Assignment 4: Concept Sketches, Target Specifications and Patent Review

Concept Generation

For this assignment, I’m building off of my proposal, which was an updated, more user-friendly air pollution mask. The approach I took to this design was one that Christian recommended, if it’s a problem for you, at least you have one potential user: yourself. Every time I wear an air pollution mask I think about how much I wish there was something better for me to use. Because I haven’t seen very many improvements on the product, I thought that I was the only one that cared enough about the issues that arise when wearing an air pollution mask.

One day in class we were discussion air pollution and potential solutions. A classmate remarked: aren’t the masks good enough? I countered by saying that there was a lot of room for improvement and another backed me up, specifically in regard to the issue of them rubbing off makeup. This exchange made me realise that the issues weren’t just my own issues, they must have been problems that everyone faced. To develop this product, I thought about all the issues I had when wearing a mask:

  1. Not aesthetically appealing (I kind of want to look like a Japanese delinquent teenager)
  2. Strenuous exercise (i.e. biking causes glasses to fog up)
  3. Makeup rubs off when wearing
  4. Single/few use

Alternative Concepts

A mask that covers the ugly mask

This mask would be something like a surgical mask, but with an interesting design and could cover an ugly, but effective mask. The patterns could be streetwear inspired.

  • Ugly mask

This mask focuses on the practical usages for the mask, less fog when exercise, reusable, and doesn’t rub off as much makeup. This is accomplished by switching the material of which the mask is made. I’ve heard that a cotton handkerchief can be used to blot makeup without taking it off, so this is where I would start with the material to use. Less fog escaping the mask would have to be solved by the material of the mask or by modifying the vents on the actual mask.

  • Sleek mask

My ideal, Japanese inspired mask, right material, minimalist design, replaceable filter, and embroidery on the design. This would also be streetwear-inspired, and probably look similar to the Nikka mask that is in my presentation to create a proper seal around the nose and mouth area. This mask will probably not be able to reduce the breath escaping and fogging up glasses.

  • Scarf

The scarf is a departure from the mask idea for the most part. The air filtering qualities of the mask would probably be reduced, but in its place would be less steam escaping and a much more fashionable mask. It would use replaceable filters and a fan to help circulate air.

  • Bike with filter

This idea comes from the designer Daan Roosegaarde and his partnership with ofo. A bike is fitted with a filter that filters polluted air, then blows clean air towards the rider. There is nothing more known about this project other than a diagram they created about the flow of air, so it seems they’re still figuring it out. Like the scarf, this filter cannot filter as much air as a mask would, but is functional for exercise, doesn’t rub off makeup, and is not an unattractive article of clothing. It’s also reusable.

Week 5: Interactive Comic Book Blogpost – Description + Digital Assets (Leon & Nimrah) – Adriano

Communication Lab – Interactive Comic Book – Progress


Ahmad Raja and I have been close friends since freshman year.  We have spent a considerably long time together – took the same classes, hung out off-campus and for senior year even decided to share an apartment together.  We know each other’s habits and routine inside out and thought that there is no better idea for a project then share the peculiar and funny friendship that is evident between us.   The idea is to create an interactive comic book that it not only humorous & entertaining but truly reflects on our lifestyle and relationship with each other.

Interactive Comic Book Structure + Assets

In order to best convey our lifestyle and relationship as well as increase user interaction, we plan to have a website with three different pages [this excludes any pop-ups or alerts that we may have]

We plan to have a central/main webpage which will serve as the “introduction” to our comic book.   We plan to have a header on top describing the theme of our project which will be “Brothers from Different Mothers”.   We plan to have a picture of each of us (see below) underneath the header and the user upon clicking will be able to find our respective biographies.  If the users click on our names, an alert will come popping up with our respective Chinese names.


Underneath the picture, we plan to have a hovered paragraph where we explain in greater detail about our friendship –  how we became friends, things we did together during the 4 years and ultimately explain the user how to navigate the website to find out more about us.

We figured that the best way to convey our friendship is to depict it not only at the apartment or the school, but both of them.   Hence, we decided to come up with a story that has a sequential pattern and depicts a typical day in our lives in a chronological fashion.

On our central page we will have an image (taken from the outside) about our apartment and next to it, we will have a picture of NYU Shanghai, explaining to the user that the day begins in the apartment and follows at the academic building (pictures below)  The users will click on the apartment picture and be redirected to a new page with  a comic about our lifestyle in the apartment, click on the picture about the school and be redirected to a new page to read about our interaction in different facets of school life.

To make the experience authentic, the medium is going to be pictures that we take ourselves. We will make use of the many different tools of Photoshop to add bubbles and arrows in the picture and make it look like a seamless comic book experience.  The pictures are taken purposely with us acting in a way that the bubbles truly reflect our emotions.

In terms of interactivity, we plan to use hover, onclick, alert as well as conditionals to facilitate user experience.  Our storyline is designed in a way such that the user will be prompted to respond to different questions and based on their responses different reactions will be triggered.

In addition, our central/main webpage will feature a unique collection of pictures {in square format} at the bottom with hover elements so that the user can see the milestones and highlights of our friendship (see pictures below)


We would like to showcase to the NYU Shanghai community the kind of friendships that can be developed and we would like do so in an entertaining way.

Apartment Lifestyle [Assets]

Description:  We would like to give you an insight about two of the most common places where we meet within the apartment, my room and the bathroom.  The scenes will give you an idea of how a typical morning at our place unfolds.



Transition [Assets]

Description: In order for our story to follow a sequential patters, we decided to have a separate transition part with us walking to school so that the user can logically follow.


Academic Lifestyle [Assets]

Description:  The academic building is the place where we spend most of our time together.  From working out together in the gym, playing ping pong, taking classes together to working together on our IMA project, we would like to give you a glimpse into different facets of college life.

Scene 1 – Gym


Scene 2: Ping- Pong


Scene 3: Classroom

Scene 4: IMA LAB









Field Trip-Notion Market (Leah)

Filed trip report
Place: Notion Fabric markets ( Market that selling side material of fabrics)in Renmin Road
Date: February 10th

The notion market of fabrics is a new place even for me as a Chinese. The biggest experience I got is that the market broadens my imagination to fabrics and components of clothes. It is not actually a fabric market but just a market for components, but there are so many choices and possibilities. The limitation of imagination can seriously limit my ability in designing my project later on, so it is really helpful to visit such a place early in the semester.
The market, unfortunately, is not quite open due to the Spring Festival. It is an open space with two floors full of private shops. Most of the owners went back home for the Spring Festival, leaving the door shut and some notifications with their phone numbers on the door. Only some shops were still open, but there are few people visiting the market that day even if it was Saturday. I remember an old lady walked into the market, only to find few shops open. She was disappointed immediately and went away, saying “Oh, they close the shops and went back home”. We are the only team still wandering around the market, which makes the trip new to me. When I was in the market previously, there were so many people and the market was usually noisy. But this trip turned out to be quiet, giving me chance to stay calm and obverse carefully.

One thing I noticed about the shops was that they didn’t completely close the shop. A lot of shops left some of their products barely outside. Like these yarns.

It seems people can just take them away freely. I talked about this with my partner Diego, we thought that it was because that there were so many products and they were so cheap, losing one or two may not cause a good lost. Besides, those products are the advertisement for shops to show what they are selling to attract potential customers when owners were out.

Those yarns also remind me an interesting phenomenon, the conductivity of the materials. We got the task to test whether materials we met in the market is conductive. Some of the yarns look conductive, but after testing, none of the yarns was actually conductive. They were just made looks like metal. Similar things happened to fasteners and chains. They looked shiny and metallic, but only a few of them were actually conductive.

The conductivity of the material is important for designing an interactive fabrics projects. Conductive fasteners can serve as buttons while chains could be wires. On the other hand, the conductive materials can also cause a short circuit if not connected properly, like I did in the circuit assignment. Since our eyes don’t always tell the truth, it is better to test before use.












we found an interesting shop selling some complex fabrics. The owner told us most of the fabrics were connected together with flakes and they were handmade (though I doubt it is machine made)

I found one piece whose flakes could change the color between blue and green. It was so beautiful that reminds me of a peacock (though Antonius, Joanna, and Sarah insisted it looks like a mermaid, why? ) I made a bargain with the owner. It was two ma (95cm*120cm, I can’t remember the detailed data). 48 yuan for one ma. I am not good at a bargain so I just hesitated for a hundred year, and the owner finally got impatient and gave me 80 for the whole.

He answered another question from Diego, since the products here were so cheap and there were so little people, how could they make money out of that? The owner told us that most of their customers were from shopping malls or clothes markets, they will order hundreds of products together. The mass-selling keeps them making money.


Time flew fast, even with few shops open. I think it is an interesting and helpful experience and it provides me a place to looks up to when we are in the need of materials. Besides, shops here all have Taobao shops, so it is also convenient to shop online.


Paper Prototypes

Paper Prototypes

Sydney Fontalvo

Professor: Marcela Godoy

Date: 2/13/2018

Partner: Josh Jensen


We were asked to partner up with the person next to us at our table and create something interactive that can help solve a problem they might have.


So, I was partners with Josh. He told me that since he’s tall, he always hits his head while going through a doorway since the doorways are smaller in China than in the US. Sometimes he even hits his head on his bunk bed or while getting off the shuttle bus. So, what I came up with is a headband (not a hat because Josh prefers headbands) that can sense when your head is too close to an object. I had a little comic with a person that is about to bump their head on a doorway and the headband shouts out that it’s too close, so the person ducks their head and walks through smoothly. What I imagine is that the headband to have sensors all around and it can have settings like a little noise, a warning call, or a vibration that can let the person know. I also made it have little rubber strips on the inside so the headband stays secure and the sensors won’t be confused.


I never actually realized how much help a simple comic or paper prototype can be. I see now that using just a paper and pencil can help your project immensely. Even making little notes to yourself can go a long way. I think this exercise really opened my eyes and taught me a lesson on planning and noting.

Recitation 3

Recitation 3

Sydney Fontalvo

Lecture Professor: Marcela Godoy

Partner: Puwei Bao (Martin)

Part A

Step 1 

Materials Used:

  • 1 * Arduino Uno
  • 1 * Breadboard
  • 1 * 3-Axis Analog Accelerometer
  • M/M Jumpers Cables
  • F/M Jumper Cables
  • 1 * Micro Servo 9G

Martin and I decided we wanted to try the 3-axis Analog Accelerometer to control the servo motor. We started by looking at the link with the information given to us about the accelerometer. We saw there were 5 F/M jumper cables going from the accelerometer to various parts of the Arduino. So, we originally began connecting the F/M cables into the Arduino and forgot about the micro servo. We took out the breadboard and began connecting the Arduino, micro servo, and accelerometer together, with the help of a fellow and one of the little guides (project 10) from the Arduino kit. Red cables were for 5V, black for GND, blue for the x-axis on the accelerometer, green for the y-axis, and white for the z-axis.

For the sketch, we used analogSerial as the base.


Final Product:

Step 2 

  • What did you intend to assemble? Why did you choose that specific sensor and output?

We intended to assemble a sensor that triggers a motor when you move it a certain way. I wanted some sort of motion sensor, but other than that, Martin just picked a random sensor and we tried to make something with it. As for the output, which was the motor, I thought it would be cool to use something different that we hadn’t done in class yet.

  • Which materials did you use? Which circuit(s) did you use as a reference for them?

We used the materials mentioned above. We did not reference a specific circuit, we just built one from scratch. We used the link for the 3-Axis Analog Accelerator that was provided to us.

  • What sources did you use in order to program them? Did you have to modify them?

Although there was a sample code in the example on our Arduino IDE, we did not look at it. Martin and I just began making a hybrid code between the pictures we saw in the link given to us and our own type. It ended up really similar to the one in the example.

  • Which different steps you went through to make it work? Did it work as expected?

The steps we took are above along with the materials. It worked as expected.

  • What conclusions can you draw over the work you did?

The accelerometer worked perfectly with the servo motor! It was really awesome being able to create something like this when not even two months ago I couldn’t picture myself making an LED blink. What is the most amazing to me is that I’m beginning to understand coding a bit better and expanding my knowledge and vocabulary on the topic.

  • Can you relate your experience building this circuit to any device you interact in your daily life?

The one thing I can relate this circuit to is playing a game on your phone, Xbox, PlayStation, or other game console with a controller. Playing a game like Temple Run where you have to tilt your phone to make the character move is very similar to this. I thought of playing with a Wii remote where if you tilt the remote the wrong way, the remote vibrates.

  • If you were to continue experimenting, what would your next steps be?

We had extra time, so Martin had the idea of replacing the servo motor with an RGB LED. If you move the accelerometer around, the LED will change into an array of colors. I thought that a great idea would be to have the servo motor and LED connected to the accelerometer. Someone who moves the accelerometer onto a certain color would trigger the servo motor to move at a different speed.

Part B

  • How is writing code similar to making dumplings?

I would say writing code is similar to making dumplings in the sense that everything is encased into one “thingy” or “ball” I guess. What I mean is that dumplings are made by putting meat and vegetables into a piece of dough and flattened at the top in order to stay encased. So, the same goes for code. You have the code which can be analog (meat) or digital (vegetables) or even both encased into the braces to keep it all together.

The way Taeyoon Choi makes making dumplings similar to coding is that he assigns each person a separate task for making the dumplings. Coding is the same way because it is broken down into a simple way and tasks are assigned to different components in order to make the task easier. The components are all working together to accomplish something, but you need to go in order and if one component is missing then it can mean your dumplings are ruined.

  • As Manovich describes in the Language of New Media, the influence of computers on new media is clear. In what ways do you believe the computer influences our human behaviors?

Computers have one of, if not the most, major influence in human behaviors today. They can create and break down barriers from any other point on the planet. My parents used to say that with the computers and the Internet “the whole world can become your backyard.”  Computers have so much information stored on them and the Internet that it can feel overwhelming, but it does keep people informed. Computers cause humans to become very dependent and reliant on them because of their easy access and endless possibilities. Computers can cause emotions in humans that feel new and untouched to them, so it can also cause dependence.

void setup() {
  // put your setup code here, to run once:
	pinMode(11, OUTPUT);
	pinMode(10, OUTPUT);
	pinMode(9, OUTPUT);

void loop() {
  // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:
	int sensorValue = analogRead(A0);
	int x = analogRead(A0);
	int y = analogRead(A1);
	int z = analogRead(A2);
	analogWrite(11, map(z, 205, 305, 0, 255)); //you can put x, y, or z as the axis, the analog was going from a range 	of 205 to 305, but arduino only accepts up to 255 so you have to change it


Talking Fabric | Notion Market Tour

The Notions Market is an amazing Aladdin Cave of ribbons, zippers, laces, sequins, buttons and a lot more. It is not only a dazzling market to search for materials needed for handicraft works, but also a magical place that can trigger my creative and innovative side by showing all kinds of beautiful and delicated works of art right in front of me.
I am more than willing to surrender my wallet to the whole market, but the question is how I can make the most out of these purchases of works of art. During the whole trip through Notions Market, I have two main takeaways that I believe will reshape my future mindset of designing.
First of all, I realized that it is a really important skill to learn how to keep the balance of functionality and aesthetics of my work. Before we went on our discovery journey to the Notions Market, Antonius gave us a task to examine whether the material is conductive or not. Dania and I examined more than 20 kinds of material which seems to be made of metal, but later it turned out that they are actually covered with metal-like paint and can not conduct at all. Therefore, I realized that no matter how the material looks like, we should never take its property for granted and we should always have our own hands on and try to examine the genuine property of that before making decisions. This is an extremely great lesson for us to learn before we select the material for our works. In this sense, the functionality should be the first priority, and only when functionality is fully guaranteed we can pursue further to achieve higher level of aesthetics.
The second lesson for me is that it is a great way to get inspirations from immersing myself into the real market rather than locking myself in the invisible box all the time. Despite the fact that the Notions Market only had several shops opening because of the Chinese New Year, I still learned and experienced a lot when talking with the shop owners about the notions they are selling and how their customers use these notions to make creative designs. Interestingly, I found there are so many different types of notions with distinct patterns that I once imagined about but have never seen before, and it is really excited for me to see them and buy them at a relatively low price. When going deep into the market and randomly discovering different kinds of notions, I found that some interesting combination just come across my mind, which I might not think of when I am constructing the idea alone. Therefore, I found it really interesting and helpful to plan a discovery about the unknown notions in the market and talk to the shop owners to learn about their expertise in fabrics and notions, in this way it has the great potential to reconstruct my idea in a way I have never thought of before.I really appreciate this field trip to Notions Market and gained a lot from this experience. It is not only a great place to go for buying notions and materials I need for my handicraft works, but also a vivid market for me to learn more about the material, talk with the notion experts and get more juicy inspirations. I am already looking forward to my second trip to the Notions Market.

HW4: Concept Sketches, Target Specifications and Patent Review (Amy and Mari)

Steps of concept generation: 

  1. Shared problems we had observed on a daily basis:
    • Amy: No place for workout shoes in the backpack
    • Mari: The hassle of bringing clothes & detergents & other items to the laundry
  2. Based on these observations, we identified a common factor: many of the existing bags are fixed and limited in terms of their usage, and always seem to pose problems to their users in different situations (eg: laundry bags – heaviness, lack of handles, weight imbalance, etc.)
  3. Specified possible target groups, such as students, people with disabilities, and travelers

Target specifications:

  1. Allows for balanced weight distribution
  2. Safe compartments for valuables
  3. Various compartments for different objects (ie: glasses, water bottles, and shoes)

Optional additional needs:

  1. Aesthetically pleasing
  2. Lightweight


  1. Versatile Backpack
    • External backpack: simple “base” design that allows multiple compartments to be attached
    • CN:
      • Adjustable to any situation – add or detach compartments according to specific occasions
    • CN/N:
      • Is not necessarily meant for an even distribution of weight

Sample image of our concept for the versatile backpack

2. Attachable bag (eg. shoe bag)

  • Can be used independently or in addition to a bag
  • Has coupling links on either side to ensure safe and balanced attachment
  • Water resistant
  • CN:
    • Gets rid of additional bags
    • Lightweight and easy to assemble
  • CN/N:
    • Aesthetics of the original bag might be compromised

3. Back-and-front bag

  • Distributes weight both to the front and the back
  • CN:
    • A more efficient means of weight distribution (for people with mobility difficulties, people who carry heavy loads)
  • CN/N:
    • Aesthetics compromised
    • Not suitable for all occasions or casual use, only for heavy loads

4. Suitcase style backpack

  • Internal backpack: bag divided into top and bottom sections with different openings for each one
  • Top section: open from the top, meant for heavier items and items that want to be separated (shampoo bottles, makeup, medicine, laptop charger, etc.)
  • Bottom section: opens from the side, meant for bulkier items
  • CN:
  • CN/N:
    • Not suitable for all occasions or casual use, as it is meant for travelers

5. Thief-proof strap

  • Compartment that can be attached to backpack straps instead of being a separate belt
  • Fit  for small valuable goods (phone, passport, cash)
  • CN:
    • Safe and comfortable way of carrying valuables
  • CN/N:
    • Doesn’t contribute to weight distribution
    • Aesthetics compromised

Patent review:

Reference for patents:

  1. A45C 7/00: Patent for “Collapsible or extensible purses, luggage, bags, or the like
    • This section specifies the properties that are included in the patent for collapsible or extensible bags. Eg: items that “comprise a plurality of separable elements which can be used independently of one another” or “convertible into an open planar surface”. However, it does not address any items that independently do not necessarily serve a purpose and instead re purpose an original bag. (As is the case in concept #1)
  2. A45C 9/00: Patent for “Luggage or bags convertible into objects for other use”
    • This section describes products that can be converted into other objects, such as sacks or packs that can be converted into a seat, a vehicle, or into other hand or travelling articles. Most of our concepts include items that are detachable and would not be entirely useful on their own. As such, this patent does not necessarily negate them.
  3. A45C 13/10: Patent for “Details;Accessories” includes a section on the “Arrangement of Fasteners”
    • This patent describes the specific fasteners that are patented, such as those of hook and loop type, magnetic fasteners, with a snap action, or with chains or bands.
  4. Additional patents with illustrations:
    • Backpack cooler (Patent No. 4,673,117)

  • Backpack insulator (Patent No. 3,144,014)