• Design Research
  • Protoyping
  • Art Direction


  • Opportunity Statements
  • Conceptual Designs
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Prototype Demo


  • P5.js
  • Figma
  • Projectors


  • 3 months


Daniel Tsiu, Aishwarya Lande


As part of a cross-disciplinary workshop focused on conceptualizing and developing interactive media environments for the Georgia Tech Library, we explore an interactive environment for stairs at the library as a site and the opportunities it provides..

Interactive Environments, Immersive Environment, Human Centered - AI, Design Research, Prototyping,

2. Process

We started with a Skillset Questionnaire where we listed down all out skillsets and the instructor formed teams based on a mix of architecture, HCI & Digital Media skills. The overall process was:

3. Opportunity Statements

We started by producing 1 opportunity statement per Typology (7 total) and identify the 2 statements that we're most excited about.

Media Art  (Favourite)
As part of our efforts to fascinate passersby, we, Microsoft, will sponsor a media art piece at the Media Bridge that stimulates the senses, emotions, & imaginations of passing by visualizing & mapping physical activity on campus real time as art.

Relaxation (Favourite)
As part of our efforts to make students feel relaxed, we, Student Wellness Center, will provide a moment of relaxation at the Crosland Library stairs for students by having a flower bloom real time behind them as they sit & study.

As part of our efforts to inspire, we, Career Center, will entertain students at the library with an immersive experience at the Interactive Media Zone -> Crosland Library Stairs -> Media Bridge that tells the story of alumnus they relate to who overcame hardship.

Education and Communication       
As part of our efforts to encourage participation, we, Research Center, will create an experience at the Interactive Media Zone that educates/teaches about ongoing projects.

Immediate Action  
As part of our efforts to promote our hiring drive, we, Electronics Entertainment, will create an experience at the Media Bridge that inspires passersby to take immediate action by making them walk towards the bridge.

Change Behaviour
As part of our efforts to encourage an active lifestyle, we, Sketchers, will create an experience at the Crosland Library Stairs that inspires to change behavior from sitting at one place to constantly changing place.

Group Play
As part of our efforts to drive engagement, we,  Riot Games , will connect random student & friend groups passing through that bring them to hanging out at the Interactive Media Zone by a fun, interactive experience about Buzz the mascot.

4. Converging to a Concept

Our refined opportunity statement read:

In order to drive a more relaxed environment to study, the Student Wellness Center, will sponsor a creation of Digital Biomes around the Crosland Library Stairs powered by AI & Computer Visions that makes students feel more relaxed by generating Digital Biomes around them.

a) Site of Interest - Stairs

The stairs on the Crosland building

b) Affordances  - Quiet, Place to Study, Discuss, Talk by sitting down.

c) Content - Subtle, Not Distracting

d) Alive - Simple Personalisation

We reflected on what we could do to aid in the process of students, people sitting there. What more could they engage in? What type of engagement could it be? Would it be distracting to others?Does it have to have meaning?

We wanted to bring the space alive but in a way that could have personalised interactions and help students study, discuss, have fun, play all while just sitting there.

5. The Concept

High Concept

Generative Biomes Around You: A step to relaxation

Opportunity Statement

"As part of our efforts to create a personalized environment for relaxation, The Student Wellness Center will sponsor thecreation of a digital biome, powered by AI and computer vision at the library stairs. "

Conceptual Experience Design

An initial journey map sketched for an imagined experience

Storyboarding a Conceptual Physical Design

A rough sketch of the imagined physical space

Conceptual Content Design

Themes - Relaxation

a) Autogenic Relaxation

In this relaxation technique, you use both visual imagery and body awareness to reduce stress.

b) Guided imagery

is a variation on traditional meditation that involves creating or imagining a scene in which you feel at peace, free to let go o fall tension and anxiety. Choose whatever setting is most calming to you, whether it's a tropical beach or a quiet wooded glen.

Graphics - Natural

a) Starting from the ground to the sky, each step will represent a distinct habitat.

b) Animal movements around the person will be responsive as they interact with the biosphere, or the person moves around the steps. For instance, if you sit on steps in an underwater environment, your movement will act as a pivot for fish and sea turtles to move around you and form intriguing patterns.

Moodboard for imagining what kind of shapes, content could be imagined in minimal details

Conceptual Tech Design

Physical Computing

Generating Biome

Presence/ distance detection​ sensors

Conversational AI

• Microphone for picking up voice

• Small speakers for AI responses.




• P5.js

Conversational AI

• Arduino to connect physical sensors to animations


AV Integration


• Speaker integration

• Audacity for editing


• Screen integration•

• Premier After Effects for editing

• Computer to connect to screens for display

6. The Concept

6.1 What is

Each step of the Crosland Stairs will represent a unique biosphere for you to add digital creatures of a chosen design. While sitting down at the CC, the biome will expand around, serving as points of interaction with the creatures. Generally, the creatures will interact with each other as a simulated vivarium.

While sitting down at the Culture Creator (CC), you will serve as a source point for the expansion of a personal, digital habitat. Each step of the CC will represent a unique biosphere for you to choose from. An animal powered by behaviours, it may serve as your companion in this relaxing environment.

The animals have encoded behaviors that three types of reaction:

Reaction with other animals

Reaction with the biome

Reaction with the creator

6.2  Application for

Rapid prototyped how an interface for interacting the Biome could look like to a student and what interactions it could facilitate:

I. Choose the Biome

a. Student Goes to the Biome.

b. Accesses the Creator App on Phone

c. Select the biome - For Example, Park

II. Choose or Create Character

d. Launch previously made animals or use the creator to make shapes.

III. Create Characters

e. Use your own unique shapes and abstract though to create a companion for you.

f. Map a personality to it and LAUNCH.

7. Prototype Development

Iteration 1 - Simples Figures

We started by exploring playful circles, circles that would interact with each other, circles that would have behaviours, we coded those behaviours into them

Iteration 2 - Replacing Shapes with Creatures

We started by exploring playful circles, circles that would interact with each other, circles that would have behaviours, we coded those behaviours into them

8. Prototype Demo

We coded the interface in p5.js with each animal having a specific behaviour and animated those frames.

Here we tested the concept out by overlaying a p5.js sketch over a webcam feed of the stairs.

1. Dog Behaviour responding to gesture by jump

2.Bird Behaviour On Gesture by Flying

2.Fish Behaviour On Gesture by Swimming to the user

9. Prototype Testing

We used projectors to project on the sketch on the stairs to simulate how the actual display would look like.

The complete demo can viewed here:

10. Reflections

Expanding creature base.

Expanding on behaviours.

Have themes around it, uncanny environments.

Customise gestures for personalisation.

Defined experiences

Accessibility Considerations