As part of the "project oriented learning environment" (P.O.L.E.) curated by FHNW Windisch, Switzerland, I took part in developing an exhibition piece for the ITU from February to May 2015.
Our team consisted of 8 people from very different professional backgrounds and the task was to reflect upon "The Internet of Things" and its potential future through the exhibition piece.
Our team's approach was to visualize "Big Data" in a profound and understandable way to make this data more accessible and to benefit individuals themselves instead of corporations.
The concept was to do so via live 3D statistics on global issues like water shortage, disease probabilities in certain areas etc. to allow early detection of such potentially dangerous trends.
These data sets would then be displayed on a futuristic looking display imitating the appearance of a hologram. Users should then be able to choose which variables to correlate in the software via
tablets on the outside of the tower. The installation was to be complemented by a poster on a wall behind the tower showing the (fictitious) improvements achieved by this software over time.
To achieve the illusion of a hologram, an upside down pyramid made from acrylic glass had to be mounted on top of a TV display serving the purpose of reflecting the four sides of the 3D globe
rendered in the Game Engine "Unity 4". The virtual cameras displaying the four different perspectives were to create the illusion of a floating globe in the mirror image "inside" the pyramid.
The interface the TV was connected with in the corresponding tablet software was kept in blueish modest colors with thin white typography to communicate a sense of quality and futuristic
design. Here users would choose which global factors to look at and those choices would then immediately change the data displayed on the 3D globe.
Initially our team wanted the tower to have a square base but that concept had to be changed to a rectangular shape because of the measurements of a 40-inch TV having to fit on top of the tower.
By giving the tower a dark wooden finish and metal edges it was to look modern, straight and tech-focused in the end. Building it like this would also make for a lighter construction.
The final exhibition piece looked like this on May 5th, the first day of the exhibition. With only very few deviations from our initial concept the software worked well together with the hardware.
Many lessons were learned from this project concerning team management, the integration of different design disciplines, overcoming language barriers and time management.