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Family Treaty

Globally the concept of privacy has gained vital importance, both morally and legally. However, in China, people’s perception of privacy is rather vague. Inside a family, this usually leads to arguments between parents and children, particularly those adolescents who have been going through a crucial psychological transformation. Some parents try to seek the ‘secrets’, but without a proper way, contradiction may occur inside the families.
Family Treaty is a solution for many families, the parents of who want to communicate better with their children but don’t know how. It provides a new way of knocking on the doors, which is more interesting, and more importantly, more gentle. It changes the role of the door from ‘obstacle’ to ‘bridge’. The facility is embedded into the doors, but the impacts should have extended from the physical doors to the mind-doors.






Intelligent Hardware

Expertise Areas



It’s a polite manner that shows respect to privacy to knock on the door before coming in in China, but it’s generally considered formal. Based on the traditional family concept, there’s no secret between family members, therefore
privacy is somehow just a nominal word.


Children may not want to hide everything: they just want more respect from parents, and the freedom to choose what to hide and what to show.

Similarly, parents may not want to know everything about children; they may not hate knocking on the door, they just get annoyed by the closed(locked) door, as they see it as a symbol of rebellion.

Insight & Design

Since knocking is a behavior with patterns of time, namely rhythm, it is possible to integrate the musicality of the knocking behavior with the current existing form of doors. The rhythm of knocking presents manners, and possibly the identity of the knocker.

The normal door handles can be preserved, while another trigger can be added to respond to the knocking behavior.


We made a low-fi prototype based on this idea. We made use of the basic Arduino toolkit, as well as various sensors, such as the distance sensor (used during components test) and vibration sensor (for the final prototype).

Final assembling was done with a ‘shrink’ door model. Besides the electromagnet that was used to
present the main function, another one, together with the buttons, was used to substitute the mechanical door lock. The cipher (knocking rhythm) of the door can be modified with a remote controller.


Due to the limited time for this assignment, we did not carry out solid research on this. The main competence areas used in the project were technology & realization (circuit design and coding) and math, data & computing (algorithm design).

The outcome of the project is basically a prototype of technological implementation. The prototype can be visually improved, for example, assembling the circuit inside a box with nice-looking that presents mediating and even enjoyable information.

This is a sophomore project. The design research process needs to be more detailed and penetrating.

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