Hardware Hack Lab

Nga N.

Interviewed in

Tell us a little about what you do

I am a designer at the cross section of fashion design + Interaction Design in New York City. Over the past ten years I have observed a shift in how we consume and how we relate to life given the impact of technology. The intention of my work is to explore how technology can be integrated more intuitively and meaningfully into our everyday life. Contemplating on the word “intuition” I have gravitated my interest reading on ergonomics, behavioral science, learning the brain/nervous system, philosophy and ancient yoga teaching on integration of the mind and body to help shed light on understanding our moods, behaviors, desires, limited ability as well as our unexplored potentials. Aside from the East and West science I like to explore ways to integrate technology with organic or every day material(s).

My introductory piece to the Evoke series is an Augmented Meditation Stone with capacitive and gestural operation, designed to help busy individuals recalibrate their well-being via regular mindful moments during their day with three key features: Interval reminder, Meditation Walk and Synchronized Breathing. The prototype was iterated along the way in collaboration with a developer, stone carver and interviews of potential users.

Stage presentation.

Product video.

The Evoke collection is exploratory work which welcomes different point of views to incur conversation between designers, practitioners of various fields and tech industries to participate in a more connected way.

A Fashion/Interaction Designer doing fellowship at NYDesigns and member of the hardware hack community and yogi in training. To follow my work my twitter handle is @nga_nyc.

At the moment I’m interested biometrics/biofeedback technology, AI machine learning and curious

where the direction of IoTs and wearables will take us. At the same time I am inquiring what does it mean to be connected… With objects, people and what about within ourselves?

Believe it or not . . . Yoga. Yoga is essentially the integration of the body and mind. I believe this is a start of how one can build intuition. So this was the natural path. I’m currently getting 300hrs Yoga certification training at Atmananda Yoga in NYC learning posture, anatomy/physiology and philosophy to inspire and deepen my understanding to design mindfully in the field of technology. Then in mid-October I’ll be flying out San Francisco to a Designer and Developer retreat practicing along side seven monastic monks for some “mindful computing”. Maybe I’m idealistic but I believe attentive practice and building this conscious aspect of ourselves allows one to be discerning and thoughtful to what we want to put out into the world and ask ourselves the designer, maker, creator you want to be. This area of mindfulness has already been embraced by some financiers, insurance organizations and big tech company such as google seeking consultation from well-renowned practitioners such as Thich Hat Hanh and Joh Kabat Zin to consult for their organization.

Which hardware (or software, product, platform) are you excited about the potential of, and why?

Right now I’m debating which 3D rendering tools to learn i.e. Sketch, Solid Works, FormZ or Rhino that is ideal for 3D printing jewelry or apparel products. They all have their pros and cons I’m told. I appreciate getting a handle on the technical understanding where possible which helps me understand the feasibility or limitation in the design. I’m also very excited with the makers community such as Voxel8 and BotFactory that are producing 3D electronics printer which you can print circuitry on different materials including fabric which extend opportunities for wearable design.