Final Project Concept – Physical Computing

Hey Fellas,

For my final physical computing project I am going to be working with my friend Francesca Rodriguez. After discussing a lot about the things that we are passionated about, we found out that both of us love data and we are also really interested in creating awareness about topics we find important.

So for our concept we decided merge 2 topics that both of us find very relevant nowadays: freedom + migration.

But freedom and migration are very broad concepts that give room for too many different types of discussions. Because of that, we decided to focus our project in one particular thing: walls and borders created by men around the world.

Some interesting facts about the topic:

  • When the Berlin Wall was torn down a quarter-century ago, there were 16 border fences around the world. Today, there are 65 either completed or under construction* (*Font: Quebec University).
  • Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, 40 countries around the world have built fences against 64 of their neighbors.
  • More than 30 of those decisions were made following 9/11. 15 of them this year.
  • The reasons: Security fears  + Refusal to help migrants and refugees

Captura de Tela 2015-11-19 às 19.05.15

Some recent events that we think make this project very relevant:

  • Refugee crisis
  • Ukraine’s ongoing conflict
  • By the end of this year Israel will have surrounded itself entirely
  • recent ISIS attacks and threats.


This is how the world looks like nowadays in terms of walls and borders:

walls world


I guess our big question with this project is: Wasn’t globalization supposed to tear down barriers?

We want to create a wall installation that will let the user play with the evolution of borders through the past decades. We believe this is a way to create a discussion around the topic and to stimulate the user to think about how we connect to each other as humans and if all these walls we are building are actually good, bad or a necessary evil.

So this is our concept. In the next post I will talk more about the physical computing & fabrication parts of the process and about how the user experience will to be like.


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