TU Delft: Bachelor Final Project
NPSP Composieten BV


Apr. 2011 - Jun. 2011


Robert van den Born


PEBBLED is a collection of box like seating elements for public spaces that react to the presence of users. Upon sitting down the block will light up the area around and underneath using coloured LEDs. This creates the illusion that they are floating on a cushion of light and helps to provoke human interaction.

The chaotic alignment of elements makes it possible to have both closely packed clusters for people that want to be in a group and small outlying sets for those that want more privacy. It gives people the option to choose what they want, contrary to normal benches where you only have one option.

Humans display an interesting behaviour regarding how they sit. They first look for places that are further away from others and gradually as more people arrive they slowly get closer to other people. The blocks use this type of behaviour and use it to create a playful visual output that stimulates social interaction.

Interaction Scenario

 When a person sits down on one of the seating elements a random colour is assigned. If this person is joined by someone else, the neighbouring element gets the same colour.

Slowly, when more groups of people start to occupy the space, the light will start to shift around the original colour.

If a persons fills the empty spot between two groups, they become connected, and colours start to mix. Until finally the entire collection becomes a harmony of colours.

Arduino Prototype

To test and present the interaction scenario a working scale model was created. The model was based around textured cardboard boxes, raised slightly above the surface, each fitted with an RGB LED and DIY capacitive touch sensor. Controlled by an Arduino the model could respond to simultaneous touch interaction, showing exactly how the colours change as described  in the scenario when the boxes are touched.