Colour Chamber

Synopsis

Colour Chamber is a circular interactive chamber combining LEDs and mirrors to create a contained world of infinite possibility. This installation brings a playful way for audiences to experiment, collaborate and engage with reflections, colour and the power of imagery. What is seen at any time is only one of many perspectives and can change with just the slightest adjustments by anybody. The inside of the cylinder contains twenty panels of mirror and light that can be adjusted manually by participants. The cylinder has a fully reflective mirror surface at the bottom and one-way mirror paper at the top, creating an “infinity mirror” effect. Participants can rotate any of the LED mirror panels 340 degrees and use knobs to adjust the LED colours and strength. As the mirror panels can be rotated to face outwards it allows for participants to direct the light externally, attracting the attention of others to the installation.

Colour Chamber is for people curious about illusions, reflections, tangible interaction and design. It can attract adults and kids alike but offers a level of engagement and wonder for children not common in many light works. This installation lets users experiment and play while discovering the power of light combined with reflection. A crowd can have various reactions based on the light, rotation and their own viewpoint.

The installation was on public display during the MOTAT Night Light event in June 2017.

I would like to thank Nigel Cartmell, Jenna Gavin, Pete Davison, Suzette Conradie, Sophia Jones-Williams and Braeden Foster for their contribution to this installation.

Development

Materials and Creation

The designs were created using SketchUp and required 0.1mm in precision for the mirror panels to fit evenly between each other while being capable of rotating around a single DAL tube. The panels were cut using a laser cutter and made of MDF. Each panel had 8 wires (5x for the rotary and 3x for the LED strips) funnelled through a DAL tube and connected to an Arduino Mini. As the LED strips were of 30 LEDs per panel and came to over 30 amps total, a 5V 40 amp switcher power supply was used.

Retrospecting

Due to the precision and labour required, this project became one of my most ambitious ones to date. For every addition to a single mirror panel (an extra wire, resistor etc.) would cause a repeated effect to the other 19 panels. This put extra pressure for the design and execution of the project and left no room for error. I was fortunate enough to receive the assistance from many friends in the field to help with the deliveries and construction of Colour Chamber.