Shane Long Zhong


Concept Development of Urban Hermit


The urban hermit phenomenon is in the technology-mediated context. To connote this context, I selected aquamarine blue and orange as the main colours and applied them to all of my visual outcomes. Aquamarine blue denotes quiet and calm. Many modern technology corporations use this colour as part of their identity. Quiet and calm are closely related to an inner state of individuality which is one of the characteristics of being a hermit. It highlights individuality with a technological tone. Orange relates to social communication and stimulates two way conversations. Orange highlights sociality with a humane tone. Blue and orange are contrasting colours and their connotations critique each other. Putting them together delivers the paradoxical relationship between technology and humans. I used these two colours as the background colours and shift the colour by creating both illustrations and app interface. I have already considered how to use these two colours in multiple platforms including print and digital. The digital platform is considered to be the most important as it is the final outcome. The colour testing between the graphics and the app is vital.


The outcome is an application for moderating technology. The features of the app are that you can use call and SMS but not Wi-Fi, cellular data, and other apps. On the behavioural level the function concept was developed from the social capital perspective based on the overlapping views of Martin Gargiulo, Dave Morin, and Larry Rosen in previous chapters. Using this approach will maintain the connection with core ties and help people unplug from the social networking platform and spend quality time with conversational partners (Figure 01).

Figure 01 Function Concept Development


Seeking the trigger is the key task of the reflective level. I received inspiration from one of my interviewees’ experiences – the Physical Presence and Mental Absence (one of the illustration of my Urban Hermit work in portfolio page). When drinking beer or wine, people’s conversation sometimes start with a ‘clink.’ Therefore, I transferred the beer to their phones. When they touch each other’s phones the application will activate and obstruct all the distractions from the social networking platforms while allowing you to maintain the connections with your core ties in case there is an emergency. The ritual enhances the experience of the app from personal moderation to co-moderation through real world interaction (Figure 02), as discussed in the case study of Coca-Cola’s social media guard: put the social out of media; the case study of sharing watch: the reconsideration of ritual behaviour; and the case study of Juicer: go beyond the needs and start conversations.

Figure 02 Ritual Concept Developement

Shane Zhong

Shane Zhong