Delacon Dandelion (Playful Interface) by Markus Pargfrieder
2017 - 2018, Platinum A' Interface and Interaction Design Award Winner
To experience nature means to be analog. Offline and "In the mood for nature". This is also the lead-subject of Delacon. The dandelion symbolically stands for the beauty and complexity of nature itself thus forming the heartpiece of the Delacon exhibition stand. We developed an interface which seamlessly closes the gap between the analog and the digital world by allowing the people to interact with it in the most natural way possible: By blowing on the flower just like in nature.
The Delacon Dandelion serves as a unique interface to communicate with the digital world. It's set up as an analog, stylized and over-sized model of its real counterpart and hides a punch of technology under a slick white texture. Built-in are a number of highly sensible airflow-detectors. When they detect a change (i.e. if you blow on it), its digital clone on the led-screen reacts accordingly: Its seeds will begin their magical journey depending on the strength and direction of the airflow.
Design Challenges
The challenge was to work out a solution which would tie together a solid and highly durable exhibition interface which would withstand extended stress while maintaining the functionality of a very delicate, sensible and precise sensor array fine-tuned to its surroundings. It had to be sensitive enough to detect even the slightest change of airflow around it while being stiff enough to eventually take a beating. We tried combining the analog and the digital world in a pragmatic but elegant way.
Production Technology
The base structure is a uniquely manufactured model of a dandelion upscaled about 5:1. It houses an array of airflow sensors which are placed in a way to form a 3d-grid which is able to determine the vector of potential airflow in its surroundings. This information is then processed through an embedded microcontroller and sent to the software controlling the led-wall. On the led-wall is a digital representation of the flower which reacts in realtime to the manipulations of the analog flower.
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