Living Pixels

CONTEXT: Making Studio, MFA Products of Design, SVA


Press: Featured in Arduino Blog, Adafruit Blog.


“What if smart devices actually did have personalities and emotions
that we as humans don’t ever see?”


Seeing smart home products being more common in our lives, I’ve started to think about the relationship between people and these products. If one day, smart home products become an indispensable part of everyone's life, what attitudes should we take to coexist with them? How are we going to treat them?

We like to call smart home products with a human name, like Alexa. It seems that we are trying to see them as individuals with intelligence. But are we treating them that way? If electrical appliances really have life, will we treat them differently?

To imagine a world where technology has life, I made a picture frame that shows emotion when people leave the room.

All Videos

Making Process


Ciruit Bulding


The circuit is built by connecting a LED matrix, and a PIR motion sensor to an Arduino board. An additional lipoly battery as a extra power supply to run the LEDs in full brightness.




A wooden grid and a layer of plastic foam is placed under the acrylic sheet to diffuse and blend the light.




Various animations to be shown on LEDs are drawn in photoshop then translated to bitmap. The code is written based on NeoPixel buttoncycler example code, and modified to work with a PIR motion sensor and 16x16 LED matrix


and more