ASU Design Excellence Winner Fall 2018
an interactive art installation featured in Scottsdale Public Art's annual Canal Convergence event
WaterWorks is an educational micro-experience interaction that focuses on the concept of "working for water". The installation features an iconic water pump and an array of water bottles. By operating the pump, the water bottles symbolically "fill up" one by one as indicated by an illumination underneath each of the vessels. This interaction is intended to trigger users to think about how water is obtained and the need for conservation.
Designed and created by Cindy Kim & Ting-Yu Lin
Aug 2018 - Nov 2018
project goals + challenges
design and fabricate a fun interactive art installation using water + art + light
$300 budget / no power outlet / withstand 10 days of abuse in public
Site Plan Visit
Visited the Canal at Scottsdale Waterfront (Camelback & Scottsdale Rd) to observe the environment of where the event would take place.
Tonalea school visits
We had the opportunity to meet with Tonalea Middle School students to find ways of gaining insight and inspiration for our installations.
A Theme Develops
Our class began to develop a solidified theme of a "storm" which eventually led to the creation of "DROPS".
Ideation + Synthesizing
Explored various interactive concepts and started synthesizing the different parts of the design together.
Created prototypes to experiment the level of user-understanding of our concept executed into a tactile interaction.
Thought of ways to implement lights into our concept to further enhance the interaction and experience of visual representations.
A Pleasant Discovery
Upon researching ways to use lights, we discovered the magical illuminating effect of combining tonic water and UV light (blacklight).
Final Build Plan + Materials
Developed a build plan on how we were going to execute our final concept and what materials would be utilized.
Started buying materials that were locally available while ordering various tech parts via online sources.
The first cube was built out of 1/2" thick MDF boards.
The Triangle Corner
The triangle corner, which became an essential part of the Drops brand identity, was formed by cutting a corner of the MDF cube with a power saw.
The cast iron pump was bought online and spray painted. We had to drill the attachment points of the limit switch very precisely to secure efficient triggering of the lights.
The second cube was built out of 1/2" thick acrylic sheets.
Sudoku Inspired Boxes
The various heights of the box stands were formed by solving a 4x4 sudoku grid of the numbers 2/4/6/8 to represent the different height placements.
Implementing the UV Lights
To achieve the brightest illumination of the bottles, we ended up lathing 16 UV flashlight ends and soldering 32 magnet wires onto the positive/negative ends of each.
Through the use of Arduino boards, we were able to achieve the light effects to properly communicate the message of our interaction.
Creating Light Trigger Sequence
Because we only had one 8 channel relay module, we were limited to triggering two bottles to light up at a time in order to have all 16 bottles go through a full cycle.
Final Paint Finish + Assembly
After confirming the placement of the wires, it was time for final paint coats and assembly for wire connection.
Connecting 32 Wires
Labeled the positive and negative ends of each light connected to the boxes and poked 32 magnet wires through the central hole of the platform that directly flowed into cube i.
The Final Result
On November 6, 2018 the concept of WaterWorks was officially brought to life!!!
On November 7th 2018, we moved WaterWorks to the Scottsdale Canal ready for the public to interact with.
Charging the Batteries
Because there were no power outlets, WaterWorks was entirely battery powered therefore we had to nightly charge and set up the batteries for every day of the event.
Post Installation Maintenance
The public was aggressively curious with our installation hence daily maintenance was needed to survive the event. (the "BE GENTLE PLZ" stickers helped)
Watching users (especially kids) be so engaged and fascinated by WaterWorks was so rewarding and insightful!
cast iron pump
voss water bottles