Puddle Hopscotch

Interactive Installation

University Studio Project for Canal Convergence Event of 2018
Fall 2018
6 weeks

Puddle Hopscotch was part of a 10 day exhibition that sought to define the relationship between community and water around the Arizona Canal in Scottsdale, Arizona. My partner in this project, Shirly Tam, and I developed this proposal intending to create an immersive and authentic interactive experience for the 200,000+ visitors at the annual Canal Convergence Event of 2018 of the City of Scottsdale.

Visitors of all ages enjoyed playing with our interactive hopscotch.

Project Brief


To create an exhibition that communicates the idea of water, light, and community around Scottsdale's canal by exploring the community's perception of water.


A collaboration between the Industrial Design Junior Studio and the Master in Interior Architecture Studio. Research for the project was conducted at Tonolea K-8 School, a local public school.

This image was taken by the event photographer. Unfortunately, I do not know their name.

Cumulus + Drops — The Creation of the Exhibition

In the Search of a Connecting Story

We began the project by searching for the overall story/them that would connect all interactive pieces from the exhibit.

After exploring different ideas, we decided to create the exhibition around a "Storm" concept, which eventually evolved into what we called the "Cumulus + Drop" Exhibition. We believed that the "Storm" approach would allow us to create different concepts around water, community, and light.

Understanding the Community Around the Canal — Field and User Research

We partnered with a diverse group of students from a local school, TONALEA K-8, to learn about their community and how the canal affected it.

We researched hands-on exploration, engaging the students on different activities related to the topics of community and water.

For one of the activities, we asked students to recreate the different stages of a storm. We sought to understand their experiences and interactions with every stage and how they affected them and their community.

To understand and familiarize ourselves with the environment, we also took the time to explore the space around the canal and observe the different interactions that formed part of life around it. We worked on identifying patterns of behaviors, objects, and visual languages and how these could translate into interactive pieces.

How It Came to Be

The Master in Interior Architecture studio developed Cumulus, a pavilion that unified the several interactive artifacts from Drops, and that represented the formation of clouds before a storm. We, the Industrial Design studio, worked on Drops, which was formed by 11 different interactive pieces that represented the stages of a storm. Puddle Hopscotch was one of the interactive pieces.

Cumulus + Drops allowed the installation to become not only a spatial experience but also a series of personal interactive moments.

Puddle Hopscotch — From Ideation to Execution

Finding a New Way to Ideate

In the means of exploring different forms of ideation, my partner and I decided to create a word association game with words that related to our research input, observations, and thoughts on the project.

The game allowed us to create connections between the different elements of the project. From this ideation exercise, we came up with three different ideas that we further explored. And this is how we landed on Puddle Hopscotch.

The Concept
Making our Concept Come Through with a $300 Budget
We made quick and easy prototypes like this to figure out dimensions and explain our concept to our peers.
Getting our Hands Dirty — The Building, the Coding, and the Electronics

Using Arduino, we worked on the coding for the hopscotch for several weeks. Trying to get the code right was challenging because we had never done it before, and it took a lot of trials and errors.

Sneak peek into our Arduino code.

Once we were done with the code, we began building the circuit for one of the frames. After we made sure everything was working, we began duplicating what we did with the first frame across all six other ones.

Puddle Hopscotch — Our Final Prototype in Action


view project

I've seen enough, let's talk.