Electric Paint Powers Up Nike Force Studio

To celebrate the Air Force 1’s 35 Anniversary, Nike HK launches the FORCE STUDIO, a workshop-based pop-up store in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong. The workshop covered interactive, art & music elements, which allowed the audience to interact with their artwork that can play sound and trigger the light effect.

The aim of the workshop was to provide an interesting art-music jamming environment for the public to do whatever kind of creativity that could link up to Air Force 1.

The interactive artwork was created by XPLOR, a research & development lab of XEX / XCEED that aims at exploring creative expression through experimentation with new technologies and design.

For this workshop, the XPLOR team used three Touch Boards, Electric Paint, wires and metal screws. They also built a white wall for the audience to be able to create their own paintings. 

Firstly, they had to insert several metal screws on the white wall, these had to be longer than the wall’s thickness in order to protrude from back to front. These screws could then be used as points of contact for the painted sensors. 

They then connected the metal screw tails to the Touch Board using wires, which were hidden behind the wall. 

They connected the Touch Board to the Macbook and ran the Max/MSP program to trigger the sound and light effect.

Thus, when people drew something onto or around the metal screws with Electric Paint, the painted area would be interactive when touched.

As with every project, XPLOR had a few challenges to deal with. The limitation on the number of ports per Touch Board was an issue. We had to use more Touch Boards to get various interactive effects. This also meant that their setup would be more complex. 

Beside that, they also had to deal with drying time of Electric Paint. However, they managed to get it dry on time using hair dryers and fans. 

The programming wasn’t difficult, as they found all the resources they needed via Bare Conductive’s tutorials, which are full of technical information and guidelines.

Visitors loved the idea of creating their own interactive drawings which triggered sound and light. It was great fun for them to interact with the others’ drawings as well.

After a music jamming session, music samples were fed into the interactive music interface. The painted areas became triggers of the music samples when touched and allowed free-jamming of the sounds with music composed by the musicians.

Images & Video: XPLOR

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