Interactive Community

This project was a joint effort between Interior Architecture and Industrial Design students in collaboration with Scottsdale Arts, and Tonalea primary school to design and built interactive installations for the Canal Convergence public art event.

For 10 days over 200 thousand people visited and played with these projects. The students created over 20 interactive installations for visitors to interact with and learn on the theme of ‘impact of water on community’.

This was a unique educational experience for the industrial design students. They got to play with electronics and simple interactions. For the first time they had to put their project into the wild and let people play with them. The students got to see the raw reactions of people as they interacted with their project. Additionally, so many lessons were learned about construction for durability and safety. Many hearts were broken when students arrived the next day to see their project destroyed.

Despite all the challenges this project presented I would love to do it again to provide this unique learning experience to another group of students.

180 local primary school students were involved as inspiration for the project. We visited their school to learn about what community means to them through interactive co-creation games. They also visited ASU campus to see what it like to go to college. Our intention was to help lower the barriers of entry, making it psychologically easier to want to go to college.

Experience prototypes were a large component of this studio to help the students determine the correct inputs and responses for their designed interactions. Many of students learned basic programming or solicited the help of engineering students to help them figure out some of the details.

All involved participated in collaborative site planning to determine project location and traffic flow. This project required an incredible amount of negotiation and team work to determine the most ideal experience for the people attending the event.

On one of the busiest nights of the Canal Convergence event, we gathered several folks from industry to provide critical feedback on each project. Mike Rios from Two Bit Circus. James Hill from Neudesic. JD Winters from JPro Studios. They discussed in detail the interactions, story, craft, construction, materials, and lessons learned.

The students wrapped this project up by spending two weeks documenting their process and overall experience creating portfolio pieces and process books as a means of reflection.