Art-a-Hack || What is a Smart Environment? [Week 1]

Today is the first day of art-a-hack.

“…a collaborative creation between three pairings of artist/engineer, or of designer/maker or whatever combination makes sense based on your project proposals.” (via the Art-A-Hack website)

My partner is Andrew Ritchie

We emailed a bit before today and then started off with a “Brainstorming Session”


•Do all SMART environments anticipates needs?


Currently the idea of creating an experience through the following possibilities:

An invasive-vs-immersive

  • Color Compositions
  • Mood Music
  • SMART Panel


Environments that we encounter daily:

  • Train
  • Train Station
  • Bathroom
  • Elevators
  • Bedroom
  • Kitchen
  • Public Space/Park
  • Banks
  • Offices
  • Street/Sidewalk
  • Airplane
  • Airport
  • Performance Spaces


Purpose: Encouragement of Interactions

Mediums: An installation that elicits a greater purpose

We were given these wireless Esitmote beacons, and attempted to use them. However we ran into early, physical problems with the sensors. They would not stay stuck, for very long.

Concept: The idea was to create an adventure, similar to a scavenger hunt.

Additional Functionality: Social Media IDs are input, you select your interests/preferences in and the beacon tells you others that have similar interests around you (using location data)

Issues: This would prove to be expensive after a while, as we were given a beta package but there are only three and they currently retail at $99.00 The beacons would have to be checked on periodically and finding outdoor placement in NYC for user-testing isn’t feasible.

*I liked the feel of the beacons…that’s a plus! They are aesthetically pleasing however, they just don’t work for this project. Their ideal usage is in a retail environment, extending the experience for consumers and gathering data for retailers.


You are sharing your experience with others, and in turn they are sharing their experiences with you.

  • Mobile & Web Based
  • Experiences can be sent via the App and Email
  • Directions are generated through Google Maps or Open Street Maps
  • Location based experiences that user can compile on map for the day
  • Upon arriving at “destination” they open a “gift” and Experience begins

*In transit (offline) entertainment, this can be anything….up to the designer! Music, Crosswords, Video, Photos, Drawings,

Other Versions and/or Customization: 

  • Digital Sound Tour
  • Choose your own adventure
  • You can combine your experience and make a “adventure collage”


Actual Processes to consider:

Public & Private Sharing

  • User-to-User
  • Designer creates an experience for adventurer
  • Experiential Emotional Design

Creating a template and/or suggested experiences for designers (and adventurers)

Experiences ||

  • Grouped by Boroughs/Areas/Districts
  • Interests

Signup required for Designer

  • User can go through email or mobile app
  • Each trip has a unique URL, viewable through app or web
  • Users that do sign up can save experiences to favorites, and send them to friends


App would perform location checks, and if user is at coordinates of location (range,) the user receives gift. This would require GPS access.

Digital gift


Once user receives gift, they can send one back or a photo.


Deliverables for Execution ||

  • Create a backend API
  • PhoneGap APP
  • Web App (To show destination urls, randomized & custom, and Map function to get directions)





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