Gaming the Smart Bulb

Transdisciplinary Design Intensive

Project Partners: Reid Henkel, Mollie West, Sarah Abiya

Summer 2014


This project employs a game-like, analogue interface to arrest a duration of attention and engagement in which knowledge can be communicated. Rather than the immediacy of digital display, this game board asks you to contemplate a questions and the put your answer into motion. The observable causality of this interplay enunciates the weight of individual value judgments and allows unique combinations of circumstances to be more fully considered.


The game works with a series of four questions that lead a marble through a sort of decision tree.

1. Will this light bulb be switched on and off often or be left mostly on? (on and off / always on)

2. What is the bulbs main energy source? (renewable / fossil fuel)

3. Do you need the bulb to be low-cost? (yes / no)

4. Will you be recycling the bulb after use? (yes / no)


Based on the answer to each of these questions the game board will make a recommendation of one of three lamps which is illuminated at the top of the board. The lamp types are:

a. quartz halogen

b. CFL

c. LED

To reduce any bias, each lamp has the same shape, same brightness, and same color temperature.