Avery Max

Neon God

A 100 square foot interactive mirror made up of hundreds of unique neon symbols.

None Yet, But Coming

Designing for Digital Fabrication,Materials and Building Strategies

The neon mirror is 10'x10', and holds a 20x20 grid of neon symbols. There are 400 unique symbols total which are categorized by color and theme: Red (Evil), Orange (Love/Care), Yellow (Happiness/Comfort), Green (Nature/Wonder), Blue (Emptiness/Superficiality), Purple (Soul/Creation/Sexuality), and Pink (Fun/Childhood). It creates an enormous neon rainbow that is symbolically reflecting the experiences of life while physically reflecting the viewer of the piece.

The symbols were drawn in Illustrator as paths and then CNCed as grooves into panels of wood. EL Wire is then run through each shape and through a terminal hole in the panel, where it connects to a custom designed circuit board that allows for control of each of the 400 symbols individually.

A Kinect camera embedded in the center of the mirror sends a video feed which is processed in order to determine which symbols to turn on/off to create a "reflection" of the viewer of the piece.

The piece is constructed of Marine Grade Plywood which has been primed and painted semi-glossy black. The piece is segmented into twenty-five 2'x2' panels which come together in a 5x5 grid to make the 10'x10' footprint. A series of U-Plates and bolts/nuts hold the panels together.

Electronically, the piece is powered by 25 custom designed circuit boards which can each control 16 strands of EL-Wire. The boards daisy chain together (using a buffered I2C bus) and the entire piece is connected together with a simple 4 wire interface.

This is the biggest project I have ever attempted and I learnt EVERYTHING. I learnt about physical fabrication, custom PCBs, I2C, controlling AC vs DC, the CNC machine, general woodworking, and most importantly - how to fully finish a massive project.