Experiment / Low-tech intervention

Interactive Public Sound Art: David Birchfield, Kelly Phillips

Visual and Acoustic Space: Marshall McLuhan


As the life span of people is getting longer, health is one of the issues people pay more attention to. Even though people know the importance of the health, it is hard for people to get involved in the physical activities like fitness due to the limitations of time and cost. Over the course of several days I observed that many people walked into the Design building and automatically turned left to wait for the elevator. Even if, they need to wait for an elevator for a few minutes, they do not consider going to the stairs. Thus, the goal of the experiment I carried out was to encourage people going in and out in the Design building to use stairs than the elevator.

I used HOPSCOTCH to provide people who usually take elevator with the experience of using stairs in an interesting ways. I installed the hopscotch lines on the main floor of Design building by using duck tape and put the numbers on each box without any sound effects. The hopscotch boxes lead to the stairs, which is my intention of leading people go to the stairs through playing hopscotch.

I observed really interesting findings during the experiment. While most students I watched passed the lines and were not intrigued with the hopscotch I drew with tape, people who are older than undergraduate students played this “analogue style game” because they have a memory of playing hopscotch when they were young. Also, I had some feedback from people who played the hopscotch. They suggested that there should be something to throw to the square and jump to catch, just like how they played when they were young.

Based on the interesting observation from this experiment, I searched other examples in which the hopscotch was used as a method related to memory, interaction, and childhood. I found interesting projects with those themes.

Interactive Hopscotch for ART && CODE 3D from Reha Discioglu on Vimeo.

“For us, childhood means memories. Few are clear, some blurry, and some flashy. Childhood also means playing and games. Skipping rope, hide-and-seek and hopscotch… Interactive Hopscotch aims to trigger childhood memories in a playful manner by using a child game.”

Hopscotch game was installed to surround the visitor with images and sound. When the visitors jump, they are surprised with the responses of squares of the Hopscotch. This activity provides interactions between the visitors and their memories.

Through the experiment, I learned that connecting people with their memory in the childhood can be an effective way to be used for behavior changes. For the next step, other sensory effects will be applied to make this project more attractive to people and to provide the connection to their memory. Visual and auditory effects like using different patterns and colors of hopscotch, and sounds from old video games may be included.