Jejus corn

2018

Hyper Island students held Synergy park exhibition 2018 at Nobelberget. The overarching theme was to imagine a theme park in 2050 with Utopian dreams and dystopian nightmares. We got to explore the intersection of visuals, creative coding and touch of robotics to create immersive works.

Used tools

Arduino, After Effects, Max8, Resolume Arena

Narrative

What would be our staple food in 2050? We pictured the future of food and culture around it. Currently, more and more species are in danger of extinction and eventually in 2050 and it would result in catastrophic consequences for ecosystems.We are seeing this situation in utopian angle with a suggestion for biodiversity. Due to early genetic modification, corn would be the only food we can get. but this popcorns we invented offer array of nutrition and tastes in reference to customer's needs.

Building process

We built a future popcorn machine based on one design principle, Keep the story interesting but not too overly complicated. We wanted to deliver delightful experience and get the idea across to the audience without any frustration. so we decided to make an interaction in two steps. First step was to make a button trigger a popcorn animation on the screen, and then it triggers a latch embedded in the machine to tilt and pour actual popcorn to a cone.The bottom line is translating digital popcorn into physical popcorn. Building a latch was the first mission. Figuring out the material and size of latch and popcorn machine itself was tricky without actual testing. We use Max to bridge between Arduino and pop & falling down animation of popcorn video in Arena. We tested and reiterate in Max to find the perfect timing of the interaction.

On-site challenge & final thoughts

The first 2 hours of the exhibition went off without a hitch. But after half way through the exhibition, the latch was kneaded. Putting just right amount of popcorn was the key to keep the latch attached. and we had to tell the audience not to press the button too long. To make the whole process seamless, we had to prototype, test, test and test it.

I also gained creative confidence in a sense that I understand how to pull through uncertain wilderness. Physical computing has a daunting learning curve in the beginning. I saw how supportive and active the community is. so even though I haven't yet had the answer but have a clear intention in my head, I can ask questions or find solutions from the archive and forum.