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Sentient Artifacts

  • Prototyping of an interactive digital electronic device

  • 4-week design sprint

  • Tools: Rhino, Arduino, 3D Printing, Tramontana

In this project, I prototyped a device as a lamp that can also play a game with the user and show its own personality. The way the user interacts with the device will trigger its various motions, and thus bring joy to the user.


The lamp will have its own personality, and its movement will depend on how you interact with the game. For example, if you win the game, the lamp will get happy and dance for you. If you lose the game, the lamp will be angry and try to beat you. And if you take too much time to complete the mission, the lamp changes its pose to show the tired pose.


Work Progress and Iterations


Explored ways to connect Arduino with Tramontana, and worked on rough models to test out our ideas

Screen Shot 2022-09-11 at 6.33.15 PM.png

Explored the way to use Tramontana as input for triggering the lamp’s movement.


Designed a game in processing and use various game states to trigger different lamp movements and light changes. Also, Printed and assembled the lamp using the 3D printer.




  1. Systems are more than the sum of their parts - the integration of different components can require us to redesign some components if the interface is not planned well ahead.

  2. Knowing the technologies (hardware, software) can greatly help the designer make fast and feasible prototypes.

  3. Design by prototyping is not a one-way process. As the designer iterates the prototype, the learning shapes our mind and instructs our further iteration.

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