Reading: The Ecological Thought / Timothy Morton


More on reading soon ❤

Critical Thinking 

“The ecological crisis we face is so obvious that it becomes easy — for some, strangely or frighteningly easy — to join the dots and see that everything is interconnected. This is the ecological thought. And the more we consider it, the more our world opens up.”

What would an ecololgical society look like? What would an ecological mind think?  What kind of art would an ecologically minded person enjoy? All these questions have one thing in common: the ecological thought.

Could think of it as a prequel to his previous book, ecology without nature



Reading: Rething-ifying the internet of things / Jennifer Gabrys



Jennifer Gabrys In Sustainable Media: Critical Approaches to Media and Environment Edited by Nicole Starosielski and Janet Walker (Routledge, 2016)


Selected quotes // Notes from Reading 

“Things, within the Internet of Things, are the curious creatures to which I turn my attention in this chapter…

  • What are these things in the Internet of Things and what are the characteristics of their emerging materialities?
  • How, as newly electronicized objects, do they manifest distinct material and environmental effects?
  • And how might an attention to these material and environmental effects provide an opportunity for generating new areas of environmental intervention in relation to sustainable media?”


“Alongside theorists like Lisa Parks and Matthew Fuller, I have argued for a consideration of what lies beyond the screen, of how hardware unfolds into wider ecologies of media devices, and of how electronic waste may evidence the complex ways in which media are material and environmental, despite our tendency to overlook these interconnected infrastructures, supports, and resources.”


“What are these things within the Internet of Things and how do they influence, challenge, disrupt, or reroute discussions of materiality within media studies? What consequences do these things have for thinking about the environmental effects and relations generated through the Internet of Things?”

    • “ubiquitous computing = central to new environmental practices
      • ex: monitoring pollution / citizen science
    • sensor technologies are also entangled with proposals for new efficiencies to be gained, as well as new opportunities to achieve sustainability through ongoing monitoring of resource use. Yet on the other hand and as will be my focus here, the projected rise in computational objects and applications is sure to generate new modalities and distributions of electronic waste
    • How do these specific applications and imaginaries of the Internet of Things inform the materialities—and things—that are generated?
    • And what implications do these materialities and things have for media theory and practice?”

“The Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive of the European Commission documents a bewildering array of items—from laptops to toasters—for treatment as a special category of this hazardous waste.”Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics // Jennifer Gabrys


“the things within the Internet of Things consist of a growing list of intelligent devices that would augment, optimize, and interconnect every aspect of our daily lives. To what extent might this expanding array of digital things generate different modalities, materialities, and environments of computation?”

“The Internet of Things is just as often referred to as the Internet of Everything, since networked and programmed capabilities are meant to inform products, bodies, environments, and systems, where the world is connected through sensors, networks, and a steady flow of data.”

“The number of devices connected to the Internet is currently estimated to be approximately one and a half to two billion. By 2020, however, this number is forecast to grow to up to fifty billion devices, with many more set to follow.8”


“the Internet of Things as a concept is often dated to Mark Weiser’s work on ubiquitous computing at Xerox Parc in the 1980s and 1990s,9 and as an actual term is dated to 1999,10 another pivotal moment in the concept’s elaboration is 2008, the year when Internet-based machine-to-machine connectivity surpassed that of human-to-human connectivity.1”

Connected toaster exaple:

“Cerf opines, but he draws a further connection to how such a “feedback loop is going to be important from an environmental point of view, because I would say that we don’t always understand the consequences of our actions.” He concludes, “this kind of feedback loop may actually help us do a better job of managing our response to environmental problems including global warming.”

Thingification as Enabling and Ennobling Technology

“electronic environmentalism,”

MIT Trash Track project from Sensable Cities Lab


Keywords: technomateriality, e-waste, sensor actuated

Joy of Games: Final Project

Image of box and its contents on my bed

Summary of the game/experience you are making For my final I would like to continue tuning my hw#7 sketch creating an explorative experience of storytelling through objects. I recently used an artec spider through NYU Tandon and think it could be fun to scan objects in / clean them up for a more realistic feel?



An explanation of how this links up to the concept of games (or playful experiences) and your intended flavor of joy: 

How does this connect to my intended flavor of joy? As first explored in the start of the semester through our manifesto activity. Creating something slow and meditative is at the core of what I was thinking in Skipping the Speedrun to watch the Clouds. Something that simulates the enjoyable experience of a closer look. How can environmental storytelling create a stronger narrative? Thinking of film production what does mise-en-scene or the art direction of set and props help lay the foundation for

Thinking about what are the things we collect? and what are the stories they tell. What are the objects we leave behind and the stories they tell? This box is a personal one but how interesting is it for the viewed to navigate through it? Often we talk about how history is not linear but constellation of impactful moments all informing one another. Exploring a personal history as a nonlinear playful experience makes sense to me.

  • Some Questions: 
    • What would make it more engaging for the viewer? How could it be juicy-er?
    • could work on interacting with the objects / do they trigger another sensory experience when clicked? like audio samples connected to the objects?
    • Work on the physical control of mouse drag & WASD keys for rotation.
    • Reminded of the book Worn Stories by Emily Spivack. Could be fun to have a game where we have an “itp closet” where you can pull out scanned objects of clothing that people have recorded a narrative story attached to it?
    • The question that was raised in our collective narrative class when we visited the City Reliquary. Can it be a museum if an object has no markers? How much context does the viewer need?
    • What does it mean to for it to be personal archive? Would feel less intrusive if it was a box of personal objects that belonged to a celebrity? What about a stranger or someone of a generation past? Does it feel too voyeuristic or intrusive?


A general breakdown of the big milestones you plan to accomplish each week.

Class 12: Initial Final Presentations / Final Week1

  • Storytelling through objects, nonlinear exploration a closer look
  • Sketch out interactions I’d like to achieve
    • would clicking on certain objects create atmospheric switches?
  • book time with the 3d ARCtec
  • Decide which objects
  • Figure out desired object orientation / needed code support
  • get permission from friends or family to include their objects
  • Look into how to make a more stable box top


Class 13: Testable Prototype 

  • fold in user testing feed back
  • create another mini zine with object drawings / narrative snippets?


Class 14: Final Presentations 


An initial prototype of your core mechanic (this week, your prototype can be digital or paper) 

Will focus in on Boolean logic of mouse clicked or mouse drag ❤

In class some great thinking point were mentioned:

  • How to signal that they aren’t random objects but rather belong to a specific person (me in this moment).
  • is there audio to go with the items? / what flavor of nostalgia?
  • how would it be displayed?
    • creating an invitation into the magic circle by creating an environment around the display
    • Maybe a blanket fort? Will need to brainstorm how that could work structurally in the space 440px-Blankt_fort.jpg

Joy of Games: Hw#8 – Adding Juice


Adding Juice For this week we were to add a level of polish / juice to a previous assignment. I thought this week it could be fun to give the Mr Trash Wheel simulation assignment another design pass. In office hours Jane mentioned a couple things to look into in addition to prefabs of the different objects. One was how to make a mechanic that actually communicate that its water with objects in it as well as how to convey the “current” controller. Instead of getting deep into fluid dynamic papers Jane mentioned looking into Perlin noise and add force functions to help transfer motion when objects are hit. A lot of water physics and object buoyancy videos tutorial were centered around the law of the Archimedes Principle           



Perlin Nosie & Buoyancy  When searching around for tutorials I eventually landed tutorial playlist to help with floating objects in water using Perlin noise (Ken Perlin was  a guest speaker in Applications class and also teaches at NYU / Future Reality Lab).  There was a small road bump in the actual tutorial code. They used ‘Dimension’ singular as a declared global variable but then referenced it as ‘Dimensions’ plural throughout the rest of the code. (easy to do!) After combing through a couple times I caught the discrepancy and decided to set both to ‘Dimensions’ and to get the first steps working.



Creating the mesh triangulation layer in a script (timecode: 5:16)

Screen Shot 2019-11-17 at 10.30.21 PM.png

My mesh triangulation executed in Unity

Screen Shot 2019-11-17 at 10.11.21 PM.png

However the tutorial code kept breaking after this point, maybe due to a Unity update? Or to an accidental grammar error on my part (will sift back through again later) So went on to try this tutorial out instead

Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 12.56.41 AM.png

Tutorial: Make a realistic boat in Unity with C#

in this tutorial Erik focuses on the idea of buoyancy. He referenced an article as an inspiration and that “The basic summary of the Gamasutra article is that you have to find out which parts of the boat is below the water. Then you should add a buoyancy force to those parts” . He mentions the fact that everything is built with triangles, and that even our cube gameObject is built out of triangles, 2 on each face. He also then broke down further how each triangle had 3 vertices:

“In Unity you have to deal with at least 2 arrays to control the triangles. One triangle consists of 3 so-called vertices that each has a coordinate in 3d-space like x,y,z. A vertice is a corner in the triangle. One array will store these. The other array will store in which order the vertices form a triangle. When you build a triangle in Unity you have to store the position of the vertices in the array so they form a clockwise loop through all the corners. If you happen to store them counter-clockwise the triangle will be inside out and you will not see it (you will see it if you move to the other side of the triangle).”


Important take aways:

2 arrays:

  1. one to store the x,y,z coordinates
  2. the other stores the order (must be in a clockwise loop or will be insideout)


  • The (cube) consists of triangles. But which are submerged?
    • “We need to find out if one of the triangles is submerged. If the entire triangle is below the water then we can just store it and add buoyancy to the entire triangle. But if only a part of the triangle is below the water, then we have to cut it in pieces and store the pieces that are below the water and add buoyancy to those pieces. It will look like this”





With just the BoatPhysics script on cube



Joy of Games: Assignment #7


This week for assignment #7 we were to create an interactive game or experience with the with context of an element from our Flavor of Joy Manifesto. Being newer to different game making platforms I decided to stick with the Unity engine we’ve been working on in class and start to think about mouse input, specifically how to get the cursor to interact with objects via Drag Mouse or Raycasts.

My Manifesto was partially inspired by exploratory games like Gone Home, What Remains of Edith Finch, Firewatch ( as well as thinking about objects like in Assemble With Care) where you can explore objects with a simple click and at your own pace. I was also inspired by the game we played in class during last week’s lecture, Packing Up the Rest of Your Stuff on the Last Day at Your Old Apartment.

I tried for a similar feel with a box of objects I keep at home.  I didn’t recreate all of contents but tried to include some variety of materials and objects like postcards, photos, pins, map and my childhood walkman. I think this sketch connects with the manifesto by underscoring the idea of everyday objects as possible portals for storytelling, as well as the possible slowness and range of speed of “chose your own pace”of exploration.

Image of box and its contents on my bed


It makes sense that the camera angle and the rate at which an object is examined (and dropped) could affect the tone of the exploration. I tried experimenting with a more zoomed in and zoomed out framing. With my current Unity knowledge I think I like the Medium shot more in that it’s easier to place the objects back into the box. However, the more zoomed in intimacy it is nice in the closeup version, and makes it easier for exploring objects.





Exploring objects in the original games

Gone Home (Fulbright) 

Screen Shot 2019-11-10 at 8.18.20 PM.pnggonehome1-1024x640.jpg



What Remains of Edit Finch (Giant Sparrow) 

Screen Shot 2019-11-11 at 7.13.41 AM.png



Fire Watch  (Campo Santo)



PUTROYSOTLDAYOA [Packing Up the Rest of Your Stuff on the Last Day at Your Old Apartment] 




Click Objects Tutorials 

Code used 
I ended up going with the Unity 3d How to: Drag object with mouse tutorial. With the script looking like this:
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using UnityEngine;
public class MouseDrag : MonoBehaviour
Future Steps
  • control the object orientation once clicked
    • to always read upright / or have an option for rotation
  • could trigger audio when clicked or other interactions
  • how to have a front and back of a postcard on the same GameObject?
    • can you have multiple materials for a GameObject in Unity? or does it have to be done in a 3d rendering software like Blender?
  • Have a written story component like Packing Up the Rest of Your Stuff on the Last Day at Your Old Apartment in addition to any audio to make more accessible.
  • Physics of objects & Creating your own Prefabs

Thesis Hw 1: From Inspiration to Questions



For this week in thesis I decided to try out IDM’s prethesis brainstorming exercise:

Stage 1:

Some Inspirational Projects / would like to revisit once digging deeper


Stage 2: Why?





  • Networks of New York [Ingrid Burrington]
    • unpacking the black box of tech / tech infrastructure
    •  grounded in reality
    • a closer look
    • guide book + physical walk
    • personalizing / re-claiming “cold” networks
    • educational




  • Dino AR app [itp group from Playful Design of Serious Research]
    • museum exhibition design
    • playful educational interactive
    • allows for animation & text –> for a varied audience
    • bridges the physical & the digital


Screen Shot 2019-11-08 at 1.43.42 AM.png

  • Invisible Cities Lab @ Open dot
    • imagining new futures
    • grounded in reality
    • demystifying machine learning
    • new ways of drawing



Screen Shot 2019-11-08 at 1.42.56 AM.png

  • Quilts of Instagram
    • soft & tactile
    • slow fashion / slowness
    • handmade / personalized
    • a sense of individualized warmth & protection
    • sense of community / a place for storytelling
    • creating a space for making/ reflection



  • Quotidian Record
    • personalizing data
    •  beauty of the everyday
    • experimental







  • Gates of light
    • site specific
    • tangible, positive steps to change vs the critique only
    • highlighting pre-existing beauty
    • bio-inspiration / bio mimetics [irridescent / refraction of butterfly wings]



Screen Shot 2019-04-28 at 11.35.00 AM

  • Icelandic Scarf Patterns inspired by nature
    • bringing us closer to nature
    • personalized / poetic
    • site specific / tied to a specific place
    • a closer look (@ the environment around us)



  • Svbald Global Seed Vault
    • creating an archive
    • remediation
    • bringing us closer to nature
    • speculative (but possible) futures



  • Beauty (Olafur Eliasson 1993)
    • a connectable experience of mist and light
    • the beauty in everyday moments / isolated
    • a reflective space / moment



  • Mr. Trash Wheel Baltimore
    • remediation
    • gamification that has helped engage a wider audience on an important issue
    • a sense of play / discovery


  •  Morse Code Scarf ( Janusz Jaworski)
    • personalizing data
    • slow fashion
    • soft & tactile
    • making the invisible visible
    • creating a space for reflection