The UX of gravity
second part

Time: October 28 – November 4

Brief: Design an artefact that expresses the experiential qualities of gravity.

Partners: Hue, Zoe, Winnie, Chun

After finishing our research, we felt that it was necessary to give time as much attention as the physical force of gravity. We wanted to create an interactive experience, where people could experience different forces in correlation with time. At first, we wanted to do something with metal particles moving through the plastic box, where a person trying the experiment would be able to control them using magnets with different strengths. However, after talking to John and Mor, we realized that this would be too hard to implement as well as being too abstract.

Representation of our first idea.

The next day we came to the decision that we will use magnets as a force that would pull the hand of a volunteer and obstruct their movement. That would showcase how the time runs more slowly as the gravity increases. We created three bracelets where each one represented a different force. We achieved that by using a different number of magnets. The blue bracelet was 1G with only a few magnets, the red one was 5G and the yellow one 10G containing many magnets. The bracelets with a higher gravitational force impede the user, meaning it takes longer for them to complete the task.  Under 0Gs, time runs very quickly, therefore representing the speed of time. 10G is the highest, so it takes the volunteer the longest to get their hand through the tunnel, representing the slowest passage of time.

Creating the gravity experiance.

Additionally, I suggested that we use the leftover material to create an interactive poster that is a 2D translation of the body storming we had done. We thought that would enable us to show the connection between time and gravity even better. The black hole in the middle represents a very strong force of gravity, and the shapes around it are the points in space. Matter warps time as well as space: the closer you are to an object of a large mass in space, the slower time passes. This is known as gravitational time dilation.

Play Video

Simulation of time and gravity.


Our feedback was mostly revolving around improvement of our bracelets and the usage of magnets as the magnetic force is stronger than gravitational. All in all, I think that we represented our idea in an understandable and interesting way. I found this topic really interesting and it gave me an idea for an installation that I would like to do sometime in the future.