Practically Impractical

In this experiment I wanted to take the idea of tangibly visualized water and build an interface for it. My first thought was to use the same balloons as a real-time indication of water to be drawn from a faucet. Water would be drawn in specific quantities as indicated by an inflating balloon. Gesture is used to operate the device, a raising of the hand both alerts the device to your presence as well as controls the rate of inflation. An embodied interaction that allows for a learned quantification of water in small amounts.

The interface is silly, totally ridiculous. The balloon puffs and wheezes, water pours with belch-like abruptness. The interface is not perfect, error comes in the form of overflowing cups and random squirts. A serious exploration now takes a turn to the absurd. A tension has come to light: The practical considerations of water use made tangible through a device that is absurdly comedic.

Personal Quantities

Initial explorations into the quantities of water used during daily activities. This simple study tries to make tangible the amount of water we pull from a faucet. I started by filling the balloons with measured quantities of water, then filled balloons with air to match in size. Surprisingly, the volumetric quantity of water was not what I expected. A liter seems much smaller when contained in a balloon. I repeated the process three times to make sure I was not making a mistake. I wonder if it is possible to develop a means to quantify water in small amounts, to come up with a unit of measure that specific to the feel and flow of water.