Lake Macquarie City Council has undergone construction on a new Muilti-Arts Pavilion (MAP). The Council held a competitive design challenge to create an experience that consciously intermingled ancient and emerging cultures, as well as conveying the essence of Lake Macquarie, using light installations and other various technologies that were already provided.
Our design proposes to highlight one of Lake Macquarie’s most stunning features; the night sky. Our design includes an interactive light display using the Catenery Light installation, complemented by an interactive display utilising a glass wall (referred to as the Node Wall). Users can interact with these components using QR codes and their mobile device.
Users can scan a QR code to open a webpage. Here, they can vote for what they are most hopeful for in their future. This selects the intial colour of the star. After the slection, it opens the next webpage where users can use the touch pad to send a shooting star. Users can control the speed by the amount of time they hold the star, the direction the star goes and the location of which the star appears.
The user can change their selected star by picking on the colour selectors up top. The timer at the bottom shows the countdown for the next hourly collision.
The lights have an hourly timed event where they mimic the collision of stars. Here two stars are released, colide with one another and create a fantastic display of colour.
The poles increment to give visual affordance of the approaching hourly collision.
When the lights are resting, they mimic the visuals of swirling milky ways and galaxies.
As users vote at the Catanery Lights for what they are most hopeful for, they simutaneously effect the Node Wall. Votes appear as new stars, with the written words ‘I hope for blank in my future’. Users can use this as data visualisation and guage what their community values and where they stand within it.
Users can also play a gentle, non-commital game of identifying constelations. If the users are struggling, they can scan a nearby QR code that opens a webpage where they can click for hints.
We conducted research into what fundamentally made Lake Macquarie unique, as well as the current and historical cultural landscape of Lake Macquarie.
We concluded that Lake Macquarie’s biggest attraction was its stunning natural landscape.
We decided to focus on the night sky as it is a unifying symbol of humanity to all cultures, religions and backgrounds. We all look up at the night sky and think about our place within the wider community and reflect upon our futures. Moreover, this theme felt well suited as the exhibit would only be seen at night.
We performed ideation tools such as brain-dumping and brain-writing, then practiced card sorting methodologies to refine 8 ideas to 2.
After pitching both designs to the client they selected one. After which, we refined further and began developing prototypes.
As well as designer, I was part of a two-person development team. For the design, I was responsible in coding the:
-Node Wall prototype
-Node Wall webpage
-Catanery Light touch pad and color selector
-Selecting your path webpage
-Catanery Light’s shooting star and time poles
After the development of our initial prototypes, we conducted 9 user tests over 2 phases using
5 different methodologies; interviews, think-out-louds, SUS tests, co-design workshops and wizard-of-oz prototyping.
After each phase, we coalated the data and peformed card-sorting methodologies to identify clusters. This allowed us to further refine and iterate our design after each round of testing.