Jenine Durland

Message in a Bottle

By blending humor and fact in the context of an odd love story, Message in a Bottle uses talking bottles to introduce issues of sustainability to the user.

Introduction to Physical Computing

This project uses 7 plastic bottles--one full-size bottle embedded with a speaker through which Pippin tells his story and 6 partial bottles which serve as controllers for the chapters of Pippin's life--to tell the story of a bottle who's raised to believe that there might be more to love than just five minutes of locking lips with a human. As the user moves the sole cap from bottle to bottle, an LED lights up an image in a bottle and an audio track begins playing. The user is brought from the hot and heavy oil fields, to the store shelf, to the bellies of Albatross and fish, all through Pippin's whimsical voice. Hopefully this bottle's story inspires us users to consider our choices in a more sustainable light.

This piece needs no external equipment. It is designed to sit atop one of the recycling bins found throughout the floor, though any 2'x 2'table-top display space would work.

•Americans use over 50 billion disposable plastic water bottles a year
•The average American consumes 167 bottles of water a year
•Only 23% of these get recycled.
•In 2007 we spent $16 billion on bottled water. That's more than we spent on iPods or movie tickets.
•90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the bottle itself
•24 million gallons of oil are needed to produce a billion plastic bottles
•Plastic bottles take 700 years to begin composting
statistics from

For example, it is estimated that in 2005 alone approximately 30 billion plastic water bottles were purchased, with only about 12% recycled (in part due to out-dated deposit laws). The remaining 25 billion bottles were either landfilled, littered or incinerated (

User Scenario
User experience:
While this piece is meant to be used by one-person at a time, it is intended to be enjoyed by a group, ultimately creating dialogue as one moves a bottle cap from bottle to bottle, changing the audio output. Everyone will also enjoy seeing the drawings inside each bottle light up as the user interacts with the piece.