Category Archives: Week 3

Re:Cell – A mobile testing lab for disaster zone reconstitution.

We will create a mobile lab for rebuilding disaster affected areas by creating new materials and structures from the remnants. We aim to send in a probe to test the quality and chemical constitution of the remnants from where will be able to propose suitable biotechnological interventions to produce materials from which we can create new habitable environments.


Areas that we will be exploring include decellularization, mycelium and bioreactors as a start.

We are imagining that we will be able to create cellulose scaffold from the plant remains which will then be used to rebuild the environment. Or use decaying materials to grow mycelium which will produce biobricks on site and would not need to be transported to the areas in need. Natural bioreactor can also be built using the elements that we find.


Our mobile lab will contain the tools to test the environment, a probe that can venture into the disaster area without harming the lab operator and have starter cultures to produce the necessary biomaterials. The results we hope  will exist in symbiosis with the nature and the human and will allow for the quick and natural creation of new structures in post disaster areas.



Ali, Annelie & Wes

superpowers based on weaknesses – mobile lab

Weakness Analyzer for the Allocation of Sensory and Psychological Enhancement

I aimed for the wordiest title possible.

To summarize, it’s a device that reads both sensory and psychological weaknesses and then goes on to allot a superpower based on the weakest points. By using this device, a person can change what is weakest about them and turn it into a superpower.

So for example, a person with weak vision wears the device. The device then reads this as their weakest point and gives the “superpower” ability using technology. That can result in magnification, thermal vision, infrared, night vision, etc. So they go from having weak eyes, to super powered eyes.

To sum up my inquiry: How can I make a device that tracks human weakness in an attempt to nullify it.

This is a quick sketch of my concept



Here are some precedents/inspirations:

We already have sensory enhancing devices. These sparked interest (and the first one I used as a template for my sketch):

emotiv_hero_626px EyeClops-Night-Vision-Goggles


Superheroes are of course an inspiration for superpowers. But especially those who use devices to bring out their superpowers. You wouldn’t mess with devices like these.



Paper Prototype of Mobile Lab

Goal of the project: to track the PM 2.5 level throughout our daily activity with a small portable mobile device.
Challenge: How to make this lab small, easy to carry, easy to charge, can test Pm2.5, able to be uploaded to a database and doesn’t look scary to carry around in the public.

Because I need to carry this device on my body on my neck level, around the city especially the subway system. Therefore I need a form of disguise for the device to not look suspicious. What we see very frequently is that, a lot of people wear headphones around their necks even when they are not listening to music. Therefore, I am going to create the mobile lab in the form of headphones.


Below is a simple paper prototype to see if all of my devices would fit in the headphone.



Infrared Optical Dust Sensor
Data Logger
Battery (portable cell phone charger)
3D printed head phone or an existing big headphone to hack.

Mobile Lab Prototype


My idea is a device that can be used to detect what type of sickness a person has, whether it be heart burn, migraine, stomach bug, any types of cancer, etc. The device is a small screen with a wire connected to a breathalyzer. The screen is touch-based. The user would scan their finger on the screen after checking they are male/female first. After scanning the finger, the device will pull up their medical history, and tell the user what they have.


Inspirations for this idea:

The breathalyzer. This gave me an idea that maybe instead of checking to see if someone is drinking, we can see what kind of sickness the person might have after experiencing some symptoms.

The iPhone is another inspiration. Phones are starting to be able to be used for healthy reasons, such as read heart rate, blood pressure, etc.

This is Yuchen Zhang.


Hi I am Yuchen Zhang, currently in my thesis year at Parson’s Design and Technology program. I came from a design background. I am very interested in applying my design thinking with current technology. In this way I hope to use technology that is beneficial to us and our environment.

During my time visiting China, I realized air pollution does not only cause health problems and restrict people’s daily activity, it also affects people’s mood. On a bad day all you can see in China is world of grey. Outside this visible grey range is still more grey. This really made me feel sadness, despair and depression. Last month New Yorkers had their own smog experience. The pollution of air is something that we all have to face eventually on this earth.

In this class I hope to create a device or mobile lab that  anyone can use to detect the level of particulate matter that is smaller than 2.5 micrometres (PM 2.5) in their neighbourhood or city.  This project will also be open source where people can modify, change and expand upon the code and physical device. In some regions air pollution is not limited to particulate matter but also chemical contamination. I am interested in understanding and researching what chemical pollution is in the air and where these pollutants. Furthermore I hope to change people’s habits which produce air pollution and even help them find economic benefits in reducing air pollution.

These are two projects that I found impressive in how they solved problems which no one else thought were possible or doable.


The Ocean Clean Up” project is started by Boyan Slat, who started this project during secondary school. His project gathered people from all over the world to build a system that passively cleans the floating plastic bottles and pieces in the ocean. It utilizes the naturally occurring ocean waves to carry plastic pieces towards a wide barrier floating on the ocean. Then the plastics are carried up by a conveyor belt into storage, where later they are shipped to facilities to recycle.


The second project ,“The Silk Leaf,” was created by Julian Melchiorri who graduated from the Royal College of Art. This manmade leaf can perform photosynthesis like a real leaf without being planted in soil. This could not only help improve your personal airspace while traveling but also helpful for improving our air in office buildings and houses by incorporating this material in our ventilation systems.

Both of these projects gave me motivation and inspiration to create technology that turns something environmentally impossible to possible.