Concept of Urbanization

Our group topic is “urbanization”. We set up a group meeting and list out topics related to urbanization.

We divided the concept into two parts:

  • People migrant from rural area to urban area.
  • People migrant between different cities.

For my own perspective, I would like to focus more on the migration from rural area to urban area. How to use big data and smart devices on the current issues of contemporary cities instead of overwhelmed by waves of information?

While technological change may produce more information, the status of that information relative to decision-making has been a longstanding area of research in the design disciplines.


China’s Children Affected by Migration


According to China Government Report, until 2015, migration workers population reached 277 millions.

[source]: 2015 Chinese investigation report on migrant workers

Overall, the Chinese government has tacitly supported migration as means of providing labour for factories and construction sites and for the long-term goals of transforming China from a rural-based economy to an urban-based one.Some inland cities have started providing migrants with social security, including pensions and other insurance. In 2012, there were a reported 167 million migrant workers in China, with trends of working closer to home (within their own or a neighboring province but with a wage drop of 21%. Because so many migrant works are moving to the city from rural areas, employers can hire them to work in poor working conditions for extremely low wages.

[source]: Migrant worker / Chinese migrant worker

  • Who is this for?  

    – Children affected by migration.

  • left-behind children

Left-behind children in China refer to the children who live with one parent (usual mother) or extended family (usually grandparents) when their parent(s) is (are) absent from home as migrant workers in urban areas. They are left behind partly because of little access to basic welfare in cities without local hukou status and partly because of high living expenses in cities.According to Ministry of Education, in 2012 there were more than 12.6 million migrant children and 58 million left-behind children from 7 years old to 16 years old. Left-behind children will have more health, emotional and behavior issues than those who grow up with their parents.

[article]: BBC news of China’s left-behind children

  • children migrate with parents

Until 2015, held a population of 14 million. They migrated to the urban area with parents who usually worked at factories or construction areas with a limited access to education.

  • What is the challenge we are trying to investigate?

  • left-behind children

1.lack of care and love from parents

Most of left-behind children in China are taking care by their grandparents. As their grandparents getting older and becoming disable, children need to take care of them as well. There’s usually more than one child of each family, so the eldest child have to take responsibility of the whole family even they are young. support

After they went to the urban area, many of them worked part-time in order to afford a normal academic life and get used to city life. Most of them relied on student loan to pay for tuition fee(which means they need to get a work after graduation in order to repay)

3. access to information

Limited resource at childhood – local teacher and support teacher from developed area

4. social/family/peer pressure after they went to urban area/ easily cause mental issues

Questions…: Do they want to go back? Why not?  Their families’ attitude towards migrating issue and further education?

  • children migrate with parents
  1. limited access to education

9-year-compulsory education which supported by Chinese government funds could only be implemented at the local area, which means they need to pay for tuition fee at urban area. There are primary schools specifically for these kids while still cannot solve the problem due to their flowing issues, ID issues.

2. transfer frequently

3. Ignorance from parents – 40% of parents do not care about children education pressure mental issues/mental issues

We still need more research on this topic and decide what’s our final direction to go through.

Brainstorm with Yuqiao and Danni

Einstein`s Dreams

  • 4 May 1905

The author describes characters’ dress and dialogues in a wide coverage, including massive details.  The narrative is clear and easy to understand. As I read it, I could imagine the live images in my head, it’s so simple and lively.

Dialogues are designed carefully. In my perspective, thesis sentence of this article is the last passage.

For in this world, time does pass, but little happens. Just as little happens from year to year, little happens from month to month, day to day. If time and the passage of events are the same, then time moves barely at all. If time and events are not the same, then it is only people who barely move. If a person holds no ambitions in this world, he suffers unknowingly. If a person holds ambitions, he suffers knowingly, but very slowly.

To elicit this conclusion, some of the previous dialogues seem fussy but they are truly useful.

– “I love the lace of the serviettes,” says the woman with the brocade in her hair. She takes her napkin and unfolds it, then folds it again.
–  “You say that every year, Josephine,” the other woman says and smiles.
– “Wouldn’t notice you’ve been at the larder much,” says the other man. – “You’ve not put on one kilo since last year, or even for the last ten.”
– “Perhaps you can’t notice, but she can,” says the admiral, and winks at his wife.
– “And how’s the business since last year?” asks the admiral.
– “Can’t complain,” says the other man, sipping his brandy.
– “The children?”
– “Grown a year.”
It’s such a pleasure to read this small article and I did the extensive reading of the book. It’s amazing.
If time exists in 30 other different ways, what will our lives be like?
If tomorrow lives ahead today;
If we start with aging and end with childishness;
If a house first destroyed by the war, then experienced glorious, finally returned to the beginning of brick and tile;
If every dream could forecast success or failure, do we still dream?


Research of Children’s Nutrition Apps

As I’m focusing on children and their health, and my last two blogs is about mental health of autism kids group, I reserve my opinion of their physical health.

Food and nutrition facts is an important topic all the times. In the past classes, we have guest speakers talking about big data, plus my interest in data visualization, I’m wondering if I should change my idea to children’s physical health to make a platform to clarify the scientific facts.

Health App for kids

Nutrition App

The problem here is how to distinguish my platform to these existing apps. We can tell the difference between different target groups – Kids and Adults.

Final Concept (on progress)

I thought of my final concept of caring autism children groups for several days and hardly think of a perfect idea that could effectively resolve the existing problems.


  • Be an alarm for potential autism groups. Ways to release pressures.
  • A information convey toolkit showing current situation of mental diseases.
  • Crowdfunding platform?


  • Data Visualization (live-website)
  • Product

Final Project Idea

For final project, I want to research and find out more about inner world of children with disability. I’ve watched some movies about ADS(Autism spectrum disorders), I was shocked by what’s going through with those innocent kids. There are so many of them suffering from infantile autism everyday and I really want to do something for them. This information age we live has too much possibilities than the past.

I actually against all the behaviors that romanticize lives related to autistic children. They are not alines, they are exactly like us but in a weakened version. There are tons of volunteer jobs that people trying to “save” autistic children but it’s just not working. Love and patience is not at the top place of the process, it just sound great to ourselves. Honestly, I never seen a child that could be moved by love, for them, the most difficult to understand and accept is the thing called love.


  • Help public learn more about autism?
  • Not letting people keep romanticize it?
  • STOP thinking love is the key to this kind of disease.
  • There are so many different opinions around it, some families said it can’t be healed and they are suffering so much pain, but some therapist says it’s treatable.
  • Convey basic professional knowledge to public?




Midterm Thoughts

For the midterm presentation on our group challenge, I came to know the history of banking and surprisingly realize that the methods that people used to transfer money in the past was not as much as different than we have today – if we don’t use bank and internet to transfer money.

“grain – money”, “food cattle – money”,Obsidian & Copper & Silver

“loans”, “issue credits”, gold trade, Standardized Coins

“merchant banks“, “Interest”, Foreign Exchange

These are the key words according to the timeline on the history of money transfer, and compared to the modern methods of money transfer without banks, internet plays an important role in the whole system. Bitcoin and Blockchain is the obvious example of this.

We focus on three methods of money transfer based on our challenge. Hawala, Western Union and M-Pesa. Since the persona of the receiver is a resident in Malawi or other Africa countries with the income of 60-100USD/month, while they just owns the feature phone, we all agree that the offline physical trades probably the best way to solve it.

Hawala is a system that based on the performance and honor of a huge network of money brokers.

System Diagram of Hawala.

There are many inevitable problems of all the methods we came out. For me, the low efficiency and issue of trust are big problems. In China, we only trust banks to make money transfer and all the other ways are exist certain risk. I can’t really imagine much ways to do the money trades physical in person and offline transition such as Hawala. But it brings me thoughts of different national habits.

Slides to our Midterm presentation

Transfer money outside US

As my group of challenge is about transferring money to someone outside US, and the recipient owns a feature phone instead of a smart phone. We are considering about the service linked to Telecom companies to send and receive money through text messages.

There are still some questions to answer:

  • How is the money accessed after transferred?
  • How do I access the money if displaced from family?
  • Educating about the resource?

How to access the money?

  • SMS powered ATM?
  • Where would these ATMs be held?
  • Go to an individual that gives you the money and that individual gets a small cut for handing over the money. (Human ATM)

How can we ensure the money is delivered?

  •  1 – Notification from the system
  • 2 – SMS acknowledgement from recipient

For persona, we are picking a country in Africa.

Fail Story_Coca Cola’s White Can



When Coca-Cola launched its holiday white special edition packaging, they did not expect it to cause massive chaos and discontent among their loyal consumers. Many people mixed up the white-packed Coca-Cola and Diet Coke, a depressed consumer wrote on Twitter: “Consumers can not be a victim!” Retail shopkeepers responded that some consumers returned Coca-Cola, Because they mistook it as a diet coke. Just a month later, Coca-Cola announced that all white cans were replaced by classic red. While this mild chaos has not yet affected the sales of Coca-Cola, it reflects how deep-minded the Coca-Cola brand image is – most people are based on red color to distinguish Coca-Cola. Many dissatisfied consumers even think that it’s not the same taste with white cans than red cans. Coca-Cola’s changing this time, surprisingly opened the new category of “brand psychology” in unknowingly, really amazing.