Make That Twist 
Dance to Draw

User Experience, Generative Art, Installation
Individual Project

Arduino, Openframeworks, Leapmotion

Carboard, Plywood, Acrylic Glass, Metals

4 Weeks | Nov-Dec 2017

Interactive/Kinectic Installation

Make That Twist is an art and interactive installation that uses twist dance as an innovative method for friends who live apart to communicate with each other. Specifically, this installation invites users to use twist dance to generate visual images, which could be sent as a post cards to their their remote friends. 

Design Proposal:

Final Paper:


Dance is universal, and why cannot distant people share they dance experience? For distant people, there is a wish that we could dance together even when we are far apart. This project aims at creating a memorable and engaging dance experience by using dance as a novel way for distant people to communicate with friends who live far apart to each other.

Design Goals

The final outcome of this project is an interactive installation that people could dance with, then based on people’s dance movement, the installation generates visual images that people could send to their remote friends as a sharable and playful memory thus creates stronger emotional bonds. Users are welcome to make the generated art pieces postcards.

Generative art pieces


Ideation and Sketches

Design Values

There are 3 main goals for the outcome of this installation.

#1. Theme
This piece aims at using body languages (the twist dance) and generative art to enhance emotional bonds between friends who are far apart. 

#2. Reflection
The outcome experience shall be playful, memory shareable, and visually intriguing.

#3. Application
This piece could serve as an entertainment or advertisement art installation at musuem or theme park.


A core consideration for this project is how users can explore body movement to deliver information and generate patterns as they wished to. Specifically, I want to find out what types of medium and display of information (mechanical installation or digital screen) that users enjoy the most throughout the interactive experience.

#1. Rapid Analog Prototyping Interestingly, people find this prototype engaging and fun, which might leads to a direction that I want to be going for. So for the next few prototypes I decided to use digital screen as a medium for people to use dance movement to deliver visual result.

#2. Interface Test & Technological Prototyping - Hand tracking By using leap motion, I got chance to test out users’ drawing experience on screen, but the tracking was limited to hands.

#3. Interface Test & Technological Prototyping - Body tracking
I used OpenCV in Openframework to test out on-screen and full-body drawing experience.

Surprisingly the prototype of mechanical/off-screen gained a more positive feedback.

Final Prototype at a Glance

User Test

#1. Questions
Before they try out the machine I asked them  questions
  1. Can you describe your feelings when you were interacting with the machine? 
  2. Which part do you like the most and which part the least?
  3. What memory or who were you thinking when you were dancing?
  4. Is there any inconvenience that you came across with the machine?
  5. Will you send the postcards to your friends and what do you think about the cards?

#2. Feedbacks and Problem to be solved

1. Overall experience
Most of the users tell that the overall experience were both fun and visually intriguing. Some of the users think it would be better to add more dance options and music options.

2. Likes and dislikes
The interaction and the design of the function does make uses do the twist dance, but a few people says the preparation before the dance was a little too trivial that requiring too much instructions.
3. Time spent
Users spend around 1 minutes to try out the installation before they asked for help or want to move on.

Unexpected interaction involves users try to use their body and do certain moves in order to draw specific patterns or pictures instead drawing them generatively and randomly.

5. Size and Shape
2/1 of the users think the size was about right, 4/1 the users think the size could be more portable, the other 4/1 the users think the device could be adult size at gallery.

Most of the people think sending the image as postcards to their friends are meaningful and unique, some people wish the process of sending postcards to be automatized.