This gigantic genie lamp stands over 35 ft long and over 16 ft tall, and can comfortably sit up to ten people. And yes I said “sit”, because this live interactive experience is meant to be enjoyed both from within and without. The frame is made from steel conduit with female cups welded at specific locations to allow for relatively easy assembly. The frame is then shrouded in a vinyl cover to insulate the inside from weather. Finally, steel plating adorns the outside and features cut outs back lit by LED strip lighting.
The LED lighting infrastructure was one of my responsibilities on this project. The entire system is insulated from water with louvered vents, silicone tubing, and waterproof connectors. It consists of 1536 WS2812 RGB LEDs driven by three FadeCandy 2.0 boards. Each board is housed in it’s own junction box complete with power supply and bus. The animations sent to the boards are generated by a micro-ATX gaming PC running Processing and taking signal input from a Leap Motion gesture recognition controller. The controller senses location data for each finger segment and sends it to Processing, which draws one of four different animation modes corresponding to various hand gestures. Those modes are then further augmented based on hand position. It’s a fairly complicated system for such a simple and intuitive effect, but it promises incredible potential for further development.
Originally the brain child of Annie Rose and Matt Helsel, the InGenious project was meant to provide the gift of wonder and amazement to any who participate. I was first asked to help design the frame and structure in 2017, and to provide drawings, and engineering advice and support. Matt then personally bent each of the frame segments into shape with a hand operated tube roller. Since then this project has slowly improved every year thanks to a great amount of effort put in by our small but dedicated team of artists.
In 2019 we were able to complete a huge series of improvements including the steel plating and interactive lighting aspects. The interior was redesigned to provide more space and really highlight the scale of the interior with beautiful hanging fabrics. This whole work is incredible and I consider myself incredibly lucky to be a part of this team.