Design Iterations – Concept – Catfish


A concept that is explored in my work is the construction of identity, and how genuinely identities are portrayed online.  The internet has changed the manner in which people communicate and has provided outlets to facilitate seemingly realistic relationships, albeit without any physical contact (Rasmussen, 2014).

It is becoming increasingly popular that people are creating multiple, and not neccessarily accurate, personalities online. MTV’s show Catfish: The TV Show follows and exposes those who misuse social media by creating multiple fake online personas. The show clearly highlights the flaws of social media regarding connecting with new people. Toma and Hancock (2010) explore the self-representation and deception among users on social networking sites. They use experiments to measure physical attractiveness in profile presentations of online users. Results show that the lower online daters’ attractiveness, the more likely they were to enhance their profile photographs and lie about their physical descriptors such as height, weight and age. Alternately, the anonymity of the Internet may encourage more honest and intimate disclosures.

The subject of online personas in communicated in my work, as the image is related to Facebook, which is one of the most popular social networking websites at the present moment. The stripping of identity, by removing a persons face and replacing with the default profile picture represents the creation of online personas, and questions the authenticity of these personas.



Rasmussen, L., 2014. Catfished: Exploring Viewer Perceptions of Online Relationships. Reality Television: Oddities of Culture, 237.

Smith, T. What is the Fascination with Social Networking?.

Toma, C. L., & Hancock, J. T., 2010. Looks and lies: The role of physical attractiveness in online dating self-presentation and deception.Communication Research, 37(3), 335-351.


Processing using Blob Detection

In order to create the silhouette effect for my interactive piece, which will resemble the facebook default profile picture, I looked at many of the processing libraries. One that stood out was the Blob Detection library.

The Blob Detection library is aimed at doing computer vision by finding ‘blobs’ on an image, that is to say areas whose brightness is above or below a particular value.

After looking at the code I noticed the camera highlights both blobs edges and a bounding box around the blob, however I was only interested in the blobs edges as this gave the silhouette effect I wanted to achieve, therefore I tweaked the code.


It became obvious that Blob Detection does not perform blob tracking, it only tries to find all blobs each frame it was fed with. The Blobs trace light not shape, therefore it didn;t achieve the look I wanted.


( please bear with poor camera quality)

It also became clear that I couldn’t add a fill to the blobs, and I would have liked to use the default facebook colours as they are easily recognised, and is somehting people would notice in the foyer, as it is a very busy environment and is hard to grab peoples attention, therefore I have decided not to use Blob Detection for my final piece. I will be looking for a way to create a silhouette effect, but also change the colour of the fill.

Processing using camera

Today we looked at how to use The Capture class. The Capture class makes it possible to grab frames of video from an attached capture device such as a camera. This will come in useful when creating my interactive piece, as I will be using a camera to capture the image of the people in the foyer.

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 11.25.07

This code allows the camera to grab light and dark pixels, resulting in the screen to change to white when there is bright colours and black when there are dim colours. I have uploaded a video of me using the camera on my laptop to test this, simply by waving my hand in front of the camera to show how it reacts to brightness.

I will use the capture class when producing my final piece, and will also look at ways to make the code compatible with different camera sizes and resolutions.

Interactive Installations Research

After looking at many examples of existing interactive installations, I have been inspired for my public screen project.

This video shows an interactive display using Processing and the Kinect. I quite like the use of the outline of the human body, instead of focusing on finer details. I would like to incorporate body outlines into my work, and also the use of plain block colours instead of tones and shades.

The shapes and colours used in the example video reminded me that of the default Facebook profile picture, therefore linking back to my concept of social media and online/offline personalities.


I like the use of simple outlines and block colours, and believe the style is easily recognised and connected to Facebook. The image also relates to different persona’s and identities represented and exhibited on online social media, and how behind the online persona there may be a completely different person. The aim of my interactive piece would be make people question the authenticity of online representations, do they really know the personality of the person who they are talking to?

Public Screen Project – Design Iterations – Concept

Our task is to create an interactive info graphic to be displayed on one of the public screens in Weymouth House using Processing. Media concepts to be communicated in these designs should be related to technologies or could be media theory related for example relating to semiotics or identity and representations. These representations can be both direct information or can be an abstract interpretation.

I will be exploring the rise of social media, and the constant need to reveal personal information online in order to create an online social presence. The concepts I will look at will include a representation of privacy and surveillance, the blurring of private and public boundaries and the idealized online self.

The forever rising popularity of social networking websites presents the necessity to create and share an idealized online persona, in order to generate a response from others online or to simply feel accepted. Andrejevic (2007) clearly states that “we are becoming habituated to a culture in which we are all expected to monitor one another”. Katz and Rice (2002) explain that users of social media are presented of an illusion of privacy, often revealing too much information online, thus blurring private and public boundaries. In order to simply browse popular social media website Facebook, one must first register an account to become a user by providing their full name, email address, birthday and gender.

Social network sites can be used to measure online popularity. Nearly all social network sites are known to do exactly this, and measure how much effect your interaction has with other people and the online community. This is evident in many sites, for example Twitter measures how many ‘retweets’ and ‘favorites’ your tweets achieve, and subsequently how many people choose to follow your tweets. On Facebook one many measure the number of ‘likes’ ‘comments’ and ‘shares’ a post may get. Instagram, an online photo sharing site, measures popularity according to how many ‘likes’ your photos may achieve, and how many people follow your posts. These of measures of popularity could have an effect on people’s perceptions of self-worth.

It is evident that with the development of digital media and the increase of new social media platforms, the nature of communication has altered. We use social media to create an online presence, this can be used to boost self-esteem, on the other hand could also lower it. Online activity is used as a means of self-representation and a tool of identity formation.

I would like my idea to reflect the concept of online and offline personas, and how online representations can be used as a means of self-representation. The message I would like to communicate is the difference between popularity online and on social media, and how online performances may affect a persons self-esteem.


Andrejevic, M., 2007. iSpy Surveillance and Power in the Interactive Era. University of Kansas, 212-240.

Barnes, S. B., 2006. A privacy paradox: Social networking in the United States. First Monday, 11(9).

Bentham, J., 1791. Panopticon or the inspection house, 2(1).

Katz, J. E. and Rice, R. E., 2002. Social consequences of Internet use: Access, involvement, and interaction. MIT press.


Independent Dorset Analysis

After conducting research and analysing the effectiveness of our posters, it was clear that the space we had chosen was not ideal for the type of posters we had produced.

We analysed the behaviour of the people in the area in order to see which parts were most busy and at what times. It was obvious that there was a large flow of staff and students in the area at either 10-5 to or 10-5 past every hour, when people were rushing to get to their destinations, however at times in between, and after 5pm, the area is quite empty. We noticed that the people going through the area would not pay attention to their surroundings at all, however people waiting in the queue for Costa or sitting in the chairs were almost always in groups, and were preoccupied in conversation with each other.

We also noticed the surrounding itself was extremely busy, with already a lot of posters and activity on the walls. The walls themselves were coloured orange and white, so next time posters created could be made to contrast the colour of the walls. The posters on the wall were very brightly coloured, and due to the extensive amount, very distracting. The walls also situated a large timeline made of posters, these were most noticeable as they were in uniform order and were very dark.

Overall I found the results of this project very insightful. Our main findings showed that the space was very fast moving and heavily text based installations to not work very well. We also found the people using the space were not very interested in the visuals of the space, however did pay more attention to the digital screens. Through this project we put the iterative process into practice, where our ideas were cyclically prototyped, tested and evaluated. The process was effective in gathering a range of initial ideas, in particular creating quick sketches and gaining feedback of what is effective and what to improve.


Independent Dorset- Final Posters

As a group we produced our posters on Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.


This poster was primarily influenced by the image of the Cerne Abbas Giant. We used this image as it was a memorable feature of Dorset, as it was humorous, and we believed this would relate to our younger audience (especially the presence of giant genitals). Our poster was also influenced by UFO sightings in Dorset, we also believed this would take a humorous approach. For the poster we used Photoshop to make the image look as realistic as possible. The font we used was similar to that of the X Files font.



This second poster was a much more sensible approach to the brief, however we decided to still include the Cerne Abbas Giant just to give the poster some personality as it could come across a bit too plain and serious. This was influenced by a poster made for the Independent Scotland campaign, however we decided to change the background from a block colour, to a grassy field as this would relate to Dorset more.

_75252524_13216331683_e1a4fa86bb_b(Independent Scotland campaign poster)

After conducting some research and people shadowing in the foyer, we decided on where would the best position to place our posters be.

IMG_20141016_155044900 IMG_20141016_155058490

We decided on placing one poster on the side of a vending machine, which is front facing a water fountain. We found that people often used the water fountain to either drink water or fill up a water bottle, at these times people are idle and looking around the space. This poster worked well as the bright colours stood out against the dark background of the machine. We placed our second poster on a pillar directly facing the queue at Costa Cafe, as this is where people were most idle, waiting to buy from the cafe. This was a great space to put our poster, however the colours on the poster were very dark in contrast to the light background, and did not stand out very well. The colours of the poster is something we would definitely change next time.

References- jpg


Digital Media Design – Bournemouth University