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2021 TAIPEI NEW HORIZON ART FESTIVAL - BEST IDEA AWARD
An interactive installation inviting people to generate clouds with a playful mechanism
The Island of Rain
Taipei New Horizon Art Festival Competition, 2021 Summer (7 weeks)
3D Modeling and Rendering
Vray for Rhino
2021 Taipei New Horizon Art Festival invited artists, designers, or anyone with novel ideas to propose installations, multimedia, performances, etc., based on the theme - Restart. Our team focused on the environmental issues, especially the water shortage that happened in Taiwan in the summer, 2021, and encouraged visitors to engage in the interactive installation with not only fun but educational feedback.
Design Objectives -
Fun, Accessible, and Instagrammable
Prompted by reflection on the water shortage in Taiwan by the time during the transition between spring and summer in 2021, we intended to encourage the public to think about making changes in our lifestyle given rise to the threat caused by the extreme climate and diseases.
To achieve our goal, the design has to be fun, accessible, and instagrammable at first to fascinate cross-generations and multi-person to participate. By aiding the principle of physics that could be achieved through a doable mechanism, people could enjoy the interactive installation and learn the message from the planet through their play.
Problem Statement -
How might a temporary installation raise people's awareness toward extreme climate through enjoyable and educational interactions?
Design Process -
1. Exploratory Research
In 2021, the rain season was neither punctual nor sufficient in rainfall for the water storage due to the La Niña phenomenon. Since April, the restriction on water use was initiated that made a great impact on more than million households. This was the most severe drought since past a hundred year in the rainy island.
Most reservoirs' storages were less than 30% of their capacity, some were even less than 1%.
Precipitation, dampness, humidity - we islanders should restart paying attention to these weather factors, which have been playing critical roles in bringing us a normal life.
People of Taiwan has a virtue of thriftiness because of the distinct topography that freshwater is limited.
The street in Taiwan is vibrant and the neighbors are hospitable because the arcades and canopies, which to avoid rainfall, form as a shared space for people to gather.
For convenience's sake, Taiwanese people tend to wear raincoats and waterproof flip-flops on top of suit when riding motor scooters on the way to office.
2. Conducting Experiment
How long haven't you looked up at the sky? There is no same shape of clouds every second. Therefore, we wanted to document the transformation of this mercurial but ubiquitous element - Water - a gift from the earth that bred all the creatures.
A container filled with water in half
Enclose it and increase the air pressure
Pressure released in a flash
Cloud is formed
Cloud gradually faded away
Thanks to technology nowadays, human beings are capable of creating almost anything that is similar to what mother nature does. However, it takes tons of resources and energy that are multiple times than natural formation needs to mimic the environment that only lasts an ephemeral moment.
We might ask:
Should human beings ever compete with nature? Or should human beings recognize we are part of nature?
Design Proposal -
According to the experiment, we realized that generating water vapor by means of adding air pressure was over energy-consuming, and it could be unsafe for actual implementation. Hence, we simplified the process and made the result as fog, formed by dense and fine drops instead of a vapor state of water.
Unit Design in Axonometric View
Master Layout Plan
Online Exhibition Proposal
Online Exhibition Proposal -
Interactive Browser Game
In case of the gathering restriction due to Covid-19, we also proposed a backup plan for the online exhibition, an interactive browser game. Users manipulate the seesaw by mouse, keyboard, or touchpad to maintain the balance so that the ball won't roll down. During the balance state, it accumulates the air pressure until it reaches the goal to generate clouds. Meanwhile, a window pops up, showing an abnormal situation of the global environment caused by extreme climate in the recent year.
User Interface of the Game - In the Playing
User Interface of the Game - Pop-up window
Game Flow Diagram
Feasibility, and Evaluation of Implementation
We are glad that we were granted the Best Idea Award, which positively approved our creativity. Yet, we profoundly recognized the weakness of this proposal, the feasibility. For example, how to deal with the drainage in the plaza and how to ensure the water drops could be squeezed out in the amount we imagined through human forces. Although we had carried out an experiment based on scientific theory to see the positive result, it's still unknown whether the mechanism would work successfully when the device is constructed on a real scale.
In order to improve this, we might look for engineers and others with technical backgrounds to work with when we have an idea concerning mechanics and digital engineering. We believe collaboration can make design projects more diverse, innovative, and feasible.
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