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Shiny Stairs

"If we can make shape beyond itself..."

Produced by Weiying Qian


My stairs project aims to use various shapes with vivid colours to mapping a continuously changing and interactive vision projected upon the stairs model.

Concept and background research

My initial thoughts were to simulate different life stages on different levels of stairs by introducing natural environment elements, like Perlin noise shapes of flowers to represent spring, cascading waterfall representing summer and falling circles to simulate snow in winter. Also, the cycling of four seasons constitutes the circles of life. But I encounter some difficulties when coding the complexity. Then I change my thoughts to simply do geometric shapes on the stairs as to go beyond the stairs itself to give some interesting effect. I researched Piet Mondrian, known for using simple geometric elements as his  artistic vocabulary and other works of geometric painting and abstract painting. Based on the principle, I sketched and coded several scenes.


I used Scene manager and Timer with frame count function to do the change mostly and use Perlin noise to generate complexity scenes including waves and shinny random small circles.

Future development

If I have chance to further develop the project, I would do more variation and transformation on each scene rather than relying on scene manager to change the scenes. Also, It might be better to use all the elements to tell a  story with more clear intention and stronger visual languages.

Self evaluation

I spent lots of energy on how to code, but it might turn out to be wrong as coding is just a tool and keep thinking what you want to convey by visual elements at the beginning is more crucial. For this project, I used open frameworks to do the basic visual mapping the our model stairs, but based on the eventual outcome, I think I might be able to do more variation and complexity in each of the scene!

Also, the perlin noise scene with purple shiny small circle were too dim to notice in the video, which is a flaw of the project needs to be revised.


 Pearson.M (2011).generative art: a practicle guide using processing. Manning Publications.US.

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