The Good Deed Machine

A kinetic sculpture that responds to goodness

Holding the door for someone, recommending a book, letting someone ahead of you in line–these are little things that people do for each other. Our friends at Bombas asked us to create a piece that responded to small everyday acts of human kindness. Bombas created an online campaign that allowed users to submit deeds to inspire people this holiday season. We created a moving physical sculpture that brought this campaign to life.

The Good Deed Machine lived in the window of the Gap store at 54th and 5th for 2 weeks. Passers by could place their hand on the glass and watch the gears and pistons of the machine startup. The activity of the machine would then produce a good deed, written by online users, for them to carry out this Holiday. The end result was a playful and kinetic way to visualize the flow of goodwill during the Holidays.

The machine was created with a combination of classic automata techniques in combination with arduino, stepper motors, and camera tracking. A central cinder framework ran the installation and coordinated the movements of all the components.

  • Concept
  • Creative Direction
  • Art Direction
  • Design
  • User Experience
  • Animation
  • Development
  • Fabrication

Photos

Credits

  • Red Paper Heart

    • Zander Brimijoin - Creative Director
    • Pedro Piccinini - Design, Editing
    • Daniel Scheibel - Technology Director
    • Adrià Navarro López - Creative Coder
    • Eric Jiang - Technology Intern
    • Lisa Walters - Senior Producer
  • Video Footage

    • Nathan Punwar
    • Daniel Jaffe
  • Music

    • Coffee Cup - Niels Nielsen

Client & Partners

  • Client

    • Bombas
    • Gap
  • Fabrication

    • Pink Sparrow
    • Red Paper Heart