The goal of the project was to a content-specific fire alarm in which I chose the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.  I focused on designing it so that express its interaction, purpose, and functionality were communicated through its formal language and features. I focused to implement a clear "activation state" through the use of color of light.


This was a 5 week long project. 

The final deliverables was a working 3D model. 
*White automotive primer was used to provide uniform and neutral surface appearance to evaluate form and communication.  
Colored lights indicating active states. The blue light shows that the fire alarm is active while the red indicates emergency has been triggered.
Problem Space
I began by examining the existing fire alarm systems.  Fire alarms spend 99% of their time not being used but in a "active state."   The entire function and existence is spent waiting mode.  I noticed that most of the fire alarms were small in size and activated by a two step process, but it was unclear if the alarm was active or not until one actually tested it.     
source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2cAuJtpzoY
In order to understand the environment I took a few trips to Carnegie Museum of Natural Science to observe the users and the location of the alarms in this particular building. 
The fire alarms were mostly exclusively located near exits that were directly near the door or elevator for good reason.  To inform others of the fire while they run out of the door.  It became clear that the form's interaction needed to be immediately understandable.
Users Observation
The fire alarms that are located in museums must be easily identifiable and the affordances must account for people to understand how it will work immediately. 

The constraints were to focus on the diverse target users, visitors from all over the world and with different age groups. It became important for the form to show affordances, warnings, and activation states by its formal language and features.  
Design Concept. 
I explored a variety of different ideas.  My main goal here was to indicate the 2 different activation states in a clear manner.
Ergonomics Study + Form Core Modeling 
I began exploring different forms to encourage interaction.
Adding Electronics
Form Development + Construction
Final Form