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

2021

CONTEXT

Taipei New Horizon Art Festival Competition, 2021 Summer (7 weeks)

TEAM

Wan-Chien Lin
Shih-Hsueh Wang

ROLES

Conceptual Design
Mechanism Research
Experiment Conducting
Technical Drawing
3D Modeling and Rendering
Game Design

TOOLS

Rhino
Vray for Rhino
AutoCAD
Photoshop
Illustrator
InDesign

OVERVIEW

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.


Playground view

 

 

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.

reservoir_.jpg

​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.

台灣少資源.png

People of Taiwan has a virtue of thriftiness because of the distinct topography that freshwater is limited.

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​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.

台灣時尚.png

​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.

cloud.png

Cloud Types

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A container filled with water in half

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Enclose it and increase the air pressure

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Pressure released in a flash

天空創意節實驗🧪_210728_1.jpg

Cloud is formed

天空創意節實驗🧪_210728_0.jpg

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 -

Schematic Drawing

​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 Axo.jpg

​Unit Design in Axonometric View

mechanism.jpg

Mechanism Clarification

Mechanism Detail

layout.jpg

Master Layout Plan

topview.jpg

Top View

plan.jpg

Plan

elevation.jpg

Elevation

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Lighting System

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Night view

 
 

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.

Game GUI-01.jpg

User Interface of the Game - In the Playing

Game GUI-02.jpg

User Interface of the Game - Pop-up window

Game Flow-01.png

Game Flow Diagram

Takeaways -

​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.