David Schneller


Beat the Wall

Installation for running events, made in interaction design project course

The Beat the Wall project was executed during the Interaction Design Project course. The goal for this years projects was to enhance big outdoor sports events. We decided to create an installation that provides a fun side event for visitors of marathon races. In the spirit of running, visitors can participate in a casual sprint race competing against a virtual competitor. The competitor’s speed is visualized by a wall installation.

Building Beat The Wall on Vimeo.

Our intention with this installation was to meet some of the goals that were set by the event organizers. This includes improving the festive atmosphere at the event and attracting people to specific areas along the track. The engaging nature of this installation should be especially exciting for children which can get bored quickly when watching the race gets too monotonous. Also the unconventional visualization should be interesting and memorable for spectators.


The installation was built with vertical transparent pipes which are filled with styrofoam. Motors under the pipes are turned on in sequence and create a wave of styrofoam moving along the wall. The installation was limited to be five metres long to make the project viable in terms of costs, build time etc. An improved version would be 20 metres or more to offer a decent distance for a race.


Project Specs

Interaction Design Project course, semester 3 of Interaction Design & Methodologies Master
8 weeks
Used skills
Arduino, Processing (language), electronics, soldering, web development (HTML/CSS, ZURB Foundation)
Division of work
The project was executed in a group of 5 people. Everybody was involved in the design an concept phase. Later work was split into electronics/programming and building the physical prototype. I wrote a part of the Arduino code, made the Processing client, soldered one of the motor modules and was involved with the final assembly.
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