My installation design proposal

From my previous field trip, it is quite evident that my CTT coursework is going to be about how environmental factors (water) affect the distribution (movement & survival) of sea animals (fish). 

It’s basically going to involve water and fish.


But first of all, what is an interactive A/V system?

An interactive audio/video system is a system that accepts data input and processes the information to provide an audio/video output. The sources can be physical (touch, voice, sound or vision) or digital (eg. API). The output can either be audio, video or audio-visual.


Before finalising my idea, I am being asked to generate questions and think of scenarios to ensure my idea/project fits the brief.

Questions like:

  1. Who are my users?
  2. Do they enjoy visiting the aquarium?
  3. Can an A/V system be used to depict how aquatic animals move and survive?
  4. Is the aquarium easy to locate?
  5. What will be the budget for this installation?
  6. How soon can it be built?

Luckily for me, my idea ticks all the boxes.


So what’s my idea again?

I want to design/build an interactive installation that shows how water currents affect the movement and survival of aquatic animals. It is targeted for kids of ages 5-10, and the specific context/location is the Bristol Aquarium.


So what does it do?

The system receives body/hand movements as data input, processes information, and then causes a disturbance in the water (ripples) which in turn will increase the speed at which the fishes are swimming around.

So as an output/display, the fishes will swim in different directions at an increased speed due to the water ripples.

The system will be designed in a way that it will be very easy for the kids to understand and interact with. The basic elements in the system will be:

1.      Water/Ripples

2.      Fishes


How will it be built?

While I don’t have a complete knowledge of how it will be built, the basic tools required for this system are:

1.      A computer (laptop/desktop/tablet)

2.      A video camera (webcam) or motion sensing device (Kinect)

3.      Projector

4.      OpenFrameworks (for creative coding)


Further evaluation:

After proper evaluation of the idea, I found out I had only one input data for my system, I did further research and found out fishes react to sound.

Some fishes run away from sounds, some run towards it, and some don’t bother.

Another idea came for my second data input; how about when the user claps or makes a particular sound, a ripple forms which also increases the speed of the fishes swim?


I will be dropping details about the production side of things later on.