Alberto Tafoya
Ameya Mhatre
amy rose khoshbin
Anderson Miller

Dynamic Waste Visualization

Seeing is believing. A dynamic visualization of the waste produced by the ITP community.

Design Workshop,Introduction to Physical Computing - Thur (Holoubek)

Targeting waste receptacles in high traffic areas, this installation will serve two primary functions; to monitor and visualize the amount of material waste produced by the ITP community.

The mass of the material waste will be the principal unit of measurement. Custom built scales capable of wireless communication will provide a central server with a stream of real-time data transmit from each scale equipped receptacle.

A central server will act as an intermediary in the visualization process through the generation of an XML feed. The data will then be displayed in a pure numeric representation as well as a more abstract dynamic graphical representation. In both cases real time changes in the waste accumulation trends will be represented. Furthermore the collective waste production trends of the ITP community will be compared against the trends of other known demographics allowing for a relative understanding of this communities impact on a larger scale.

The design of the scales will be minimal producing a negligible spatial and visible footprint. Each scale will house a force sensing resistor (FSR), a bluetooth modem, and a photo sensor. The outer layers will be made of hard-wood while the inner layer will be made of compressible foam. From a physical perspective the scales will appear to be a solid platform approximately two inches in hight on which the receptacles will rest.

The weight of the receptacle will compress the foam, stimulating the FSR. Look-up-tables will be used to convert the analog input from the FSR into known units of weight. The bluetooth modem found within the scale will continuously transmit the weight of the receptacle to a central server. The data published to the XML feed will be made public, allowing open access to any individual interested in following the waste production trends of this community.

User Scenario
A visitor to the floor of ITP is attracted to a subtle piece of generative art displayed on crisp LCD display. Soon enough the observer understands the direct relationship that exists between the nature in which the visualization evolves and and amount of material waste accumulating in select receptacles found throughout the 4th floor of 721 Broadway Ave. They have become aware of this correlation through a quick glance at the accenting numeric / graphical representation of the data found in close proximity (although the location of this secondary display is not critical). To the observer, it eventually becomes clear how the shapes, colors, layout, and general demeanor of the visuals are manipulated by the waste production of the ITP community as well as their relative production compared against other known demographics.