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  • Writer's pictureAtchareeya Jattuporn

Midterm project : Never Give up Japan

Inspiration & Concept

Japan is one of the counties most affected by natural disaster. The top three natural force attacking Japan are storm, earthquake and flood. This year, the world most devastating typhoon , called typhoon Hagibis , attacked Japan. Despite the severe damage with the city, least than 100 people pass away. Although unfortunate events always trying to destroy Japan, Japan still survive with their well-prepared system.

This piece represent how Japan handle all kind of severe natural disaster through out interactive Japanese flag. The red circle in the middle of the flag consist of 12,686 dots. Each dot equal to 10,000 Japanese population. There are three interactions in this flag. First, blowing represented typhoon. Second, shaking represented earthquake. And the third, dipping represented tsunami. Every time people interact with this flag, the little dot are wiped away and after the interaction stop every dot is going to automatically unite again.

This project is developed from ICM midterm sketch. Here is the link to ICM project.

Circuit & code

In this project, I use two types of sensors which are two piezo sensors , sensitive with the vibration , for blowing and shaking functions and rain sensor , sensitive with moisture, for dipping function. I use serial communication to send the data from arduino to p5js and control the sketch by physical interactions.

P5.js Code

Special thaks to Tianxu Zhou , one of my classmate, to help me debugging the code.

Arduino Code


I decided to make three circles for people to interact with. I made it in similar size and shape in order to make them indivisible. Participant would get the sense of uncontrollable and surprise similar to any natural disaster, event though they are control the piece right now. The circle shape of the interactive part are related to the graphic on the flag.

I use wood as surfaces of the enclosures and use wire grating as the edge of the enclosures. The hardest part of making this prototype is installing the sensor inside the enclosures because the sensors are fragile and super sensitive. After install the sensors, I have to reopened the enclosures many time to fix the sensors.

The most problematic piece is the shaking one. I put some beads inside the circle in order to create the sound and make it easier to trick the sensor. In contrast, the beads continuously stick with the tape that I used to hold the sensor. They increased the weight of a sensor and finally broke the solder part.

Testing Video

Room for Improvement

  1. Piezo sensor is super fragile and not stable. I should find the better way to install it in the piece. During making this project, I broke 4 piezo sensors.

  2. Rain sensor is not appropriate with wood. Wood keep a lot of humidity after it was deep into a water and decrease the power of rain sensor. I have to adjust the number every time I set up.

  3. One function that I did not add to this piece is a fan. When people interact with the sensor, I want the fan to blow the flag.

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