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.

walmart-group-photo-2副本.jpg  sack lunches 5 - small副本.jpg  hashtag-lunchbag-crr-04副本.jpg


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

Social Things#2— prototype1

After talking with massive rough sleepers, I am thinking about if communicate exists between homeless or between homeless and pedestrians, and why people seldom stop to talk with them, on the other hand, why they can not greet to pedestrians first, just like a brief introduction of themselves. With the suggestion of Nicolas, I started to design a talking programme that the homeless pick any 10 minutes of whole day and decide by themselves, introducing to pedestrians and make friends with them. With these 10 minutes, the homeless will hold a paper with ‘I’m Tonny’. I also prepare an installation to help pedestrians talk with homeless, that linking Arduino and Max/msp, and use Arduino to control the distance sensor, Max to control the audio of introduction of homeless. When people passing by, the audio will run automatically, with’ Hey guys, I am Tonny, here’s a 10 minutes talk for anyone. Any talks? Anyone?’ After talking with one person, the homeless will give an emoji icon to him/her,as a kind of gift, expressing the motion of homeless. The main point is communication.

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The image blew is about how to give feedback with these six aspects.


I got some feedback from course-mates with yellow ( positive ), green ( creativity ), red ( feeling ) and black ( negative ) aspects. At the aspects of positive and creativity, they thought it a kind of direct and clear approach to help homeless expressing their emotion because they have no energy to express it, and use emoji as a way of communication has a huge possibility. As the aspects of feeling, they said, to start a conversation is a really big step for them; Although the tribe need help, but it’s much more better to think the real feeling of that tribe; Why would homeless people will use it? The negative is how to make the pedestrians stop, they may be in hurry, so if they don’t care about homeless at the beginning, it will make homeless more upset, what’s more, emojis are often viewed as a quiet, flioant? and a throw away expression, so it may be simply ignored.

After all of the feedback, I was thinking about how to attract the attention of pedestrians and make them stop. One of my course-mate advised me to use sonic pi and raspberry pi making sounds when pedestrians put change into the change cup of homeless, and that may attract people; Another thing is that most of people will pay more attention and sympathy to homeless when they take pets like dogs or cats, or take a baby with them, that may be attract people, but I could not prepare babies and dogs for each. Then I was thinking about using sounds to replace the real objects, like barking, puppy sound and baby crying, that kind of audible to attract the attention of pedestrians, rather than visible objects. So I need do some primary research about what kind of sounds attract people most that can able to make them stop or arouse the sympathy of them, and that’s much more funny. What’s more, one more thing I need to do is, do homeless really need social? Although, I think so, as a kind of tribe, they need talk and social, but I am not really sure if they really like social with us, with pedestrians? Further more, with a wider context, I am going to explore what kind of things attract the attention of human most, audible or visible? or something else? That’s what I’m doing so far.  : )

Social Things#2— prototype1

Social Things#1—-tribe selection, IBM presentation & chatting experience collection

london-housing-homelessness副本.jpg       ⇐  ♥ It’s my tribe : )

Today, we have a presentation session of research for Physical Computing project with two IBM members, to show what is your tribe, what did you do for this project so far? and get some feedback from IBM and Nicolas as well. As the beginning of my Physical Computing project,  I need find a tribe first, exploring them and thinking about how can they communicate with tech. My starting point is homeless, actually, I just talked to them twice after I arrived in London, the first time was in February this year, I was doing my Speculative Design project at that moment, which is about something of pigeons, to be honesty, I haven’t recognized the people sating on the bench and feeding crows is a homeless, then I just greeted him and had a short interview to him in order to know more things about his ideas of pigeons and how he treats them. Another thing is that just happened two days ago, on the way to my home, I saw a homeless sating at the corner of the street and was leaning on the wall. He looked really angry, was throwing cans and roaring towards pedestrians. This time, I prayed for him and hope he calm down immediately. The reason why I choose this kind of tribe is, I don’t think so that we are different with homeless, they need much more care, but why they should be ignored?

Then, Alex ( One of my friend from London Economic School, he applied the programme that to be a volunteer for homeless at All Sours Church for next whole year. To be honest, I was inspired by this programme. ) suggested me positively talking to the homeless and share food with them. Further more, my best friend reminded me do not viewing the process of the talk as a kind of transaction, do not obtaining your research by food. The homeless is not a kind of creatures of trade, they are human and we are same, so they should need talk, need social, need everything that we need. (Although I never do that.) Thank you for the help of your guys.

After that, every time when I meet homeless, I always greeted and chat with them, to my surprise, I was really shocked by their leaping habit of thinking, and that was funny for enjoying the whole process of experience of jumping topics. By the way, as a high sense of humor people, it brings so much pleasure to me, and I’ve to say, I’m really enjoy that.

Here’s some notes below recording each talk.

08/03/16   St James’s Park 4pm
  • It’s my first time talked with a homeless who was feeding crowns with peanut and he comes here everyday, but he dislikes pigeons because they are vermin and eat everything, and massive. That looked like a real chat with my friend, we knew some information about each other.
17/05/16   Shaven grandmother 7pm, & lighting man at 7:30, Bethnal Green 
  • It’s the first time I chat with homeless after I decided my tribe for Physical Computing Project. The first reflection of mine was buying hot food for homeless when I saw them at the exit of the tube station. So I quickly went into McDonald’s and came back, with all of courage, I spoke to her, ‘Hi, you okay? Let’s have a lunch (here’s a mistake for I was really nervous, it should be dinner ) together’. Shaven (homeless) didn’t mind what I said, just respond that ‘Thank you, I’m so hungry’ without any expression. It’s the first meal within 3 days. She’s alone (her partner got ill in brain) right now, without any children. In evening, she just find some places close to the tube station for sleeping. The Policy of UK does nothing. Some people give her clothes, buy food or give some change directly. About religion, she is going to believe god because many people talked about god to her.
  • XXX stood in front of Sainsbury at Bethnal green, I saw he lighted the smoke for a man who just shopping at Sainsbury, I haven’t recognise he is a homeless, I thought he is a friend of the shopping man. When I passing him, he stretch out hands towards me: ‘ Im really hungry and gonna a hot meal but Ive no idea with only f**king 7 pence, Could you give me £5?’ I laughed and gave him £3. He shook my hand with British gentle greet.
18/05/16   lighting man  10:00 am & wheel chair man  1:55 pm Elephant & Castle                         
  • Its at the same shop with last night, I met the lighting man again, I greeted him, obviously, he’s already recognise me, although, I wear different cloth. ‘ I got nothing today, come here.’,but I was so hurry to school, that run away.
  • wheel chair man  1:55 pm Elephant & Castle                                                                                               Asking smoke for pedestrians without any expression, but when I greeted him, he became much more happier and started to play flute. Sleeping in buildings around elephant & Castle station at night. Love music and smoke. I guaranteed I will take my smoke for him tomorrow. He was really cheerful about that and put his palms devoutly together. However, another day when I came there, he wasn’t here. So do I need to believe something?
  • Sitting man 3:45 pm Bethnal Green, Passing him, then went back and shared a piece of biscuit. Response: ‘thank you have a nice day.’ no expression. 
21/05/16   Umbrella man, Euston station square, 4 pm, Rainy & Cup woman, Stratford, 8 pm
  • I greeted him with a tennis pat in my hand, the response of him was really actively and looked much more happier after I greeted him. I was really emotional because it was really cold and rainy, he sat on the wet ground and took a umbrella, that’s his home, and he may upset or disappointed about this, the wet ground may make him uncomfortable, but he has not bring this negative mood to pedestrians, he still live with whole passion. He smelled me and talked with me about my tennis pat. What a really funny and lovely guy. Finally, he said ‘thanks darling’, and threw me and my friend a kiss.
  • Cup woman sat at the corner of  Morrison’s, when I was walking by and say hello to her, she just stretched out her hand with a paper cup to me and the voice ‘give me change please’. Unfortunately, I had no cash with me at that moment, so I tried to say something else to her, obviously, she continued focus on money but without any interests talking with me, maybe she was really hungry.
23/05/16   A clever man, Bethnal Green station, 5 pm
  • The clever man told me that pedestrians are really clever, you can see they just passing me but nobody response me, they ignore me because they are clever. What’s more, he experimented through asking time to them and illustrated what he said. I was moved why he has such a strong heart and told me everything with smell. God Bless you.
24/05/16   Wheel chair man again, Elephant & Castle, 7 pm & Chicken man, Bethnal Green, 8 pm
  • It’s so lucky today and I met wheel chair man again, but he slept whole day that I have no chance talk to him, luckily, when I left school, he woke and was in a daze, so I rushed towards him immediately. I asked him why not put change into his pocket when he was sleeping. He told me people may put change on his keen when sleeping. We just talked two minutes, he looked still tired and sleepy, and hidden him face into a blanket and slept again.
  • Chicken man was sating at entrance of Sainsbury and ate a bag of chicken. I greeted him and asked if he is in everyday. He affirmative answer. The reason why I haven’t seen him before was he always walked around and change places for sleeping. That made me think about are homeless always or prefer walk around an area or block rather than stay at the same place all the time? Is it just personal or general? He asked me if I can buy a bag of peanut for him. Actually I never noticed before, so I said ‘I will do that if I find it’. When I came out, he’s left already. I did not blame and complain him, but was thinking about trust between human. I was not sure I must buy the peanut. So the information that I offered to him was not determinate and he was not sure I would buy it, and I was not sure he must wait for me. Why there is something between us result in we could not totally believe each other, although I initiatively greeted him first. Homeless may protect themselves this way. I am not sure about that. So, I am going to participate the volunteer programme from All Souls church and know more things about them further.  : )