Light artist, maker and NESTA fellow Jo Fairfax, (of Jo Fairfax Studio) approached us to help build a prototype of on an interactive wall prototype.

He needed control over a large number of motors to move circular disks within an array on a wall.


The design brief was to create a unit to control the rotation of a number of circular disks. The unit needed to be easily reprogrammable (so that different effects could be easily created), daisy-chainable (so that many motors could be controlled), detect movement (to activate different motion patterns) and relatively low-cost (as this was a prototype).

We designed a stepper motor controller circuit board which can control up to 12 motors. These can be repeated to produce very large arrays of stepper motors. The control unit is activated by different sensors depending upon the application.

The final effect is amazing, as shown in this video:

There were a number of design decisions made through a number of prototype steps. Jo was actively engaged in the design process (as he knew the final effect he was wanting) and he also wanted to be able to reprogram the units easily, to speed up the development time.

The prototype has already been shown at a number of exhibitions.

“I have worked with Matt on several projects. I go to Matt with an artwork I want to make which includes some interactive element and Matt always responds quickly, thoroughly and with great knowledge. His very open and creative way makes for a brilliant working process with him. I go to Matt with a technical challenge and he has resolved every single one and adds to the technical options in a very constructive way.

It has been brilliant working with Matt. He combines broad expertise with a very pleasant manner. It has been a real pleasure working with him on every project.” – Jo Fairfax

Please contact us if you would like Re-Innovation to help with your project or provide a training course.

Client: Jo Fairfax Studio

Date: August, 2015