A Dream?

I did not want to center my piece about Trump originally as I find media coverage on him to be more than enough. Instead, I wanted to focus on the use and evolution of language by politicians. I juxtaposed MLK’s dream against Trump’s dream. The different uses of the word “Dream” in both scenarios contrast the word itself, the state of the country at the time, and the way in which it was used to convey two completely different messages. It is interesting to note the series of events that happened after certain words are used.

Nutrio – Final Project

In the last three classes before our final presentation at UNICEF HQ, we were really able to shape our idea and develop a potential product that we feel could be a useful asset for redistributors to help grocery stores, restaurants, homes deal with excess foods, and efficiently support charities and undernourished communities.

Three weeks ago, we

defined a problem statement: “The problem of inequality of food access affects people all over the world. How might we better redistribute wasted food from events, and local farms for low-income individuals in order to ensure access and education to healthy nutrition.”

created a systems diagram:


Developed a research plan: Our plan is to have contact with individuals from the CSA groups, soup kitchens and food redistribution sectors. We have reached out to the following groups and are trying to either have an face-to-face interview or a conversation on the phone: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QqaiAaQ4fFr_-DNxNMvmM6vP_1rZbbh_JtMK-gsnZgQ/edit?ts=58e9da07#gid=0

Narrowed down our focus location:

We have decided to focus on tackling this problem in NYC and create a program that can be applied to other areas around the world.

We then wrote down a bunch of questions that were to use in our interviews:

  1. Could you explain your current process – what you do, how you do it?
  2. How many people do you reach? How do you determine who to reach?
  3. What type of food do you typically distribute? Is it sealed / opened / fresh? What factors determine what resources you receive, where you receive from, and who to distribute to?
  4. What’s working with your current food distribution plan? What are the a struggles?
  5. What’s your roadmap for the next year? Any challenges that are currently limiting expansion into other communities?
  6. How do you connect with the individuals in the community?
  7. How are the communities aware of your service?
  8. Do you collect feedback from the community about your service?
  9. What have we not brought up that we should have (only after explaining what we’re doing)
  10. Who else should we be talking to? Could you put us in touch with them.

We took all the information above and conducted many interviews to see if our idea would be helpful in the communities.  We also attended the following food strategy workshops:

  1. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/april-forum-sustainable-food-systems-registration-33230377955?utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=order_confirmation_email&utm_term=eventname&ref=eemailordconf(Mith will attend)
  2. https://events.nyu.edu/#!event_id/156493/view/event/date/20170420 (Chris will attend)
  3. https://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2017/march/_modern-meat–the-science-and-culture-of-meat-substitutesapril-2.html

Data Points:

We were asked to find some poignant data points to support our research:
Global food waste is a major problem. In two minutes:

  • 15,210 tonnes of food will be produced
  • 10,267 tonnes of food will be consumed
  • 4,943 tonnes of food will be wasted (that’s close to ONE-THIRD)

The average meal weighs 0.5 kg. ~5000 tonnes of wasted food could feed 10 Million people.

… losses incurred by food producers from this waste will exceed of $2.8 million USD globally by the time you reach the last line in this post. (Source: World Food Clock – we should fine their source(s) as well)

Read more at http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/event-food-waste-tips#12LXRkCQEojP765i.99

Global Undernourishment ~842,000,000 (12% of world population) (Source: World Food Clock – we should find their source(s) as well)

We estimate that the per capita food waste by consumers in Europe and North-America is

95-115 kg/year, while this figure in sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia is only 6-11 kg/year. (source: FAO – dated study (2010-11))
In medium- and high-income countries food is to a significant extent wasted at the consumption stage, meaning that it is discarded even if it is still suitable for human consumption.

In low-income countries food is lost mostly during the early and middle stages of the food supply chain; much less food is wasted at the consumer level. (source: FAO – dated study (2010-11))


After some great conversations with people in the food industry, narrowed our problem statement down to: How might we streamline data access for food insecure communities between regions to reduce overall waste and improve nutrition?

And developed our proposal to be the following: An open ledger, that is platform diagnostic, of excess food within a region which individuals and organizations can contribute to and charities have access to appropriately disseminate the food within their communities.

We pitched this idea in class to our fellow classmates, teachers and guest critics with this initial deck.

We received some great feedback from this initial pitch and ultimately finalized our idea.

In the end we decided to propose a product called Nutrio (http://nutrio.world/): Using emerging technology, blockchain, to track and properly redistribute excess food.

Here is the slide deck from our presentation at UNICEF HQ.

To sum it up, this project was a great exercise in design thinking, product development and execution.   I’m really happy to have been apart of this class and a team member on the Nutrio product.

Week 8: 2d Space (Sketch II)

In my second sketch of diagrams, I imagined users distorting the space they occupy rather than constructing it using points as in the previous sketch. Here, the users act as pinch points to distort the grid based on their location. The more people that join the sketch -> the more distortion -> a formation of a newer shape.

Week 8: 2D Space (sketch I)

I want to design a space in which the user is the architect of the space and constructs it using the help of others stepping in within the defined boundaries. Users act as anchor points and restructure the space dynamically as they move around. My explorations do not intend to be a game, or an interactive installation but merely a reinterpretation of how space and architecture is created/defined. In these diagrams, users are anchor points that form Delaunay triangulations.

In mathematics and computational geometry, a Delaunay triangulation for a set P of points in a plane is a triangulationDT(P) such that no point in P is inside the circumcircle of any triangle in DT(P). Connecting the centers of the circumcircles produces the Voronoi diagram.

Delauney Vornoi

In these diagrams, users act as points that form Delauney Triangulaltions. After a certain number of points, then a Voronoi is created and the users (with the help of each other) will then see the fruits of their labour: the construction of a 3D geometric shape.

Final Project: Research Stage

What is the Big Problem (i.e. Affects 1 b. People)

Illiteracy of farmers, lack of government regulation/help, lack of resources, lack of access of information, poor transportation, poor markets, and climate change (unpredictable weather).

We need smarter agricultural practices to feed an ever-growing population. The number of farmers is declining, and climate change is becoming an increasingly worrying challenge that farmers are not fully aware of.

What is the specific problem (So this affects 1b people… where is a specific concrete starting point where you see the need most)

  • India: Farmer suicides due to multiple factors (debt burden, monsoon failure). NOTE: most recent dataset is from 2015.
  • Illiterate farmers unaware of progress with understanding of crop rotation successes, drought resistant seeds, use of green manure, etc.
  • The empowerment and equality of women in developing nations. In Asia, women produce 60 percent of agricultural products, and in Africa that figure is 80 percent. However, these same women also are not given equal access to credit which could enable them to afford quality seeds, fertilizers, and water pumps, increasing their production and providing more food to their communities.
  • 2017 Famine crisis due to drought
    • Somalia — hasn’t seen rain in months
    • South Sudan — violence has displaced individuals from fertile land
    • Nigeria — violence and burning of villages leaves people unable to feed themselves

What’s a link between that and the environment you’re living (i.e. “Something closer to home”)

In the US, it’s relatively easier to find farmers who generally do trust technology and are willing to try out new techniques. They understand the growing need for better methods, and find a personal economic benefit to embracing technology.

What types of 100B$ technology *might* be able to impact this (broad stroke – think crazy)

  • In the case of farmer debt, the blockchain could be used to figure out how this money is spent to figure out what’s not working, and potentially educate the farmers accordingly. Automated farming is also a potential tech that could be used.
  • In the case of climate change, machine learning could be used to alert the farmers of the changing seasons.
  • Drone Technology. Having drones transport produce to market and facilitate communication/transfer of goods.

3-5 links of resources that you have researched that specifically speak to you about this problem

Farmer Suicide, AgTech, US Farmers, Indian Farmers, Illiteracy, Food Crisis


Week 7

I think that the idea of basic income is interesting and has shown positive results to the countries it was implemented in. However, I see a moral/ethical problem in the West using African countries as their guinea big for a psychological test. But then again this “experiment” did have many positive results so my stance wavers.

Other readings point out the power of documentation in proving the success rate of certain projects. I thought it was interesting how a method taught in the classroom has the same importance at a greater level.

The Substance of the Body

In this sketch, I imagined my body as a structural space. Again, I used the bodies’ nodes to dictate how my space is structured. Each node acts as the centroid of each 3 Dimensional Voronoi cell that occupies my space. Hence, as the Kinect detects my movement, it is constantly restructuring the space based on the change of my node’s positions. I am constantly forming and redefining the structure of the space that I occupy.

User testing

My user reported that the sketch made her lose her perception of her body and think of herself as a space. She reported that even though generally she is more aware of her vertical axis since she is very tall, my sketch made her aware of the range of her extremities and explore herself horizontally and diagonally. She reported feeling flexible, free, structured, spatial, and playful.

IMG_3928 IMG_3926 IMG_3927


The Architecture of the Body

In this sketch, I alter the architecture of the body by changing the “nodes” that our body is connected to. In Kinect, the body is defined as node A (the head) which connects to the neck (Node B), then the left shoulder (Node C) and so forth. But what if we didn’t define the body in such a way? What if the nodes created intersections? What if they overlapped? How will this affect my sense of self or my body?

After testing it on myself, I felt that my awareness of how my body parts connected increased. I felt tight, enclosed, caged, interwoven, and captive within my own structure. I found myself moving in a way that wanted me to be free of my connections.