Nature’s Footprint

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Inside out and outside in. Nature’s Footprint is an interactive installation designed to immerse the user in a swirling mess of Autumn leaves. When a person enters the installation, a digital force of wind is generated from the body and blows the leaves away in every other direction. It gives adults permission to be kids again, and kids permission to be, well … kids.

The design of the interaction was critical to the success of the project: the primary objective was to make it simple enough so that anyone regardless of age, language or any other demographic could understand it immediately. This would mean erasing any requirements of thought or effort from the user interaction. But more important was the goal of taking Nature’s Footprint far enough to surprise and delight people with its feedback. In order to achieve this, we had to make the leaves incredibly responsive to the users actions and design the art to blend together seamlessly with the surrounding staging space.

Challenges and Limitations:
stay tuned … how to design for tiny people (aka: toddlers) will go here …

Microsoft Kinect
Physics Engines
Blob Detection

Nature’s Footprint was a creative collaboration with Sheiva Rezvani and made its public debut at the 2011 NYU ITP Winter Show.