How can we design a pop-up window installation that addresses themes of time?
Roles: Experience Design, Fabrication, Development
Memento Mori, Ne Oblivisci Vivere was made in collaboration with Jordan Frand, Olivia Cueva, and Yue Hu. It was shown at the Skirball Center in October 2016, as part of Gabe Barcia-Colombo's Pop-Up Window Displays course. Designed to evoke the cycles of life and death, the windows were equipped with capacitive touch sensors that triggered physical and digital responses.
Focusing on the theme of time we decided that we wanted to create a pop-up window display celebrating the cycles of life and death, growth and decay. In the tradition of Día de los Muertos and All Saints Day, we created altars to remember those that have passed on, and to assist them in their journey to the afterlife.
We decided to design two windows. When people approached each window, they would press on the glass to have their photo taken. The photos would then dissolve into skulls implanted on their faces. The window on the left would turn the skull into flowers; the window on the right would decay the skull.
The button on the window is made by a capacity sensor, it sent a signal to the Arduino Board. When the Arduino Board received the signal it triggered the webcam to take a selfie of the person standing in front of the window. From there a Processing sketch detected the face of the user and gradually replaced it with the image of a skull before animating it to either decay or turn into flowers. The processing sketch also triggered physical devices, like LED candles and fans, to turn on in time with the animation.
We planned each component of the installation before beginning to build and then fabricated the entire installation by hand, with the exception of the screens. Working as a team we built, painted, connected and decorated all elements of the design.
We installed the project as a team over the course of 8 hours. Having planned the process in advance, everything went quite smoothly.