Visual Design: [ Code Kitchen ] Lecture Series

* Illustrator * Photoshop * Risograph

Parsons School of Design Open Lecture Series: Code Kitchen.

Some image Code Kitchen is a public speaker series hosted by Parsons AMT Design + Technology. Code practitioners working at the intersection of art, design, poetry, and social critique are invited to present one project they have made from both conceptual and technical angles.
On every Friday for three weeks, two artists will present their projects with a follow-up group discussion. This body of work includes print design: a series of three posters for each friday event and digital design (promotional material): Instagram Posts; Eventbrite; AMT Newsletter; Kiosk Display.

#1 Design Process --> Documentation

#2 Digitals

Some image Some image Some image

#3 Risograph Prints

Some image Some image Some image

Some image Some image Some image

Some image Some image Some image



* Unity * HTC Vive * Oculus Go * Cinema 4D * After Effects * Illustrator * Premiere VR

Some image

Sundaypark is a virtual reality platform that allows the players to enter a customized theme park and build the park virtually with live dialogues.

Sundaypark is about the collectiveness of beings and that of a collective identity. To use myself as the host and manifesto of this collective, the whole experience can have an anchor point of a human entity. Identity theory, as a family of views on the relationship between mind and body, introduces me to various arguments about personhood and “the myth of American Individualism”. I’m interested in the discussion of “everyone is unique and everyone is the same” through raw communication and dialogical exchange.

After getting familiar with Sundaypark, the visitor would go into an empty block and have a live dialogue with the self. Then this specific dialogical existence of that visitor would become all the blocks that keep building on each other and sundaypark will grow as more visitors come in and leave their dialogues in the park. The base structure, as the dynamic expression of Yutong Xie (the theme and the designer of Sundaypark), will be updating itself as Yutong's life continues. One can view Sundaypark as a living group of particles from lives of uncertain visitors' collective mind.

The idea starts with my daily "thinking exercise" about theme parks and the beauty of a public park that has one consistent distinctive style/vibe/aesthetic. A similar idea would be Banksy’s Dismaland, a temporary art project that can be interpreted as a contemporary satire in relation to Disneyland, “The Happiest Place on Earth”. I decide to use my own social identity named Yutong Xie as the “theme” of a virtual public park in which all the others can come in and “play”. Amsterdam the city is the main inspiration for the color palette and structure of Sundaypark. I love the windows in Amsterdam. When I was walking in the city at night, all the windows were emitting warmth of all kinds of lives. The residents are not shy about their lives. I passed by each windows with my own impression stored in my mind. I was feeling the windows instead of trying to understand what was actually happening inside all these warm spaces. I took a mental note of that feeling of passing by episodes of different lives and completely immersing myself into the others’ worlds. The window experience at Amsterdam presages the realization of Sundaypark.

menu close icon

Sundaypark referred to the architecture of a panopticon as its general shape which is a type of institutional building and usually for a system of control such as a prison. I think the double-layered irony could be helpful to emphasize the complexity of humanity which forces humans to use an omnipresent entity to understand. I referenced an article titled 98 personal data points that Facebook uses to target ads to you by The Washington Post in which discusses targeting options for Facebook advertisers. Dark data is such a science fiction icon element and again, for dark humor. So I wrote down my own answers to the top ten facebook targeting options including location, age, etc. Then I design accordingly. For example, the Fifth data point is language: I know English and Chinese, middle school level Italian. In one of the episodes positioned in a bedroom, there is a piece of paper that has handwritten lyrics in both English and its Chinese translation on it. I then designed a sound track of my voice speaking Chinese translation while listening to an English song. Once a player teleports (“move” in VR settings) near that piece of paper, that player can experience the literal sound of my literal mind while still inside Sundaypark. The base of the whole panopticon will update and have new episodes as my life continues. Maybe next Sunday one room would disappear and another one replaces it. While the whole architecture is building higher and time relatively passes, all the base episodes of Yutong Xie are evolving and reshaping. Then the wholeness of Sundaypark is not just a virtual theme park of Yutong Xie; Sundaypark is a collective dynamics of persons and reasons, open to the unknown and ready be hurt. I design this experience to be set in a small, enclosed and quiet place and the player can take their time to feel and think.

menu close icon

Exhibition @ The Major Major Show

menu close icon

menu close icon

menu close icon

menu close icon Sunday is my initial attempt to build another social reality with my own reasons and preferences. Virtual Reality is an extremely elegant and warm technology and I’m grateful for being able to make a world in another reality. Besides this project, I have done series of honest self reflections in order to understand the others more, myself as the other. Sundaypark as a design experience taught me so much more than just building a VR world. The process of actualizing a rather abstract idea for digital communication becomes a genuine spirit exchange with outside perspectives.

I’d like to finally conclude this design experience with a quote from Dialectic and Dialogue by Dmitri Nikulin (a book that heavily influence Sundaypark during its initial ideation stage):
Dialectic grows out of simple, yet not simplistic, discussions about what and how things are, about those things with which we constantly engaged in (making) the world, such as politics, love, and so on.



* Arduino + Blynk * openFrameworks * MadMapper * 3D Printing * After Effects * Illustrator

Some image

Nomoverse is an alternative and provocative reality in which the audience can feel life and death. Nomoverse builds itself around the backstory of another world in which people no longer prioritize life. In the world of the Nomos, the choice of life or death is like the choice of pasta or burger for a human's dinner.

The installation includes three individual structures: Orb of Life, the Apartment, and Recycling Center. The whole experience includes a 9-minute video and an installation. It explores the methodologies of human’s dependency on the ideas of “being alive” and “fearing death”. This installation offers an experience for the audiences to think about life from an outsider’s perspective.

#3 Prototyping
Testing For: Projection Mapping, Light Design, Materiality, Circuit Design

#4 Structure, Technology & Materiality :

• Orb of life - a mixture of glow in the dark powder and acrylic paint

• The Apartment - wood pieces for overall structure; 3D modeling & printing technology for all the furnitures; Layers of acrylic paint for the overall finish; a step motor connected with Arduino for moving the chair up; an Adafruit Neopixel under the bed connected with ESP8266 WIFI board and Blynk for the light design; an ultrasonic sensor with Arduino connected with openFrameworks for the glitch effect when the audiences get too close to the installation; MadMapper for projector usage

• Recycling Center - hanging transparent glass vase used as the recycling center

• Nomos - water-soluble films and threads for nomo’s body; neodymium magnets attached to nomo’s feet so that I can support and move the character from underneath; salt for the infill of nomos’ bodies; steel wires for the puppet armatures

• The film Nomoverse - shot with iPhone separately for three parts of the installation; the apartment scene was shot with a script and the character was moved with a magnetic stick

#4 Backstory
Beings in the world of Nomoverse (another world that is similar to the current human world), named nomos, treat life as a less important subject compared to the current world. More than half of the population in Nomoverse end their lives before turning twenty-five person years. Being alive, to Nomos, is not something they would strive for.

To a nomo, the choice to live or to not live is like the choice of burger or pasta for dinner. For the stability of Nomoverse , the centralized government establishes a life center for the artificial reproduction of nomos and a recycling center for the preservation of scarce resources. Once a nomo commits suicide, the Life Center will create another nomo with precoded mind and fill out the dead nomo’s blank social role by overnight delivery. Nomoverse is a quiet and static space for creating, being, living, feeling and dying.

#5 Inspiration

The concept starts to form when I was watching weather broadcast and the hosts were talking about how nice the weather was gonna be tomorrow as if tomorrow is some sort dreamland that everyone is looking forward to. Then I wrote the story of another environment in which “tomorrow” is not that appealing and beings are not obsessed with efficiency of living.

Hieronymus Bosch’s work, a triptych titled The Garden of Earthly Delights inspired me to present Nomoverse as a vertical triptych. Stop motion animations such as Coraline with their meticulous execution of worlding helped me through the process of designing the production aspect of Nomoverse.

* various glitch effects created with an ultrasonic Sensor, openFrameworks & MadMapper



Motion Graphics 2018-2019

* Illustrator * After Effects * Photoshop * Cinema 4D * After Effects * Premiere

#1 Late Night Cinema

#2 Caroline Carrie

#3 Depressmentpark

#4 An Amsterdam Night

#5 Yuri Gagarin

#6 My Name Is

#7 Phones and 24 Hours

#8 Dream Sequence

#9 Welcome!



* Since 2015

In 2015, I founded XYZSTUDIO in Shanghai, China to better organize my growing freelance business and was planning to build the studio professionally as a full-service design studio. I have some savings from my freelance works and my parents loaned me the start-up money. XYZSTUDIO was my intuitive attempt to design, launch and actualize an idea into a valid entity. I am in the process to become a better designer and it was the first time for me to do design works systematically with backend support.

I built an online studio account on the biggest social media platform in China Sina Weibo. I started to attract potential clients by design work posts. With the growing followers (12,000+), I was able to work as a "virtual" designer from New York while communicating with Chinese clients.

During the three years of establishing my practice as mostly a graphic designer, I realized that I was losing my passion and distinction as a designer. I was tired of only 2D works that are mostly part of a consistent visual identity system. So I sat myself down and did some reflective writings to contemplate. The conclusion is that to fully realize my artistic vision and ambition, I have to practice my skill intensively and without any distraction.

In 2018, with limited time and energy, I decided to close down XYZSTUDIO and fully commit to learning. In retrospect, I had a revealing experience building XYZSTUDIO and worked on some very unique small projects. Attached below are some documents from two former design cases by XYZSTUDIO. Here's to this beautiful life experience.

#3 Visual Identity Design @ BLOCKS
An indie socks brand in Shandong, China: created with love


#4 Visual Identity Design @ MELT COFFEE
A Concept Café that sits on the 58TH floor of The Gate to the East (Designed by Architecture firm RMJM) in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China

* More Photos & Customer Reviews (Scource:Dazhong Dianping, "a Chinese Ylep")


Personal Works

* Since 2016

#13 Digital Portrait of Michael Cong  

#12 eggplant  - Inspired by the song EARFQUAKE by Tyler, the Creator

#11 Smile More!  - Inspired by SoHo, a neighborhood in New York

#10 Magalodon   - Inspired by the an extinct species of shark named Carcharodon Megalodon, and Billie Eilish's artwork in the Album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

#9 The Portrait of Kiraware Matsuko   - Inspired by the Film Memories of Matsuko

#8 Welcome to Yutong's HappyTrashLand  

#7 Asian People's Eyes   - Inspired by this article: 13 Asians On Identity And The Struggle Of Loving Their Eyes

#6 The World  

#5 WOOFY  

#4 An International Poem  

#3 MULAN 花木兰   

#2 Tears Dry on Their Own  - Inspired by the song by Amy Winehouse

#1 Self-Portrait 2016   - in relation to the world