In efforts to explore new types of interaction models, we created a piece of furniture that accepts and responds to human interaction. Poesi, an interactive bench born from the question "What if a public bench could interpret a moment?" attempts to add a little poeticism to our everyday lives.
We started the design process by defining a question that would guide us through our exploration. After turning over a few concepts and ideas we arrived at "What if a public bench could interpret a moment?". We thought this would be a good starting point because it stated what piece of furniture we would be making as well as being just nonsensical enough to allow us to think outside the box.
After some deliberation we decided we wanted to provide users with a physical artifact containing contextual information they could take with them to commemorate the moment. We went back and forth on what should be on this artifact – song lyrics, a secret message? We ended up deciding on a poem that would be chosen based on contextual data so that the user could impart their own meaning.
After defining our solution, we had to figure out how to implement our idea. To do this we chose to use Arduino to handle the computing portion of the project. To help us break down the flow of information we split the computing processes up into three categories – Sensing, Processing, Actuating, also known as SPA.
We used an Arduino RTC Clock Module to keep time, a few load sensors to determine when someone sits down on the bench, and a temperature sensor to provide more contextual data for the moment.
The Arduino handled our processing needs. We fed it the live data from the the sensors and based on the data it received, it filtered through a list of poems and chose one that would "fit" the moment.
We used a thermal printer, more commonly known as a receipt printer. It was fed the poem chosen by the Arduino and then printed that along with the contextual data onto a short receipt.
After we had the computing aspects of the project down we moved on to constructing the physical form of the bench. We built it using some 2x4s, plywood, screws, and spray paint. It took us three long days in the woodshop to get everything installed and outside of a few minor mishaps along the way it all went smoothly.