Flow Factory

About the project

As a public artwork, Flow Factory engages Austin audiences in a cooperative experience that encourages mental focus and physical control. The goal is for participants to achieve “flow state” by synchronizing their movement together through immersive visual and audio feedback.

The project was commissioned by the city of Austin Art in Public Places TEMPO program and produced in cooperation with the Soul-y Austin Business District Incubator.

Flow Factory was also accepted into the UNESCO Media Arts Festival and showcased as a part of the HUMAN X MACHINE SYSTEM exhibition in Gwangju, South Korea 2017-11-27.

My Role

Art Director, Designer

Contributions

Art Direction

Finding creative solutions to match client expectations with team resources and abilities

Design Technologist

Working with live data to program responsive visuals in real time rendering environment

Visual Design

Taking visual and motion treatment of composition from storyboards to final screen

Experiencing Flow State

In Positive Psychology, flow is a mental state in which a person is immersed in a feeling of focus, involvement, and enjoyment in the process of an activity. It's achieved through a balance of challenge and skill — arousal and control, like an athlete in the zone or a musician swept away in a moment of free improvisation.

How the Interaction Works

The audience uses a wearable device to affect an immersive flow state environment comprised of three phases; idle state, synchronization, and flow state.

Flow state can only be reached when both users can sync their movements at consistent speeds.

Idle State, Synchronization, & Flow State

IDLE STATE

Flow Factory assumes an idle state when no users are interacting with either device.

This renders the environment in a passive state with little motion.

User Input

User 1
User 2

Feedback

SYNCHRONIZATION

The object of Flow Factory is to get two audience members moving in sync with each other. Finding this balance is tricky for most users, so as soon as they start to spin the device, a velocity meter appears to let them know how fast they are moving.

This phase triggers rings around the sphere and starts to affect the displacement of the sphere's position to show the user that they are still not in sync.

User Input

User 1
User 2

Feedback

FLOW STATE

Once users find a close enough rhythm with each other, the sphere and its outer rings ease into a centered and harmonious composition to show the audience that they have reached flow state.

User Input

User 1
User 2

Feedback

Process & Collaboration

Flow Factory was achieved through a myriad of techniques and disciplines including Visual Programming, Audio Programming, 3D Printing, Hardware production, and Fabrication. The production team was made up of six artists including myself.

This diagram illustrates Flow Factory’s data flow, componentry, and physical structure.

Diagram by team contributor Adam Ziener

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