Overview

The Mission

NASA plans to go to the Moon by 2024 with their Artemis Program. On the lunar surface, astronauts would collect geological samples during extravehicular activities (spacewalks), and store Lunar Samples in sample bags.  In this challenge, we are designing a simple and reliable design that can dispense sample bags during a lunar spacewalk to aid in geological sampling operations.

Who it's for:

NASA Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams

Time Frame

September 1st, 2020 - June 2021

Team: 11 people

My Role:

Core Designer

Core Researcher

Outreach Co-Lead

Video Production Co-Lead

Core Designer & Researcher of NASA Micro-G team:

Helped Idealized the design.

1 of the 4 main designers responsible for the challenge's product design, model building, hands-on engineering, and testing of the Sample Container Dispensing Device. 

 

Project planning: create project proposal timeline & milestones

 

Researcher: Application to Lunar Environment,

The Electrodynamic Dust Shield (EDS),

Manufacturing of Carbon Nanotube.

Testing on EDS & Carbon Nanotube,

Unforeseen areas of concern for the project.

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Hyundai: Adaptive Ecologies

Envisioning the future of city and mobility

Overview

I was a designer in a Hyundai & RISD collaborative design team.

 

Project Overview:

I worked with analytical models and scenario-based planning to propose adaptive ecological modules, social interactions, and technological fragments of future smart cities.

I researched various speculative sustainable energy infrastructures, with the goal of redefining future urban environments. 

Who it's for:

Hyundai Center in Seoul

Time Frame

3 Months: February  - May 2021

Team: 2 people

My Role: Core designer with equal responsibility as the other member

Dive deeper into the work:

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Research &Visual Modeling 

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We researched different natural ecological systems based on categories of decentralized, self-organized, and adaptive energy. 

From there, we choose one system of energy to conduct focused research on.

Bacteria Quorum Sensing: 
How bacteria communicate and navigate

We examined 3 levels of energy Interactions in the bacterial world:

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Environmental level: bacterial host generate adaptive qualities through the mechanism of quorum quenching

 

Intercellular level: social energy is created through chemical energy, resulting in swarming

Cellular level: the signaling mechanism generates chemical energy that allows decentralized bacterial communication.

Cellular Level: Quorum Sensing

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Quorum sensing is the bacterial process of using signals to communicate with each other. Through communicating, they could make collective decisions and accomplish group goals by synchronizing their behavior, such as attacking the immune system only when there is enough number of their own species present
 

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Visualizing with Arduino Model

We mapped the logic of the bacterial communication network into a circuit. 

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Each breadboard is designed to imitate a single bacterial cell. The behavior of the cell is indicated through the blinking led lights.

The individual module starts by blinking at different rates, the rapid blinking happens when each member compares the signal received from the other and adjusts to blink in synchrony.

So when signals are received by everyone and the threshold population of 3  has been reached, all units collectively change color.

In the experiment, before group synchronization, modules tend to form subgroups and sync first with parts of the population. We can draw a parallel between this phenomenon with the group behaviors of bacteria where sub-group activities can be found in a single population.

Intercellular Level: Navigation & Group Behavior

Bacteria navigate by pulling all these limps to one direction and propelling themselves forward and turning direction by opening these limp to rotating. 

We simulated the behavior in code.

Visualizing with Coded Model

In simulation 1, complete random directional change makes it very difficult for bacteria to hit the food source. Therefore, we assume that bacteria must be getting closer to the food source's direction each time they change direction.

Here we graphed what would happen if bacteria move 10% closer every time they change direction.

The code runs into a further problem where bacteria reach a certain threshold distance to the food source and never hit the food. This means that having a percentage of accuracy can only be helpful to a certain extent.

We explored the mechanism deeper and realized on top of the navigation system, bacteria are chemoattractant, they navigate through a chemotactic gradient that allows them to "smell" the food and determine how close they are in relationship to it.

As bacteria navigate, the accuracy of their movement increases. As a result, their traveling path becomes straighter and straighter. In addition, from this model, we can find bacteria travel at a shorter distances as a group.

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Bacteria use quorum sensing to detect their surrounding populations as they travel and send out attractants to attract one another. Here the attractant chemicals are also modeled.

Enviromental level: Quorum Quenching

Hosts battles against bacterial communication through quorum quenching. to view more on the topic click on the full project booklet below.

Correlation Mapping

To move from research to design, we drew correlations between levels of bacterial energy interactions and levels of urban systems

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From these correlation maps. We can see clearer points of research topics that can be applied to human systems. We selected several themes such as mobility, adaptability, and maintenance as the focus to further develop design concepts.

Design

Initial Concepts & Brainstorms

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Final Design:
Decentralized Mobile Services Among Reconfigurable City Blocks

Imagine a city where resources are delivered to you and traffic is no longer a worry for going to work or grocery shopping, instead,  services come to you.

Most cities today are organized by automobile systems for movements into the city. as a result, we end up with over-centralized resources and reduced walkability of the city these issues cause traffic congestion, segregation between commercial and housing, and urban spwarl.

Problem:

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Inspiration:

Bacteria self-organize in swarms and communicate with one another to efficiently distribute resources among clusters. 

When we think of city resources, we can reimagine ways in which services and social programs move through residential blocks similar to how bacteria self organize into clusters.  resources could become mobile units that navigate through housing clusters in the city to areas of needs.

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Proposal:

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Therefore, we propose a system where cities are built around the people. with mobile services moving among decentralized housing clusters.

In this city, services and facilities are  mobile and modular units  that travels to fulfill community demands. 

The result would be a city with higher community activities, smaller scale of services, increase usaged of streets, and a flexible adaptive resource network.

A Cluster Unit

In the graph below is a cluster unit where mobile service pods travel into a block to complement residential housing and stationary services inside.

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The shape of the block allows higher interconnectivity between communities, and at the same time creates optimum walkability, allows for less than 5 min walk from the edge of the block to reach the center.

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Flexible Block Configuration Based on Functions

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Mobile services and temporary activities are organized towards the center of the block and along the transportation pathways.

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Each community block is reconfigurable and can include different functional pods, from kitchen, to community warehouses. 

Transportaion Pathways

As resources become more accessible, there is less need for dense automobile roads. Therefore, we limit the traffic to the outside of the blocks.  creating only a few transport roads for moving services in the block, thus creating space for pedestrian.

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We designate module lanes on the surface level for light traffic around the blocks, and the underground highways for heavy traffic and larger modules

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This encourages community engagement, and multi-use of streets within the clusters

Mobility Network

In their mobility network, there are constantly moving hubs similar to how bactiera navigate, for example, smaller market type businesses could wonder throughout the city and attract to neighborhoods of high signals of need, They move in a self-organized and decentralized way by determining the strength of the need and their relative distance to the needs

Services also communicate as they travel to coordinate and distribute themselves in an area to reach the group's overrall optimum travel time.

When higher needs are present in case of disasters or large social events, services under contract can be informed to move towards those areas. As they move through the city, they send out signals to similar services to inform them of the emergency need. 

Service Center ( Hub Parking Lot ) Blue Print

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Service Hubs

The design of modules are flexible to accommodate different service functions.
They can be extendable, self-contained, or organized into skeleton structures

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Different workflow can be applied to different services. Allowing them to operate at varying degrees of mobility to cover different radius.

User Flow

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lets look at a specific scenario where commercial businesses are mobile, here small business owners can register their business online and purchase a module to be customized based on their needs

After registration, they have access to real-time updates on the residents' needs. These data are collected by different services and distributed to business owners so that they can move towards areas of high business opportunities.

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The Modules would  travel through underground roads and emerge once they reach the designated block.

After they reach the neighborhood, they would follow the route the parking lot service organized for them. A module can schedule multiple parking spaces to travel to throughout the week.

By responding to real needs. we allow citizens to partake in the decision-making process that forms their neighborhood and city.

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Senarios 

Market

The mobile modules encourage small businesses and flexible forms of open markets where sellers could organize market fairs based on local residents' demand.

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Recreational & Cultural

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Education & Modular Classrooms

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Healthcare

Mobile medical pods could form a flexible network that interconnects with each other and form medical centers in case of a pandemic.

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Conclusion

This urban mobile service urban system could be implemented as a brownfield project by replacing existing neighborhood blocks with a few modular service blocks, it could also take the form of a greenfield urban landscape by interconnecting blocks through a mobility network

 

The proposed system creates equal access and increases the walkability and social life of a city.
 

Thank you!
But Wait There's More!

Following this proposal, I worked on a project that develops the module hub mechanisms for this urban system.