In the devices for discovery studio, we explored the concept of delight and discovery through the design of devices for children and adults. We planned to create a project that would bring the user wonder, curiosity, and imagination. For our project, we decided to create a spin off of a normal everyday object, which would make people pay more attention to everyday wonders, like a child would. Our product is The Friendly Flower, a flower that moves along with the movement of the user and opens its petals when the user faces the flower, to reveal stamen that light up. Many people, especially adults, don't have the excitement they used to and our device is aimed at bringing back that delight.
Our robot has motion sensors in the front that detect the movement of the user. When a person walks by, the metal stem joined to a servo motor rotates. Strings connected to each petal are attached to a separate servo motor. Simultaneously when the servo rotates the stem, another servo rotates releasing the grip on the strings allowing the flowers petals to open. servo motor which opens the petals of the flower. Underneath the petals, is fiber optic stamen with pink LED light.
While working on this project, we faced a few challenges. On the last day, our machine fell over while rotating due to instability at the base. Another obstacle we faced was difficulty with programming the sensors and servos. We ended up with a working model, but with more time to program, I think we could have really perfected the movement. Overall, I am very satisfied with the end results of our project.
When starting this project, we didn’t have a strong sense of what we wanted to complete. After our first iteration was unsuccessful, I was able to collaborate with my partner and create a blueprint of what we wanted our final product to be. We had many different iterations while designing this project. A lot of time was spent testing different styles and materials for the petals and stamen to find which combinations worked best. Once we found the correct design and material for each component of the project, we focused on assembling, programming, and 3d printing extra pieces we needed for the project.
The Butterfly Woman project is a wearable set of wings for Lydia Villa-Komaroff, a molecular biologist that works with under-represented groups of people supporting their efforts in the STEM fields. The wings are designed to incorporate her dedication to eradicating bias and stereotyping with her interest in Geiger Counters and butterflies. The wings serve as a detector of Implicit Bias and Stereotyping and flutter when this type of negativity is detected.
When the wings flutter they alert both the wearer and the exhibitor of the bias to of the situation and what specific type of stereotyping is occurring. Lydia often wishes that she was able to seek out any and all stereotyping and bias around her, even in the most subtle situation. This project allows Lydia to go about her business without diverting energy towards seeking out bias. It will alert her to any nearby bias so she can act immediately helping others grow and protect themselves from stereotyping and its harmful effects. The wings, two and a half feet tall, are mounted onto an exoskeleton that fits like a corset around the user's body. A user-activated motor attached to the back of the exoskeleton drives the fluttering motion of the wings.
The goal of designing this real-world superhero prop is to bring awareness to the subtle expression of modern-day racism through implicit bias. For example, when the most challenging jobs are given to male workers when the female workers are more qualified but are excluded due to their sex. On a daily basis, the project succeeds just by bringing smiles and positivity into Lydia's life and the lives of those around her. The structure and lighting elements were designed to be fun and interesting to observe. The wings are specifically designed to represent Lydia's personality. The material the wings are made out of is thick, symbolizing Lydia's resilience in the face of adversity. Underneath the thick material, colorful lights represent her fun and playful personality once people get to know her.
In this studio, we were challenged to make an art piece that kept people busy while they waited for the bus. The first solution we came up with, was making a pedal box under the bus stop seats, that would allow commuters to pedal and generate electricity. This could be used for charging electronics or powering a sign that tells you when the bus is coming. We later pivoted because this was kind of a solitary idea. Although it encouraged you to charge and use your phone, it wasn't really a form of art. So, we wanted to make something that was interactive, communal, and is a piece of art. We split up to come up with ideas, and we all decided on a large cylindrical music box that you could spin around a pole making music.
The Music Box is a project worked on in collaboration with the Karam school, located in Reyhanli, Turkey. The town is mainly occupied by Syrian refugees, who are creating a musical playground to give back to the community that welcomed them. The Music Box allows children to play and explore the creation of music. It has been shown that both play and music accelerate brain development in the language and sound processing centers of the brain. For many refugees, who are learning new languages, this could be very helpful. The music box is made up of two cylinders. The inner cylinder holds the comb, which is a series of flat steel pieces that get plucked by the pegs positioned in the outer cylinder when the kids spin it. The kids can ride on the pegs as it spins around. The design takes into account that there will be many different users with a range of ages, by including components that are fun and engaging for everyone, Such as the spinning aspect for the kids and the platform to sit for parents.