Tea Party

Year: Fall 2017
My role: Creator, Unity Game Developer,
Installation Design & Setup

Tea Party is a pop-up window display that invites the public to help a baby doll in power spin her wheel of fortune, causing unexpected changes to a digital tea party world.

// Featured @ Broadway & 10th St from Nov 15th 2017 to Nov 19th 2017


Story

Pop Up Windows is a class taught at ITP each year. The class is about designing, building and exhibiting an interactive window display, based on this year's theme of reality augmented. My partners and I were interested in creating a window that was an ironic social commentary about our reality. We wanted to address the current state of control and its consequences in our society. We came up with the idea of having a large baby doll as the authoritative figure of our window world. She would be positioned above all, acting and exuding a god-like essence but also not knowing what to do with her absolute power. She would sit there amongst her toys waiting for someone to come help her make a decision on how she should "lead". Surrounding her would be toys that symbolize each decision she could take on the lives of her subjects. The setting of the window would be a tea party in a little girl's room in order to emphasize the naivety of the doll and the irony of her control. We wanted the screen in the room to be another window into the lives of her subjects who are having a peaceful tea party in a forest, awaiting their fate. We  juxtaposed the physical environment with the digital screen in order to give the room a sense of significance. Hence, the idea was to include the user into becoming someone of importance that is helping the doll in power make a decision on what to do with her subjects.  They would spin her arm and land on an object that would change the digital scene drastically. 

Tea Party gives the user more power in controlling the life of another person than society normally allows. The user is forced to face the consequences of their  decisions and the uncertainty of the outcomes that affect the lives of  innocent dolls enjoying a tea party.

Early Concept Drawing

Early Concept Drawing

The Schematics

The Schematics

How it works

1. User touches hand. The conductivity is sent through wires to a sensor

1. User touches hand. The conductivity is sent through wires to a sensor

4. User releases hand. Arm stops spinning. Position of arm is sent from the rotary encoder to the corresponding LED light to turn on

4. User releases hand. Arm stops spinning. Position of arm is sent from the rotary encoder to the corresponding LED light to turn on

2. Capacitive touch sensor reads signal coming in and sends it to the rotary encoder and servo

2. Capacitive touch sensor reads signal coming in and sends it to the rotary encoder and servo

5. Position of arm is also sent to the Unity tea party scene which changes based on the selected object

5. Position of arm is also sent to the Unity tea party scene which changes based on the selected object

3. Servo starts rotating the arm. Rotary encoder starts counting the angular position of the arm

3. Servo starts rotating the arm. Rotary encoder starts counting the angular position of the arm


We began our build phase by testing the hand's rotation with a cardboard prototype, servo motor, and rotary encoder. After successful testing, we went to several thrift stores in search for dolls, toys, curtains, wallpaper, etc. After finding sufficient decorations for our window, we began working on the wooden circle, and the stand that would support our doll in power. Once our doll was firmly standing up on her own, we attached the motor to her arm, the encoder to the circle and made sure everything was working properly just as our prototype did. After finishing up with the tech, we painted and sanded the circle, and started decorating the scene tentatively until our move-in day to the window.  During all this time, I was also working heavily on creating a Unity game.


Window Set Up Process

On our move-in day, we began by laying out material for our floor, stapling up the wallpaper and curtains, and then finally bringing in the drawer, screen, and the room's decorations. Our inspiration for the interior design was to make it look as homely as possible by adding in a lot of details such as magazines, blankets, paintings, etc. 


Play Tea Party Unity Game

This is the web version of the tea party Unity game. You simply press hot keys to activate the events that happened when users spun the doll's arm! 

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Tools

Arduino, Touch Sensor, Servo Motor, Rotary Encoder, Neopixels, Unity, OSC