TetraBIN was initially developed in response to a research project brief that investigated the use of computing technologies for encouraging positive behaviour change in the city.
Motivated by the idea of play as a way of inspiring people (especially the younger generation) to be aware of environmental sustainability issues such as the collection and management of waste in cities, we have augmented a trash bin with the latest computing technology.
TetraBIN explores how today's technologies can be used to motivate positive change in urban environments. It uses gamified approaches – making use of game mechanics and game thinking – turn an activity traditionally considered trivial, such as depositing rubbish into a bin, into a joyful event. These approaches are designed to enhance the experience of interacting with urban furniture, with the goal of encouraging more active attitudes from people formerly partaking passively in a relatively insignificant activity. In particular it tackles the problem of littering by associating the act of rubbish disposal with a fun and rewarding activity. The act of putting rubbish into a bin is turned into a game, where a piece of rubbish is mapped to an interaction within a game world displayed on a custom-computer controlled screen surrounding the bin.
Reminiscent of 8-bit era video games, (remember Super Mario Bros, anyone?) TetraBIN allows you and other players to collaboratively control light blocks on the screen. The pattern of these blocks is affected by the size and shape of your litter, as well as by the timing of your act of disposal. Custom-made sensors inside the bin are triggered every time a piece of rubbish is dropped into the bin. As the rubbish is submerged into the bin a digital building block is released from the top edge of the LED screen. This augmentation transforms the otherwise trivial act of disposing of rubbish as the participant must drop their rubbish at the right moment to advance further in the game. Once an entire row is filled with building blocks it disappears, making room for more blocks. The game mechanics are intentionally loose to allow participants making up their own game rules. For instance, participants can collaborate to create a vertical stack, which restarts the game, or compete by each creating their own vertical stacks. Beyond reducing litter, TetraBIN invites passers-by into brief social interactions and to consider environmental issues in the city, specifically the collection and management of waste.
Steven Bai designed the initial concept of TetraBIN before implementing two high fidelity prototypes with his friends and research partners in 2014. Steven and his team are currently innovating a newer version of TetraBIN.
Pictures by Steven Bai, Martin Tomitsch. Video by Steven Bai.
Project partner: Vivid Sydney 2014
Media release archives of TetraBIN: http://stevenbai.com/media/
TetraBIN webpage: www.tetrabin.com
Contact us to learn about TetraBIN's future development and more: firstname.lastname@example.org
PTOLEMi is an architectural installation that swirls along the edge of Campbells Cove, an abstract representation of the cultural values and artistic practices of the ‘iGeneration’.
The iGeneration is broadly defined as a generation born into the new millennium, defined by their technology and media use and their love of electronic communication. The ‘i’ not only refers to types of mobile technologies (iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Wii) but the fact that these technologies are individualised in the way they are used.
Artists and architects are increasingly influenced by the practices and values of the iGeneration, engaging in what the artist refers to as ‘digital bricolage’, where work is constructed from the materials at hand. In the digital world this involves the inclusion of computerised elements that control physical entities, giving rise to new approaches to space, environment and form.
PTOLEMi is highly innovative in its form, construction and digital content. Visitors enjoy immersive experiences, enabled by the use of embedded sensors and media platforms using sound, video and graphics. LED and interactive technology add dynamism to the otherwise static structure.
The swirling pattern that forms the structure and surface of PTOLEMi was constructed and developed by computation and advanced engineering whilst utilising basic construction principles.
Visually, the structure delivers a sense of both tension and compression, resembling opposing currents in a whirl of continuous motion – the artist’s metaphor for ubiquitous technology.
PTOLEMi is a collaborative project with artist Rebekah Araullo and other cool colleagues for Vivid Sydney 2016. Images by UNSW Built Environments, Rebekah Araullo and Steven Bai.
Steven Bai was invited by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as one of the key Australian representatives to curate an exhibition for Beijing Design Week 2015, and it's one of the Australian features in the festival.
Mirrorless Reflection is an interactive citizen-experience design exhibition, which responds to human sounds and movements, was on show at INDIGO – Designed to Delight during Beijing Design Week.
Controlling light through a cloud of illuminated pixels, Mirrorless Reflection explores a future where LEDs can work seamlessly with interactive technologies and sensors to reflect urban behaviours in asymmetric ways. Today, LEDs are illuminating every corner of our cities; they are low consumption and digitally controlled. Beyond the everyday on/off switch, the Mirrorless Reflection can be delicately controlled by sounds, human movements; it brings us together to form a community in public social spaces and to ultimately enhance people's daily experiences in urban environments.
We love the concept of play – an instinctive trigger for human actions, and we believe that there are many opportunities in today’s cities to turn existing infrastructures into playful urban installations and urban prototypes. We see every piece of work that we do as a step further towards better understanding how playful urban interventions can contribute to life and liveability in cities of the 21st century.
Steven received assistance and support from the Australian Embassy Beijing during the event, and sponsorships from the University of Sydney and Mendao.com.au.
Trace is a large-scale urban experience design project, it illuminates The Galeries (a shopping centre in Sydney CBD next to Hilton hotel and Queen Victoria Building) with a playful wall of interactive algorithmic light.
In the last decade, a growing number of research fields, including media architecture, human-computer interaction and interaction design, began to study the integration of digital technologies and media into the built environment. This propagates the idea that technologies are entering all aspects of our daily lives. The design of technologies is thus no longer limited to the work realm and office environments.
Large 10m wide by 2.5m high, LED matrix with about half a million LED pixel dots feed on audience movement to produce a real-time artistic response manifested in dancing ripples of light. Augmented with motion tracking technologies and custom-built projection mapping system, visitors are invited to pause, crouch, pose and jump in front of the exhibition and experience the colourful visual spectacle unique to their interaction. The display will also continue to evolve naturally as its hues reflect different times of day and its configuration is designed to change over time. This progressive application of technology not only creates a dialogue between the centre and its customers that is personal and engaging; but it was designed to reinforce the most important identity of public spaces - the place of discovery and play.
Pictures and short video clip by Steven Bai.
Foxtel Play is one of the very well-known TV subscription services, and has millions of users across the globe. When PlayStation 4 just became available for the general public, we had to redesign the interactive TV experience and button-mappings (the look and the feel) for the Foxtel Play app on PS4. The project involved iterative and human-centred design process for alleviating various issues including Playback Controls, Button Mappings, Different States of Playback Controls and Screen Controls.
Along with the project, I also worked on several other sophisticated yet innovative projects including IPTV solutions, Cross-platform TV experiences (mobile, tablet, desktop, consoles and TV), In-Flight Entertainment systems and web-orientated responsive solutions.
Designed and presented an generative data visualization of donations to the University of Sydney at the official launch of INSPIRED – The Campaign to Raise $600 Million Dollars to Support the University of Sydney at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay, which received the acknowledgment and gratitude of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence.
This generative code and animation were produced for the launch dinner of the University of Sydney’s INSPIRED campaign. The aim was to create a visualization of the donations made to the University using generative methods, while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing output and keeping with the theme of a growing jacaranda tree. Algorithms used include partitioning the data in order of donation size using logarithms; growing new branches on the tree over time according to the distribution of the data; and using a stack data structure to traverse the tree from branch to trunk, rendering the larger branches on top of the smaller branches. The algorithms were chosen, modified and tweaked to allow a balance between control over the structure and emergence of unexpected structures through randomness.
Code and post-production by Steven Bai and Sam Johnson.
All algorithms were carefully considered during the development process, in order to maintain the design concept and to carry the concept throughout the entire development, which includes the post production. The animation was aiming to enhance the influential function of the university donation campaign, which is based on the generative design to optimise the experience of understanding data information.
18th Biennale of Sydney: Cockatoo Island is a geo-location based application designed and developed for the BlackBerry PlayBook.
When BlackBerry PlayBook just came out, we thought we'd give it a try so we developed this app for people to experience Cockatoo Island in a better and less traditional way. There existed a potential opportunity to create something site specific that not only gave the user the necessary gallery style information contained in the printed booklet, but also enhanced and supported the island’s special qualities as a post-industrial centre for art and culture.
It's also interesting that, we started manipulating the translucency and flat design techniques before Sir Jonathan Ive triggered this trend when he announced the redesigned iOS 7 :)
(2012, Steven Bai and Sam Johnson)
Date visualisation concept created for, and used by SolarSailor to demonstrate their technology during Pacific 2012 International Maritime Expo. Wireframes designed with pencil.
(by Steven Bai, 2012）
Sky TV was a complex but unique project I worked on, some of my main responsibilities included the rapid-prototyping for interactive experience design, UI & UX specifications, interactive Widget design for programs guide and information architecture.
(2013 - 2014)
I was trained as a commercial jazz dancer when I was a little kid, back then they were teaching Visual Basic at schools, and I was using Logo to program a little turtle that can draw fascinating graphics.
My experiences in dancing, or performing on a stage in general, played a crucial role in encouraging myself to become more cross-displinary with design and technology. And helped me to be more natural and engaging when speaking in public, giving a presentation or doing a pitch.
Hope you enjoy :)