Dundee Contemporary Arts

Interactive Donation Box

Installation, Interaction Design, Product Design

Gamification of the donation experience.


Arts Council funding support is extremely competitive; arts organisations are under more and more pressure to self fund. Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre approached us following the completion of a NESTA funded research project exploring how gaming design principles could be applied to business contexts.


The brief was to create an interactive donation box which encouraged new and repeat donations. We designed and prototyped several concept ideas, before deciding to develop a simple three pixel game. The concept was based on colour theory. One pixel always displayed ‘Donations Welcome’ so that visitors to the gallery could tell that the game was a donation experience.


Each of the other three pixels had a laser cut slot on the top face which was big enough to drop a coin or note into. When cash is dropped into a pixel, the pixel colour changes to the next one in the colour wheel and a ‘Thank You’ message flashes up on the fourth pixel in the colour that the pixel just changed to. Matching certain colour combinations in the three pixels to the colour wheel triggers a win state.


The pixels were manufactured from powder coated stainless steel with arrays of RGB LED’s set behind white perspex and a spray painted stainless steel mesh to create a fully diffused, almost infinite array of colour possibilities. We designed and produced robust electronic mechanisms for detecting both note, and coin donations into each of the three pixels.


I was responsible for concept design, prototyping, hardware design, production management, and assembly of the project.
















In collaboration with Dundee Contemporary Arts, Denki, Studio PSK and the University of Dundee.

Martin Skelly

Creative Technologist
Scotland, UK

© 2015 Martin Skelly

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Martin Skelly Copyright 2015