Welcome to dDNA Max

About Me


Max Ng Zhen Qiang
NUS Electrical Engineering Year 4


For the latest updates on my research click here.


dDNA is a new form of living media used to communicate humanistic or organic information in the form of ambient media. In the fast pace modern world, people are generally too busy to monitor various significant social or human aspects or their lives, such as time spent with their family, their overall health, their drinking or smoking habits. By quantifying such information digitally, information is coupled into living organisms. Through the use of the organism’s glowing or color-changing characteristic, it will glow and dim or change color according to the data. Thus, organic-based information is coupled into a living and organic media.


Ambient Media In The Digital World

The motivation behind this research is to inform through ambient living media that promotes human empathy the social and organic happenings around a person’s life using a closed-loop control system. Our thesis is that, just as a human prefers to see and receive a living rose rather than an exact replica plastic rose, so too would a living media promote more human empathy about organic based information.

Living things evoke feelings due to empathy that are different than what can be evoked by artificial imitations. This is based on the fact that humans have true empathy only for creatures which are alive. Having true empathy is an extremely important way that humans perceive and communicate emotions. In addition the use of living organisms to represent the significant portions of one’s life adds semantics to the manifestation since as social aspects like relationships and addictions thrive and decay, so does the living microorganism. Thus, by tying together digital media with the living world we can develop media that especially promotes empathy about social and ecological information.


Red Cabbage

Red cabbage (Brassica Oleracea) contains a pigment molecule called flavin (an anthocyanin). This water-soluble pigment is also found in apple skin, plums, poppies, cornflowers, and grapes. Very acidic solutions will turn anthocyanin a red color. Neutral solutions result in a purplish color. Basic solutions appear in greenish-yellow. Therefore, it is possible to use Red cabbage as an ambient media to display certain humanistic organic information by controlling the pH. The picture below is the range of color that can be achieved by red cabbage in different pH.


Purpose of this site

This site is created specially for me to update and share my findings of my Final Year Project. Feel free to provide feedback on my pages.

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