Battery Park has a unique energy about it brought on by a combination of the everyday occupant and the wanderlust traveler. The hustle and bustle of those trying to catch a ferry, socialize with friends over lunch, or simply escape the workplace gives life to the park. Twiddle is intended to reflect this energy and contribute to the park's activity, all while providing a place to sit.
The chair is designed to activate its LCD shutters during the day, dancing in the sunlight that powers the embedded photovoltaic panels within the seat. The simple patterns, programmed into an onboard microprocessor, will let the unoccupied chair 'play' until it is sat in by a passerby.
The lightness of its design and playfulness of its presence is achieved with a limited material palette. The frame of the chair is composed of thin metal tubing, doubled up in the seat-back for support and ergonomics. The surface is a laminated translucent plastic with LCD shutters embedded into the back and photovoltaic panels embedded into the seat. The microprocessor, thin connecting wires, RFID tag, and sponsorship plate are also embedded into this surface. Since the electronics are visible through the plastic, the pattern of the PV panels and wiring give a visual texture for the seat's surface.
The back railing extends beyond the plastic to provide an ergonomic grip for anyone trying to move the chair. The rear legs bow out and allow the units to stack vertically. The thinness of the rails and plastic surface give the chair a relatively light appearance and mass.
The embedded electronics should be relatively inexpensive and off the shelf. The LCD shutters are similar to the lenses used in 3d glasses with a simple 'on' and 'off' [opaque and transparent] setting.
The designers of Twiddle have experience working with large and small scale electronic installations on both the hardware and software side of things. They would work with the Conservancy to develop the patterns that would go into the chairs as well as with the fabricators to discuss the aesthetic organization of the hardware within the plastic.