Engineers Canada

How might we create an interactive experience that presents engineering as creative, exciting, and relevant?

The Project

Engineers Canada hosted an event at Parliament Hill for ministers and visiting students to attend. At the event, they wanted to communicate the importance of engineers and their values as an organization through an interactive installation. They also hoped to repurpose the installation at future public engagement events.

My Role

Product Design, Fabrication

The Users

Engineers Canada wanted to target government representatives, current members, and students deciding what field to study as their users.

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Susan

Age: 53

Occupation: Member of Parliament

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Mohammad

Age: 53

Occupation: Aerospace Engineer

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Brittany

Age: 17

Occupation: Grade 12 Student

Inspiration

We collected images for inspiration to guide our visual and conceptual approach to the installation.

Solution

We decided to present three stories of engineers from various backgrounds using large format photos and modules that triggered an audio track of each engineer speaking about their experiences in the profession.

Design

I decided to focus on romanticizing analog controls and the unassuming beauty of circuit boards to communicate engineering’s relevance today and in the past. I also wanted to integrate laser etching as an example of newer fabrication techniques impacting engineering.

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3D Mockup New

Fabrication

The fabrication process included laser etching our circuit design onto wood panels which I assembled. I then installed buttons with satisfying tactile feel to triggered audio files on a microcontroller I had programmed. 

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Button

The Result

Our result was an interactive, museum-style installation that acted as an intriguing and educational experience for users.  Each module immersed users in the personal story of a different engineer, including an engineering graduate student, an engineer who had to be relicensed after immigrating to Canada, and a longtime member of Engineers Canada.

© 2018 by John McClelland