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Laser Cut

Physical Fabrication

Video Production


MY GARDEN shows our research and perception of flowers through visual and tactile performances. The realization form is to sense people's dynamic and static state through PIR sensors. As an interactive device, MY GARDEN has a very intuitive presentation, which is mainly based on hardware sensing addition in space. The PIR sensors would send a signal to the servo motors that cause the flowers to follow people’s directions. In this installation, we use the concept of "responsive architecture". "Responsive design" is originally an architectural concept, and physical space can respond according to the situation of the people in it. The most typical one is that the structure can be changed according to the situation of surrounding people. We use this concept, hoping that this device can be displayed in the corridor or reception where there are many people walking around, so as to increase the frequency of interaction and make people pay more attention to it.

The interactive nature of MY GARDEN elevates the installation art from the original passive pleasing to the audience to the active attracting of the audience. The form of flowers rotating with people brings humanization, harmony, and inclusiveness to the installation art. MY GARDEN is a diversified form of design expression, which can reflect our thinking on the user's psychology, understanding of the circuit and hands-on ability examination.

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Initial Idea & Sketch

At the beginning, we planned to make a project about physical eyes movement that could follow people. Our starting point is to tell people when you are watching at something, the thing is also watching at you. During the research, we found many mature projects about eyes and we tended to find the representation of eyes under different art and cultural context. Then we found the surreal images below and got inspiration from it. We started to think why don't we create a vivid physical garden that the flowers of garden can follow people to move. Our interpretation of the flowers and eyes in this project is eye is not only give people personalities but could also give the flowers personalities. And when the flowers are watching at people while people are walking, it would create a feeling that this is My Garden.



The interaction of this project is simple. Users only need to pass by the flowers and when they walk pass the mini garden. the flowers will rotate toward the users. Since we plan to install the flowers on the plants table with actual plants, we made the flowers rotate from 0 to 180 instead of 0 to 360 because the back side would be the wall. Instead of giving instruction to interact, we hoped the users to find the interaction unintentionally.


Electronic Components

The key part of this project is how to sense people's movements. We've discussed several methods including using the web camera and posenet, Kinect to detect and using different sensors like ultrasonic sensors, IR sensors, and PIR motion sensors.


During our test, we found using web cameras would be too complex since we don't mean to sense specific poses. IR sensor is good for detecting distance but the angle range isn't as wide as PIR sensors and the ultrasonic sensors are analog output and we don't need specific distance data to control movement. Therefore, we choose to use a PIR sensor which is detecting people's movement by detecting levels of infrared radiation. Also, the PIR sensor is digital input which is better for setting controlling conditions.


The PIR sensor we are using is HC-SR501 which senses <100 degree cone angle lens.

The PIR sensor we are using is HC-SR501 which senses <100 degree cone angle lens.

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Budget Management

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PIR sensor sensitivity test

The first step is testing the sensitivity and detecting range of the PIR sensor. Our first trail isn't successful because we didn't calculate the calibration time for the PIR sensor and it keeps sensing high. Then, we found this reference to know when the motion is detected and ended by the sensor. Also, the Sensitivity Adjust and the Time Delay Adjust also needed to be adjusted to get better sensitivity.

However, after the first trail, the problem we found out is that the time delay of the sensor is still a little long and the problem is when the next motion comes really fast, the sensor wouldn't sense it immediately.


After calibration, we found the code that doesn't work before worked at this point. Therefore, we realized we needed to take some times to calibrate the sensor before directly using it. After calibration, we found the code that doesn't work before worked at this point. Therefore, we realized we needed to take some times to calibrate the sensor before directly using it.


PIR sensor & Servo motor test

Before using PIR sensor to control the servo motor, we firstly made a simple servo motor test.


After testing the servo, we created an array for the servo and the PIR sensors to sense different ranges. Also, we designed a box that fixed the range that PIR sensors could sense.


6 PIR Sensors & LED Test

After making the three PIRS test, we tried to connect more PIR sensors and more servo motors to test the range of angles. We found out the PIR sensors could also detect the changing action from top angles, so we needed to add a cover to narrow down the detecting area and we made a LED test to see if the PIR sensors could follow the movement correctly.



Firstly, we designed the first prototype for three PIR sensors. Then, we designed another prototype which is original size of the final one. We used the website: to create the 25x18x4 inches boxes. And combined them together. So this is the basic of the whole installation. Because the range of PIR sensor will test the big range of the motion, we need to use the board wall to narrow the range. We used 6 PIR sensor to detect.

To better connect the servo motor and the flower branch, we drill the wood stick and put screw into the hole of the wood stick by using hot glue gun. The image below is the flower connection prototype. he grass, the original plan was to use yarn balls to pile together, but it looks really messy. So we changed the wire in coils. The final effect is very similar to the lotus pond in China.

For the flowers, we used the air dry clay which is in light weight and has bright colors that are closer to the surreal garden we hoped to create.

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