More selected projects

A door controlled by facial expressions

by Freddie Hong - student on the MA in Computational Arts 2016-17

The door that only opens when you smile.

The ‘smiling door’ began with curiosity on how the internal space could reflect on the mood of its users, and this door was proposed as a one of its experiment.  The focus of this project was to provide the audience an experience of what it feels like to have your emotions read by the computer.


While developing the project and testing out the door, I noticed that being forced to smile made some users uncomfortable. But instead of tweaking the interface to make the smile more like a “button” that users could quickly “push,” I actually lengthened the time it took to read each user’s smile. This intentionally compounded the feeling of awkwardness–and drew attention to the fact that the machine is analysing the user’s face.


The project uses machine learning (Wekinator), FaceOsc to read the faces and all of them are connected to each other using OpenFrameworks/C++ and Arduino. The system analyses the facial expression of the participants, decides whether there is a smile or not and if there is it opens the door.

The project was recently featured on Fast Codesign