Cash flow is a water feature designed to fit into your daily routine. A simple glance on the way out the door gives the user an abstract view of their financial state, which may affect how they spend their day. It’s aim is to give the user a simple way to gauge their finances, while maintaining a level of privacy. What is considered to be a large amount of money and a little amount of money is decided by the user and is represented by the speed of the water, so your finances stay personal while acting as a decorative focal point in the home.
Cash Flow is a project undertaken in collaboration with a Product Design student, John Thomson and a fellow Interaction Design Student, Michael Lindin. A group of us within the class chose to host an exhibition on Thursday the 17th of January 2013 which turned out to be a huge success; the studio was absolutely packed and we received some great feedback.
The brief these projects were based on was to create a “21st Century Barometer”: a household appliance that supplies useful information from the internet on a daily basis. It had to use Arduino and Processing to gather this information and was required to be displayed in a physical form. It was a very wide brief and allowed each team to define the scope of their project to reflect what they were interested in; our team choosing the sensitive nature of money. Cash Flow was based on research undertaken by students from DJCAD’s Master of Design Ethnography in partnership with NCR. This research looked at how creative families in the cities of Shanghai, Paris and New York live, and how design can help improve their lives. We chose to focus on a particular family in Shanghai who were very interested in recording every expense they made. To enhance my project further I conducted some ethnographic research myself and got in touch with a student who used to live in Shanghai to gain an insight into their living conditions and improve my design. This brief allowed us the creativity and freedom to create quite an abstract device which highlighted the changes in their bank balance; the faster the speed of the water, the closer you are to your high limit. The project is powered using a caravan water pump, Arduino, Processing and pulls live data from the internet using IFTTT.com. If you want to read more I recorded each stage of the project in my blog.
All projects can be viewed on our Digital Hallway website.