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Describe how you translated your concept into the outcome. How did you approach the exercise? What were the design choices? What challenges were encountered and how did you resolve them? What ideas did you generate and how did you refine or reject them? What approaches did you reject?

Like most digital media installations, the work had two sides - a technical side and a physical side. For the physical side, the scale of the tree had to be determined rather early on. For where we wanted to place the tree (the benches outside our classroom in Hunt), we needed it to only be 2-3ft tall so that those sitting around it could access it easily. We also had to decide how we should hold people's phones. For this, we made little wire holders on the branches which were closely aligned with where the charging cables were.

For the technical side, we had to decide how we wanted to play the media and where we would put whatever was playing the media. We decided to use a laptop that would be placed alongside the tree, hidden under a box with the two lightning cables coming out. The sounds would come from the speakers of the laptop. The laptop would run a Python script to play the ambient noise at all times and a randomly selected bird sound (with a new one layering on every 15-30 seconds) when devices are plugged in.

As for iterations on the work and ideas we rejected: we originally thought we would have more charging cables on the tree. However, the tree became too crowded, and they would have to be charged from something other than the laptop (limited amount of USB ports) so that would complicate our setup without adding much more interactivity. Also, we originally had the phone holders start out as empty, but realized their use would not stand out enough and added foam cutout labels.

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