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Michael Tsang

New York, United States

Product Design

Member since September 08, 2008

  • My observations



    1st Observation: Please refer to the image above. There is a large amount of cigarette butts and spit outside of 2 W 13th street sidewalk. (black dots in the image).Smoking students usually smoke before and after class outside the seating area, where the large windows are. Beside the seating area, I also observed cigarette butts dropped on the ground, especially next to the black pipe near the entrance’s steps. From my own observation, smokers spit frequently while they smoke, in way to refresh their mouths.

    Smokers mindlessly gather and chat, but they do not seem to aware that they are actually producing a lot of trash and waste, resulting in an unpleasant environment. A potential problem is that there is no public ashtray around the school. Compared to other school buildings at 65 and 5th, and the one on 16th street, they both have an ashtray stand outside the premises. However, by installing ashtrays alone wouldn’t solve the whole problem; even if there are ashtrays, smokers would rather stand or seat somewhere else next to the entrance instead of gathering in such a tiny space with strangers. Also, the motion of flicking a cigarette is much more convenient than walking to the ashtray stand.

    This is where the public and private space argument comes in; people would prefer to have their own private space (talking with their friends) (circled in orange color in the image) while they are in a public space (the seating area outside of 2W 13th), and that is why we see cigarette butts along the sidewalk. The design solution is to create an educational product that allows smokers to dispose their cigarette butts easily. It is important to educate and guide them the right way of disposing cigarette butts.

    2nd Observation: Please refer to (

    The second observation I have is a homeless women walking and pacing aimlessly next to the deli on 5th avenue. While other pedestrians traveled with purposes or destinations in mind, the homeless woman often stopped suddenly in the middle of the sideway while pacing and look around, and she didn’t seem to be aware of the things and people around herself.

    The way she looked at the surrounding people may not the same as how the pedestrians looked at her. She treated herself as a normal person but people may look at her differently because of her torn and tattered clothes. People consciously detoured her to avoid possible contact with her. It is obvious that people did not want to disturb her private space, or theirs by her. Toward the end, she walked close to another woman and forced her to move away.

    The second half of the video is about a businessman getting in the way during my filming. He talked on the phone under bad reception. It’s an interesting contrast of both persons stopped, and both had their own private space and carried on with their personal matters. However, surrounding people did not pay much attention to this man because he dressed normally. At the same time, I was videotaping them both and invaded their private space in order to get as much information as I needed, but both did not mind of me of recording them and allowed me to videotape them; or they simply did not aware of my private space and the recording.

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My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design