Chen Yue & Matthew – Week 9


After consultation and discussion, we decided to focus on refining our boat design. We wanted to make the design more unique and site-specific to the lake, instead of one that is commonly seen elsewhere.

Concept Sketch


Inspiration & Concept
 The main objective of this project wasn't to put a recreational boat on the lake, but rather, to rediscover the Nantah spirit through an experience of team work, effort and communication.

The installation acts as a connection between the passengers and the story in the past and is also an iconic symbol that only fits the selected location. Therefore, we want to proceed the concept of two pedal boats on a pulley system as it conveys the message well across.

As mentioned before, we intended to create a mechanical-feel to the boat as it ties in more with the context of being placed in a technological university. And referring back to the story of the Nanyang lake, we sought inspiration from the heavy machine:  Excavator

An excavator is used for digging. It has a great significance to the site as the Nanyang Lake was first build using manual labor from students and faculties. Now as technology advances, it shows how technological advancement has progress and made things easier for mankind. It depicts us as a technological university which is research intensive and always innovating breakthroughs to benefit the society. We would like to use the shape of the excavator to pay tribute to those who manually dug up the lake but with a modern twist.


Concept Design

The boat will be constructed on an existing compact pedal boat. The design resembles distinct features of an excavator with its iconic yellow & black color as well as conveyor belts. The light design follows the one of the excavator and plays an important role for communication.

Dimensions & Specifications

Plastics can be considered as the material for the outer casing of the pedal boat. It has a high strength-weight ratio and also very resistant to weather. Plastics are lightweight and moisture resistant, which are good properties for making a boat. Some of these plastics include ABS, HDPE, LDPE and PP.

These plastic sheets can be easily moulded and fabricated into our desired exterior shape using CNC machining. Industries provide a full range of plastic products from tubes, rods and sheets.


Interaction & Communication

There will be a push switch inside each pedal boat that allows user to notify each other. Below are some possible scenarios. The two boats are connected with cable on a pulley system and therefore, their movement affect each other.

 (1) Green light meaning both boats want to continue pedaling and move along with the pulley
  (2) Red light indicating disembarking at the next platform, and the other responds with green light, willing to help pedal along
 (3) Both boat disembarking at the next platform
 (4) No respond from the other boat, only passengers on the disembarking boat pedal and they move at a slower speed

Chen Yue & Matthew – Week 6

Continuing from previous posts and feedback from the class, we decided to further develop the concept of a pedal boat, which incorporates the idea of team cooperation and provides a shelter for people to sit and enjoy the view of the lake.

Some concerns about this concept were:

1. What if some one pushes the boat away from the platform

2. The circumference of the ride would take up too much area of the lake

3. The connection below water might disrupt the natural environment

Therefore, we came up with the idea of implementing a pulley system into the concept.

Two boats would be tied with ropes that suspend above the water to avoid disturbance of the environment. Besides, the boats can only be moved when people sit on it and pedal. There are platforms installed at both sides of the lake to provider easy access. Similarly there are solar panels installed on top of the boat to provide light at night. Besides, two fixed pulley component in the lake also have solar panel and lights on the top surface.

Below it’s a video showing how the installation works:

The boat can be constructed using existing pedalo and we modify it by add more comfortable back support as well as a nicer and durable shelter. In terms of the rope, we are considering buying steel cable with Teflon coating as it is durable, waterproof and sufficient to withstand the force needed.

In addition we also looked at some different projects that aimed at revitalization of a location that was forgotten over time.

1. Swing Time

Bridget Hunter-Jones (top) and Anna Kaertner (above) check out “Swing Time” adjacent to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

It’s a very simple yet interesting concept of a ring shape swing that emits light and changes color when people sit and use it.

2. Pop Rock

3. ParKIT

All the projects above are different approaches artists take to bring attention to a mundane or ‘boring’ places. There are all site-specific as they are not too obtrusive and out of the place, yet they create a comfortable environment  with some surprising elements for people. Thus, people will go and  spend time in the places.


Other references 

Interesting  water bike!

We will then focus on developing the form of the pedalo to make sure it fits in nicely with the surrounding and provide a comfortable ride experience for the people.