Face Your Fear

Face Your Fear

Scope  4 weeks                                                                Categories  Interactive Installation

Medium  Kinect, Servo Motor, Projection                          AdvisorsEric Forman, Bruno Kruze, Carrie Kengle

Teammates  Abhinav Sircar, Yumeng Ji

Role  Collaborated with teammates throughout concept and coding process.

IMG_2353 (1).jpg

process sketch.jpg


Life is complex and full of challenges. Many of them can be perceived as our biggest fears. Fear of failing, fear of rejection, fear of loss and most often, the fear of the 'unknown'. But how do we overcome them? If we run away or try to avoid, they would keep following us, until we gather the courage to confront and face it head on. Only then can we conquer it and move ahead in life.

Inspired from the photograph series of Pol Ubeda Hervas titled 'I'm not there' , we created an interactive installation called 'Face your fear'. The installation has a void area in a dark room with a pair of shoes and a white shadow of an unknown entity wearing them.


process sketch2.jpg

How it work

When you approach, the shoes turn towards you as though the unknown entity is looking right into your eyes. You cannot see anyone wearing the shoes, but only their shadow. If you come close to it, the shadow becomes smaller, while if you go further away, the shadow becomes taller. And wherever you turn, the shoe and the shadow turns accordingly to follow you. The shoes and the shadow' symbolize the 'unknown' and its existence is dependent on the person in the scene. If you try to avoid it or move away, it would follow and compel you to face your fear. The setup is in the dark and the shadow is white symbolizing that fear is unreal and can be conquered upon.


The installation was made with the use of a Kinect, Arduino, Winch Servo and Processing. The projector along with the Kinect was mounted on top of the ceiling to detect the position of the user and map an image of a shadow on to the ground. A 360 degree servo was connected with an Arduino to rotate the shoes according to the position of the person. 


How to code?


The project was divided into three smaller stages.

1 | The first stage was to calculate the angle of a variable moving element (mouseX, mouseY) with respect to a static point and sending it over serial to move the 360 degree winch servo motor.

2 | The second was to orchestrate a shadow image according to the variable element.

3 | And the third using the Kinect to detect the movement of the person on stage.

Once these three parts were ready, it was then combined in one single code to execute. Getting the image projected on the floor and mounting the Kinect was one of our biggest challenges.

Next Steps

As a team, we would like to convert this classroom project into an interactive installation in a design gallery so that people can experience it. Although we started with a theme, we would like to leave the theme untitled for everyone to make their own interpretations out of it.