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About Me

Project Lumen

Xiaoyu Ke, 2020 - ongoing
Design Research 

An interactive monuments for audience to learn about animal farm practices without intimidation.


        Before the age of 10, I lives near in the border of a small town where occasionally I would hear indistinct wailing late at night. I later found out that outside of my bedroom window was a slaughter house and a meat packaging factory.  Since then the anguished wailing would sound in my head as I come across cuisines with meat, finding it hard to believe that the suffering animals outside of my window became the food in my plates.

        Why was I simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar with the food I consume? With research, I found out that the collective “ignorance” about meat production is the result of technological and structural changes in recent history of our animal product consumption.

History of Animal Product Consumption

Simply put, the modern system of animal product consumption given rise by the process of industrialization. With industrialization, consumers are gradually removed from the process of production.


Research Question 1 

What exactly are happening in these factories that led to animal screaming?

       Research 1
        In the animal product industry, there is two major type of production, the first selling the animal’s body as part of the product, such as pork, poultry, and beef; and the other kind depends on animal’s reproductive function to produce product such as egg, dairy, and honey. I investigated the most produced kind in both categories and highlight the proccess involved that induce pain on these involved anima

Pork & Egg Production Process

With the investigation into the detailed production process, I found the cause of crying from animal farms.

Cause of ScreamingCause of Screaming in Animal Farms

Research Question 2

How do people respond to these information?

Research 2
Experiment Design

Experiment Outcome

Research Question 3

Are people reluctant to these information? Why?

Research 3.1  Limited Information from the market

People have shown interest in the information.

People have shown interest in the information
However, the food industry had purposefully erased and obfuscate these information.

Purposeful Erasure of InformationMisleading Information

Research 3.2  Alternative Source of Information

3.2.1 Animal Right Activism

Activists’ approach is often agressive.

Viewers are often left shocked.

3.2.1 Factory Farming Documentaries

A documentary would be more popular and wide spreaded when factory farming content is more sanitized.

Many audience show difficultiies finishing these content.

3.2.3 Understanding why are viewers disturbed : A Communication Study

        Utilizing methods common in sociology and communication studies, I looked at the communication between activists and their audience closely and identify the reason to these reaction.

        The Constitutional model of communication understand the process of communication as more than a linear process, acknolwedge that both the and sender and the receiver contribute to teh making of meaning, while the physical and social context influence the process to a great extent.

        Now let’s look at how information are being delivered and interpreted between the activists and the pedestrians

        The communication between current source of information and their audiences is challenged due to many factors, the majority of which can be attributed to three kind of conflicts inherent to their conversation.
Conflict a. Right & Wrong
MacInnis, C.C. & Hodson, G. (2017)
        Meat eaters lash out at vegans because they feel that vegans, by not eating meat, “express moral disapproval of the omnivore’s meat-eating behaviour.”
        “Anti-vegan prejudice is not only stronger against vegans than vegetarians (who still consume some animal products), but also stronger against vegans who are vegan for ethical concerns about animal welfare rather than for health reasons, and stronger with increased levels of anticipated moral reproach”.
Conflict b. Old & New
Dhont & Hodson, (2014)
        Vegans disengage from this tradition of eating animals and advocate for an alternative lifestyle challenging the status quo, tradition adherents tend to perceive the rise of veganism as a threat.
Conflict c. Left & Right
Dhont, Kristof & Stoeber, Joachim. (2021).
        Compared to left-wing adherents, right-wing adherents express a stronger preference for strict intergroup hierarchy and social inequality, a construct known as ‘social dominance orientation’. People high in social dominance orientation believe that a functioning society requires that some groups deemed superior belong at the top (and possess the political and economic powers and resources) while other groups belong at the bottom and are deemed inferior.
        Social dominance orientation generalises to how people view and treat animals. Specifically, people high in social dominance orientation tend to feel authorised to exploit animals and eat animal products based on their belief in human superiority over animals, regardless of how they are produced.


There are many misunderstanding and noises in these communication that prevent the viewer to digest the information provided to them

Design Question

How might we remodel this communication in a more approachable?


Based on the analysis on the two communication models, the result of prioritizing and redesigning the communication model as below.

From the analysis above, I took out the   Desired Elements, and identify the three design objectives as below.

To reckon sympathy towards animals, I want to create a setting where animals’ well-being is paralelled to that of human. I thus look into how human discuss painful and tragic expriences. 


An interactive monument that create a contemplative and approachable environment for learning unsettling facts.

Using light as a symbol for visibility, I collected all of the lights used in the anmal production process and distributed them in a dark circular room, the shape of which captures the circular relationship between production and demand. In this room, Audiences are exposed all of the visible light that the physically confined animals in factory farms can see in their entire lifetime. All of the lights are only lit up when an audience walk underneath them, indicating that our conve nient action and decision had fed to the immense animal product industry.

Floor Plan

4 Stages

Audio collected from documentaries and undercover footage in all four parts of animal product industry will be played respectedly in the four sections of the room.


The exibition is consist of a dark circular room with four entrance and exit. Movementt of audience will activate and turn on the various lights on the top of the room.