This is intended as a dynamic space to archive/share self-initiated projects. Site is updated every so and so.


Browse through my favorite stopmotions. 


 Material economies
       D.1  Moss ritual2021
       D.2 Waste Care2021
       D.3 Recyclebar2021
       D.4 The Better Bread2022
       D.5 Crafts of Resistance2023
 User Research / Experience design
        D.6 Exhaust the Benches2022
        D.7 The Traffic Light as a Destination2021
        D.8 C.C.C Cuisine2022
        D.9 Building Dialogue2022
Craftsmanship / Heritage
        D.10 Nuevos Rituales2018
        D.11 Migración2019

        I.1 Inventariada2019
        I.2 Diarios Abiertos 12021
        I.3 Diarios Abiertos 22021
        I.4-D.2 Recipe book x Waste Care2021
        I.5-D.3 Storytelling x Recyclebar2021
        I.6-D.7 Essay x Traffic Lights (...)2021
        I.7-D8.I2 Booklet x C.C.C Cuisine2022
        I.8 Stories Around the Cabinet2023

SHOP - coming coon
(Ceramic) Objects
        O.1 Resistance Cup 1
        O.2 Resistance Cup 2
        O.3 Resistance Cup Maker
        O.4 Clay Smasher
        O.5 Resistance Cup Coffee table
        O.6 Resistance Cup pole
        O.7 Resistance Cabinet 1 
        O.8 Resistance Cabinet 2
        O.9 Resistance Tire Cutter
        O.10 Mix Cup 1

        P.1 The Workshop
        P.2 Is Every Object a Tool? 

        On Demand






All work produced by author unless otherwise specified.
Last update: Apr2024

I.6-D.7 Traffic lights as a medium for unsolicited social engagement

 Design Research / Material Studies
Tutors: Anastaia Kubrak & Amal Ahag. @ Design Academy Eindhoven, June 2021.

A short reflection on the impact that traffic lights have in everyday life. By looking into an object closely and studying it from its social relevance I am triggered to be critical on what the future will look like.

Traffic lights as a medium for unsolicited social engagement

As part of 2021-2022 Design Research Project The Traffic Light as a Destination
DAE @ Eindhoven
January 2021

It is almost a fact that traffic lights as we know them will become obsolete. It sounds perfect: Less pollution, less risk of accidents and better time management. Science writer Nathaniel Scharping paints the picture in his article about self-driving cars: A centrally controlled system that synchronizes smart cars, something similar to air traffic and planes. We take a step back as technology takes a step forward. An intersection is a place for human interaction by nature; but this is meant to evolve into a continuous flow of bodies. If we used to interact daily with an average minimum of 11 people before the pandemic, how would limiting the possibilities of interaction in public spaces affect us as citizens?

Driving on a weekday back home before peak hour. As the traffic light counts down I have 120 seconds to relax my body. I let my arms fall to my lap and grab my phone to change the music I have been singing along to. I see a text from my mom asking if I can pick her up on my way home. I glance outside: Perhaps it is a good time for a coffee break? I look for my preferred navigation app and add two new stops. It will take me 20 minutes to my next stop. The red light pause allows me to receive information, decide and reroute.

Time for a coffee pause and taking it on the go. I stop at the next light, take a sip of coffee and look at the person selling tissues on the street as he approaches me. Like many times before, I lower my window to hand him a coin for a pack. “Thank you, good day!” we say to each other. Receiving good greetings from strangers on the street cheers up my day. This, what Psychologist Gillian Sandtsrom calls minimal social interaction, benefits our mental health and overall wellbeing. The truth is that the informal sector in Peru accounts for 75% of the economy (National Household Survey Data, 2011) and street vendors in Lima have been part of our culture since the 16th century (Roever, 2010: 222). For good or for bad, traffic allows a brief social exchange. I can experience deep empathy, sadness, fear or happiness in the few seconds I wait to continue my trip. Brief but necessary, it grounds me and shapes the way I relate to the city.

My mother takes her seat next to me. She has been late and a congestion is upon us on the main avenue. This, however, is one of my favorite moments: An opportunity to talk with her. Psychologist Fred Peipman explains how our posture and the car’s movement affects the power dynamic that can lead to better conversations (Juntti, 2020). Certainly, our relationship has improved since I volunteered to be her chauffeur.

I have been driving in the city of Lima for the past 10 years. If transportation in the city was just about getting from point A to point B, how many of the things I did today would not have taken place? The idea of interconnectedness, systemic tracking and smarter transport systems start with the premise that we have to be predictable. What the future promises is a safer, more sustainable city. Accident-free, time-efficient, “smarter” solutions to commuting. But what are we losing out? The chance to reconsider our routes. A forced glance at what happens outside of us. An intimate moment with ourselves. A necessary time out perhaps?

If self driving cars imply that all other social necessities have been addressed, I would probably choose to walk back home.

Articles directly referenced to
Juntti, Melaina. October 2020. Why cars are the best place to hace tough conversations with kids. Fatherly https://

www.fatherly.com/parenting/why-cars-are-the-best-place-to-have-tough-conversations/ Accessed 1/1/2022

American Psychology Association (APA), April 2021. Why should you talk to strangers. Speaking of Psychology Podcast Episode 137 - with Sandstrom, Gillian, PhD and Jon Levy. Spotify. https://open.spotify.com/episode/ 0KffVi2UzbTT0lW9vauvw8?si=fc5c9f36019a4a1d. Transcript available via APA: https://www.apa.org/research/action/speaking- of-psychology/talk-strangers Accessed 1/1/22

Scharping, Nathaniel. March 2016. Imagining a world without traffic lights. Discover Magazine. https://www.discovermagazine.com/technology/imagining-a-world-without-traffic-lights Accessed 27/12/2021

Further reading

The following articles are also worth mentioning as they have been part of how the essay has been shaped. A brief note for each has been added for future reference.

About the future of traffic systems
Cottingham, Darren. Will traffic lights be obsolete in the future? Driver Knowledge tests. https://

www.driverknowledgetests.com/resources/will-traffic-lights-be-obsolete-in-the-future/ Accessed 28/12/2021

Slot based systems for city traffic are already being tested in MIT. It states that for such a system to operate, all cars have to be autonomous, and the algorithm can not take pedestrians or bikers into account. He states that this is the ideal solution to traffic congestion. There are a number of technical and social considerations. Maybe in 20 or 30 years.

Hawkins, Andrew J. May 2018. Uber self-driving car saw pedestrian but didn’t break before fatal crash, feds say. The Verge.https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/24/17388696/uber-self-driving-crash-ntsb-report Accessed 28/12/2021

Self-driving Uber cars were been tested in Arizona. No one is been found guilty of this fatality, however. The comment section of this article arises many questions about ethics.

Motavalli, Jim. October 2020. It’s time for smart traffic lights. Autoweek. https://www.autoweek.com/news/a34498280/its-time- for-smart-traffic-lights/ Accessed 28/12/2021

Installation of AI sensors has already taken place in some cities across the US, major companies are NoTraffic and Surtrac. It includes input from real-time intersections and has already shown it improved travel time by 25-30%. Surtracs Business idea however, is to charge users a monthly fee to access route sharing options and travel cut benefits. Gas emissions can be reduced by 20% if congestion is better handled.

Quora Public thread. November 2021. What if all traffic signals disappeared? Quora. https://www.quora.com/What-if-all- traffic-signals-disappeared Accessed 27/12/2021

There are other ways to address the problem, which is stopping. Counterproductive, they argue. roundabouts of all sizes, and 3D non-intersecting roads are the solution.

About Wellbeing

Dockrill, Peter. April 2016. Here’s why you shouldn’t schedule “Fun”, according to science. Science alert https://

www.sciencealert.com/here-s-why-you-shouldn-t-schedule-fun-according-to-science Accessed 3/1/21

The Journal of Marketing Research has published a study that shows that it is not necessarily to have our time completely planned out as we run the risk of draining the joy that should just be fun. Van Lange, Paul A. M., Simon Columbus. May 2021. Vitamin S: Why is social contact, even with strangers, so important towellbeing? SAGE journals.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/09637214211002538 Accessed 1/1/22

This research was conducted during COVID lockdown and studies the necessity of socializing with strangers as a practice of Social Mindfulness and supplying oneself with “Vitamin S”. He also reflects on challenges social media poses onto our current interactions.

About Peru

Paredes Ramirez, Diego. April 2019. Moving Towards Formality: The case of the informal sector in Lima, Peru. Change Magazine. http://www.changemag-diinsider.com/blog/moving-towards-formality-the-case-of-the-informal-sector-in-lima-peru. Accessed 2/1/2022

Valuable statistical data about Peru, and Lima, its capital city. The informal sector is a structural problem which does not relate to economic growth. Fiscal policies targeting to eliminate informality have failed but tackling this problem is key to promote inclusive growth.

Roever, Sally. January 2010. Street vendors in the Global Urban Economy - Chapter 9, Street trade in Latin America: Demographic trends, legal issues and vending organizations in six cities.

A review of street vending issues in Latin America. An insight on demographics, legal aspects and organization for the city of Lima and other capital cities in Latin America are presented.

Tintin, May 2021. Driving in Lima - Not for the faint-hearted. Lima Easy. https://www.limaeasy.com/editors-opinion/driving-in- lima-not-for-the-faint-hearted Accessed 2/1/22

A curious read about getting around on the streets of Lima. Certainly true, slightly exaggerated for anecdotical purposes. Worth noting that a manual is needed to understand the “house rules”.