The shape of the Ars Electronica Center was the main source of inspiration.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Puzzle Facade transforms the Ars Electronica Center into a giant Rubik's cube, inviting passers-by to engage with an unique interactive experience that takes place in Linz, Austria. In Puzzle Facade the participant interacts with the specially designed interface-cube. This cube holds electronic components to keep track of rotation and orientation. This data is sent to a computer with a designed software that changes the color of the building in correlation to the handheld interface-cube.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The Puzzle Facade's interface, the interface-cube has no color stickers as a common Rubik's cube. Although it is bigger than a Rubik's cube, a lot of effort was placed on keeping a small size with the purpose that the participant could interact with it in the same way it would interact with a Rubik's cube. The participant, meanwhile interacting with the interface-cube, sees the visual feedback of this interaction on the media facade.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
It was a long and fragmented project, it is hard to say when was started. The project was finished in October 2013 and exhibited in the AEC building (Linz, Austria) on the 23th and 24th of October of 2013.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Understanding the mechanism of the Rubik's cube was the first step. The core of the Rubik's cube is really small. Without completely redesigning all its pieces, it would be impossible to place inside a microcontroller and the required electronic components. The pieces were 3D-printed with ABS plastic. I worked in all the aspects of the project: concept, design of the interface-cube, visual representation of the cube in the building, electronics and programming.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Inside the core of the cube there is a microcontroller (an Arduino Pro Mini), an IMU to detect the changes of orientation, six rotary encoders to detect the rotations of each one of the six sides of the cube, a LIPO battery, a Bluetooth modem and a voltage regulator.
A laptop was used to recieve the data of the sensors of the cube and control de lights of the Ars Electonica Center. The designed software that controls the lights was coded in openFrameworks.
Interaction, Cube, Public Space, Technological intervention, Architecture
Designing a small enough interface-cube for being used in averaged-size hands was a challenging task. A research about the availability of small-size version of the necessary electronic components was made. Because of the massive different of size between the core of common 3x3x3 Rubik's cube and the one needed for holding all the electronic components of the cube, the shape of all the pieces of the common Rubik's cube could not be used. All the pieces had to be redesigned.
Puzzle Facade makes use of a strong spatial connection between architecture (AEC building), the referred object (Rubik's cube) and the designed tangible interface (interface-cube) for designing an interactive experience that creates the illusion of transforming the architecture.
Puzzle Facade is a multi-disciplinary and challenging project that encompasses different disciplines: visual, product and interaction design and the use of new technologies.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Designer: Javier Lloret. Thesis advisors: Laurent Mignonneau, Christa Sommerer and Martin Kaltenbrunner. Collaborators and advisors: Gregor van Egdom, Peter Calicher, Nerea Garcia, Vicente Heras, Travis Kirton, Tijn Kooijmans, Bernardo Lloret, Jiskar Schmitz, Mr. Stock, Eric Toering, Jasper van Loenen. and
Video and photo documentation: Javier Lloret and Michaela Lakova