We began our project by identifying shape of life as our precedent study, and thinking about the types of organic shapes that we were interested in. Our ideas ranged from small rodents, to insects and sea creatures–we even considered organs like the heart and lungs. Eventually we decided that we were most drawn to the armadillo and caterpillar forms. To accommodate our function we turned to moths and deep sea creatures that respond to light. As an energy use display, our creation will be excited by light and calm in the dark.
Early on we received feedback that some of our sketches resembled real creatures too closely. We were guided to abstract the creatures into their most basic parts, and encouraged to blend them together. Once we did this the structure and mechanics of our project began to emerge.
We want to incorporate LED lights on our creature to attract viewers’ attention and display energy usage. For example, when the LED glows red the creature is signalling that too much light energy is being used, and when the it detects less light then it glows blue. The same idea applies to movement. When the creature senses too much light, as detected by it’s light sensor, it moves faster then when it is exposed to less light. After considering the behaviours of several animals, we made note of the armadillo’s flexible body and shell and the opportunities it offers for movement. We also noted the bioluminescence abilities of deep sea creatures, where their body glows to either signal warning or attraction.