A tower of flip dots, with a person either sideA tower of flip dots with a woman standing in front of it

An interactive installation to nudge people into exercising

For some people, exercise is not instantly gratifying. What if it could be?
For their exhibition on Hedonism: The Pursuit of Pleasure and Wellbeing, the The University of South Australia’s MOD Museum wanted to create an artwork based on their sports psychology research. The brief was to transform exercise into a pleasurable activity. Cascade is an installation designed to coax people into getting active, stripping away the usual intimidating cues, equipment and feelings of a gym.

My Role

Concept development, UX and UI.

The Research

The MOD Museum provided academic papers as inspiration for the artwork. The main findings were that people loathe exercise, but they do more of it while distracted and in a group.

Based on the research, we established some guiding principles for the user experience:
- Minimal barriers to entry or instruction
- Immediate reward for effort
- Accessible; users can control their level of intensity
- Collaborative; users work together to achieve a shared goal
- Fun!

Flip dots in black and white


Cascade was inspired by the instant, visceral satisfaction of rows of dominos toppling over, and tying that feeling to exercise. A simple, yet spectacular chain reaction triggered by physical input.

Flip-dots were chosen as the interface, as they are reminiscent of dominos with their dual black and white faces, and distinctively pleasing sound. As you move, it feels like a cascade of endorphins washing over the brain.

A man and a woman standing in front of a flip dot tower
A flip dot display

Client: The MOD Museum
Studio: Grumpy Sailor
Film: Mike Daly