Danger Box

I designed the danger box to be misleading on multiple levels, starting with the name. Like the Masochist’s coffee pot we read about in this reading, this device is specifically designed to do what the user did not intend to do. Most of the device’s wiring is hidden within the box, so any user who comes by without knowing what it does can receive no clues from it.

I used mapping as a diversion by using the yellow LED light as a moving piece instead of a light, as it was intended to. this had the affect of surprising the user.

Another diversion I used was the copper tape on the top of the box that looks like it must be connected to make something in the box work.

The cumulation of all these things is an experience in which a user expects to press on a button or light sensor, expecting something to happen like the light turning on, but something completely contrary to that happens.

int solenoidPin3 = 3;
int solenoidPin4 = 4;
// Solenoid Pins
void setup() {
  // put your setup code here, to run once:
  pinMode(solenoidPin3, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(solenoidPin4, OUTPUT);
  //makes solenoids output

void loop() {
  // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:
  int knobValue = analogRead (A0);
  // grabs data from light sensor reading
  // shows light sensor reading
  if (knobValue  > 650) {
    digitalWrite(solenoidPin3, HIGH);
    digitalWrite(solenoidPin4, LOW);
  if (knobValue < 650) {
    digitalWrite(solenoidPin3, LOW);
    digitalWrite(solenoidPin4, HIGH);
  // this section tells the solenoids to move depending on the light that the light emitter is receiving


The reading reminded me of the podcast 99 Percent Invisible (which I listen to religiously). It is a podcast about design and our place as humans within the world of design. There were two things that particularly stood out to me in the text.

  1. Everything in our human world is designed, but not all design is good. This is why it is necessary for designers to act as an intermediary between engineers and the rest of the world.
  2. I want to reiterate just how much I loved the Masochist’s Coffeepot. It is a  beautiful art piece because it flips design on its head, taking something well designed and reverse designing it so it no longer works.

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