City Impression@Connectivity

2014-02-26 10:00 - 2014-05-04 18:00

City Impression@Connectivity

When: 26 Feb - 4 May 2014
Where: City Gallery

City Impression@Connectivity

"City Impression@Connectivity" - Workshop on Tactile Map

The Planning Department and the City Gallery has launched the 'City Impression' series since 2013 with an objective to reveal the city of Hong Kong in many different aspects through thematic exhibitions, workshops and other activities.

'City Impression@Connectivity' is a collaborated project between the Planning Department and the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI). The project is an assignment for the students of HKDI in exploring the connectivity between people and urban space. In two study groups, the students examined connectivity between the disables and the City as research bases to develop ideas for their design works for the visually impaired and urban mental disease patients as target groups.

This exhibition showcases 'City Impression@Connectivity' in two directions and intends to narrow the distance between minority disable groups and urban space in order to jointly build up our future community. The two directions are: starting with a 'Real Space' for designing installation targeting the visually impaired; and exploring on a 'Virtual Space' for inspiration for the future city planning taking into account the urban experience of urban mental disease patients.



The facilities for the visually impaired people are quite limited in the city. The general public does not usually understand much about the situation of the visually impaired. By studying a real existing city space, the study group tries to optimise facilities for the visually impaired and to provide inspiration and idea for a new consideration of the future community facilities.


Artists' Statement
The target group for the design work is the visually impaired. Mostly they have a keen sense of touch and hearing. Some of them can even have the perception of light. And they rely on braille system to read and write. The study group wishes to achieve a practical and helpful design for the visually impaired people with a view to facilitating their travelling in urban space and consequently to enhance their connectivity within the city and among people.


The Target Group
Public aspiration usually expects the city can be developed comprehensively to cater for different groups of people in the society. The study group has chosen the visually impaired as the target group for this project. Visual impairment is a visible physical disability but the general public may not understand the real situation of the visually impaired. As such, the connectivity between the visually impaired with the city, the community and the people is less to close with each other. Thus, the study group hopes to design an installation to improve this situation.


Design Work Description
The design work, namely 'City ‧Light', emphasises on light effect. It is hoped that the design work will bring out a bright sense of space and a strong impression to everyone in the city.

The theme of the design aims to create strong impression and connection between the visually impaired by means of interaction. The work has taken into consideration of both usefulness and interactive concept for users.

Tactile map is a very useful tool to assist the visually impaired with the layout of a built environment in providing spatial information. Since the visually impaired people may not have a lot of experience in using tactile map in different venues of the city, the study group designs the tactile map in providing a more complete user experience in the space for the visually impaired.

The interactive design is using one of the floor plans of the City Gallery. The design starts from the idea of connecting the visually impaired with the exhibition space in the City Gallery and hence it can be extended in the future in other exhibition venues. In addition, through the interactive design, it allows the sighted persons to experience together.


The Interactive Design
The installation uses LED screen display, computer software and Kinect sensor. The floor plan of the City Gallery displayed on the screen enriches with visual effect for the low vision people. Users, standing on the designated location, can use their right hands to interact through the sensor. The floor plan appear on the screen will display a circle of light. It moves according to the users' hand movement. When it moves to a particular area, an audio description about the exhibition zone will be played and provide information for the users. A transparent tactile map is installed in front of the screen for the visually impaired people to touch and get the exhibition information.

This installation not only can provide venue information for all users, but also enables a better exhibition experience for the visually impaired in which both sighted people and the visually impaired can share the joy of visiting the same city space.


Step of Interaction
1. Stand at the indicated position on the floor
2. Wait a while for tracking
3. Successful tracking will announce a remind sound and a light circle will appear on the screen display
4. Move your right hand, the circle will follow your movement
5. When your hand moves to particular area, an audio description of that area will be played

*Visually impaired and the sighted persons are encouraged to experience the tactile map.


About the visually impaired
Visual impairment can be roughly divided into two categories which include total blindness and low vision (amblyopia). Low vision persons have limited vision while total blindness cannot see anything or any light.

The main cause of visual impairment is eye diseases while different eyes diseases can lead to various degrees in vision lost. Sometimes they are caused by an injury to the eye which is not inborn diseases.

According to the report on Special Topics Report No. 48 'Persons with disabilities and chronic diseases' by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Census and Statistics Department, December 2008, there is about 122,600 visually impaired persons which accounts for 1.8% of the total population in Hong Kong.


Basic facilities (Barrier-free facilities)
1. Braille: It is a writing system for the visually impaired to read and learn.
2. White cane: It is used to detect obstacles and explore the road surface and indicate the bearer for the visually impaired.
3. Guide dog: There are only six guide dogs in Hong Kong for helping the blind people to get around.
4. Audible traffic light signals: It indicates the prevailing state of the pedestrian signal and guide the visually impaired to cross the road.
5. Bus stop announcement systems: It consists of an electronic sign and audio to provide clear and easy information about the upcoming stops.
6. Braille/Tactile maps: As a way finding tool, it helps the visually impaired to locate major facilities of a place.
7. Tactile guide paths: It gives visually impaired persons a route guide that is installed in public venues and facilities as well as at transportation hub, or lead to main exits and entrances.
8. Braille elevator buttons: It helps the visually impaired to press the right buttons.
9. Banknotes with braille: High-tactility numeral, braille and tactile lines are added to the banknotes and measuring templates are available to differentiate the bank notes.
10. Braille plates: Braille plates are installed on Ticket Issuing Machines and Add Value Machines, and in public toilets, lifts in certain Mass Transit Rail stations and Platform Card Processors at Light Rail stops.


Student Design Team
Chan Po Mei - Word processing
Chau Yin Mei - 2D Graphic design
Wong Chun Hei - Technician
Wong Chuk Yan - App design
Tsang Shuk Yi - Web design
Tam Chun Pong - 3D animation design

Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI)
Department of Communication Design & Digital Media
Higher Diploma in Creative Media (Interactive Media)


City ‧Integration

According to the, 'virtual' means something which is 'being such in power, force, or effect, though not actually or expressly such'. Opposing to 'real', it may imply the 'image formed by the apparent convergence of rays geometrically, but not actually'.

Sensation is virtual. It cannot be located in any particular physical units of our brain. Though, scientifically, sensation or emotion can be studied in terms of electroencephalography (EEG) or, simply, brainwaves. By engaging visitors' participation and connection through interactive media, the study group hopes to generate an innovated city silhouette and provide some new visual inspiration for future city planning.


Artists' statement
The students from Hong Kong Design Institute research issues in connection with interactive experience of different social groups in the community and social development. They are longing to promote public awareness on these aspects through their studies. Through the design work, it is hoped that the general public will rethink the possibility of better integration with the urban mental disease patients in urban space.


Design Work description
'City ‧Integration' pertains to express and engage an ambiguous will for a social connection. The installation engages connectivity among people (visitors) who may have different impressions of the city and build up a new city silhouette for the inspiration of future city planning. In the research that the study group has done, urban mental disease patient's electroencephalography (EEG) has been particularly selected to symbolise the interpretation on the city impression. By combining the patient's EEG data with that of the participants, new city silhouette will be formed. Since the new silhouettes' shape will vary from different participants, they can provide different creative and unique inspiration for future city planning, so as promote the idea of integrated city.


The Target Group
In collaboration with the Planning Department on the project namely, 'City Impression@Connectivity', the study group had a chance to consult Mr Nan Kit-man who specialised in working with people with mental disorder in our city.

Urban mental disease is mainly caused by stress and most of the patients refuse to let others know about their situations. Through further research, it is noticed that a high occurrence of high frequencies may be found in patients with the bioplar depression with the use of electroencephalograph (EEG). The difference in EEG can symbolise interpretation on the social disparting condition and inspired the study group to use this difference to promote the concept of an integrated city, so as to strengthen the connectivity between urban mental disease patients and the city.


The Interactive Design
'City ‧Integration' is an interactive space using viewers' EEG/ brainwave data detected from a brainwave sensor. By connecting the brainwave sensor to MAX/MSP, the extracted brainwave's data will interrupt and converge with that of the people with urban diseases. An image of city will emerge which express a mutual relation between citizens among the society and its uniqueness can show different possible image for future city planning.


Technical Requirement
Sensors and electronics will be connected to create the design work with Max 6 which is a programming software that can visualise sensored data to generate responsive geometry andinteractive media. In order to analyse the data, the data of electroencephalography (EEG) will be obtained through brainwave OSC.

Panoramic screen
NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile EEG Headset


3D Visualisation
The participant has to put on the sensor, the forehead tip and ear clip should be set in place properly.
The headset will capture the EEG data and show it on the screen. The data will be combined with that of urban disease patients.
A new integrated cityscape silhouette is generated from stage to stage and provide different inspiration for future city planning.


Student Design Team
Janet Choi - Graphic Design, Programmer
Whitney Fung - Graphic Design, Programmer
Ting Kwok - 3D Animation Design, Word Processing
Bobo Ngai - Idea Design, 3D Animation Design

Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI)
Department of Communication Design & Digital Media
Higher Diploma in Creative Media (Interactive Media)


Oping Hous: 10:00-18:00 *Close on Tuesday (except public holidays)
Tel: 852-31021242
Add: 3 Edinburgh Place, Central, Hong Kong


*Information provided by City Gallery


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