Junxue Shao Sherry



During the COVID-19 pandemic, people are practicing self-quarantine at home. With the regular social interactions reduced to online communications only, a lot of people are sinking in the virtual world on a day-to-day basis. Haptic communications are in urgent need to confirm their existence in reality.

Window, as a medium for exploring the outside world, is a symbol of hope in many literary and artworks. Even in the current stressful situation, the window still provides a way to deliver hope – people in NYC clap and yell together at 7 pm to cheer for the medical personnel. What if we can use the window as a medium to have physical communications? The transmission of messages can be reflected by attachments onto the window such as LED patches and speakers. The minor change in the physical environment will contribute to proving the telepresence of people. Because of the inherent setting of buildings in close proximity in metropolitans, the application of such communication will be helpful in building communal bonds.

Junxue Shao


Junxue Shao,

I am a designer, a creative technologist, and an artist. I have a background in Communication and Media Design in Tongji University, and I am currently pursuing my MFA at Parsons School of Design in NYC. I’m passionate about the intersection of design, technology, and artistic expression. I’m most excited by the future of food, accommodation, and social structure. I love creative coding and using technology as a method for exploring possibilities of the collaboration of human and nonhuman intelligence.



  • Sayaka Ogawa
    Cultural anthropologist
    Proffessor at Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences

    Sherry Shao’s Windows distinguishes itself from other entries exploring the world with/after COVID-19 pandemic by pursuing the possibility of physical/multimodal communications via a simple window.
    Here, a window, a simple glass object that separates two spaces is transformed to a symbol of hope under the COVID-19 quarantine. When you consider the fact that romance and aspiration have been assigned to windows in cultural history, as have been seen in romantic novels, comics and movies, you may say that Windows is a multimodal pandemic update of such.
    Yet, the thematic scope of this work goes well beyond the pandemic. Solidarity has been a global issue within the modern society for decades, which due mainly to urbanization and virtualization. In an urban society, it is not strange to not know the face of neighbors. In a virtual space, although the abundant presence of other avatars, people are apt to be disconnected. There are a great number of social recluses (Hikikomori) in the contemporary world who are aware of the necessity to reconstruct actual social bond, but do not know how to take a step toward the society. Windows may give a solution to such modern issues by its simplicity, creativity and amusement by enabling people to "be together while still being alone". It can provide relief to individuals and strengthen social bonds in the physical world.
    For above mentioned reason, the committee is proud to give the student award to Sherry Shao’s Windows which is a simple yet strong work of art responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet not limited to it.