• Caren

Pcom Final Project Plan


Remake old machines


Direction 1: Transform several (3-4) old machines we are relatively familiar with (telephone, microwave, juicer, tv...) into completely unexpected novel experiences. Through a new interaction, we hope to inspire a new perspective on the relationship between human and machine, whether our interaction with machines is only for efficiency, or for fun, learning..

Direction 2: Remake several old machines (which are relatively more outdated and unfamiliar to us) to explore their functionality and story in the old social context and enlarge their most significant interactions and make them more playful while meaningful at the same time.

Team member:

Caren Ye, Chun Song, Roi Ye(Tom's Wed class)


Roi first showed us an old tape rewinder that she found on the junk shelf. We mistaken it for a tape video player at first. But even without knowing the real function of it, we got very excited with it and had lots of fun playing with it's buttons and mechanisms while at the same time coming up with our own imagination of how it works. 

This experience was quite thought-provoking. Why an abandoned, obsolete machine feels attractive to us? What motivates us to interact and play with a machine that may not be so functional? Is it because the history behind it piques our curiosity? Is it because we want to recall the good old time through it? Is it because its inefficiency makes it more humane and rises our empathy? Is it because it inspires us to imagine an alternative reality with more romance than the real one? Is it because...

Finally we realize that the feelings and empathy we have with an old machine are complicated and comprehensive. It's difficult to define one certain reason, but we can express our feelings to the viewers by magnify the interaction we had with the old machine. Rather than giving them an opinion, It may be better to let viewers have their own opinion after interacting with our project. 

Field trips:

We went to a few stores to treasure hunt old electronics (We'd like to know more spots if anyone has recommendations)

-Goodwill NYNJ Store & Donation Center(258 Livingston St, Brooklyn, NY)

-The Salvation Army Family Store & Donation Center(6822 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY)

-Reuse America (387 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn, NY)

Experiment & Sketch: 

We opened several old machines we got to see their structures and functions in order to come up with remake plans. 

Object1: Video Converter Lights, mirror, lens, knob, sound recorder, glass window Maybe we can put video or animation behind the glass window and use knob to manipulate it?

Object2: Tape Rewinder

Motor, gear, LED, tape case

We can use the rotation motor and gear to rewind some media?

Object3: Telephone

transform a telephone to a Whack-a-Mole game with music/ or a music maker

We are still working on this part so we only have one rough sketch new. We'll update it when we come up with new ideas. 


Week 1 (11.5-11.12) Make modification schemes/sketches, visit old electronic stores, start modifying on a trial machine Week 2(11.12-11.19)   Come up with detailed design plans, make prototypes

Week 3(11.19-11.26)  User testing, optimize design plans Week 4(11.27~12.4) Manufacture, make videos, project graphics Week 5(12.5~12.11) Manufacture, wrapping up for final presentation, documentation