Erlend Meling.

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Erlend runes_edited_edited_edited_edited

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200,000+

visitors

10

days

11

exhibitions

Canal Convergence

Interactive Art Exhibit

Our public art piece for Canal Convergence was a set of glowing interactive chairs. The interaction is meant to remind people of watching storms; seeing the lightning strike and counting the seconds in anticipation of the thunder to rumble. This interaction is meant to make storms more playful.

Duration

8 weeks

Team

Erlend Meling

Henry Ripley

Collaboration

Industrial Design

Tonalea Middle School

Interior Architecture

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00

The Brief

Canal Convergence is an annual outdoors public art festival that celebrates water, light and community. Our challenge was to create an exhibition expressing these values, in collaboration with the Masters of Interior Architecture and students at the Tonalea Middle School.

01

The Theme

Our first step for this project was to come up with an overarching theme for the exhibit that would connect all the objects. We decided on a theme of the storm. 

 

 

Storms are very unique to Arizona as they do not come often, but when they do, it is a big event. Many kids go out to play in the rain or watch from the inside. However storms can also bring destruction. Nevertheless, it is a memorable event that brings people together.

02

Research

We were able to visit the Tonalea Middle School twice to engage with 150 middle school students about community, water and storms! 

"a storm brings the community  together, for better or for worse"

- Tonalea Middle School Student

We did many exercises with them to understand how they feel about storms. These included drawing exercises, group chats and simulated class storms just using objects found in the room. These stories gave us inspiration for interactions we could create. 

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03

The Story

Next we had to decide on a story to tell through our objects. It had to be informative, interactive and fun! We decided to tell the story of storm watching and being able to count the seconds from thunder to determine how far away the lightning strike was.

Several Tonalea students mentioned this activity and find it to be a fun way to pass the time during a storm. The suspenseful waiting and overwhelming feeling that this experience creates makes it very memorable.

Standby mode

During this mode, the chairs 'breathed' slowly in sync. This attracted a lot of people to our chairs and was often a photo or video opportunity for many.

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The Strike

Once the red button is pushed, the chair glows like a lighting strike. After a random time delay of 0.5-3 seconds, the thunder hits the other chair and a loud crash of sound and tactile force shakes the person sitting in it.

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04

Ideation

Our considerations while ideating where the attendees of the festival, the 'instagramability' of our interaction, and the durability.

05

Iteration

With a budget of only $300 and two weeks to make and install our chairs, we had to keep the design as simple as possible. We used IKEA chairs because they are cheap and durable.

We used blue foam models and cardboard to quickly iterate different designs

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06

When designing the chairs we tried to keep the building to a minimum, as time was of the essence. The building was therefore fairly simple. 

Building

Coded with Python

Polypropylene sheet

01

02

03

04

05

06

07

Final Design

400 WATT CAR AMP

for powerful sound and bass

IKEA PS VAGO CHAIR

for stability and safety

NYLON BOLTS

for durability

PLYWOOD BASE

with waterproof coating

9000 LUMEN LED STRIP

for brightness and strength

POLYPROPYLENE SHEET

for translucency

35 AMP HR CAR BATTERY

for long lasting power

08

We observed many of the users during the festival to see how they interacted with he objects. We learnt a lot and took notes on what to improve for the next iteration.

Testing

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This is our second iteration, with improvements based on our observations form the festival.

09

Prototype 2

These chairs are built to resemble mesas, large plateaus found in the Arizona desert. Sitting on top of the mesa makes the user feel like they are gods, controlling the storms below them. 

03

Bus Stop

City of Phoenix

2018.11.19

Bus Stop

City of Phoenix

2018.4.28

02

VOSA

Shave + Brush

VOSA

Shave + Brush

2019.4.15

ROUX

Hand Mixer

ROUX

Hand Mixer

01

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Erlend Meling