Rapid Prototyping, Product Design, CAD Design, Fabrication, Video Editing
Enabling tangible play through intangible modes of interaction.
After gathering background research and conducting prototype testing sessions over 2 months, our team determined three characteristics that we felt would create an engaging immersive experience.
We wanted to integrate an element of randomized, organic movement, so that results would be surprising and continuously engaging to viewers.
We wanted our project to be atmospheric, so that the room itself is changed and so that observers can also feel that they are participating in the interaction.
We wanted our project to be interactive, rather than act as a static art piece, so that people could influence the presentation of light within the room and explore their impact on it.
Inspired by the works of artists such as Paul Myoda, Thomas Wilfred, and James Turrell, the origins of this project prioritize interactions between spaces, people, and light artifacts. This kit encourages users to play with artifacts and light sources in order to discover how their interactions influence the surrounding environment.
Design Iteration Activities
Clearly state the goal of the project.
Early on, water became foundational to our kit’s components for interaction. Our team discovered a direct and organic connection between the materials we were testing and the properties of water interacting with light. We experimented with different light sources, layering orders, and shape filters in low-fidelity prototypes to better understand the interaction of our materials and lights. Changing filters and the order that they were placed in also piqued the curiosity of our team and users.
Understand the primary user experience.
To evaluate relationships between our kit’s components (e.g. dichroic film, glass prisms, water, glass, flashlights), we put water into a glass bowl, and layered different reflective and refractive materials inside. We has users test different light sources, layering orders, and shape filters in low-fidelity prototypes to better understand the interaction of our kit’s materials and lights.
Generate a wide array of ideas.
We moved away from utilizing water in our new concept, so we no longer saw the need for a bowl-shaped structure. Our new concept was a prism-like structure made with acrylic, free-moving strings with suspended film squares, and interchangeable filters on the top and bottom of the structure.
Prioritize what to focus on and why.
The selected method of prototyping the acrylic sheets was laser cutting. It provided clean edge lines and dimensional accuracy while mitigating the potential breakage of the material. For sizing, a CAD Model is created to ensure the components fit. The CAD file is easily exportable into a laser cutter file with the geometries pre-defined. The structural frame is created as one continuous border for a cleaner look. Frames for the filters are individual edge pieces with jigsaw puzzle connections to maximize the amount of material used.
Deliverable & Design System
The unpredictability of light interacting with other components creates multiple phenomena, such as reflecting different colors to create a therapeutic atmosphere. By making a structure to add experimental guidance, it promotes endless hours of play for any user. Our prototype has numerous future applications for open play, installations, and explorations.