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Sensory Seat

Sensory Seat

Design research // digital fabrication // embedded electronics
2016
Connected Everyday Lab

This seat senses the sunset

Serving as a tangible instance of the ideals of 'Data-Driven DIY' (see my thesis project) I designed a seat that could log its use and environment. A stool was chosen for the fact that it can be used in a multiplicity of ways: it can be sat on (in different directions), it can be used as a table, a step stool or as storage and all these ways of use yield their own pattern of lightfall on the seat. 

The seat was designed in a way that it could easily be shared online and made by Makers of various degrees of skill. The design and manufacturing process of the stool were shared on the Instructables website as a legacy to this project and an ongoing trial of ethnography within the Maker community.

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One of the four Grove light sensors and its enclosure that slide into the legs of the seat.

One of the four Grove light sensors and its enclosure that slide into the legs of the seat.

 

A Seat that senses light

Each of the four legs featured an analog Grove light sensor, thus the seat sensed light in four directions. When one would walk around it, sit on it or place objects on it, the shadow cast on the light sensors would show in the data. Similarly, the seat would be able to indicate from what direction it is illuminated. The sensors in the legs that point towards the windows (when the sun is out) or other light source would show high values, whereas the sensors pointed the other way would show low light intensity.