The main idea behind our concept is to create a resting where people working in the Hunt basement can take a break. We aimed to create a visual and sensory experience that makes users feel like they are in their own bubble. The fabric and lighting elements were purposefully chosen to create an engaging experience so that people could forgot about real life for a bit.
Physical Prototype :
Our prototype had 3 main elements: the curtain, the backrest, and the mechanical system.
For the curtain we intended for it to be sensory stimulating on the inside while being bland on the outside. We wanted the inside experience to seem mysterious to people on the outside. We carried out this intention by creating a multi layered piece. The outside layer was a solid black fabric intended to hide everything on the inside. The middle layer was a solid white fabric intended to make sure the black fabric was not visible on the inside while also acting as a background for the inner most layer. In between the black and white fabrics we installed light fixtures in order to illuminate the inside experience (the white fabric helped diffuse the light). The inside layer consisted of a silk fabric dyed and bound using a shibori technique to create a field of indigo flowers and lime green leaves that popped out of the curtain.
For the backrest we intended to create a cushion that was comfortable to lean against and also something that looked like you could lean against it. We based our design off of a typical pillow. On the back of the cushion we attached a pressure sensor that was activated when someone leaned against the cushion.
For the mechanical system we intended to create a system that could lower and raise the curtain. We first created a wooden frame over which we would drape the curtain in order to provide structure to the way the curtain hung. We went with a “U” like shape. We attached a rod to the wall and attached the curtain to the rod via string. We attached the rod to motors that were programmed to rotate when the pressure sensor was activated or deactivated. When someone leaned against the cushion, the rod would rotate to unravel the string and the opposite would happen when there was no one leaning.
Successes and Failures:
- able to create a beautiful fabric pattern on the curtain using shibori
- able to create a layered curtain where the inside and outside contrast
- able to create a mechanical system that ravels and unravels the curtain
- able to trigger the motion of the curtain by the act of “leaning”
- able to create an enclosed experience that takes people away from the physical location
- weren’t able to hide the curtain very well in idle state
- weren’t able to hide the shibori fabric in idle state from the inside
- white fabric was visible from the outside
- system was louder than expected