• Aarushi

Midterm Review - Week 16

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

Week 16: Macro UX Research

Fjord Brief: Design a way to enhance working life using light

Team: Aarushi, Melanie, Lee and Yuki

This was the week before midterm review and we did our research by not just focusing on the work-life but also exploring light and its magnificence in nature. We used different experiments to explore this, such as Light Mapping, Color filter Experiment, Inspiration from nature, bioluminescence.

Light Mapping:

The idea of this method was to capture pictures throughout a day under the same camera settings: Aperture, Shutter Speed, brightness etc. to observe the different outputs. Lee was recording his day in this experiment, he clicked some beautiful shots during the same. It was very interesting for us to later observe his day through his lens.

Photo Credits: Lee

Colour Filter Experiment:

In this experiment, we invited 6 people to wear different coloured glasses while performing their daily life activities in different environments (indoor/outdoor), they were involved in various activities such as cooking, visiting the aquarium, working on a laptop etc. We got different feedbacks for different colours and activities, people wearing blue felt relaxed in comparison to people wearing orange and red who were really distressed. The overall experiment did not turn out to be very insightful, but we definitely had fun.

Video editing and photography by Yuki

Inspiration from Nature:

We were overwhelmed by our research and inspiration from nature, as we do not realise in day-to-day life that how quintessential is nature. We studied about different light experiments and researches done by a various scientist on human photosynthesis, the balance between too much and too less light, circadian rhythm, etc.

People Sunbathing, Flickr

Bioluminescence and its power:

We were really interested in bioluminescence, hence, we researched various bioluminescent organisms, their presence in nature and inspiration taken by designers, researches from various fields for different applications. Bioluminescence by definition is production and emission of light by living organisms, also known as cold light.

Following is our study on some of the bioluminescent organisms, explained briefly:


Fireflies emit yellow light, During World War 2 when it was not allowed to switch on any form of light in fear of exposing the location. Fireflies used to be collected in jars to help doctors during surgeries in the night and also by miners while mining (Shimomura, 2005).

Photo from National Geographic


Ostracods are small crustaceans, typically around 1 mm in size. The bioluminescence of ostracods has played a unique role in maritime history, creating a light bright enough to light maps for soldiers to read (Joseph, 2017).

Photo from National Geographic


Jellyfish is a glorious organism, its luminescence mucus has been used in the past for various experiments. Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder researched that one could rub the slime of a certain luminous jellyfish on a walking stick to make it double as a torch (Cockcroft, 2000).

Photo from National Geographic


In 17th century people of Indonesia were using Bioluminescence fungi as flashlights in the forest. There has been a lot of research on different types of fungi used for various purpose and experiments (Strack, 2019).

Photo from National Geographic

Well, all these examples give us an overview of the vast majority of deep-sea creatures, which live beyond the Sun’s reach, generate their own light. They use these innate glows primarily to communicate: to warn and frighten, hide and hunt. Scientists are studying these bioluminescence organisms to mimic natures’ design to make LEDs and many more efficient products. Bioluminescence is one of the oldest and most prevalent languages on Earth—and one that is largely alien to us. Despite our fantasies and mythologies, the truth is that there’s nothing supernatural about living light; it has been a part of nature for aeons, it is all upon us how to get inspired by its magnificence. This deep study on bioluminescence really inspired us to look at the project from a very different point of view.

According to Researchers in Japan, Humans are bioluminescent from metabolic reactions, but our glow is 1000times weaker than the naked eye can register.

Photo from klasterme.com

We did a very small experiment with UV Light to experience bioluminescence feel. It turned out to be really fun, we don't know yet if this can inspire us later in our process as well.

Video by Aarushi


We presented our research and initial directions to Fjord. The feedback provided to us suggested looking at more corporate office spaces and the behaviour of people in their workspace. It was also suggested that we look at different artists to get inspiration for the use of space and light. Lastly, it was advised to know where we wanted to intervene in the system and to look at the more fun side of a workspace.

The feedback really helped us to look differently and follow a direction, we just felt we were going too wild with our research and needed to structure it and focus on a direction to progress with the design process.


Cockcroft, C., 2000.To Boldly Glow. [online] the Guardian. Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/science/2000/aug/17/biochemistrymolecularbiology>

Joseph, A., 2017. Marine Creatures With a Difference.Investigating Seafloors and Oceans,.

Shimomura, O., 2005. The discovery of aequorin and green fluorescent protein.Journal of Microscopy, 217(1), pp.3-15.

Strack, R., 2019. Harnessing fungal bioluminescence.Nature Methods, 16(2), pp.140-140.

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