A silent desk

Interactive installation

A silent desk, gesture interaction installation.

Collaborate with Y Liu and SQ Han. Responsible for: Design and all of the coding. 

An mapping installation that visualize people’s anxiety during work by the desk, which allows people to sweep the noting elements by hands.

On this desk, anxiety is visualized and embodied.
Over time, pressure accumulates,
turning the surroundings into an isolated space, a tiny lonely world.
You can try to sweep the words that come into view away,
and not let them impact you, but – ultimately – you will not get your way.
When you get up and leave, the desk becomes quiet again,
waiting for the next poor soul to sit…


“North China is too large to contain a silent desk( 华北之大,竟容不下一张安静的书桌! ),” is a slogan that was popularized by a contemporary student movement in China. It is meant to suggest that during a period of intense transformation, no one can study peacefully.

For most of us, modern life means sitting in front of a desk struggling: we are forced to confront pressures from work and daily chores, all while time is quickly elapsing. There is no quiet place for refuge. Even when we temporarily try to escape from pressures, they resurface.

Interaction design

Based on this recognition, we created an installation that tries to turn anxiety into an inspiring interactive experience.
Since pressure arises from different sources, we designed different messages for each daily object:


Processing: With the signals from Arduino and leap motion, the processor generates relevant interaction effects, and outputs the result onto the projectors.
Relevant libraries: Fisica, syphon, leapmotion for p5
Leap motion: Used the leap motion as the input device for hand gestures
Arduino: Used the pressure sensor on Arduino’s board to detect when people sit down
Scene: 2 projectors map the effects on the wall and the desk.

Thank you for seeing this.