CTD Design Studio. 2021
Welcome to project ZORA. A creative interactive experience that is designed to bring self awareness and meditation for people who enjoy living in the moment.
We decided to name our group VZA, which combines the initials of our last names. Further, the symmetrical aesthetic of each letter and visually flowing combination of the letters were the reasons why we wanted to create a unique word mark.
Additionally, our whole concept stemmed from a historic religion, named Zoroastrianism, where people pray/meditate with natural fire in order to find relaxation and self care. Zoroastrianism was the original religious belief in Azerbaijan, where Fidan was born. Therefore, we all wanted to integrate this spiritual phenomenon into our project to give it a personal touch.
For this project, all 3 of us wanted to collaborate on creating a safe physical experience for people who are affected from the side effects of our current challenging times. Meaning, we are trying to build an interactive station where people could escape their reality and play a game to accomplish the end goal, which would be self care and positive influences on mental health as well.
By building a layered stand in the shape of a detailed flame, we wanted to add 7 levels to our challenging meditation game. Each level would be represented by the each layer of our flame station, separated by 7 different colors of LED lights. This station would require each user to accomplish 7 certain yoga/meditation positions that would be responsive with the lights. This would mean that every time the user try to imitate a certain silhouette of a stance and would trigger LED layers one by one with the goal of lighting all of the levels at the end.
By also challenging themselves into beneficial
physical poses, players would earn the satisfaction of accomplishing a meditation cycle with visually satisfying process of lighting up all of the levels. This whole experience also could be performed in a collaborative environment with multiple stations, increasing the challenge in between peers.
To enable the interaction between a player and this station, we thought that using a QR code would be an easy access to the instructions and game itself with each player’s phone devices. This way they could connect to the station through their phones and start the game.
This specific solution for our interaction design would give us a less costly outcome and accessible by almost anyone who uses a smartphone.
Below are some design sketches all of the team members collaborated on, we all brought different perpectives and style to play around with our project.
This would also help to hold the device and enable the camera to have a precise position to allow the player interact with the physical detection. This way users could enjoy the experience without having to hold anything and see the goals of the game wile also enjoying the sequential light motion.
We decided to sketch some ideas for our ZORA design. This design contains 7 boards stacked up on top of one another with LED Lighting reflecting through the sides.
In combination of the stacked prototype and organic shape of an open flame, LEDs would illuminate each single layer to represent the users progress during the session.
In addition, a potential LED panel would be installed at the forefront of the display. The display would house ranges of positions, games and encouraging messages to create a phone free option.
For another option, we also wanted to prototype a modern and an organic shape, almost mimicking human body as well.
Once all the levels are complete, then the audience may meditate with the final light combination, a gentled flickering flame.
Below are additional process documentation with initial designs of ZORA.
We also wanted to add a very minimalistic Modern design to our sketches to add diversity to our design choices.
Below are some research and diagrams of each piece of layers of ZORA
Easy to fabricate on 4 4’x8’ sheets of plywood
We also created a budget sheet
for this project linked here.
Along the purchase process, we were given a set amount of budget from the University of Colorado Boulder and Sara Preston from the accounting team of ATLAS helped us along the way by communicating through an online excel sheet.
To fabricate the whole project we also built out a timeline and a calendar of events to accomplish by the end of our semester of Spring 2021.
Our main goal is to create an interactive station where people can escape their reality with an experience designed to mimic the flickering of fire, while discovering the hidden secrets of the sculpture.
The essence of the piece correlates with peoples
ability to drop into deep meditation and unlock
hidden aspects of their mind and bodies.
This station would require each existential being to come close, explore the piece, find their threshold and begin meditation. 7 different distances will have
different illumination sequences, from dim to
bright and of course different combinations of the spectrum of the flame.
Once the sculpture receives the bow, The meditation can begin. In order for the full effects of the LEDs to occur, the experiencer must bow and meditate for a short time in a single spot.
5V Power Source
By using an Arduino Uno board, ZORA will be capable of displaying different lighting sequences and patterns that correspond to the user’s movement.
The first interaction will be processed by LIDAR sensor to measure the users distance as they approach ZORA. As the user continues to move through the motions, the lighting patterns will change to further enhance this immersive experience.
We decided to use our ATLAS building to host our station. We scavenged few spots inside the building to see where we could place our work :)
Below are some saved documentation images, sketches, demos and many more.
The fabrication of the sculpture is straight forward and easy to disassemble and reassemble. Flat 4’x8’ sheets of plywood are CNC’d into each individual shape. The shapes are then stacked together with .75” spacers separating the sheets, and giving depth to the structure.
A “powercell” will be located at the rear of the structure, easily accessible for maintenance. In the powercell will be all of our hardware and connections for the necessary LIDAR to Arduino to LED strip.
Below, it was our first time plugging the 3d rendered model to our online website.
We used free open source vectary.com to host our file.
first attempt with
mobile camera view
Our fist tests on our nervous system of Zora, aka the LEDs.
Imitation of red flames
Imitation of blue flames
Austin is an Immersive Experience Designer who focuses on parametric programming and digital fabrication. Austin will lead the fabrication and design of Zora. His goal is to capture the essence of fire and community, to bring motion and playfulness back to meditation.
Nolan is a Graphic Designer with a background in 2D/3D animation. Nolan will be working behind the scenes as the lead programmer using LEDs and LIDAR sensors to bring a still sculpture to life. His goal is to create a cohesive experience between the user and Zora.