SCAD Museum of Art

The permanent installation is in the main lobby of the SCAD Museum of Art. The 12-foot touch table displays interactive cards showing current museum exhibits, events and other information relating to the Savannah College of Arts and Design. The installation was designed and developed by Pentagram. The interactive application was developed with the creative coding C++ library Cinder. I was one of the main developers on the project.


Interview with NY Daily News:



Commons is a game for urban communities to improve their city through citizen stewardship.

With Commons, you compete to do good, while problems in your city get fixed. Report a problem or recommend an improvement in your neighborhood that you think deserves attention and resources, and show your city some lovin’. Vote on the best reports and improvements, and see what’s most popular. Go on short missions around town to earn bonus points, and unlock City awards to level up through the game. Commons is brought to you by Suzanne Kirkpatrick, Jamie Lin and Nien Lam.

Visit our website, commonsthegame, for additional information.

Introducing ‘Commons’, winner of the Real-World Games for Change Challenge 2011, and the team behind the game.



A billiards style, turn based game, FUSSR uses Diffused Surface Illumination (DSI) technology to make touch table interaction responsive, attractive and fun. Pairing a tongue in cheek objective- breaking down walls- with Cold War aesthetics, this self contained game and installation aims to encourage social interactions with its multiplayer gameplay and curious aesthetic. FUSSR was designed and created by Nien Lam and Jason Aston.

Having shown a mutual interest in the art and challenge of gaming, we knew that creating one would be familiar but very difficult, as much peripheral interaction needs to be developed concomitant with the game dynamics and main interaction. We were also cognizant of the purchasing, building, and calibrating elements of the project as they related to the time allotted for completion.

We opted to build a non-traditional, 9 degree tapered table with a concrete/rock like facade. Here are our preliminary drawings and the frame.

The acrylic layers lay in a frame atop the table. Small harnesses and wooden racks were also built for the wonderfully clear internal projector- a ViewSonic short throw PJ558D, and a hacked PS3 eye camera.

After the framing was finished, our original plan was to source some concrete board for the paneling and skirting. Concrete board turned out to be too heavy for our purposes, so we went about using thin plywood with the intention to slather it with concrete or concrete like finish. We chose a type of splatter, speckled paint that mimicked stone.

Environmental Lights and Peau Productions were instrumental in working out the technical aspects of FUSSR. As said before, we used the DSI method of rear projection- involving a strip of infrared lights affixed to a slab of Endlighten acrylic. This acrylic layer has microscopic mirrors that reflect this light internally. Above this layer is a projection layer. And above this layer is a protective mar resistant layer, since the other two are so damn expensive.

Nien developed his own simple physics engine to drive the game, which consists of a ball, a slingshot, and little, colored walls that the player must destroy. This is an image of the earliest iteration without “skins.”

All of this sits atop real Berlin Wall graffiti.


After playtesting with several different groups, we discovered that having 4 players on the board makes it very difficult for any one player to keep track of the gameplay. We decided to make Gauntlet Chess a 1 player game for the iPhone. The object of the game is to move through the gauntlet and capture the king. This is an early prototype of the game mechanic and a couple of levels.


Warning Signs is a visualization of the pollution that exists invisibly all around us. When the wearable senses carbon monoxide, the piece subtly changes color and pattern to indicate higher levels of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere to the wearer and those around him or her. This piece was designed and created by Nien Lam and Sue Ngo.

photographed by miriam simun


Gauntlet Chess is a re-imagined version of the age-old classic game. Instead of the standard 8×8 tiled board, this game board can be configured to have any shape and size. By changing the terrain, certain pieces may be more or less powerful during gameplay, thus creating new strategies and tactics. The initial version of the game was developed in Processing and designed for 2-4 players. Gauntlet Chess is a collaboration between myself, Sebastian Buys and Scott Wayne Indiana.

Clicking on a piece reveals all possible moves for that particular piece.


Mandala is a visualization of the connections between your Facebook friends. The application allows you to filter and inspect your social network. Mandala uses the Facebook API to gather your friend information. You can tap on each colored block to show your friend information. Mandala also supports pinch zoom. The connections slider allows you to find friends with the most or fewest connections.


Laser cutting thermochromic fabric for a wearable.