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Bubble Trigger

|A Systematic Interactive Installation

Communication is one of the most important aspects of human society. This experimental

installation series uses bubbles as a metaphor to shape the abstract concept of communication.


Controlled by programming different states and characteristics of the bubble are matched with the space for speaking, listening and thinking during real-time communication.

This project started with the extrovertdominated culture in society, which refers to the environment where the extrovert traits and behaviours are highly valued and encouraged while it may cause loss of

personal growth and pressure to introverts.

After analysing the research and key points I got from the interview. I found all the elements are actually about the space and border between individuals in communication.  Since personality is only one part of communication, I expanded the focus point to the space in communication.

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The bubble is the air we blow when we speak, which made it a suitable way to give the communication a shape. And the space in communication is further divided into three parts, the space to listen, to speak and to think.

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Analog sound sensors and ultrasonic sensors are used to determine whether the participant is speaking, pausing, or still focusing on the conversation during communication.

It combines interactive installation with behavioural experiments and behavioural research. Unlike most interactive installations used to convey the designer's concepts, the final outcome of Bubble Trigger is entirely participant-driven and gives participants an opportunity for exploration and self-reflection.

A provided topic booklet for easily

starting a conversation

Microphone with built-in sensors

Every three participants can join together to explore the different aspects of communication space.


/ Space to speak /

The interior is separated into three incomplete spaces by soft dividers.

When participants are speaking, the bubble inside will expand, squeeze, fuse with each other or even extend into the other two spaces.

Just like the invisible space among communicators.


/ Space to listen/

Using ultrasonic sensors to determine whether the participant is still focusing on the conversation.

Bubbles will be created in the bottom container. The sound of bursting will then be amplified through the horn structure.

Are you still listening?

/ Space to think/

The action of speaking triggers the bubbles to rise from the bottom and naturally float to the top. If someone exports the ideas for a long time without pause, bubbles will be crowded inside.

Are you leaving enough space for others to think about and reflect on your opinions?

By combining into one system, if you find something that does not seem right in one part, you can always find clues from the other two. For example, if someone takes little space in the space for the speaking part, is it because someone is not focusing on this conversation anymore or is someone leaving less space for others to think and reflect?

This installation is not a tool for judging engagement and there is no need for each participant to take the completely equal space since each people have their own style for communicating.

This installation is providing a better way to explore the most harmonious communication pattern and helps for self-reflection.

" I can feel this installation is becoming part of our communication. "

" I subconsciously paused when I saw the tube was full of bubbles. "

" It's interesting to see how the bubbles blended into each other, it was like our ideas were combining. "

" It made me think about the conversation itself. "

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