Pump Actuation

Realizing the need to more accurately control the flow of water I built a peristaltic pump. Widely used in the field of medicine, this type of pump allows any type of fluid to be moved through a pliable tube. I am interested in using water as a display, this will allow me to have a kind of platform from which to work.

Arcs of Interaction


In an effort to analyze the work I have done over the past year and a half, I decided to break down my projects into the smallest components possible. The idea was to create an audit of all the interactions I have built, and the bits and pieces of componentry that make them up. This is by no means an open ended exercise meant to categorize all potential interactive elements, but a way to organize the work I have done in order to drive more projects and experimentation in the future.

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Project Elements

Simplified Categories

Rather than EFFECTS, each element is now the product of what I call an emotifier and a Cognity. An emotifier is the emotional quality the element is attempting to project. A Cognity is how the user understands and conceptualizes this element.

Irrigation Controller

A simple concept for a garden irrigation system that monitors soil moisture and reports data to a central server. The sensors are solar powered, and only report data when in full sunlight. The sensors are “asleep” until activated by the sun. Activation makes for a lively sensor that reports often. I would like to exploit this narrative element to create a tangible interface through which a user controls his/her irrigation. Typically, this control is given to a timer that automates the process, removing any potential for a participatory experience. The system is unseen, and ultimately forgotten about so long as it invisibly performs its task. What happens if this task becomes an enjoyable experience requiring the user’s attention? The design challenge is to create a tangible interface which promotes this type of long term, mindful, interaction. What would this interface look like? What behaviors might it exhibit? How does narrative play a role in designing both the system and the interface?

Creating such interfaces is the basis for this thesis.