Urbanization_doing good is good business week 9

What is the Big Problem

Urbanization (which brought a lot of issues to both rural and urban area)

What is the specific problem

For rural area, the problems include left-behind children(they need their parents – to be closer to them, pay more visit, more communication ) / lack of labor force / undeveloped living environment etc.

For urban area, the problems include slums / higher and higher density of population / lack of affordable houses etc.

It would be helpful if we could give assistance to people who consider moving to urban on deciding which city to move.


Reading – Einstein’s Dreams

The dreams Einstein dreamt are such beautiful hypotheses on time, in which I didn’t see physics or theory of relativity, I saw ourselves. When I travelled through different worlds of time with Einstein, the people I encountered were ourselves – there were people who didn’t want to say goodbye, people who were afraid of death, people who were exiled by time, people who came from the past.


“14 APRIL 1905

Suppose time is a circle, bending back on itself. The world repeats itself, precisely, endlessly.”

What happened would happen again, what were doomed to be happened would never be avoided. The world is a stage on which the play is iterating over and over again. We are the tireless robotic actors, saying our lines without mistakes. How would people live if they were told their future was doomed and repeated? In Einstein’s dream, people live in this time circle without notice, which might be a fortune.

“16 APRIL 1905

In this world, time is like a flow of water, occasionally displaced by a bit of debris, a passing breeze. Now and then, some cosmic disturbance will cause a rivulet of time to turn away from the mainstream, to make connection backstream. When this happens, birds, soil, people caught in the branching tributary find themselves suddenly carried to the past.”

In Einstein’s dream, the people being carried back to the past are like the exiles of time. They showed reverence to time and lived like a ghost, tried hard not to disturb anything in the past. If we could travel back to past I wonder how many of us could be that cautious and thoughtful since we are only human. Human who live with regrets and desires.


19 APRIL 1905

These three chains of events all indeed happen, simultaneously. For in this world, time has three dimensions, like space. Just as an object may move in three perpendicular directions, corresponding to horizontal, vertical, and longitudinal, so an object may participate in three perpendicular futures. Each future moves in a different direction of time. Each future is real.”

Life is made up of choices. If time could have three dimensions or more, nothing would be impossible. The hypothesis of parallel universe is so popular among storytellers because we never really fully satisfy with our choices. What if? What if not? How brave we could be if we were told that in another dimension of time, we could have made thousands of  totally different choices.

26 APRIL 1905

In this world, it is instantly obvious that something is odd. No houses can be seen in the valleys or plains. Everyone lives in the mountains. At some time in the past, scientists discovered that time flows more slowly the farther from the center of earth. The effect is minuscule, but it can be measured with extremely sensitive instruments. Once the phenomenon was known, a few people, anxious to stay young, moved to the mountains. Now all houses are built on Dom, the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, and other high ground. It is impossible to sell living quarters elsewhere.”

Let all beautiful things last forever. In his dream on May 14, he dreamt of a center of the world where time is still.

“And at the place where time stands still, one sees lovers kissing in the shadows of buildings, in a frozen embrace that will never let go. The loved one will never take his arms from where they are now, will never give back the bracelet of memories, will never journey far from his lover, will never place himself in danger in self-sacrifice, will never fail to show his love, will never become jealous, will never fall in love with someone else, will never lose the passion of this instant in time.”


3 MAY 1905      

Consider a world in which cause and effect are erratic. Sometimes the first precedes the second, sometimes the second the first. Or perhaps cause lies forever in the past while effect in the future, but future and past are entwined.

It is a world in which every word spoken speaks just to that moment, every glance given has only one meaning, each touch has no past or no future, each kiss is a kiss of immediacy. “

sense me move me week 8

This week’s class we grouped up as 4 and played around each other’s body architecture and texture.

For Body Re-Architecture

Architecture 1

Yuhan used various connections between joints to re-create our body architecture.

The first play she showed us not only the structure but also the depth map in which we could see our actual body. Yuqiao and I both felt that it would work better when got rid of the depth map. So for the second try Yuhan removed depth map and we just got the feedback of lines connected by joints. We enjoyed stretching between hand joints. The iteration of stretching joints felt like clapping hands, and I thought it would be fun if clapping sounds were added to it. During the interaction, I pretty enjoyed the contortion of changing the triangle shape by moving the joints on head and feet.

Architecture 2

Yuqiao’s body architecture lowered down the center of gravity to compose a geometry shape. I tended to pause my movement at a certain point to create a spectacular shape. Her architecture design mainly relied on proximal joints rather that stretching out points. I could feel my body was constrained by her design. The funnies part was to create a regular geometry shape by doing difficult contortions. It was even harder to see clearly what shape you have created though.

Architecture 3


I used joints to create curved shapes with a 50% opacity.

The feedbacks I got from my group members included that they enjoyed playing more with the overlapped part of the shapes. Instead of the two shapes I designed for them to play with, pretty much of their attentions would be drew to the overlapped part which was out of my expectation. Also, they did a lot of twists and turns to change the shape scale. They did not feel constrained as there’s no outline for the shape, so they tended to stretch out their bodies to create bigger shapes. The Contortion was that they stretched out their arms to create more space between two shapes.

For Body Texture

Texture 1


I wanted to create a bubbly body texture in use of overlapping ellipse added with an alpha. The design intention was to see how would user react with it when the texture became something gentler and softer then human body. What’s more, I designed a hidden hole in the center of the body – as long as you assemble all your body part to the center, you would be “eaten” by the black hole.

The feedbacks I got included:

  1. Yuhan found the black hole thing immediately while Yuqiao didn’t even notice it
  2. They both intentionally tried very slow or fast movements to see how would speed influenced the sketch (which I haven’t thought about yet)

Texture 2

Yuhan created a fluffy pompom which is visually cute and inviting. The first thing popped into my mind was to jump with it as if it was alive. I could watch a pompom jumping for a whole day. Moreover,  because of its fluffy substance, it made me wanna swing to see how all its hair would move along the wind.


A generation affected by migration – DGGB final idea

In collaboration with Yuqiao and Jixuan, we brainstormed a lot and finally decided to do something for children of rural area in China.



According to China Government Report, until 2015, migration workers population reached 277 millions.

source: http://www.stats.gov.cn/tjsj/zxfb/201604/t20160428_1349713.html

Overall, the Chinese government has tacitly supported migration as means of providing labour for factories and construction sites and for the long-term goals of transforming China from a rural-based economy to an urban-based one.[5] Some inland cities have started providing migrants with social security, including pensions and other insurance. In 2012, there were a reported 167 million migrant workers in China, with trends of working closer to home (within their own or a neighbouring province but with a wage drop of 21%. Because so many migrant works are moving to the city from rural areas, employers can hire them to work in poor working conditions for extremely low wages.[5] Migrant workers in China are notoriously marginalized, especially due to the hukou system of residency permits, which tie one stated residence to all social welfare benefits.

source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migrant_worker#China

more resource: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migration_in_China


Who is this for?

Children affected by migration

  1. left-behind children

Left-behind children in China refer to the children who live with one parent (usual mother) or extended family (usually grandparents) when their parent(s) is (are) absent from home as migrant workers in urban areas. They are left behind partly because of little access to basic welfare in cities without local hukou status and partly because of high living expenses in cities.According to Ministry of Education, in 2012 there were more than 12.6 million migrant children and 58 million left-behind children from 7 years old to 16 years old. Left-behind children will have more health, emotional and behavior issues than those who grow up with their parents.

source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migration_in_China

A short video by BBC gives a brief introduction to the left-behind: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-35994481

A more detailed report from BBC:


2.children migrate with parents

Until 2015, held a population of 14 million. They migrated to the urban area with parents who usually worked at factories or construction sites with a limited access to education.


What is the challenge you are trying to investigate?

left-behind children

1.lack of care from parents

Most of migrant workers only go back and visit their children once a year. Some of the left-behind live alone, others are raised by their grandparents. With limited access to internet, children could hard reach their parents when they are not together.

2.financial support

After they went to the urban area, many of them worked part-time in order to afford a normal academic life and get used to city life. Most of them relied on student loan to pay for tuition fee(which means they need to get a work after graduation in order to repay)

3. access to information

Limited resource at childhood – local teacher and support teacher from developed area

4. social/family/peer pressure after they went to urban area

mental issues

Questions…: Do they want to go back? Why not?  Their families’ attitude towards migrating issue and further education?


children migrate with parents

  1. limited access to education

9-year-compulsory education which supported by Chinese government funds could only be implemented at the local area, which means they need to pay for tuition fee at urban area. There are primary schools specifically for these kids(mostly in rural-urban fringe zone) while still cannot solve the problem due to their flowing issues, ID issues.

2. transfer frequently

3. Ignorance from parents

40% of parents donot care about children education

4.social/family/peer pressure mental issues

mental issues


Final Project Inspiration

Before I narrowed down the topics I wished to start initiate project ideas, I went through the stats on Uganda for example to see the main areas UNICEF works on:


Among these topics, I’m mostly interested in

  • Education and access to information
  • living resources(water, food) and environmental issues

“Education systems around the globe must do more than increase resources to engage the children excluded because of location, gender, disability, ethnic origin, violence or natural disaster. Addressing these challenges requires more than business as usual.”

A great example of  a combination of these two issues I’m interested in is the “drinkable book” (could look up the link http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33954763) which is a bug-killing book that could clean murky drinking water.


For our team’s challenge, we were to figure out an emergency response plan when we encounter a natural disaster.

Our first approach was to build a disaster rescue kit, however after talk with instructors we found out that this might not be the best choice as it relies more on preparation before hand rather than real-time response. Thus, we plan out basic steps for our emergency response which includes

1. Identify Safe Areas:

  • Where is the gathering point?
  • Where can supplies be stored?

2. Designate Team Roles

  • Who will search
  • Who will manage supplies
  • Who will be on the medical team
  • Who is the lead person
  • Person responsible for contacting emergency persons

3.Search Team

  • Identifies and Reports Damaged Areas

      Debris/Downed Power Lines /Flood Waters/Spills    

  • Looks for supplies
  • Looks for survivors (Initial Rescue & Medical Team)

 4.Base Team

  • Manage Supplies
  1. Prepares Food, Medical Equipment
  2. Identifies what is needed
  3. Separate Hazardous and Non-Hazardous materials
  • Establish and Maintain Stations
  1. Medical Station
  2. Washing Station
  3. Eating Station
  4. Recreational Station
  5. Sleeping Station
  • Work on establishing contact with Rescue Team


  • Human Assessment
  1. Check (Mental & Physical) Health of People
  2. Attend to needs at base

To see if our plan was practical, we took walk around our school block(area within two-three blocks), tried to identify safe areas and acted as a search team.


Apart from school buildings, we found that subway stations might be a good option for temporary shelter as they could prevent cold weather and disasters like tornados(not appropriate for disasters like floods though)


We have plenty access to food & water (grocery stores, vending machines in school block, restaurants and cafes)

Fortunately enough, NYU student health center lies right opposite our school block, which could provide us with medical supplies and even doctors as medical team members. There are also two pharmacy stores and one nutritional supplement store nearby.

Clothing stores provide us with supplies to survive extreme cold weather.


With relatively abundant resources, how to gather and deliver supplies with high efficiency might be an issue. So apart from basic resources, we also looked for tools for storage and delivery – Card boxes for storage, bicycles could help with delivery, and trolleys at CVS or salons could be used for delivery also.

We also visited NYU > Center for Catastrophe Preparedness & Response  seeking for help, but surprisingly, we didn’t found anyone in their office.


Learnings from the walk:

  • The walk took us around 20 minutes, as we assume internet could not work we had no specific plan for our route. As all resources are at different locations, it might be helpful if there’s someone in search team could memorise/record the locations of resources for further visits.
  • For resource like medical supplies, we need relatively professional knowledge, which means training before hand/preparation really matters. Even if we got that resource, we don’t know what is the the priority for us to gather and deliver.
  • Instead of looking for basic supplies, have storage and deliver tools prepare should be first step