Social Things#9—–testing 3

Today, I am going to test my prototype at Elephant & Castle. I thought here should not too noisy and much more quiet than Oxford Circus, that’s may help the volume of these tracks much more louder and clearer, but I got one thing that’s really important, the police is always in here… Let’s see what happened.

Quick notes from the experience below. Today I was really luckily met wheel chair man again at Elephant & Castle station. It’s the third time I greeted him and he’s also recognised me already and greeted me as well. The reason why it’s a long time I haven’t seen him is he moved to another place, but he looked a little bit upset because he lost him whistle that he could not earn money through play instrument (That’s a good point because he likes sound and music, and may be interested in my installation.), and the lost whistle may impact with his income. So I started explaining my prototype to him and showed how it works. He looked really interested in, but , the police was coming and asked the homeless to leave. During the whole process of that, the prototype was working all the time with the ‘baby crying’ when these police stood in front it. That’s really funny and embarrassed. If you are curious where I was at that moment, I’ve to say, I laughed all the time out of scene. That’s really interesting because before I testing outside, I’ve already imagined the police will come and arrest me, luckily, a half was came true, that’s not too bad, but I must leave. 

I came back after 15 minutes, and found another homeless, but he sat in front of station without any luggage(a little bit wired…). I told him that the ‘lunch bag’ may help him get more money and asked if he wanna try it. He doubted if he need pay for this testing. Although, I think it’s funny but I still confused about why he thought about that, because it was the first time homeless asked me whether the testing need a payment or not. It’s my fault maybe and I was so hurry this time. All of the experience before, demonstrate that before each testing, ‘make friends with homeless’ first is much more better than directly introduce your installation to them, which is roughly. With the sense of dubiousness, he agreed. I was so happy about that and made it work. After 2 minutes, one of the stuff of tube station, who is responsible for handing out newspaper to pedestrians, came and was so angry with me that shouting to me what I was doing is illegal. He thought the distance sensor(which is one of the most essential parts of my installation and with the function of detection if something is closed to it or not, if something does, the sensor’ll sent signal to Arduino asked trigger playing tracks, that’s the principle of playing tracks when people walking by), is a camera and bad for pedestrians or record something because it toward to them. I explained to the newspaper man that I just testing if it is able to help homeless, but he still doubted ‘if it’s nothing why not toward to yourself?’, even threatened me if I don’t stop it he’ll call police…(heheh police again….). I’ve to say I was not really care about what he said cause I did nothing!  What I was emotional about the homeless still believe that may help him get money after argument and comfort me when I was wronged, but it’s low battery at that moment so it could not be continued.

I was thinking about why the newspaper man did that, and whether I bothered him. What can we do for homeless? Is the installation really help them? and one more thing is the core of this installation in order to attracting attention of pedestrians and promote they communicating with homeless, but I misled homeless paying more attention about using it earn money during the testing…That’s my fault. All right, eventually, I finished almost diary of the experience with homeless. That’s a really long period and I am really tired now. God bless me. By the way, here’s a video that I made showing how my prototype works, recording some feedback from homeless and the reflection from pedestrians  : )

Social Things#9—–testing 3

Social Things#8—–testing 2

It’s rainy day, but so lucky today! With Gareth’s help, Mp3 trigger works now again. Thanks, Gareth! To be honest, I spent so much time on trigger cause it’s a little faulty like distance sensor. Unfortunately, I use both of them together this time for Physical Computing project. The problems of trigger is, it could not work through receive signal from Arduino, but by switch. It’s really wired. So Gareth helped me to make trigger worked by another approach, that’s not receive signal from Arduino, but use Arduino as a kind of output with each pin for each track, and make different tracks play through low signal. Gareth also spend so much time on it for support me. That was really amazing!

Sorry, guys, go back to the project. So, I took it with me outside, testing it and collected some feedback and reflection from pedestrians. Firstly, I chose piccadilly circus, cause so many people there and I thought it’s easy to get feedback there. Here’s the notes. I saw a woman was relying on the wall and sat on the street. As usual, I greeted her, but she looked upset. I doubt about that and she just replied me she’s a homeless (hold on, hold on, I knew that okay? I can see okay? It’s not the reason made you loook upset okay?). As a high sense of humor person, I said’ but you get the whole ground of London as your home, you should happy about that….(sorry, forgive me please, I always joking, but I am serious today, huhhuh,unbelievable…). She smelled and told me she just sleep here, at this place she’s relying right now but seldom, like one or two days, just live in the Airbnb, and the cheapest room is just around £44( so affluent, isn’t it? huhhh,lol). I asked her why not find a job cause she looks really young, she said she need clean up herself first(Is that a real reason? why not do that at Airbnb). I tried to introduce my installation to her and showed how it works, I said ‘let’s play game together'(maybe she dislike to play game with me or no mood and no energy play with me), but she expressed a little bit interests, and asked me show it. She laughed but just last few seconds (maybe these tracks are stupid, like barking, baby crying, bombing and blast, puppy, so tricky, but she said interesting, is that really interesting? hehehh). At the whole process of sounds played, nobody stop(or maybe I was so close to the homeless) because the track never played completely, just kept at the beginning of the track but not go through. It was not stable for tracks playing, but one senior couple stared at the Mcdonalds’ paper bag and lasted around 15 seconds with security. Unfortunately, the woman asked me leave maybe I bother her too much time and my installation didn’t help her get more money or get more sympathy from the pedestrians. One thing I am really confused about, why less people give money to homeless when I talking to homeless? So pedestrians never dislike homeless but me—an asian face? huhhh joking time, sorry. So, maybe, I was really impact them get much more money from pedestrians, I am really sorry about that.

I walked around from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus, luckily, I found him, who is a 25-year-old( really young…..sorry, he’s older than me hhhhlol ) elder brother from Lincoln, at the place that close to Tottenham Court Road station. What I was moved most is that he hold the umbrella for him dog but not himself. 1副本副本副本.jpgHe was taking care his dog when I greeted him. He said he’s 25 right now, but he’s his dog over 10 years from 15-year-old, and his female dog’s 17 right now. He just arrived in London 6 weeks, but he know so many things here. He said ‘human always stupid, and they never know what kind of things they really need and never know saving money, like me, I never take drug, but most of homeless take them and it’s really so easy to get drug here. Although there are so many temptation in the world, but we should have clear goals. So, I am affluent than them right now. I am finding a room to live next week and after that I am able to have opportunity to find a job, cause no job for people without room and no job for people live on the street.’ What a guy with positive value life. What’s more important, he’s a christian,’ you help other, that others’ll help you; you smell, the world smell.’ That’s really make me emotional. About smoke, he prefer toast tobacco, and cigarette has much more chemical than tobacco, so tobacco is a little bit healthier. About policy, he likes Chinese’s except that each family purely allow to have one child. I told him, government’s already change it that there’s no limitation for babies in one family right now. He really dislike some country, the government asks people earn money money money. He said the minimum wage in London is £7.5/h, so if you got that you can live, if you wanna much more, just spend more time on it. When I introduced my installation for him and told him it’s will help him get more money. He looked excited and really interested in. He was so excited that held the speaker and requested pedestrians to stop and listen. Although not everyone wanna stop, but some of them try to stop and see, so the installation still attracted some.

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Unfortunately, he got less money when I talking with him, and impacted he got much more money from the pedestrians, but he never mind and said he’s got enough money for today already. Thank you, youngster. Hope you have a nice future. what I was really confused about why I impacted homeless to get more money…..(I wanna be a homeless with Vera, homeless is so affluent than me….in order to carry on my project and develop it further, I’m going to be or not to be a homeless with my buddy Vera, and earn money by the way huhh lol…I am really expected that, to be continued…)



Social Things#8—–testing 2

Social Things#4—-testing 1

After second prototype, I tried to put it outside and observed the reflection from the pedestrians. What is the most embarrassed that every time when I greeted homeless and invited them play game with me, they looked so excited but the trigger didn’t work, so that they became disappoint. I was really sorry about that. Nicolas gave me some advice that I play a homeless. 
Diogenes of Sinope
(Διογένης ὁ Σινωπεύς, Diogenēs ho Sinōpeus), who is a Greek philosopher. He believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory. He used his simple lifestyle and behaviour to criticize the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt or at least confused society( from wikipedia ). He begged and roughly slept in a  large ceramic jar in the marketplace. His book named Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, which gives some lives and sayings of the Greek philosophers. Here’s the link for the PDF reading.  (Greek version huhhÖlol)                  (English version’s here huh)


Inspired by Diogenes of Sinope, I wanna one of my course mate NANA helped me and played as a homeless holding a paper with a word ‘homeless’ on it, and I just recording everything as evidence with tripod and digital camera. I was really sorry about I was so excited that I forgot to take photography as evidence, purely illustrate everything especially the scenario at that moment through illustration now. With the image below, as you can see, the homeless(NANA) squatted at the entrance of Elephant & Castle station. I stayed few meters away from her with tripod and camera.

Unfortunately, the tripod is so obvious, that nobody responded and they just ignored us, because maybe they can see we are not real homeless and just make a video outside with our student cards of London College of Communication. What’s more, the model NANA was really clean and tidy, and just hold paper without any voice, but homeless always with voice like ‘give some change to homeless please or give some small change to homeless’, so if she did that, may much more helpful. In addition, I’ve no idea how to hidden the tripod and camera as well, they are really big and conspicuous, leading to I could not recording the natural reflection of pedestrians. That’s why I got nothing reflection from the pedestrians and no photography this time. I am going to play homeless with natural performance in summer and make me looks like a real homeless, that’s much more better. : )

Social Things#4—-testing 1

Social things#3— prototype 2

After emoji icon, I was thinking about how to attract people through sounds. I heart that when the homeless takes pets like dogs or cats, or some of them take babies with them, people may give more money to the homeless and more sympathize with them. It sounds really interesting, but I need to check it that all right. So I interviewed some pedestrians and asked them why, most of them said if homeless takes babies or pets, they are not only need to take care themselves, but also others. So pedestrians’ll give pets and babies everything. To be honest, I was a little bit sad when I got the answer, the homeless gets less attention and sympathy than their pets and babies. By the way, add two piece of notes for primary research here.

31/05/16 Sainsbury & Holborn station, 5 pm
  • I saw a man in front of the Sainsbury with his dog. I greeted him and asked where was the dog from, and he just relied dog’s from public. He looked not really pleasure during the period I talked with him.
  • A man just sat and relied on the wall, but he became much more happier after I greeted him. He told me he’s from East Europe and the hometown is close to Romania. In the evening, he just find some building near by Holborn for sleeping. He also asked some information about me. However, I was so confused about when I asked him if someone sit down and talk with you like me, is that will make you happy or not, but he just ‘I don’t mind that, and that’s find, not too bad.’ like that. So, is that means, communication is not really necessary for him? or maybe he can talk to himself. For me, I always soliloquy, but if I only speak to myself over 10 years, I must be mad.  I am really interested in if they really want to talk with us or not.

           to be continued…

Okay, let’s go back to the prototype. At the beginning, I am going to use Max/msp to control the sound, but the Mp3 trigger is much more better. I use Arduino sends signal to control trigger in order to randomly play different tracks, and use distance sensor deciding when these tracks need play, and because of interview I mentioned before, I put three different tracks which are puppy sound, baby crying and barking. I could not ensure each homeless takes babies or pets, but I can use sound of them to attract people.

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Here’s the prototype of the installation. I made it works this wednesday, but why I was going to put it outside and test directly, make everything outside without any container or package to protect them. That was really crazy! I wanna know what kind of things in my brain T^T. Fortunately, I started think about how to hidden everything two days after. First, I tried use this red on to hidden everything. It’s a plastic package of sensors collection. It’s tiny and light, and easy to take anywhere, but it doesn’t make sense. When I imagine this box lying in front of homeless, nobody’ll understand it, and it’s not really working for homeless. Then I was thinking about what kind of containers are better. I noticed the take away box in the canteen of London College of Communication. It’s a good choice I think. So I set up everything in it and made two holes for the sensor so that it could work. Finally, I made that lunch box for homeless and it should be making sense. I was really happy about that, but I was not sure it that normal or wired. In order to know more things about lunch box, I searched online and browsed variety of lunch boxes for homeless, and paper bags are really normal and typical for homeless. Inspired by those bags, I decided using paper bag of McDonald’s replacing the box. It should much more make sense in the context of homeless sits on the street. Here’s some examples of lunch boxes blew.

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Luckily, I made my prototype of lunch box for homeless like this. For next step, I am going to test it outside, just put it in front of the homeless and see what happend, and record all of the reflection from pedestrians and use it to make a video. Get some feedback from homeless and pedestrians and test it if these tracks really attract the attention of people or not, in order to develop it further. What’s more, I need test what kind of sound attract people most and make them stop, baby crying? puppy sound? or barking? or none of them? How can I find a way that attract people most? To be continued…




Prototype 2 : )



Social things#3— prototype 2