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The Portfolio of

Mark Bowers

see more work (and further details) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Master of Design : Interaction Design The Ohio State University Bachelor of Science : Industrial Design Work taken from November 2009 to July 2011

HongKongHeritage The following is a summary of a design project meant to enhance the current museum experience at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum; focused on improving community involvement through collaboration between the museum and its patrons, as well as increasing interest in the exhibits by facilitating evolving content.

Research Insights

Design Challenge

Three things needed to be promoted in order for both locals and tourists to feel engaged by the content and empowered by the opportunities it presented.

Content provided at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum is not relevant or engaging in meaningful ways to audiences, resulting in declining attendance over the past years. By finding appropriate methods of engagement that allow for curiosity, interaction, and participation we can improve the museum experience and its content.

What is Heritage?

Issues Today

Current Experience

People are not interested in the “Heritage� that the museum presents and they see it as overlapping with other museums.

The museum itself many find boring and straightforward, the permanent exhibits are stale and never change.

Hong Kong people are interested in their history and heritage, but in a way that must be useful, insightful, and relevant to their daily lives.

Enable audiences to be both critical learners and creators of cultural and/or heritage content.

Need to identify opportunities to re-articulate the content, format of display, and how it is interpreted so whatever we do connects in a more personal, meaningful way.

Understand users value system and desired content and translate this into meaningful interactions and actionable experiences.

Methods of Engagement Marketing and promotion needs to be digital and physical, in a way that can reach and truly entertain and inform visitors before, during and after their time with the museum. We are trying to create a new paradigm where citizens themselves help define what their heritage is, what it means to them, and how they can use it to create more enriching experiences. We are providing tools that need to be used and include traditional marketing mixed with the unconventional. By making content mobile, people can engage with different aspects of culture and heritage in a more informal way. Heritage tells our stories, it is our past and present, and guides our future. We should be able to explore it as such.

HongKongHeritage is a platform for citizens and visitors to preserve and learn about Hong Kong heritage through a participatory and collaborative method aimed at discovering what its citizens’ truly believe represents its heritage. Through multiple tools such as Smartphone apps, a website, and an installation at the HK Heritage Museum, users will be able to upload and share “items, or sites” of particular importance or relevance to HK heritage. Other members in the community of users will be able to comment, like/dislike, etc in order to help curate the content and build up a visual archive of Hong Kong’s heritage.

” Museums need to respond to and become places where ideas, opinions and experiences are exchanged, and not simply learned.” - Nicholas Serota, Tate Modern Director

Experience Ecosystem Connect the old and new together with technology and real-life locations. All three of these tools - the website, smartphone app, and installation - work together providing content to one another that enhances the overall experience. Challenges are posted by the museum to the website and smartphone to encourage users to start a debate, or learn more - and the content they provide feeds directly into the installation back at the Heritage Museum in real time.

MOISELLE ‘M’ The challenge - MOISELLE, a high-end women’s fashion brand based in Hong Kong - needed to enhance their retail shopping experience with new technology and media-based ideas that would delight current customers and attract new ones. We choose to focus on inspiring customers and have that translate to trying on more clothes, as they are significantly more likely to make a clothing purchase if they try it on first.


Currently under consideration for implementation at MOISELLE’S flagship store in Shanghai, China.


An enhanced retail shopping experience that provides shoppers with personalized suggestions about MOISELLE clothing and accessories. Customers wave marked store items in front of the MOISELLE ‘M’ mirror and images of how the interested article can be worn is displayed.

Promotional video and brand media displayed on MOISELLE ‘M’ screens in store.

MOISELLE ‘M’ tags on selected outfits.

Shoppers wave clothing in front of reader to trigger personalized MOISELLE ‘M’ looks on screen.

MOISELLE ‘M’ look book is displayed to help inspire shoppers.

Prototyping Proof of Concept On the upper right is the MOISELLE ‘M’ shopping experience system flow. Below that are images demonstrating the physical prototype using Arduino, RFID technology, and Flash software to display the necessary interactions.

MOISELLE ‘M’ Customer Storyboard

Lyra is the result of a two week project to explore a new tangible interaction concept. Working on the theme of body language we translated some interactions into a more user-friendly, engaging music listening experience for the iPad.

Relationships How our music interacts. The focus is on our core, what we want to keep close. We spend the most time with what we like, but are willing to make new connections. With the ability to choose your own path, rather than passively listening, you take a role in recommendations. And, you still have the chance to turn it all on its head if the mood strikes you, by entering the explore mode.

Interface Elements

Gesture Map

Swipe right to show artist page

Swipe left to show history page

Swipe down to enter explore mode, swipe up to go back

Tap and Drag an artist to the core to build playlist for artist

Tap and drag the artists name to move it into different zones

Tap the artists name to play

Tap and hold artists name to find out more detailed information

Pinch to zoom into artist core to view album / song relationships

Artist Search Set your mood. Browse through your favorite artists to select a musician, search for a new one, or if you are feeling curious you can tap shuffle. ‘Start fresh’ and clear your current playlist to choose new artists to add to your core with the button at the bottom of the app.

Listening History Find an old favorite. Track what you have listened to throughout the session and use the time stamp to scrub back and see the route your recommended music has taken. Begin to understand in more depth what songs you skipped, when and why, and how your tastes change over time.

Explore Zone Mix things up. The explore zone is for when you are tired of listening to the same songs, even if you like them, and want to try something new. Rather than playing music that is highly similar more often, it does the opposite and plays related, but less familiar songs that are on the edges of your playlist.

Artist Map The main page. Here you can find and listen to all the related musicians and recommendations similar to the artist you chose to place in your core. Using two fingers to pinch out and zoom on a specific artist, you are able to view the relationships between your listening habits and their albums and songs.

Album Map Visualize listening habits. Offering you a visualization of the albums from a specific artist and where they fall in your preferred zones. The albums are arranged from the center outwards based on what you like listening to more of, and consequently, will play them more often than those located further away.

Song Map Find favorite songs. Rather than ranking songs one after the other, LYRA offers a more holistic view of how an album and its songs are favored by you. Swipe up on the screen to return to the previous album page, or again to return to the main artists page.

A six week embedded interaction workshop focusing on interactive environments design hosted by architect Michael Fox, author of the book Interactive Architecture. The brief was to explore the new skills of contemporary social interactions and develop means to bring these new methods out of the computer and into the real physical world which we inhabit. Our team was inspired by the idea of creating a unique and memorable experience for people to stumble upon in a public space. In Hong Kong, citizens too often go from place to place, without noticing what is around them or straying from their everyday comforts. We hoped to create a moment of serendipity and public playfulness, and thus the idea of Flux was born.

2011 Winner of PolyU Micro Fund for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Currently under consideration for implementation at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Experience Model The Flux concept comprises of two physical interactive portals that exist in different places on campus. The portals are screens that display alternating video streams of each other’s location. The blocks invite people on each side to discover and play with the portal, as they can be physically pushed in or pulled out, and thereby affect the video streams. The goal of Flux is to invite a sense of curiosity and enjoyment through the juxtaposition of here and there.


Technical Details

Proof of Concept

After many iterations and explorations we managed a working model. 5 Arduino’s, 2 projectors, 10 servo motors, and 2 webcams work together to create this prototype of FLUX.

Arduino’s were connected to a central computer which processed the signal from each switch and subsequently controlled the movement of each servo motor and live video feed.

This prototype was 1/3 scale and slightly different materials and technology would be used for a production ready exhibit. Our model was built to demonstrate the interactions we wanted to enable.

Our goal was to develop an e-Learning program that creates a positive student centric learning experience that enhances both collaboration and the interactions between teachers and students, in and out of the classroom. Collaborating with the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) and a local primary school we spent four months on research and design targeted towards collaboration, learning, communication, and technology use in educational environments for young kids studying in Hong Kong Primary schools.

Bernard Luskin reminds us that


Yodel is a comprehensive learning experience using collaborative communication to enhance both learning and management for students and teachers.

, an e-Learning pioneer

should be interpreted to mean

exciting, energetic, enthusiastic, emotional, extended, excellent, and educational in addition to “electronic.�

Initial Research

Design Exploration

User Testing

Interviews and surveys with students and teachers, task maps, classroom observation, scenario and profile development, and codesign workshops all helped give us a strong foundation of research to design from.

Using actionable insights we had gained, we developed further or completely threw away and started over on the ideas and processes we found necessary to creating Yodel for both students and teachers.

A complete paper-prototype was used to demonstrate the functions of the platform, further testing with usability and understanding were also performed. This helped us develop a well-rounded and concise platform.

Experience Model Below is our Interaction model, it is an overview of relationships and activities between teachers and students while using our YODEL.

This example scenario demonstrates how teachers collaborate and students work and learn together, using YODEL.




Share/Collaboration Learning Teaching Share/Collaboration Preparation







Information Architecture To help support usability we wanted to provide a platform that could be easily understood. This diagram demonstrates the organization of YODEL and how all the various functions and features are supported and connected through the three main topics: subject, connect, review.

Review Here users are able to review their assignments, their feedback, and their learning – it all builds up to create a system that learns with you, and helps you understand and manage.

Subject Simple and straightforward, it offers you access to all of the teaching and learning activities, assignments, notes, etc in each subject. Teachers can use the setting section to organize the subject content, assignments, and check in with the data base. It’s everything you need, without all the clutter.

Connect Offering users the ability to connect - whether through chat or mail - keeping you in touch with who matters to you, and your learning. Teachers are able to collaborate to develop teaching materials, as well as share and search for common materials.

Sleep Education 3 booths, 6 activities. Educating kids about sleep and its importance through fun, interactive games that spark their imagination, creativity, and awareness. Kids are sleeping less and less nowadays and it all starts with bad habits that form early. Education and emphasis on the real importance of sleep is sorely lacking and is the problem I will address with this project. We sleep 1/3 of our life, our sleep is responsible for making us healthier, smarter, stronger, and more efficient when we are awake. To help curb children’s bad habits I have developed an interactive exhibit to educate the youth about sleep’s importance.

Educational and Health Aspirations

Easy Access

Exhibit booths are to be placed as either a permanent or temporary exhibit, the 3 booths have one activity on either side that promotes health and well-being, as related to sleep.

Above is a floor plan of a local elementary school library, where exhibits would be placed.

Asking kids to draw their dreams with this alligator encourages them to share their dreams. They can visualize them through art, which can be both exciting and cathartic.

art creates excitement

Alligators and other reptiles do not dream. For this reason an animal, the alligator, was chosen to help create an emotional connection with the child. This exhibit promotes creativity, sharing, understanding, and education.

and the activities you did yesterday

What did you do yesterday? Run during Recess Play Sports

to start building your ‘DREAM ROCKET’

Watch 2 hours of TV or more Play Video Games

What did you do yesterday?

What did you eat yesterday?

Run during Recess

Candy before bed Play Sports

Play Sports

A Healthy Breakfast

Watch 2 hours of TV or more

Fruits or Vegetables

Play Video Games

Drank soda after school

What did you eat yesterday?

What do you do before bed?

Candy before bed

Play and run around

A Healthy Breakfast

Drank soda after school

Watch TV or use my computer

Fruits or Vegetables

Read a book

Drank soda after school

My healthy bedtime routine

Wake Up

8:30 7:00

Total Sleep


Discover how to build an amazing rocket by keeping a healthy lifestyle. ‘Build a Dream Rocket’ works by having kids choose their daily activities and applying them to the construction of the rocket. Depending on their choice the rocket will either be upgraded or downgraded and reflect how healthy choices can benefit sleep and your dreams. To the left is a storyboard illustrating a portion of the games interactions and interface.

How much did you sleep? Bedtime


Sweet Dreams!

a puzzle for better sleep “Building” a better bedtime routine is the goal of this activity. To solve the puzzle you need to understand what a good bedtime routine includes, and in the correct order.

the TV can hurt your sleeping Here at ‘TV and your Brain’ kids learn about turning the TV off before bed, and why. So, come into the bear “cave” and learn why it’s important to have a cool, dark room to sleep your best.

At the ‘Sleep Quizzzz‘ booth kids will be able to test and compete with other students quantifying their knowledge of sleep and its importance. This booth will also store, with parent permission, the students own sleep habits. The kids will record their amount of sleep off and on over their 6 years in Elementary school, eventually leading to the possibility of comparing sleep hours to direct productivity in school.

record your sleep and test your smarts!

Trivia about the animals sleep is on the cutouts back.

who sleeps more, animals or you? PLC chips

Kids can get excited to learn not just about their own sleep habits, but those of other animals as well. Using PLC’s (Programmable Logic Controller) the animals sleeping habits can be compared with one another when placed in the center slots.

My design stems from a ‘Rube Goldberg’ machine which takes the concept of creating the most complicated machine to do the simplest task (i.e. Recycling). The goal is to educate through a fun and interactive activity which teaches about why, how, and what to recycle. RE(CYCLE) encourages multiple user groups to recycle by appealing to those who learn though education, fun, human equity, or social responsibility.

Common Barriers to Recycling -

Belief that it is too big of a problem to handle by yourself or your participation is insignificant. Externalize blame to others. Belief that environmental problems are exaggerated or a long way off. Lack of knowledge (what, where, why and how) Reluctance to change lifestyle.

Get people to think.

Get people to change.

Research based project with the result being an interactive exhibit that encourages people to think, through: fun, interaction, statistics, and social exchange.

Try to change behavior through aggressive, informative, fun activities and interventions that help to mold behavior.

The average U.S. college student produces 640 lbs of solid waste each year.

The Reality - in statistics - Last year on Ohio State University’s campus, 4.5 million plastic bottles were thrown away instead of being recycled. - Nearly 60% of waste in Ohio’s landfills is recyclable material. - On average it costs $30/ton to recycle trash, $50/ton to send it to the landfill, and $6575/ton to incinerate. - There are 159 solid waste landfills in Ohio alone, no one lives too far from one. Our young generation will have to live with the effects of our current waste disposal practices.

e n g a g e - community action - coproduction - media campaign - use social networking

e n a b l e - remove barriers - provide information - provide facilities

r e c y c l i n g a w a r e n e s s c a m p a i g n

e n c o u r a g e - reward schemes - recognition - social pressure - penalties / fines

e x e m p l i f y - Ohio State or Columbus leads by example - achieve consistency in practice and policy

“We are living in a false economy where the price of goods and services does not include the cost of waste and pollution.� - (Zero Waste America)

Our project objective was to raise the profile of a group of talented, yet often neglected, class of workers and at the same time highlight the excessive use of banner materials for promotional means. We designed this series of pots and vase for the HKWWA (Women’s Workers Association.) The goal was to design a product they could produce and sell to help benefit their organization.

There is an incredible amount of vinyl banners used for promotional means that go unrecycled every year.

Sustainable Design

Cultural Insights

Quality Craftsmanship

Banners were donated by a local business and had been reclaimed from around the city, many actually being leftover remnants from the Beijing Olympics.

Green with Envy collection is a series of pots and a vase made of recycled banner material. It was a team project that I participated in while studying abroad in Hong Kong, at the HK Polytechnic University.

The folding treatment of the banners is a notable element in this collection. The response of the folds push open the material creating unique ripples that serve to reinforce the structure.

Green With Envy is an attempt to find a second life for these materials.

System Map Above is a system map drawn up to represent who the stakeholders of this project are, what the impact of it will be, and who our target users. It provides information on how and where information, finances, and materials will flow throughout.

Left to right: Skyline Planter, Horizon Vase (tag detail), Landscape Planter.

The brief called for a usability analysis of setting up a group contact and composing a group email message through To the right is a diagram depicting the information architecture of the website built around mail - the red path is the most efficient path you can follow.

Below: Visualization highlighted (on right) during the 2010 China Interaction Design Conference in Guangzhou.

The Portfolio of

Mark Bowers

see more work (and further details) at contact (852) 9734 1959

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Master of Design : Interaction Design The Ohio State University Bachelor of Science : Industrial Design Work taken from November 2009 to July 2011

The Portfolio of Mark Bowers  

Interaction and Industrial Design Portfolio see more at -

The Portfolio of Mark Bowers  

Interaction and Industrial Design Portfolio see more at -