Afloat: a spatial exploration with gestures

Project Title

Afloat: a spatial exploration with gestures


Elevator Pitch/One Liner

A meditative approach to spatial exploration… and bubbles!



This playful yet meditative piece is about spatial exploration, utilizing a Kinect for gestural interaction. The sketch is projected onto three layered transparent fabrics hanging from the ceiling, offering a dreamlike environment. The fabrics are diagonally placed so people can effortlessly travel through the space.
The sketch shows hundreds of bubbles that users can interact with their body; they can create a huge bubble or attract bunch of bubbles with certain gestures while listening to relaxing ambient music. The bubbles follow as people walk around the space. Some people might want to play with the fabrics, and when the surface of the fabrics is distorted, it creates unexpected organizations of bubbles while still following the users. You can imagine clean sheets of clothes being hung out to dry while bubbles float around you in the fresh summer air. A beautiful world is created and it reacts to you gently. We want to deliver this dreamlike relief to our audience with our experiments in creative coding sketch, movements and space.


Background( Research )

While we were exploring different ways and aspects of movement in Sense me, move me class, we wanted to get away from the intuitive and subconscious reaction when people see an interactive piece, which is standing in front of the piece or waving their hands. Too many interesting ways interactions were killed by the existence of a screen. So at this time we want to explore more with a space instead of just a 2D screen- how people behave entering the space, how people interact with the architectural space, and how people react with different layers of projection sketches.



kinect, gesture, interactive, movement, dance, body, bubble, creative coding, projection mapping, space, fabric



Everyone who’re interested in gestural interaction, body movement, touching fabric and exploring a space. Everyone who wants to take a break from fast-paced New York City and take a moment to calm down and enjoy themselves.


User Scenario

The audience will see our piece when they enter the dark room- beautiful bubbles, peaceful movements and people interacting with the bubbles. Ideally this piece is designed for one user to let him/her fully immerse in the space by himself/herself and play freely. As people move in front of the piece, they will immediately notice that hundreds of bubbles are attracted by their hands. After playing with the attraction for a while, they will find out that they can generate some new giant bubbles with their hands. Some people will travel through the fabrics or even play with touching fabrics. Some people will dance in the space listening to a relaxing and dreamlike music. Whatever people do within the space, they will feel magical because the bubbles are always following them.


Implementation( Work Description )

This piece consists of three parts- input, output and the architecture of space. The input is Kinect that tracks body movements of the users, the output is a projected creative coding sketch that reacts to the Kinect’s body tracking, and the architecture of space is three layered transparent fabrics hanging from the ceiling for projection mapping. We plan to invite people to our piece, and let them play, dance or even relax with our piece. We’ve shown this piece in Sense me, move me final show and got many positive feedbacks. We wish more people could join us and experience this magical journey through the space filled with bubbles.



Using Kinect and code to design people’s movement and interaction.

Designing affordance interaction with physical architecture.



Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forests


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