Chinese Handscroll Experience

Because of conservation requirements, the historic chinese scroll the Detroit Institute of Arts has on display can only be show in small portions at a time. This handscroll experience developed for the DIA gives museum-goers the opportunity to view the scroll at its full length, teaching them about the history of China during that time as they scroll through it. Museum-goers can also leave their “stamp” at the end of the scroll, as it would be when the scroll was transferred to the next owner.

I created some early-stage physical prototypes using 3D-printing to help give technical constraints to the physical design. I also developed the software for parsing data from an industrial rotary encoder, in addition to the front-end development for a Node.js application.

The end result of the physical assembly was a textured, powder-coated, milled aluminum handscroll that uses an industrial rotary encoder to track rotational movement. The encoder sends data to the Node.js server via UDP from a powershell script to a virtual machine in which the application is housed.