PCOMP Midterm : Ideation & Concept Development

This is the first in a series of posts detailing the process of developing and creating my Physical Computing midterm alongside Yining Shi.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the rights to any Jurassic Park properties; imagery, sound, video, or otherwise. Please don’t sue me. This project is for academic purposes only.


Let’s say we had three weeks to complete this assignment. That means we spent the first 2 weeks coming up with ideas. I’ve got a notebook full of nearly incomprehensible sketches of little candles in boxes that was initially the direction we were headed in until, we a) found out that flaming candles are a no-no on the floor at ITP and b) decided we didn’t actually love the idea.

Photo Oct 16, 9 26 18 AM

So after a 6+ hour hangout, walkabout, and sit down brainstorming session we finally hit on something we both liked.

The Book Remote

I guess by this point in the night I was pretty tired. And when I’m tired I start thinking about the classic 1993 science fiction/adventure film Jurassic Park. Directed, of course, by virtuoso Steven Spielberg with a story by none other than the king of the science fiction/adventure genre, Michael Crichton. Why do I think about Jurassic Park? Probably because it gets me amped up. The very thought of “An Adventure 65 Million Years in the Making” is enough to give me energy for days. And imagining fighting for my life against a pack of highly intelligent Velociraptors? I mean, come on. Tell me you don’t want to just punch through a wall right now.

So there I am thinking about Jurassic Park. I’m thinking about how much I enjoyed the book and the movie. The book. The BOOK!

I said to Yining, “We should make a physical version of the novel Jurassic Park that controls the movie Jurassic Park!”

“What’s Jurassic Park?”


This was a dark moment for me. After I made her watch the movie and read the book we reconvened. She liked the idea and we sketched the concept out.

Photo Oct 04, 6 32 55 PM
Initial concept sketch
Slightly more detailed concept sketch

Now that we had a concept we began to experiment and prototype. Which I’ll cover in the next post.

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