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Experimental Design

Miyuki Oka

Miyuki Oka is a research-based artist and communication designer exploring the relationship between human and non-human in contemporary society through technology. 

With her academic background in biochemistry in agricultural science, she creates works by observing phenomena and objects combining the perspectives of environmental biogeochemistry, informatics and philosophy. By creating installations and moving images that focus on the materials and trivial movements of things, she designs spaces for speculation through physical and emotional experiences.

She has won the STRP Award for Creative Technology (NL, 2020) and the Grantham Art Prize (UK, 2018) and has exhibited at interdisciplinary venues including Imperial College London. In 2020, she became one of the recipients of the KUMA Foundation Creator Scholarship (JP).




Degree Details

School of Communication

Experimental Design

I am exploring how digital data and computing technology can help people feel a seamless connection with other humans and non-human beings in the physical world. In my design, I focus on the movements and materials of objects, traces and stains, and long-term changes that are so trivial that humans and machines cannot or will not control. 

My project at RCA2020 designed communication using virtual spaces and technologies to intervene in the air, which is a medium between the self and others. As communication through computers and smartphones becomes more mainstream under the influence of COVID-19, the opportunities for unintentional interactions with others that occur through sharing physical space are diminishing. This project considers the significance of such unconscious interactions in our lives. 

concept collage

concept collage

flows in a city | manifestation


How can we use the IoT to manifest non-human beings and feel the connection with them?

This project explores the ways to use IoT technology to manifest the presence of the natural environment and life behind modern urban life. To feel the connection with others through energy and matter in the physical world, I focus on the subtle movement of air that occurs due to the wind, the breath of animals, or movements of things.

Facilities for food production and infrastructure for, for example, water and electricity are essential to our modern urban life. With the development of information technology, we are increasingly able to control life and the natural environment at will. Such technology can be used in a direction that encourages anthropocentrism but also has the potential to manifest non-human existences.

This project investigates the possibilities of the latter scenario. Today's IoT gathers specific information we need to control subjects, such as the health of cows, gas emission from a barn or water level or quality in a river. We might understand their situation from the data yet it doesn't let us feel their presence. If we could use the IoT to feel their presence, how will the experience change the way we see our modern city lives?


Digital collage, film, moving image


animalsanthropoceneCollagecritical designenvironmentInstallationinternet of thingsIoTnaturepost-anthropocenepost-human-centered designUrban Living

installation diagram

flows in a city | installation

still image from video

In this installation, the movement of objects that move with the trivial movements of air that occur naturally in one space is copied using motors and sensors and reproduced in the other space. The data on both sides is communicated via the Internet, so the two sets can be placed far from each other. By placing this system within the city and the environment developed for it, people living in the city would feel the presence of the things behind the city through the movement of air.


Digital image, film, installation, metal, sand, motors, sensors


a scene in virtual space

a scene in virtual space

Launch Project

flows are...

This is a virtual space/online multiplay game. The player doesn't have an avatar, can't text or send a reaction, but when it moves, it will move surrounding things, leave footprints, and be heard by others as a murmur.

・Up to 20 people can enter the room at the same time.
・Use the computer keyboard to move around the room. You can also use your smartphone to just be present in the room (no control).
・The light, sound, and motion of objects in the room are changing based on the time of day and the number and movement of other players present at that moment.


virtual space/online multi-play game

a digital sketch for mobile sculptures

study of forms

The design of the mobile was inspired by the structure of a fictional creature in a science fiction story Exhalation (2008) by Ted Chiang. This SF depicts individuals and the entire world as those connected through energy and matter, beings in a unified flow.

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