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  • Going on the bus in Boston is not an exciting experience and waiting for the bus is even worse because you have to wait for long periods of time and there’s absolutely nothing to do.

    The Guest Book structure is an interactive sculpture that allows bus riders to express themseleves and helps make time appear to be going faster. 

    The Guest Book Structure is a place for people to come and write and express themselves. We believe that everyone has a story, but not necessarily a place to express how they are feeling so this is a perfect way for everyone at the bus stop  to collaborate on something that is also very personal.

    Two weeks ago our studio was given the challenge of creating an installations that would make waiting  for the bus a better experience. We had to find a project that could connect the people at the bus and also keep them entertained. We believe that the Guest Book Structure is a great way of doing that. People can come together and write how they are and when you step back you see the structure covered in messages.

    Our piece is not only a canvas for people to come and write on but is also a sculpture. The piece encompasses the pole, but also has certain pieces that have hinges allowing you to open and write more personal messages or read them.

     We knew from the beginning that we wanted to make some sort of guest book for people to come and write on, but we went through lots of different ideas before arriving at the final structure. We first started out with the poster holder idea because it would protect the messages from the elements and from being stolen, but we thought it looked literally like a book so we changed to our second idea which was the fortune teller structure. With the fortune teller structure we liked the movement of a fortune teller and the way it folded so we thought about making that the base of the structure. We liked with the fortune teller structure because there could be some hidden messages and you would have to work to find them. This piece, however, we quickly found out was not a possible project in the time frame that we were given and the number of hinges that we would’ve needed to use. After lots of brainstorming, we finally decided on the structure that encompassed the pole. We thought not only did it look really cool and artistic, but it also allowed the opportunity for hidden messages and an easy way for people to express themselves.

    Our biggest challenge was the amount of time we were given. We spent a lot of time brainstorming and coming up with new ideas. We could have been more successful if we had arrived at our final structure sooner, allowing us to make small changes and finish fully the final project. We had a hard time figuring out the best way to put the whole project together using hinges and other materials.

     

  • Everyday, people who take the bus sit and wait for their promised transportation to arrive.  There are no accommodations at the bus stops that make waiting more interesting.  We have solved this problem by creating a simple game console-type device.  This device attaches to a sign post, and allows the individuals waiting to have fun.  The games were designed to be compact and easy to learn.  This new entertainment will greatly improve the experience of the common day bus-taker and, hopefully, help convince more people to take the bus.

        At the beginning of our project, we set out to create a few addictive games that would occupy people waiting for the bus.  When we visited a bus stop, we did not see anything that filled that need.  We solved this issue by creating games that are engaging, addictive, and could even bring out a person’s competitive side.  Our console has two games: Memory and The Button Game.  Memory is a game where the person is shown a pattern of lights, and the person then has to recreate the pattern by pressing the buttons that correspond to the color.  Every round, another color is added to the sequence.  The point of the game is to follow the pattern for as long as you can; when you press a button that was not in the pattern, you lose.  The Button Game is also very easy to learn.  The goal of this game is to tap the button as many times as you can within a thirty-second time period.  After thirty seconds is over, your score appears on the screen.  Our original plan for both of these games was to have a synchronized scoreboard and to install consoles across the city, at different bus stops.  In this way, people would compete to have the best bus stop score.  The scoreboard would show the stop where the highest score was achieved.  This would make it a fun competition.  We originally intended the games to synchronize with the bus timing; for example, the button game would start thirty seconds before the bus came.  We did not have enough time for this, though.   The gaming console has a simple design.  It is as small as possible, but is still able to incorporate a screen and four buttons.  This means that it does not take up a lot of room on the sidewalk, and people will easily be able to play the games without being worried about blocking pedestrian traffic.  In our development process, we first brainstormed fun games and then went on to prototyping.  We went through a few different iterations for both the button box, screen, and actual buttons before finding the best ones.  We faced many technical and design challenges over the course of this build.  Our biggest problem was time; we did not have enough time to program or design all of the things we originally wanted.  Although we would make improvements if we could continue beyond these two weeks, we now we have a working prototype that could go out on the street.

  • We were tasked with creating something for the bus stop that would make it a more enjoyable experience. Additionally, we decided to focus on fitness. Our project, Racing the Bus, provides a fun, competitive and active solution to the boredom and sedentary nature to the bus stop. Racing the bus is a rowing machine that moves your bus icon around the bus route. The faster you row, the quicker your bus travels.

    Our reason for creating this project was to combine our love of fitness with our love of bus stops. How our project works is that when the rower rows, it moves a pulley attached to another pulley with a gear mounted. This gear is in succession with another gear with the map etched into it. This entire project took a great deal of time to make. We were originally going to have a literal representation of the map on the display, but that would require electronics and our current design is purely mechanical.

    We ran into a few issues when we were trying to make the gear system. I originally was going to have a series of gears that were gradually bigger. I had difficulties fitting all of the gears in such a limited space, but we realized that we only needed two gears, a small one and the gear that would have the map.


  • Today, we tried to start finishing the project.  We have most things done, but still need to do a lot of work.  We have not cut anything in wood yet.  I think that it will be best if we put all of our components in one cut, so it is done at the same time.  We need to cut out the button box, supports, and screen holder in wood.  Assembling them should not be too hard if we got the measurements correct.  Today, I worked on a lot of different things.  I started making the screen holder, but Louie is going to finish that.  I also started to write the process post.  I got a decent amount of that done, before I found out that we were not presenting tomorrow.  I then switched my attention to the button box.  While checking if all of the notches lined up, I discovered that they did not.  I spent the rest of the day trying to fix the alignment, with help from my coaches.  

  • Everyday, people who take the bus sit and wait for their promised transportation to arrive.  There are no accommodations at the bus stops that make waiting more interesting.  We have solved this problem by creating a simple game console-type device.  This device attaches to a sign post, and allows the individuals waiting to have fun.  The games were designed to be compact and easy to learn.  This new entertainment will greatly improve the experience of the common day bus-taker and, hopefully, help convince more people to take the bus.

        At the beginning of our project, we set out to create a few addictive games that would occupy people waiting for the bus.  When we visited a bus stop, we did not see anything that filled that need.  We solved this issue by creating games that are engaging, addictive, and could even bring out a person’s competitive side.  Our console has two games: Memory and The Button Game.  Memory is a game where the person is shown a pattern of lights, and the person then has to recreate the pattern by pressing the buttons that correspond to the color.  Every round, another color is added to the sequence.  The point of the game is to follow the pattern for as long as you can; when you press a button that was not in the pattern, you lose.  The Button Game is also very easy to learn.  The goal of this game is to tap the button as many times as you can within a thirty-second time period.  After thirty seconds is over, your score appears on the screen.  Our original plan for both of these games was to have a synchronized scoreboard and to install consoles across the city, at different bus stops.  In this way, people would compete to have the best bus stop score.  The scoreboard would show the stop where the highest score was achieved.  This would make it a fun competition.  We originally intended the games to synchronize with the bus timing; for example, the button game would start thirty seconds before the bus came.  We did not have enough time for this, though.   The gaming console has a simple design.  It is as small as possible, but is still able to incorporate a screen and four buttons.  This means that it does not take up a lot of room on the sidewalk, and people will easily be able to play the games without being worried about blocking pedestrian traffic.  In our development process, we first brainstormed fun games and then went on to prototyping.  We went through a few different iterations for both the button box, screen, and actual buttons before finding the best ones.  We faced many technical and design challenges over the course of this build.  Our biggest problem was time; we did not have enough time to program or design all of the things we originally wanted.  Although we would make improvements if we could continue beyond these two weeks, we now we have a working prototype that could go out on the street.

    Our first step was to figure out what games we wanted to have in the system.  We started out with just the Button Game, but quickly incorporated the Memory Game, and a “Whackamole”-type game.  We quickly realized that we did not have enough time for the whackamole game, though, so we decided to focus on the first two games.  After that, we started designing the first iteration of our button box and supports.  We 3D-modeled what we had in mind for the button box.  It was unique in shape, which we thought would attract people.  The buttons were evenly spaced so the user can comfortably push them with two hands.  We also knew that we would only need four buttons, and that they could be used for both games.  Next, we built supports to attach the system to the sign post.  The supports utilized the pre-existing holes on the post.  We thought that we would attach the button box to the supports using either screws or nails.  We also quickly modeled a button and had it 3D-printed.  With our first button, we did not think about mounting, we were just focusing on the actual button design.

    In our next iteration, we changed the supports, the box, and the buttons.  For the supports, we added notches that corresponded to holes we made in our button box.  This way, the bond would be a lot more secure.  We also changed some dimensions on the supports.  We made one of them wider, so that it would still be stable even though most of it was not directly against the post.  Since one side of the post is open, we had to bridge the gap to make it sturdy.  After some feedback, we also redesigned the button box.  We realized that the original design had a lot of “pointy” edges that were not worth the risk.  It also stuck out more that four inches on both sides of the post; which is not allowed.  Therefore, we made the box more compact and flat.  The box no longer has pointed edges, and the buttons are closer together.  We also redesigned the button.  We made a casing around the entire button that would serve dual purposes:  it would support the visible portion of the button and also house all of our electronics and springs.  The casing fits over the hole in the case and holds the button in place.  We made slots for an electronic button so that when the visible portion was pushed down, it would hit the real button and record the data.  We also left space for springs so the button would go back to its original position.  A hole was cut in the button to allow for an LED.  The screen mounting was also added around this time.  We had talked a lot about different screens, but finally decided on an LED dot matrix.  We attached it using the same type of supports that we used for the button box.  We made a backing for the screen, and we were able to mount it on the post.

    In our third iteration, we made several subtle, but necessary, changes.  With the button box, we made notches on the side to improve its stability.  The spacing between the buttons was changed, to allow our new buttons to fit.  We also decided to fully encase the screen; to do this, we made a box around it with a clear acrylic piece that fit over the LEDs.  The actual buttons were tweaked a little, too.  We cut out the top so we could put a piece of acrylic over it, so that people could see the LED.  We also made the frame around the button a little smaller, and made a bigger slot for the electronic button.

    In our final iteration, we made a very small, but useful change.  We put the button box on an angle, so that it would be more comfortable for the user.  This required us to angle the supports.  Although we acknowledge that we were not able to complete all of our original design goal, we believe that our finished product will be a great addition bus stops around the city.

     

  •     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.

     

  •     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.

        Because our initial idea was a pedal generator, we did some research about them, and how they work. We wanted to incorporate the mechanical aspect of a pedal into our music box. This seemed very complicated at first, because we thought about designing a gear ratio to limit the speed you could spin it. If we used a crank as well, there’d be more rhythmic consistency. But we were challenged to make the design different than a usual one. Rosie and Nathan suggested that we try a spinning mechanism without the gears and handle. This presented a new set of challenges that we worked towards overcoming. Based on our research, this would be one of a kind. We couldn’t find anything that was an inside out music box. Because our project is so unique, it has benefits and drawbacks. It is great because it means we are being original and creative. One drawback is that due to the lack of similar projects, we had to come up with every single detail ourselves, or using regular music boxes. Since there are plenty of regular music boxes out there, research on basic principles wasn't very time consuming. The real amount of work went in to figuring out how we'd take what we learn from these DIY music boxes, and make them our own, all while flipping the music box part inside out. Some other research we did was another quick bit of research that gave a lot in terms of results. We looked in to tuning and how to use rhythms so that our song would sound recognizable and also would be a little different. Ethan did a great job arranging the song, he even made it into a duet.

       Our first idea was to have a few bicycles at the bus stop that would be connected to a generator. The generator could then power something fun like a game or something useful like heated blankets or a fan. But after days of brainstorming, we found out that our idea didn’t fit in to the purpose of the studio. So, we scratched that idea to try to find something more fun. The first thing we did was to separate and just generate ideas. After generating two or three, we would get together and discuss our ideas. During this process, we noticed that most of our ideas were about music. Out of those ideas, the most plausible concept was a music box. We thought, with a music box, we could build multiple music boxes that could be mounted to the bus post. To make the music boxes more user immersive we designed one that could have interchangeable pegs so that the user could create their own songs. Also we could have multiples at a bus stop that are all tuned to the same key so that people could play together. We came up with two ideas of how to mount the music box to the bus pole. Our first idea was to have a regular music box mounted sideways on the pole. Our second idea was to have an inverted music box that fit over the pole. What this means is that the keys would be on the inside of the wheel. We decided to go with the second idea because if incorporated the post more so than the other one.

       Our first iteration was a really basic design just to test out the materials. We made the wheel out of cardboard and wooden pegs. We made the keys out of wood. The wooden pegs did work but the cardboard was too soft to keep the pegs in. The wood worked fairly well for the keys, but they were to stiff and would not be able to bend and vibrate as much as we would need it to be.  In the second iteration we tested different materials. We tried spring steel this time for the keys. The steel was louder than the wood because it was able to vibrate more. Because the steel was separated from the wood that held it in place, we were able to tune the keys to a C major scale. We then tried  to use wood for the wheel because it was sturdier and was readily accessible. Before we started building we ran into a problem. The wheel on a music box had to be a perfect circle and it would take a very long time to even get close to that. So we chose to create a multi sided wheel instead. For this model we wanted to have the music box play “Wheels on the Bus”, So we needed 72 sides to the wheel. We still wanted to show that this could be interchangeable so we put eight holes in each of the sides. On our final iteration, we kept the spring steel keys but we added a resonation chamber on the bottom to allow the sound to become louder. We made the wheel entirely out of wood, but we only cut the holes we needed to play the song “Wheels on the Bus” to save time in the laser cutter. We had also covered the wood pegs in felt to dampen the unwanted noise. On this model we added more of the more technical pieces to make this model work. one of the most essential part of this design was to create something that would allow the wheel to rotate around the pole. We first wanted to 3D print skateboard ball bearings because those bearings are mostly silent, provide little resistance and were already able to do what we needed it to do. But because we needed the bearings to be so large, we were not able to 3D print them. We were then forced to come up with other ideas. The ideas we came up with had less moving parts and were plausible to be able to build. On the top we created an acrylic slider that would attach to the pole and sandwich between two other pieces of acrylic that would be attached to the wheel. This would provide little resistance and easier fabrication. On the bottom we put singular ball bearings that would roll on top of a stationary plate that the wheel would sit on. The plate and bearings were designed to bear the load of the wheel.

        Our project is put together in a seventy-two sided box. The reason it needs all of these sides, is because we need each side to either have a note, or have a rest. The way that the music box is plucked is pegs that were glued into carefully mapped out holes on our sides. The music box itself has two components, the first being a part based on a thumb piano with the tongs that are hit, and the resonation chamber. The thumb piano part required a lot of thought early on in our project. We had to put each tong and make sure that it was tuned correctly on a C major scale. This was challenging for the first tong, but after that, it became easier. For the first one, we had to calibrate its angle and length for it to play a low C. Once this was done, the rest was relatively easy. We were able to build off of this first one, each being pushed in a little further than the last. The resonation chamber was manufactured using a box making website, as well as a hole in one side. The next two parts are the sliders on the top and the ball bearings on the bottom. The ball bearings were pretty simple to attach, however they required precise measurement to find out where we should attach them. The sliders on top were prototyped 3 or 4 times before we cut them out of acrylic. There are three parts to these, the top and bottom pieces which are screwed together, and the middle piece which spins freely in the center. We also made two mounting brackets that were 3D printed three times, the first time, the printer ran out of plastic. The second time, the width measurement was off by less than one millimeter, but we couldn’t fix it unless we re-printed it. These mount to the secure acrylic pieces and to the bus pole. The box with the tongs and resonation chamber is fixed to the pole in the middle of all of this.

        The music box is spun around the pole which strikes the tongs in the middle, and resonating through the music box. Although we didn’t have enough time to finish our prototype, we know that if we were given more time, we would have a working one. Another way we were thinking of rotating the box was with a crank. But we were challenged to make one without a crank. This is how most music boxes function, so we were going to be totally original.

        This music box is a solution to the problem that many people who take the bus daily have. They are more than likely always on their phone, computer, tablet, or reading a book. We were challenged to make an art piece that is interactive and brings people together. We did this by making a music box that is extremely unique. Ours is not only spun without a crank, or a motor, but it is flipped completely inside out! During our research, we didn’t find anything like this out there. We spent a lot of time brainstorming, which meant more fleshed out ideas, but it also lead to less time to build. this wasn’t a huge deal because we are at a point now where we can demonstrate our idea with confidence that it would work if we had a few more days time.

     

  • Going on the bus in Boston is not an exciting experience and waiting for the bus is even worse because you have to wait for long periods of time and there’s absolutely nothing to do.

    The Guest Book structure is an interactive sculpture that allows bus riders to express themseleves and helps make time appear to be going faster. 

    The Guest Book Structure is a place for people to come and write and express themselves. We believe that everyone has a story, but not necessarily a place to express how they are feeling so this is a perfect way for everyone at the bus stop  to collaborate on something that is also very personal.

    Two weeks ago our studio was given the challenge of creating an installations that would make waiting  for the bus a better experience. We had to find a project that could connect the people at the bus and also keep them entertained. We believe that the Guest Book Structure is a great way of doing that. People can come together and write how they are and when you step back you see the structure covered in messages.

    Our piece is not only a canvas for people to come and write on but is also a sculpture. The piece encompasses the pole, but also has certain pieces that have hinges allowing you to open and write more personal messages or read them.

    We knew from the beginning that we wanted to make some sort of guest book for people to come and write on, but we went through lots of different ideas before arriving at the final structure. We first started out with the poster holder idea because it would protect the messages from the elements and from being stolen, but we thought it looked literally like a book so we changed to our second idea which was the fortune teller structure. With the fortune teller structure we liked the movement of a fortune teller and the way it folded so we thought about making that the base of the structure. We liked with the fortune teller structure because there could be some hidden messages and you would have to work to find them. This piece, however, we quickly found out was not a possible project in the time frame that we were given and the number of hinges that we would’ve needed to use. After lots of brainstorming, we finally decided on the structure that encompassed the pole. We thought not only did it look really cool and artistic, but it also allowed the opportunity for hidden messages and an easy way for people to express themselves.

    Our biggest challenge was the amount of time we were given. We spent a lot of time brainstorming and coming up with new ideas. We could have been more successful if we had arrived at our final structure sooner, allowing us to make small changes and finish fully the final project. We had a hard time figuring out the best way to put the whole project together using hinges and other materials.
     

    Iterations :

    Our first iteration to the project was changing the sizing of the cardboard triangles because it made the pieces easier to fold and hold better. When all the pieces lined up it resembled a fortune teller a lot more and gave you many places to write. We also made the hinges out of a stretchy string so that the pieces could face in many different directions. Using the stretchy string made the pieces sort of separate but also connected very similar to the messages that would be written on the piece. We cut out a hole in the middle of the structure as well to make room for the pole so that it could easily be placed on it. We felt that the hinges would be too difficult to place and would take away from the messages that people would be writing so we decided to scrap that idea.

    Our second iteration was coming up with a new structure completely, but keeping the same idea mostly. With this version triangles would be attached to the pole that would allow you to fold out and in. This kept the same hidden messages idea, but we didn’t like the look of it as much. We felt that it looked too simple and wouldn’t really attract people's attention so we decided to go back to the drawing board.

    Our third iteration was a combination of the past two ideas and putting them together. With this structure, there was the pieces that would fold out, but in this case it made little message flowers, but also messages that you could move around using the hinges. We didn’t like this idea as much as we thought we would because it ended up looking like we just tacked some things to the pole.

    Our fourth iteration was our favorite idea that we had come up with since the fortune teller. This structure had more of an artistic piece and we liked how it made it look more like a sculpture. This idea had numerous layers that would cover up each other so to read other messages you would need to fold upward other ones. However, we felt that this was a bit cluttered looking so we went back to brainstorming.

    Our fifth iteration kept the idea, mostly, but made the piece a little more spread out and easier to read. We had triangles that stuck out from the pole that you could write on the outside or open up and write on the inside. We liked the idea of the triangles circling the whole of the pole and started calling this idea pole jewelry.  

    Our sixth iteration was keeping the pole jewelry idea, but making all the pieces connect. It was like one long 3D object that circled the pole and looked really cool. It also gave many people the chance to write at one time and made it seem more collaborative.

    Our final iteration was the structure that encompassed the whole of the pole. It kept the traits of the last structure, making it 3D and being “pole jewelry”, but also went back to one of our beginning ideas having the hinges and certain places to write private messages. This way also gave people a lot more space to write and could be viewed from all angles.


     

     

     

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