The Streching Doorbell


I had been thinking to make a shape that can turn people on. So I came up with a lot of ideas at first, but finally decided to make a retreat and stretch structure which can replay to the touch of a finger. the product can be achieved in the process and interesting interaction.

At first, I wanted to use spiky bags to present this retreat and stretch to show the relationship between aggression and friendly interaction. But then I found those spikes very difficult to do the retreat and stretch movement. Then I folded a paper spring, which was very interesting. So I started to place it everywhere to see what connection would the organic shape create with other artifacts, people’s way of life, behavior and mental state.

I thought of turning it into a cup, a plant, a support structure…And finally, I found it interesting when it acted as a doorbell.

Doorbells in our mind are always super concise products, and shouldn’t take much space. They are mostly with white square bases and white round buttons. However, in ancient China, most families’ “doorbell” could be an iron loop fixed on the doors. Some of the families only had wood doors with nothing on it, and in government houses, they may have a big drum instead of little iron loops.

Different people knocking the doors with different emotion creating different stories.

For example, intellectuals might visit seclusive friends on the mountain, reaching the firewood door with their skinny hands from huge sleeves, gently and elegantly; a peasant women might visit relatives, holding the hand of her husband or kid in one hand,  with the other hand knocking the door casually using an old iron loop, and she didn’t have to be polite; visitings between noblemen might be started with the verbal communication of their servants, instead of knocking doors by their own hands, no matter  how delicate their iron loops were; and when a citizen suffering an injustice beat  the drum with anger in front of a government house door, his desire for justice could be directly heard by the ears of the judges and other citizens.

However, in modern society, as people meet friends outside instead of home visiting, neighbors are isolated, fewer family members, the only person who pushes the doorbell is a stranger who is a courier. This results in the concise appearance of doorbells—white, as small as possible and not  obvious. And as the action of pushing a button is modern people’s most familiar action, people spare no efforts, no time and no emotion to do it.

People also don’t like waiting. Everybody ringing the doorbell hopes the people inside can open the door right away. This impatience makes waiting time go even faster, one second becomes one minute. So people outside rang the bell more frequently, and the people in the house would hate the sound of doorbell next time. Thus, a vicious cycle makes the ringing of doorbell an unpleasant way of starting a visit.

So I hope that the interesting little spring can clearly act out the waiting time, but not in a way of telling you the exact minutes of seconds, instead, in the form of a “natural” way—stretching. The retreating of the paper spring from touching is like a shy look, or a quick react. And then the following slow stretching process which is like the stretching of the snail’s antenna is like it’s talking to you,”Who is there? Let me check, oh, it is you!”

If you have this interesting doorbell hanging beside the door, absolutely more people would like to knock at your door! Although as the video mentions, the doorbell is designed to prevent somebody ringing your doorbell too frequently, however, as ringing the doorbell becomes an interesting interaction, maybe people would enjoy keeping ringing your doorbell just to have fun?

See my instructable here!

“Snail Antennae Bag” Tutorial


The bag looks aggressive? Not at all! Let’s do something to add more fun to the aggressive shape. Just think when you touch the spikes, they will retreat just like a snail’s antenna and several minutes later, they will gradually reach out again.

Here is the video.

This may makes us reflect on the relationship between being cool, isolated and more communication with people.

Wanna have your own snail antenna bag? Now it’s making time!

1. Let’s see the theory first
2. Tools and materials

  • A spiky bag
  • Arduino board
  • MPR121 capactive touch breakout
  • 12 mini servo motors
  • 12 stiff wires
  • 12 capacitive touch sensing
  • Cardboard paper
  • Conduct tape
  • Hot melt glue
  • needle nose pliers
  • scissors
  • electric soldering iron

3. Wiring

  • First, you will need to solder the headers to the MPR121 shield.
  • Next, you will need to add two male header pins to ADDR and IRQ pins on the top of the MPR121 shield. Make sure the long portion the pins are facing up as shown in the picture below.
  • Use a female/male jumper cable to connect the MPR121 IRQ pin to digital pin 4.
  • Then connect the servo to the Arduino board.
  • Glue the stiff wires to the servos and the wires connected to MPR121 shield.
  • Stick the conductive tape to the spikes on the inside.
  • Fix the servos on the Arduino board and put them into the spiky bag.

4. Coding




Final Project Ideas – Mou Xumeng

  1. A butterfly that will flutter their wings when it’s held in the hand and stop when you let it go.
  2. An emoji fan. If  you hold it in different ways it will show different emoji.
  3. A glass lamp which you add water to a certain height, it will light up.
  4. An umbrella with humidity sensor, if it rains the umbrella will light up.

The Leaving Fruit_Xumeng

IMG_1256 IMG_1258 IMG_1260 IMG_1264 IMG_1270 IMG_1276

“There was a large branch, stretching into the living room from outside through the window, with that soft fruit hanging at the end of it. I touched the branch, feeling her friendliness. It wanted me to take the fruit.”

Story of Leaving tells us a story about the end of a planet. When people knew their planet was going to die, they planned to move. For years they stopped giving birth to babies,  building new architectures, being sad and puzzled. They traveled to every corner on the planet, trying to remember.

There was a young man who traveled around the planet for years and had not been home since he started the Journey. Just the day before every human getting on the spaceship, he went back home to pick up the memory of his home. And there he found the tree which was still a seed when human knew the news of the death of the planet. But now the tree had grown up. And there was a branch stretching inside through his window which he forgot to close when he leaved. And the leaving fruit was right at the end of the branch.

It’s a fruit you are supposed to take from the tree every time you leave home, or move far away.

Don’t be afraid and don’t be sad. Just like trees are the home of fruits, leaving home is just a part of mature.

A ritual to say goodbye.