Embroidered Chandelier x Arduino

I hadn’t quite figured out what I could do with a chandelier, but as I’ve decided early on this semester, I wanted to integrate my own culture into as many projects as possible. And as long as it made sense.

As I headed down to Canal Plastics to pick up some acrylic for the project (I had thought of lasercutting them, although in what shapes I didn’t know), I stopped by the quintessential Chinese market in Soho: the Pearl River. In there (they don’t allow photos, unfortunately), I saw a variety of colorful Chinese lanterns and I knew right then I wanted to use them. I just needed to make them look like a chandelier, which, coincidentally, isn’t too far of a stretch since Chinese lanterns are hung in multitudes during the Chinese Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the Lunar New Year:

Chinese lanterns symbolize togetherness, well-being, and good fortune, having been part of the Chinese tradition for at least two thousand years.

I also need to incorporate some embroidery, so I picked out a few paper lanterns with eyelets, so I can put yarn through them. Here’s a photo of my embroidery in progress:

Since lantern were originally used as portable lights (they helped blocked candles from the wind, making them basically an ancient form of flashlights), I wanted the LEDs to mimic the flickering motions of the candle flame. To do that, I plan on modifying the “Blink” code along with the “Button” code to control it:

Blink
Button

Author: David Hu

Industrial designer, specializing in consumer packaging and culturally inspired designs

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