Black Projections – ICM

For my final projects at ITP, I combined my assignments for Physical Computation and ICM. This made a lot of sense to me, as I genuinely am more enthusiastic about coding if it is part of a physical piece or installation.

I am not sure if my ideas or feelings towards code have changed. Honestly, I think I’ve always had quite a bit of skepticism related to my personal interests surrounding it and how it could be a tool for me, which started before my ITP journey when thinking of going to coding bootcamp. What drew me to ITP was that there was a world just beyond coding and that if I had to use coding, it could be part of more meaningful projects.

This larger project which I am calling “Black Projections,” is an exploration of how time, space, and current design systems alter our reality, memory, and ability to take control of our future. It specifically focuses on the Black Experience and explores these concepts through blackness.

I am very much a long form thinker which means my sketches tend to be less “efficient” and everything is spelled out. This could lend itself to mistakes, but honestly helps my brain out when I’m exhausted. Notation also helps. For my sketch for my final project, I really learned how to push p5.js limits in terms of it’s storage / photo holding capacity and I was pleasantly surprised. It could hold a lot more images than I thought.

The device I built is a portal mapping device that has 14 node points that are connected to sensors that then trigger images and series of text in p5.js.

I had a few issues with my text disobeying the parameters I thought I had set. There are also a few issues with some of the photo alignment. For taking this further, I would like to explore having more of a collage effect. So when an image is triggered, it stays on the screens and fades away even after the sensor is triggered off. Since, right now the sensor is digital and operating on binary the images now display following that where they are either on the screen or off the screen dependent on the digital read of the sensor. In actuality, the sensor values are oscillating between on and off very fast as they try to navigate the magnetic field, so to accomodate this I lowered the framerate of the sketch to one so the images are not speeding through the sketch very fast.

Sketch link:

Server: Web Server for Chrome

Black Projections – Update

For my final project, I’m creating a device that invites people to destroy interrogate the idea of the colonial time project (linear time) and investigate how colonization and race as technologies have led to erasure of past and other ways of being, destruction of magic, while creating the “one-world world,” a term coined by John Law.

The device will be accompanied by a zine that is a collection of inspiration, research, questions I have asked while making this project.


Monday Dec 2: Buy acrylic from Canal Plastics, do first draft of laser cutting for the top of device

Tuesday Dec 3: Set up Reed Switches + Submit to be in Winter Show

Wednesday Dec 4: Edit Zine + User testing

Thursday Dec 5: Access User Feedback + Edit Zine

Friday Dec 6: Finish Device Design (the non-electronic components inspired by previous project “Open Portal”

Saturday Dec 7: Edit Zine + Decide if I want to add more images and gif to Black Projections p5.js sketch

Questions / Things to Figure out:

-Non-computer power supply for Arduino

-Music / Sound / Noise Component

-What will “hold” the magnet

-Connect magnets to overarching theory / thesis

Computational Experimentation

Physical Computation is moving along. There are many labs and things I still need to figure out how to do.

Finally, I got the potentiometer working and have a better understanding of that.

I’m excited to see how Arduino integrates with the p5.js environment to have a better understanding of new possibilities. I’ve been experimenting with crafting interesting ways to add joy to these sensors. So I repurposed this project and placed the touch sensor inside of it.

I think this would be awesome to use as a controller for something in p5.js

Interactivity IRL

Observation exercises are some of my favorite. It requires me to observe. Observe the things I take advantage of. Move slower or more intently. Hold my head up not just towards the ground.

Initially, it was difficult to figure out what I wanted to observe, especially observing something in a way that would also allow me anonymity while doing so, as to not disturb whatever was occurring.

This weekend, I took a bus to Williamsburg and while on my ride, I realized there was something unique to NYC buses that I had not quite observed in buses in other city. What was unique was the exit mechanism for the door in the middle / back of the bus.

There are multiple things to note here:

  • There are two yellow strips vertical along the door which read “Touch here to open door”
  • There are also two signs pointing to the tape which read “TO OPEN DOOR Wait for Green Light. Press Yellow Tape. Air Assist Door.”
  • Above this tape, which I unfortunately did not get a picture of, is a light which sometimes flashes green.

When watching people approach the door, it’s obvious that it can still be quite confusing for people to realize what to do even with the signage. In fact, all the combination of elements sometimes seems anxiety-inducing. People seem unsure of how hard to push it. I even realized that I usually hesitate and faintly touch the door. What adds to the uncertainty of it all, is the green light that you have to wait for. Sometimes it feels like that element is delayed.

I wonder why NYC decided to go with this system. I wonder what the advantages are. Before moving here, I lived in Brooklyn and frequently rode the bus. It seemed to me that there were two main ways for the back door to open: 1) If you actually use the pull-cord to call for a stop, then the backdoor seemed to automatically open and 2) the bus driver could also open. This normally worked but sometimes presented problems because the back door wouldn’t always open, especially if the bus stopped but not because someone called for a stop, which would require someone screaming “BACK DOOR!”

I guess this system I observed eliminates that possibility. I am curious how this bus system works for people who are blind? There does not seem to be any sort of sound accompanying this system that is mostly touch and sight based. It would be interesting to conduct more research and observation to see how most people experience the back door of the bus.


Although we went over the Arduino and the Breadboard in class, once I got home I was entirely confused. I understood the different components but when it came time to put everything together it was difficult.

Primarily, I had no idea how to attach the Arduino Nano 33 iot to my breadboard. It doesn’t necessarily fit in place without applying intense pressure and because it is so small, it is a bit scary applying pressure. Already, I’ve bent a few things on the Arduino and it’s already becoming such a pain when I’m working with it.

One thing that is also difficult is not knowing where the pins go because for some reason the labels are underneath the arduino.

For our assignment, we were supposed to make a switch. I was able to use wire to make something that was switch like but for some reason it was wired backwards!

Why does that happen?

Unfortunately my arduino was too finicky / not secure enough for me to delve into problem solving.

Here is my reverse button in action!

Fantasy Device

Class 01 – Intro to Physical Computation

If you could create any kind of fantasy device, what would you create? We explored some of these possibilities in class to begin thinking more critically about Interactions and Interactivity.

What is interaction?

Bret Victor in “A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design,” discussed the definition of a tool or rather the purpose of a tool: “A tool addresses human needs by amplifying human capabilities.”

I think it’s easy for those of us in technology bubbles or even industry bubbles to want to create things that solve problems, but oftentimes the problems we address maybe don’t address human needs. Sometimes we forget to think about what do others need. Sometimes we forget to ask what do others need.

Human conversations is truly one the greatest form of interactions and one that can continue to be at the forefront of technology and design as well.