I am Lalit, currently in my second semester of the Information and Interface Design (IID) course at NID, Bangalore.
Recently, we had the Industry Interface at our institute towards the end of semester one. A number of professionals from the industry were present in the campus over a period of two days. It was a wonderful opportunity for interactions and exchanging ideas between the institute and the industry.
Prior to the event, we decided to create an installation to be displayed for IID. After an initial exchange of ideas over mail, both the senior and the junior batch had a couple of meetings where we finalized the requirements for the installation.
The theme decided was ‘What makes up IID?’
People(the traits that define them, interests, social media) and the Coursework(workshop outputs, diploma projects,modules) were topics that we decided should be the criteria used when thinking about the installation.
The discussions had some wonderful ideas on how to realize the installation but due to both time constraints and feasibility, each of them was rejected for one reason or the other until we settled on the final one. Let’s call it ‘Our Network’.
The installation shows a network of all students and at idle state, random students are highlighted, but when a selection is made out of the five options/areas, students specifically interested in that topic/area get highlighted. Students were asked to give a minimum of two interest areas.
The areas decided were:
- Data Visualization
- Interaction Design
- Interface Design
- Information Architecture
- Usability Engineering
Having played with Arduino, motors, LEDs, and other electronics earlier, I started working on the electronics. A colleague took charge of data gathering and likewise another started working on the artwork.
Technically, each student is represented by a distinct numbered output pin of a serial to parallel converter chip. For each of the 5 options, we made a binary string of 1s and 0s to be pushed from an Arduino to the chip. Hence, as per the string pushed, corresponding LEDs placed underneath the students photograph would light up. In order to make the selections, we used LDRs [Light Dependent Resistors] as switches. The Arduino would sense the shadow of a finger placed on the LDR and activate a certain code, hence replacing a tactile switch. Due to lack of availability of desired components, we had to combine a number of alternative components available locally to produce the same results.
The entire structure was constructed overnight using millboard, sunboard, teacups and loads of superglue and fevicol. The millboard had circular holes such that they would align with the students’ photographs on the printed artwork.
Due to some unforeseen reasons, there was a delay and the installation was displayed only on day 2. But hey, we still grabbed a lot of attention!! \m/
So without further ado, here’s ‘Our Network‘ in action!