hoLEDay tree

Positioning:  Interactive wall art provides users with the option to continually personalize their art through changing color modes and other elements with LED lights

Mission:  Change the way people think about their walls by providing the opportunity to continually customize a piece of art to fit moods and special occasions.

Vision:  Be beautiful and delightful

Target Audience:  All ages.  People who enjoy the mixed medium of hard and soft, art and technology

Printed a copy of a tree design I created in Illustrator to use as a pattern to bend the wire


-Use on of my tree sketches to create a holiday tree that is safe for kids to decorate with lights

-Enhance the experience by eliminating the frustration and danger of traditional light strings

-Add joy to a room with the finished product




After getting the first few wires shaped I ran testing the first part of the circuit with an external power source and an RGB cycling LED.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Had to learn how to do some basic soldering for this project to make the wire connections to complete the circuit.


Assembly processes.  In order to have a minimalist design, I ran wires in front and behind with a gap in the circuit that will be bridged by each LED.  Gluing small high power magnets to the back make a nice attachment for the lights.



Creative Technology Seminar Final Project

Initial proposed project description:

My idea is to create a game that allows people to play a game similar to “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock” in real life.
The Rules:
  • Scissors cuts Paper
  • Paper covers Rock
  • Rock crushes Lizard
  • Lizard poisons Spock
  • Spock smashes Scissors
  • Scissors decapitates Lizard
  • Lizard eats Paper
  • Paper disproves Spock
  • Spock vaporizes Rock
  • (and as it always has) Rock crushes Scissors
My initial idea was to make wrist bands that have a couple colored lights and the symbol associated with the “character.”  The point of the game would be to get within a certain proximity of the characters you can “kill” whilst avoiding the characters that can “kill” you and not letting them get close to you.  The game winner would be the first player to acquire 3 wins before taking three hits.
An interesting additional feature would allow players to view a map of play after the game ends and see the path of all the players during game play.
would see this game being fun in large crowed event environments like festivals and conventions.


Update #1

Following the recommendation to use microbit and the embedded radio function as the platform for this project, I learned how to get them working and recognizing each other as well as adding and using the Neopixel library to light up the LED strip.

Additionally, I used Illustrator and Sketchup to create a 3D model and print an initial prototype mock up of one possible housing for the game modules.


Update #2

after much struggle, finally figured out how to get the micro:bits to hold and keep track of score for the game.


I decided that adding extra LEDs might be too much with the full screen, so going to use the embedded screen to communicate score and game play.

Also found a case on https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2676331 that I’m going to use instead of designing new ones from scratch.


Final code



Name: Jenna

Age/Gender: 57 Female

Family:  Daughter and 2 cats

Occupation: Office manager

Hobbies/Collections:  vinyl records and classic books.

Technology:  iPhone, desktop computer, just got a kindle e-reader because she is running out of bookshelf space


Jenna loves working as an office manager, but has noticed as she is getting older that she gets sick a lot and has to take time off work when germs are going around, and this has a negative impact on work flow.  She also has a sensitivity to may cleaning chemicals used in the space, so more bleach isn’t a good solution for her.

Lets look at some data about germs in the office place…

An ATP of 300 or higher is considered officially dirty and at high risk for spreading illness. The dirtiest office surfaces found to have ATP counts of 300 or higher were as follows:

  • 75% of break room sink faucet handles
  • 48% of microwave door handles
  • 27% of  keyboards
  • 26% of refrigerator door handles
  • 23% of water fountain buttons
  • 21% of vending machine buttons

Surfaces with readings over 100 that could use disinfecting included:

  • 91% of break room sink faucet handles
  • 80% of microwave door handles
  • 69% of keyboards
  • 69% of refrigerator door handles
  • 53% of water fountain buttons
  • 51% of all computer mice
  • 51% of all desk phones
  • 48% of all coffee pots and dispensers
  • 43% of vending machine buttons


I’m going to focus on handles that aren’t on a sink since motion detecting faucets are a great solution already widely in use, or on keyboards, since these are less frequently a shared item.


Antimicrobial covers for handles and knobs in public places at work that not only helps keep germs from spreading, but also alerts users to the danger of germs on handles, especially in shared kitchen areas.


  • yarn
  • 2 large metal snaps
  • non-conductive thread to sew element together
  • conductive thread to create circuits between elements
  • LilyMini with SAMD11 brain
  • 3v coin battery
  • LilyPad Light Sensor
  • LilyPad Button
  • 4 LilyPad LEDs


  1. LilyPad components are fun to work with, but you have to take extra care to remember where you sewed with the conductive thread when you are trying to hide it in the design.  I had to resew part of the circuitry because half of the lights were not working correctly.  Unlike wires with traditional arduino boards, thread is harder to debug because I couldn’t see where it was and had to try to remember where I had sewed.
  2. As I was creating the prototype, I realized that antimicrobial yarn often incorporates silver as the microbe discouraging element, and that might interfere with the sewn in electrical components in this project.  I would need to do some testing to see if this would be problematic.  For the prototype, I used a silver colored yarn that I had on hand, but it does not contain any conductive metallic material, so I didn’t have issues.


Programming that would trigger a red light after a certain number of people touched it to let someone know it needs to be washed.

Interactive Bulletin Board


trigger a reaction of curiosity by adding movement to a traditionally static object in a public place.

Design Idea and Objective:

Increase attention people pay to a bulletin board in the ATLAS lobby by making some of the posters and flyers move.

Initial Design Sketch:




After considering the technology available, and going through an initial design critique, I decided that it was more feasible to add a proximity sensor, 2 servo motors, and an RGB LED to a smaller bulletin board that would allow for installing the tech components behind the board instead of trying to hide them behind posters on an existing board mounted to the wall in the lobby.

Building Process:


  • small bulletin board I found discarded near a dumpster
  • Infrared Proximity Sensor Long Range – (Sharp GP2Y0A02YK0F)
  • Infrared Sensor Jumper Wire – 3-Pin JST
  • 2 Servo Motors
  • LED – 10mm Cycling RGB
  • SparkFun RedBoard – Programmed with Arduino
  • Bread board
  • Extra wires and alligator clips
  • Zebra print duct tape (because that’s what my boyfriend handed me when I asked him to grab me some tape!)
  • A piece of 2×2 pine board I had laying arround
  • Handful of ATLAS flyers and informational cards
  • 3 Thumbtacks


Final Design:

Used flyers and material from a table in the middle of the main stairway in ATLAS presented in a different format and adding motion elements to create curiosity and delight.

In addition to the two servo motors used to move pieces of the deconstructed flyers, I installed the color changing LED in the upper right section by drilling a hole and gluing a clear thumbtack over the hole so the light could illuminate and add an interesting color element.  I included this to create interest and draw people in close enough to trigger the prox sensor.


I chose to install and test the board over the table that contained the material I used to decorate the bulletin board for context and to give people the opportunity to pick up and read the material more closely if they wished.


Testing and Implementation:

Board installed above table:

Quick test of the proximity sensor to show the motion function.

Testing from melinda plett on Vimeo.

Final edited video of people interacting with the board.


People were surprised by and enjoyed the interaction when they noticed.  Unfortunately, most people just walked past without even noticing even if they did trigger the prox sensor.  However, ATLAS staff particularly enjoyed the installation as it did created some increased interest in the information table.

Improvement Ideas:

  • Adding more lights, that perhaps flash, to grab attention more effectively.
  • Create a series of boards and install them near each other to create interest.
  • Maybe add some elements that a user can interact with and control like some buttons.