial, it took a little bit of figuring out how to adapt it for a mini-breadboard, but I think this helped me learn a lot about that basics so in the end I am grateful.

Piezzo Buzzer

The circuits on this tutorial were much simpler than the last project. After completing the initial tone, I want to find a way to play music from Legend of Zelda on the buzzer. I searched a few examples, and found one for Song of Hyrule. However I was unable to use this code since I do not know how to set up a library in Arduino, so I settled on a different tune because I know I could make it work.


After watching this tutorial a few times, I was able to draw out a rough circuit diagram on a post-it note of how to adapt it to my mini breadboard and two prong button. I was able to get it working on the first try thanks to my diagram. In the future, I think I will try and draw rough diagrams of what I think is happening within a tutorial to make sure I am following along.


After watching this tutorial a few times, I was able to draw out a rough circuit diagram on a post-it note of how to adapt it to my mini breadboard and two prong button. I was able to get it working on the first try thanks to my diagram. In the future, I think I will try and draw rough diagrams of what I think is happening within a tutorial to make sure I am following along.

This work is being completed as part of my graduate studies in HCI for HyperSense: augmenting the human experience taught by Dina El-Zanfaly.

September 25, 2020

transTexture Lamp: Understanding Lived Experiences with Deformation Through a Materiality Lens

Research product which refers to the idea that artefacts are designed with the characteristics of inquiry driven, finish, fit, and independent to explore rich and lived experiences over time

This paper establishes that we are the Third-Wave of HCI. When I initially started reading the study and the reasoning, I felt confused at the effort and choice of "artefact," research methods, and study participants. It felt exclusionary to other voices —even though they stated why— to choose only designers as participants. It felt elitist.

Coming from a ceramics background, I am very way of over-designing any object that has a primarily utilitarian focus. I don't think form and function are mutually exclusive. But I also think of all the objects in the museum gift shops, that carry hundreds of well designed, beautiful objects... that a very small subset of the population uses. More people probably drink out free plastic cups with logos on them, then do not.

But over the course of this article, I realized that it's not the object itself, but exploration of the interactions over time that was the focus. HCI is relatively new field, even if we are in the Third-Wave. New types of research methods are vital to exploring these interactions between Human and (Tangible) Computer interactions. I am very curious what other types of interactions that can be explored using this method. And so that over time, good design isn't just for a few but fits seamlessly in the context of every day.

Or as Bruno Munari says, “When the objects we use every day and the surroundings we live in have become in themselves a work of art, then we shall be able to say that we gave achieved a balanced life.

September 25, 2020

Exploring the Reflective Potentialities of Personal Data with Different Temporal Modalities

"Personal listening histories lack the material presence that might enable people to casually engage with them in daily life."

The human brain does not construct memory and remembrance linearly or sequentially. Everything is a metaphor connected to another metaphor. Any memory is an intangible experience. Something you can't put your finger on, existing undefined at the edges of your consciousness. The more you try and define it the more you destroy it, layering over current experiences, until all thats left is the memory of the memory. This has been explored at depth in literature, cognitive psychology, philosophy, pop culture, and various other mediums.

And now this radio.

"...to catalyze a range of experiences that can evolve as one develops a sensibility."

What appeals to me about this radio is that it's almost as if you are putting a knob on your memory. Exploring time both linearly but also "perpendicularly" across time periods. This isn't a way of thinking that is natural (sample size: me). Plotting connections between time and memory in a way that forms new associations and remembrances. Memories that don't rewrite but strengthen the power of the connection between your felt experience in the present and your memory of the past.

Of course, I am basing this off a few quotes by a small, niche study size, but I find myself wanting this radio nonetheless.

September 25, 2020

Being outside the dominion of Time

Temporality is perhaps the most fundamental constituent of human cognition. Thus, any modification in temporality is of significant cognitive import, empirical as well as theoretical.

It is an unseen sense that undercuts all that we experience but it is never the same for anyone. 7.5 Billion lives. 7.5 Billion times.

When you are young, time is longer because your scale is shorter. You can reinvent yourself over and over because time is endless. This endless time extends forever but only in one direction. There is no space for the circular, time travel of nostalgia.

All experience is an exploration of the unknown. But as you gather more years, the years become shorter and your empirical perception of them shorter. You construct and live in your known world. Your scale shifts with each day that passes but you can go back in time, and forward in time. You have a model of what was once and what can be always present within.

September 22, 2020

The Problem with Doors

The very human problem with doors is that there is no one single human or entity designing all the doors. Every door has a different “mode of action,” a different way of interacting with its control, as defined by the designers intent. And as encountered by Don Norman and many others, this intent does not always translate to the person using the door.

Each designer or architect is bringing a different focus (aesthetic, cultural, economical) to the design of the door’s control, or selection of the door’s use. The visual signals they choose, and the cultural constraints they operate by may fail to translate outside of their original context of creation. Doors are a human construct, and we should demand more of their design, not less. Rather than design a single type of door, we should consider how might we give clear affordances to open “new doors” for door’s modes of action.


Animation (Coming Soon)
3D Illustration (Coming Soon)
Interactive Websites (Coming Soon)

Travel Essays
Book Recommendations
Every peach (Coming Soon)

Designed by Rachel Arredondo