Intangible Interaction – Weather Project

Final Idea – This Time is for Real

It is quite hard to think of something that I am really passionate about for this final project. For the last two weeks, I had some ideas which I noted down in my previous blogs.

  1. Intangible Interaction – Proposal for Final Project
  2. Intangible Interaction – Final Project Ideas

However, I didn’t feel to compelled to make them. They are neither personal nor potentially impactful towards a broader audience.

So I decided to take more time, and on a rainy Monday morning in new york, it occured to me that I should just solely focus on one weather element and think it through.

When I think of rain, I normally think of me looking up to the skywindow of the car on the way for my piano lesson when I was a kid. The different drops of rain makes me feel home.

I want to carry the personal feeling to the public to make something impactful.

Problem statement

So the problem statement would be how to make people aware of the change of weather in their daily life?

Represent rain through light

And the way I want to represent it was through light. There are so many projects showing the rain through water or light and water. However, I want to avoid the use of water since it is too literal to me. The challenge is to represent rain visually in a way that people will feel the rain and feelings and memories associated with it.

Installation Venue

The venue could be in the lobby area of a commercial building or in the subway station or in a gallery.


Wherever this is installed, user can determine the location of the rain he/she want this piece to represent through light.

Audience Interaction

Mostly, audience would be looking at this piece and spend however long they want to feel the light visualization of the rain.

Inspiration moodboard

Find more on Pinterest


In order to get my ideas through, I chatted with Yeseul and she had several feedbacks and gave me more projects to draw inspirations from:


  1. Interpretation could be “How to make people see the music of the rain”
    1. How to represent the data in a rhythmic way?
  2. Iterate with different filters and see how they change 
  3. Play with the direction of the box (vertical and horizontal)
  4. Ways to create holes: burning incense, needles, etc.


  1. Rain under Lamppost
  2. Jung Hee Choi-Ahata Anahata,Manifest Unmanifest X
  3. James Turrell
  4. Leo Villareal
  5. Light as a Gift


I had empty package box for eggs laying around in my apartment so I grabbed it as my box for my Arduino, LED stripe and carved the top out to put my filter paper in. I am running the strandtest code in my Arduino and I will work on the code to get the internet data of rain information soon.

Experiment with filters


  1. Design of smaller holes on the filter worked better than the larger holes
  2. Thicker paper such as package paper is better than transparent parchment paper
  3. Design of vertical lines worked better than the horizontal ones


For the filters, I searched for package paper, parchment paper, and I will continue searching for different materials. For the design, I selected materials with different diameters to poke the hole in the filter.

I also experimented with different designs other than holes. Surprisingly, the vertical lines on the package paper worked so well and I can see how rain can be depicted in that way. I also tried with horizontal lines but they didn’t work too well in my mind.

I also layered the parchment paper on top of the design just to experiment, it created the effect of what a lenticular lense would do.

Here are the videos illustrating the movements of light:

Feedbacks in Class

  1. From classmates
    1. Having an audio component?
    2. Think about the choice of color – rain reflected on the wet roads during the raining days – think about presentation
    3. Optical fiber to mimic the rain drops?
    4. amount/density of the rain = the number of LEDs and speed of it fades away, but the position of the LEDs will be random) or mimicking the rain dropping (same for the amount, but speed will be the same for every drop/loop. The position for the LEDs will be in order but not 1,2,3… if there’s 10 LEDs, it will be 1,5,10 for low density, maybe 2,4,6,8,10 for heavy rain ) – from Michelle
  2. Consider in grant writing the cost of getting subscription of API.
  3. Elements could be included in the code
    1. rain
    2. rain velocity
    3. precipitation
    4. humidity
  4. Weather API to look into:

Inspirations in Class

  1. Advanced version would be showing the Air Quality Index in terms of LED and the amount of pollution with the amount of filters.
  2. Using wifi to create an app where people get to control different factors
    1. Length of the rain data on display
    2. Zip code 

Published by Yiting Liu


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