Each year, 2nd year Product Design students unveil Chain Reaction, the result of a 4 day workshop-based project in which they are introduced to the electronic prototyping technology Arduino alongside basic principles of mechanical engineering.

The principle of a chain reaction is simple and intuitive - one event generates an output, which in turn triggers another. Using a combination of mechanical and electronic technologies to construct an ‘event’, the cohort is divided into teams of 3; each team tasked with building one part of the whole experience; a single “link” in the chain reaction.

Just as famous precedents - from Heath Robinson through Rube Goldberg to Fischli-Weiss and the american pop band OK GO (not forgetting Wallace & Gromit’s Cracking Contraptions) - have delighted in exploiting the potential of mechanical principles, the event is a display of the students’ imaginative exploration of the potential afforded by the application of various input sensors and digital outputs within a dynamic system, bringing together the mechanical and electronic.

Learning through play, the brief asks only that they learn something, be ambitious and have fun!

Learn more about this project here
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Staff associated with the project

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