Expedited Diploma Manufacturing Services

Project Background

Expedited Diploma Manufacturing Services (EDMS) is the name of a fictional business that offers free, customizable diplomas to university students. It utilizes a computer, Arduinos, and Xbees relayed to a printer in a diploma "vending machine." This interactive computing art project creatively conveys a satirical message debating educational privatization and commoditization, in response to University of California's (UC) controversial tuition hikes in 2010.

This project took part in 2 courses at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), from March to December 2010: Electronic Technologies for Art and Senior Project in Computer Arts.

Disclaimer: This project is not intended to attack any school system or infringe upon any rights. We do not own any of the diplomas, logos, etc. that belong to UCSD.

Problem Statement

The pursuit of higher education has shifted from the genuine interest in learning (critical and analytical thinking, skill-building, and creative application) to the desire in attaining high-paying job positions from familiar brand-name degrees and universities. Students are paying increasingly larger sums of money simply for a certificate that identifies them as candidates for maximizing corporate profit. How can we redesign the standard four-year curriculum experience to make it financially affordable and conforming to these motives?

My Roles

  • Prototyping
  • Marketing
  • Graphic Design


  • Erika Marie Go
  • Tiffany Lee
  • Steven Yuan


  • Prototyping
  • Building
  • Arduino Programming
  • Marketing
  • Performance


Design Process


Through Illustrator, I produced a rough medium-fidelity prototype/blueprint to visualize the "vending machine" centerpiece.


We first purchased wooden boards and pieces from Home Depot, chopped them to the right sizes, and built the frame.


Overcoming a ton of challenges of functionality and debugging his code, teammate Steven Yuan programmed two Arduinos each with their Xbee shield add-ons to communicate with each other.


Mock Graduation Experience

Kiosk and Set-Up:

The kiosk is placed conspicuously on a student walkway so that interested passerbys can test it out. A curtained tent to obscure viewers from the EDMS team was added in a later round of performance.


On the kiosk's selection screen, the participant uses the keyboard for our custom-made Flash program. A laptop with the Flash program as well as two Arduinos/XBee required to send these details are hidden. The program wirelessly sends details about the input Name, College, Degree, and Major to another computer with Arduinos a distance away. One pair of Arduinos are needed to communicate with Flash; the other with XBee.


Teaser Video:


As part of the whole expedited graduation experience, I utilized UCSD's Triton logo to produce satirical marketing media.

Postcards: 4.25" x 8.5". Distributed to students to inform our project background and goals.


Posters: 11" x 17" (portrait), 17" x 11" (landscape)


Badges: To provide an identity for our ironic corporate business, I produced badges that utilized the Triton logo and visual elements from our other marketing collateral. As a mock Service Representative, each group member proudly donned these badges.