An interactive social experiment

Research paper
Philips Outdoor, Little Mountain
Design and implementation of interactive visuals
Presented at STRP festival (30.000 visitors)
Co-author of published paper on study (Ambient Intelligence)


LumaFluid is an interactive environment that explores new ways to stimulate emotional and social engagement through light. Two versions were built and deployed during STRP festival, one of the largest art+tech festivals in Europe.

The installation was created to demo a new people-tracking from Philips. My role was to translate the real-time data into a visual projection that engaged people to play – with the light and with each other.

Mode 1: particles

The floor is covered in particles, evenly spread, and appear to float in space. Stepping onto floor, you become a force field that attracts the particles. Move slowly and you can attract many, move too fast and you may lose them. The particles constantly try to push each other away, and collectiong large amounts creates a radiating ball of light.

This mode appealed especially to children. The implicit nature of the projection let kids create their own interpretation and game, for example trying to steal each other's particles.

Mode 2: connections

The floor is empty – stepping onto it creates an colourful pulsing orb under your feet. Any two people with a few steps distance become connected, blending the two colours together. Groups of people can create web-like compositions by changing their position towards one another.

The more explicit style of this mode proved more appealing to adults. At one point, a group of people found out that the system accidently also detected a dropped bag as a person. In response, the people started walking around it, creating a wheel-like visualisation.

Working across the globe

Though the installation was exhibited in The Netherlands, I designed and developed the interactive visuals from Australia. Indeed, to this date I have not experienced the physical interaction with the installation myself!

It was a mental exercise to imagine the screen as a floor-wide projection, my mouse movements as full body interaction. Through continuous conversation and testing with the team on site, we turned this programmatic system into a smooth, poetic experience.