Final Year Project- Industrial Design & Technology, Loughborough University.

Please get in touch via Email to request the full report of the project.

LOCUS is a haptic device used to aid situated testimony, a process of interviewing and gathering testimonies from witnesses using 3D models of the environments in which traumatic events occurred.

LOCUS allows witnesses to interact with spatial models through VR, exploring their memories of the episode in a controlled and secure manner, which could lead to fragments of recollection surfacing previously obscured by violence and trauma.

*University project, not comissioned by Forensic Architecture.

- The Narrative -


“I lost five years of my life there, I nearly died there. The world should know it’s the worst place on earth.”

- Diab Serriya, former detainee.
A case study was built around Saydnaya Prison- Since 2011, thousands have died in prisons and detention facilities operated by the Syrian government. Tens of thousands of people have been tortured and ill-treated, in violation of international law.
In April 2016, Forensic Architecture met with five survivors from Saydnaya Prison. As there are no images of Saydnaya in the public domain, The former detainees described the cells and other details to researchers, who would reconstruct the spaces using architectural modelling.

To enhance the process, LOCUS proposes to tackle the distorted or lack of visual memory, as well as cutting down descriptive burden of the witnesses during a testimony by allowing them to directly interact with the 3D model.

 “We have done a few projects involving situated testimony facilitated with VR and your work on haptic feedback seems as though it could be another vital piece of the puzzle in the field of Forensic Architecture. I can imagine how powerful it would be for a witness to be able to interact with an object in a space with some kind of touch feedback mechanism.”

- Nick Masterton,
Researcher at Forensic Architecture.

- Existing Limitations -

Descriptive Burden
Long process of describing a space in detail.

Distorted or Lack of Visual Memory
Memory based on touch and audio.

Lack of Mediation Between Lay-person & Technology Low level of realism in  3D viewport. Confusion with the use of VR controllers.

Performative Aspects of a Testimony
Lack of props for direct interaction.

Images via  Torture in Saydnaya Prison from Forensic Architecture on Youtube.

- Product Features -

LOCUS features both force and tactile feedback, providing the user with muscular resistance when grasping a virtual object in VR, as well as the sense of touch and texture when interacting with virtual surfaces.

Modulated components design inspired by Madrasostes Kazumai Beetles allows the movement of the hand to be unrestricted.

Ladder-lock buckles to provide adjustability for variable finger lengths.

All modules are attached onto gloves by Velcro pads, which can be removed for the gloves to be washed.

Removable Battery: LiPo battery pack connected through magnetic connector. Battery lasts 30 mins for the duration of each session, second pair charging on dock, ready to be swapped in. Wires embedded in the wrist and palm harness.

Force Feedback: Electromagnetic Brake, muscular resistance when interacting a virtual object.

When the fingers are flexed into a fist, an additional length required in flexion is equivalent to around 16% of the total length. A Braking mechanism consisting an electromagnet + steel disc system positioned on the dorsal (back of hand) , clamping down onto the strip of weaved nylon fibre along the finger when activated, would prevent the 0-16% extension length generated, resisting the finger’s bending force.

-Compression springs to release steel disc.
-Extension spring connected to weaved nylon fibre strip to retract back to its original position when EM brake is unengaged and finger straightened.

An electromagnetic braking system was developed for force feedback, which incorporates pivoting bearings to allow left & right XY planar rotational movements of the finger, lacking in existing products.

Tactile Feedback:  Data collected to drive vibration motor at the fingertip, mimicking the sense of touch and texture.

1. Virtual Surface.
2. Normal/Bump Map.
3. Height Data.
4. Vibration intensity.

Virtual Space vs Studio Space

Reducing the complex procedure of describing a space in detail, the witness is able to directly interact with the 3D environment, enchancing the performative aspects of a testimony.

Immersive experience with high fidelity textured environment.

Exploration of memory in a controlled process to ensure safety.

“The opening was this big.” / “The object was here.”

“We’re starting to do more immersive and phenomenological descriptions of the space, in real-time using a game engine. I feel like the use of VR and haptic implementation for spatialising human rights violations is a great application.”

- Nick Masterton, researcher at Forensic Architecture.


Motion tracking technology is built within the new lines of VR and AR headsets, eliminating the need for VR controllers. However, it ignores human capabilities such as the hands’ ability to feel and manipulate. LOCUS’s haptic feedback provide an opportunity for the human hands to directly manipulate VR objects.

Functional Prototype: Using the Leap Motion infrared sensor, the hardware reports positions, gestures and motion by reading the change in angle of finger per frame of detection.

In order to bridge the hardware to Arduino, JavaScript with modules: Node.js, gIMatrix, Firmata, Johnny-Five and Underscore.js, were used. Video (right) shows servo motor mapped to the movement of the index finger.

Virtual Interaction: Using hands as controllers- Most approachable and direct. Gesture commands such as taking a screenshot using the “finger framing” gesture.


- RnD -

Research, concept generation and iterations of prototypes.

Development of design aesthetics and function. Through:
- Sketching, Lo to Hi-fidelity prototyping.
- Case study compared to Forensic Architecture’s Saydnaya Prison investigation.
- User testing, evaluation with expert from FA.
- Self critique, remote user testing, physical user testing.

Early concepts

EM Brake Dev

Battery Dev

Base Plates & PCB Holder Dev

Tactile Modules Dev

Outer Cases Dev

Pre-assembled parts. Aesthetic Prototype produced to test interaction and usability, as well as gathering feedback on aesthetics through remote testing.

Interaction Testing

Scenario- Character and Environment creation


NIKE AirMax 270React

23RDC, B-Reel, Nike Sportswear.
“We had the pleasure of creating 5 illustrations comprising of 69 squares and 12 animations for Nike Sportswear’s social media campaign. Our friends over at B-Reel tasked with us visualising some wonderful ideas in collaboration with Nike’s global creative team. Under the theme of ‘Your Unimaginable Summer’ we created visuals for Nike’s Innovation Kitchen, Main world, London, Milan & Paris.” -23RDC

I was tasked with creating the “Innovation Kitchen”. A script and rough sketches were sent to us by B-Reel, containing the narrative of each of the square. After researching the structure and equipment used in science labatories, a multi-storey building was designed, making use of the optical illusion given by the isometric camera.

Asset Prep & Texturing.

Nike’s social media campaign.


Visible Mending with AR Guidance.

1st Place Winner- One week design challenge
Brief set by Panasonic.

Brief: Explore and select one area in our lives in which we generate a significant impact of waste, explore how we can change people’s behavious for the better, design a new behavior/ experience with a physical product at heart that encourages the minimising, repurposing or even eliminating of waste in that are altogether.

Proposition:  Encouraging producers and consumers to re-evaluate the way that they perceive fashion products – replacing the notion of fashion as disposable, and instead seeing fashion as a valued object to be cared for and maintained.

Providing consumers an intuitive tool which embraces modern technologies, guiding them to carry out repair tasks, as well as encouraging the unique potentials of visible mending.

Second to oil, the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world.

Nearly 20% of global waste water is produced by the fashion industry.

It is typically more energy-intensive to recycle existing garments than to produce new ones.

Today, the cultural and economic value attributed to clothing has on the whole dramatically changed and the practice of repairing or altering clothing has largely disappeared, while the fashion industry has increased the availability of inexpensive, mass-produced, ready-to-wear clothing.
While there is renewed interest in the creative potential of mending or altering garments in some quarters, in particular amongst the online and offline craft communities, within mainstream society, damaged clothing is typically discarded to landfill rather than repaired, which causes substantial environmental and social impact. 

Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Resell, Rethink.

Hoshu is a clothing repair module which ultilises the user’s smartphone for AR guidance.
Combined with Hoshu’s app connected via NFC with wireless charging, the user can follow intuitive instructions to set up the module, complete repair tasks, and to choose from a range of mending techniques and patterns from different cultures on the app’s libary.

Made From Cornstarch Based PLA.

Storage Space.

Key Insights from Consumer and Expert Interviews:

1. A behaviour change is needed to impact the fashion industry’s increase in the availability of inexpensive, mass-produced, ready-to-wear clothing.
2. Consumers feel that they don’t have the skills to carry out repair tasks, more guidance and education are needed to encourage clothing repair.

3. Clothing repair is seen as a feminine activity, the design of the product should be gender neutral and encourages self expression.

4. With the increasing amount of awareness to fashion’s environmental impact, visible mending could become “in trend” again, similar to the global movement in the punk era. Consumers should be encouraged to explore the individualism/unique potentials of mending.

1. Used clothing.
Consumers in the United Kingdom have an estimated $46.7 billion worth of unworn clothes in their closets. Actions should be taken to encourage consumers to repair their clothes, such as collaborations with apps such as Depop to promote purchasing used clothing and refurbishing them, instead of further contribute to the fast fashion culture.
2. Choosing mending patterns.
The user can choose basic repair guides, as well as choosing from the library of visble mending techniques and patterns from different cultures on the app. More advanced customisations can be created and transferred onto the AR guiding system.
3. Setting up.

A selection of materials and repair tools can be found in the enclosed storage space. The user can then follow the intuitive instructions displayed on the app to set up the repair module, including winding up the bobbin holder.

4. Settings and controls.
Stitch type, width and length can be selected on the app once the user’s smartphone is connected through NFC pairing, reducing the need of physical dials to minimise over-clustered controls.
5. AR Guided process.
Once the module is set up and the preferred sewing pattern is selected on the app, the user can then follow the augmented reality guide lines and the listed instructions to achieve the wanted result.
6. Lifecycle continues.
After the mendings or customisations are done, the user can enjoy their refurbished clothing, or reselling the items to further continue the item’s lifecycle.

LG x Foster & Partners

Milan Design Week
“Our friends over at Lightfield London invited us to collaborate in the creation of video and lighting elements for LG + Foster & Partners Milan Design week partnership. Mike Holland of Fosters wanted to explore the relationship between colour and scale within nature, whilst showcasing the features of LG’s new super thin retractable OLED screens. Over a 3 day period we explored exposing a variety of flowers to different chemical reactions and filmed the process in 4k with a RED and a DLSR mounted onto a microscope. Acid, heat, ice, UV, light & paint pouring were a few of the reactions we exposed to the flowers, creating an unusual insight into the weird and wonderful world of microscopic and macro scale.” -23RDC

I had the opportunity to shoot a range of subjects, such as rose petals soaked in hydrochloric acid and pumpkin seeds, under a microscope with Canon 5D attachment, at 40-100x.

Dynamic Train Platform Distribution

RSA Student Competition
A system to reduce dwell time by adaptive platform distribution through an agent-based particle structure, dynamic alighting and boarding formation and improvements in real-time information display.

In an ideal rail system, every train would arrive and depart at its intended station without delay. However in reality, trains are behind schedule very frequently. Delayed trains are the largest factor of customer dissatisfaction. 
Dwell time, the time from wheel stop to wheel start at a station, is one of the major factors that cause the train delays. Excessive dwell times cause delays to singular trains, which can have a knock-on effect to escalating to severe delays in the entire railway/underground system.

System constraints, platform layouts and mechanical aspects of the train system have an impact on solutions such as platform distribution

The number of friction surfaces and physical energy exerted by the passenger is affected by the alighting and boarding formation.
There are 3 main types of alighting and boarding formations and scenarios. Studies show that the advantages of the scenarios vary depending on the crowd level and physical aspects of the system.

With a projected graphic system, the formation can be altered dynamically to reduce conflict between passengers, making their movements smoother and more efficient.

Heat-mapping units equipped with RGB & infrared cameras and depth sensors are installed in the carriages of the train.
They are used to predict behaviour and in turn to minimise friction surfaces. Bi-directional movements where cooperation and negotiation play an important role can be simulated using crowd simulation software such as Legion. Using both the social force model and grid-based models, an intelligent AI system could be installed to identify concentration of crowd on the train and platform, predict the passengers’ behaviours and relay the information in order to distribute passengers accordingly.

Overhead projectors with Lightform sensors (projection mapping and edge detection technologies) equipped are installed on the platform.
Projection mapping method provides a non-destructive and adaptable solution to way-finding and real-time information display.

1. During transit, heat-mapping units records and analyse the crowd concentration levels within the train, identifying the least concentrated areas. Machine learning technology is used to study the behaviour of the passengers. The information is then sent to the upcoming platform where feedback is performed.

2. Once the data is received at the upcoming platform, the overhead projectors project an agent-based swarm of particles which is emitted from the entry points, leading the passengers to the appropriate areas of the platform. Waiting areas and door/carriage number graphics are also projected on the ground.

3. Particle system continues to guide and nudge passengers towards entry points that lead to the least crowded areas of the train. Passenger is provided with the most comfortable option, therefore increasing satisfaction. When the train arrives, the projectors equipped with projection mapping and edge detection technologies turn the train exterior into a canvas where more information is projected.

4. The system shows information such as: where the train is going and is calling next stop, as well as information on the next train arriving at the platform, to provide passengers the option of waiting and boarding a less crowded train. This provides a positive feedback to counter passengers rushing onto the train last minute. The projected ground graphics completes the alighting and boarding sequence.

Dynamic Projections

Experience Prototype.
A mock-up of the system was created to refine and further develop the service experience Feedback was gathered to identify and reinforce design decisions.

Grid-based AI analysis tool.

Agent-based particle system mock-up, passenger chooses the path with more arrows/particles, as well as choosing the path colour coded green. A combination of particle density and colour gradients should be implemented to ensure intuitive directions.

Alighting and boarding formations. Creating a path of least conflict.

Direction for exit projected directly in front of the alighting passenger to prevent congestion.

Advantages of the proposed system: - Real-time communication between the train and the upcoming platform. Distribution is driven by data dynamically.
- Non-destructive solution, graphics are projected, therefore reducing the need of stakeholders altering existing infrastructure.
- Passengers are presented with intuitive directions that lead them to a more enjoyable and efficiently operated journey, without the need of compromising.

User Journey Map:
A map of the user journey including train operaing phase, pain points from primary and secondary research, emotional state of the customer, digital and physcial touchpoints, organisation activities, policies, challenges and the objective/ vision of the proposal.