My Role: Designer / Animator
Project Objective: SILHOUETTES is an interactive art experience.
Using projections, Silhouettes brings to light the often underrepresented issue of domestic violence. On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide. The warning signs of abuse can be seen all around us but victims often go unseen.
Silhouettes aims to shine a light on these abuse signifiers while also empowering bystanders to get involved. Users interact with wooden "silhouettes" of women and teens. These silhouettes have projected scrolling information on the warning signs and long-term negative effects of domestic abuse. If users interact with the projection it triggers the projection to change. Warning signs are replaced by words of encouragement and the positive outcomes from their involvement.
Squad: 1 Project Manager + 1 Animator/Designer + 1 Programmer
Timeframe: 4 weeks
Tools: After Effects, Kinect, Illustrator, and Photoshop
Brainstorming began with a concept idea using a sketch of the public space that would be used, in this case, the University of Washington Bothell plaza was the best choice. This small scale sketch allowed us to get a rough idea of how to set up assets.
Moving onto a more realized concept, we drafted up a storyboard for our video prototype. Using the space as inspiration, we moved on with a strong storyboard for creating a video of the interactive experience.
Our project drew inspiration from various social impact art installations across the world. Specifically, those that utilize projection in a public space, and focus on the power of words.
The use of 3D renderings gave a more conceptual and realized look of the public space.
The plaza located the central area of campus gave Silhouettes an open space well suited for organic interactions. Silhouettes could be experienced by thousands of students on campus each day. As people walk across the campus, they have an opportunity to interact with the installation and learn about domestic violence warning signs.
Using projections of information about domestic violence, users interact with the Silhouette cut outs by crossing paths with them and/or touching them. They then see the scroll of words change from negative to positive.
Creating realistically proportionate Silhouettes was a challenge, after deciding to use 1/4” plywood, hand-drawn Silhouette's were realized by a precision cutter and then painted black. Using a life-size cut out allowed users to interact with them as they would interact with a person.
The final result of the Silhouettes in the plaza was a beautiful synchronization of form and function in a public space. Using a spring evening, the illumination of plaza lights and Silhouettes with projections tied together the project as a whole.
The final completed Silhouettes installation created an immersive and interactive way to allow anyone to experience a glimpse of domestic violence. Silhouettes left users with an impact and empowered them to be aware of the power of words.