Client
Georgia Institute of Technology
Skills

Rapid Prototyping, Product Design, CAD Design, Fabrication, Video Editing

year
2021
Team

Dicrho

Prototype

Enabling tangible play through intangible modes of interaction.

Lessons Learned

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. 

Organic movement

We wanted to integrate an element of randomized, organic movement, so that results would be surprising and continuously engaging to viewers. 

Surface Projections

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. 

Interactive components

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. 

Setting Vision

Inspired by the works of artists such as Paul Myoda, Thomas Wilfred, and James Turrell, I researched artistic engineers whose works prioritize interactions between people, places, and light artifacts. The Dichro kit encourages users to play with artifacts and light sources to discover how interaction influences the surrounding environment.

Prototype Overview

Design Iteration Activities

Frame

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.

Empathize

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.

Ideate

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.

Define

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.